10 Men Inducted into RV/MH Hall of Fame
A record 475 people attended the induction dinner Monday night (Aug. 6) for 10 new members of the RV/MH Hall of Fame that also served as the official dedication of the new $9.5 million, 80,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the Indiana Toll Road in Elkhart, Ind.
“We are and will be a major attraction in Indiana," said Dave Altman, chairman of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inc., and owner of Altman RV, Colton, Calif., who served as master of ceremonies. “Most of all, we’ve done something for the RV consumer.”
The new facility features antique RVs and camping equipment, an 85-seat theater, library, Go RVing display highlighting new RV products and a suppliers hall. A conference center will be added later.
Foundation President Carl Ehry announced an ambitious $30 million endowment effort to finance the continuing operation of the new hall of fame/museum, which opened to the public in late March. Ehry, who has been foundation president since 1994, was also presented with a new award named in his honor.
During the event, Mike Schneider, president of Affinity Group Inc., Ventura, Calif., announced that the organization, which publishes Woodall's Campground Management magazine and operates the Good Sam Club, will contribute $1 million in advertising for the new hall of fame/museum over the next five years.
“This is truly an amazing place and an awesome event,” Schneider said while announcing the donation.
The dinner was held in the partially completed Boots and Betty Ingram Hall, named in honor of the founder of Teton Homes Inc., Mills, Wyo., who financed the $1.5 million, 20,000-square-foot addition to the hall of fame/museum that will hold RV historian David Woodworth's collection of pre-World War II RVs.
The centerpiece for the event was the induction of the hall’s Class of 2007. “This is a humbling event for me,” said inductee Mel Adams, president of Airxcel Inc., Wichita, Kan.
Other RV industry inductees were:
• Jerry W. Britton, president, Textron Financial Corp., Revolving Credit Group, Alpharetta, Ga.
• Billy Sims, owner of Billy Sims Trailer Town, Lubbock, Texas
• Paul Skogebo, president of Robert Crist and Co. RV, Mesa, Ariz.
• Tom Stinnett, president of Tom Stinnett RV Freedom Center, Clarksville, Ind.
• Don Walter, president of Starcraft RV Inc., Topeka, Ind.
Manufactured housing honorees included the late Jerry Wilson, founder and president of Cavalier Homes Inc., Addison, Ala.; R.C. “Dick” Moore, CEO of Dick Moore Housing Inc., Millington, Tenn.; Ronald Thomas Sr., chairman of Rona Enterprises Inc., Pataskala, Ohio; and James P. Visser Sr., Manchester, Ga., publisher of “The Journal,” a monthly periodical about the manufactured housing industry.