RVBusiness is relaunching the RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards – a high profile promotion that RVB had coordinated on an annual basis until 2011 when the magazine and its RVBUSINESS.com website were purchased from Affinity Group Inc. by Elkhart, Ind.-based G&G Media Group LLC and, for a variety of reasons not directly related to the global recession, the program was allowed to lapse. “Why are we bringing it back now?” asks a national advertisement for the Top 50 revival. “Frankly, we’ve fielded a lot of requests from dealers who are still utilizing Top 50 logos today in their advertising, stores and show promotions. They miss it. So, do we – the staffs of RVB and BJ Thompson Associates, the same people who last ran this program. “More importantly,” says the ad, “we think it’s the right thing to do in backing up the efforts of RVIA, RVDA, RVDA of Canada, state associations and several private companies in helping to elevate the RV arena by recognizing superior retailers. And so do our sponsors: Ally Financial, Inc., Blue Ox, Cummins Power Generation, Dometic Corp., Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., GE Capital Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF), Lippert Components Inc., Protective Asset Protection and Stag-Parkway Inc.” The goal, RVB Publisher Sherman Goldenberg reports, is to basically pick up where everyone left off three years ago in recognizing 50 U.S. and Canadian dealerships for their commitment to best practices in terms of consumer care, business acumen, civic involvement and general professionalism. Manufacturers nominate their best – not just their largest -- U.S. and Canadian dealers. Applications filled out by nominated dealers are then reviewed by an independent “panel of experts,” whose selections are publicly recognized by RVB and BJTA at an RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards Reception open to all badge-wearing convention attendees on the evening of Wed., Nov. 12, during the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo at Bally’s on the Las Vegas Strip in cooperation with RVDA and RVDA of Canada. “RVDA is pleased that the RV Business Top 50 Dealer Award program will once again be held in conjunction with the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo,” stated RVDA President Phil Ingrassia. “The RVDA Convention/Expo
Committee and RVDA board of directors agree that an event celebrating the achievements of RV dealers will be a great addition to the overall convention experience for attendees in Las Vegas.” Ally Financial Inc. representatives will present one exceptionally civic-minded Top 50 dealer with an “RVBusiness Spirit Award” at the reception while Lippert personnel will recognize another dealer for outstanding business creativity and out-of-the-box thinking in bestowing an “RVBusiness Innovation Award.” Afterwards, along with extensive coverage in RVBUSINESS.com and in the pages of RVBusiness magazine, the Top 50 list will be broadcast to the national trade and consumer media. Press release templates will be made available for dealers to distribute to local and regional newspapers, and “RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer” logos, again, will be made available for dealers to use in their stores, show units and advertising promotions. A few more details: RVB and BJTA are asking for the return of filled out applications by July 31, although short extensions are possible. Nominated retailers can elect to omit selected answers on the application if, in fact, they consider a couple of them a bit too intrusive. Multi-store operations, are limited to one award, regardless of how many storefronts they have. In other words, choose one store that you feel best represents your company’s professionalism and philosophies and it, if selected, will shed a positive light on your entire operation. Dealers won’t be ranked from 1 to 50, although ten dealerships are to be recognized in alphabetical order above and beyond the rest as “Blue Ribbon” dealers. While a given dealer may be nominated by several manufacturers, that won’t affect the ultimate selection process either way. Canadian dealers are included, as are retailers of park model RV’s. General questions regarding the RV Business Top 50 Dealer Awards may be directed to Sherm Goldenberg (574-457-3370 or sgoldenberg@rvbusiness.com) or BJ Thompson (574-255-5000/ext. 501 or bjthompson@bjta.com) and for submissions to Barb Riley (574-255-5000/ext. 505 or briley@bjta.com).