RV Hall of Fame Induction Tonight
About 400 people are expected to attend the induction dinner tonight (Aug. 6) for 10 new members of the RV/MH Hall of Fame at the hall’s new facility adjacent to the Indiana Toll Road in Elkhart, Ind.
The hall opened to the public in late March.
“The crowd for the dinner will be a little larger than average,” said spokesman Al Hesslebart, historian for the RV/MH Heritage Foundation.
A ceremony at 5:30 p.m. will dedicate the new $9.5 million, 50,000-square-foot building which houses the 304-member hall of fame itself, along with a library, theater, component suppliers hall and Go RVing exhibit. Still in the planning stages are a manufactured housing wing and a conference center.
“Everything will be open for walk-throughs,” Hesselbart said.
The 7 p.m. dinner will be in 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. When finished, Ingram Hall eventually will hold RV historian David Woodworth’s collection of pre-World War II RVs.
Nearly two dozen of Woodworth’s restored RVs will be on display during the dinner – but not in a formal exhibit – after they were brought to Indiana two weeks ago from California, Nevada and Montana.
The dinner will be catered by Elkhart’s Matterhorn Restaurant, which has hosted the induction dinner since 1997.
The 2007 class of inductees includes:
* Mel Adams, president of Airxcel Inc., Wichita, Kan.: A past chairman of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), Adams is also chairman of the RV Service Training Council (RVSTC) and is recognized as a leading voice for industry education and customer satisfaction.
* Jerry W. Britton, president, Textron Financial Corp., Revolving Credit Group, Alpharetta, Ga.: Britton has been active in the financing of RV and manufactured housing dealers for over 30 years. Currently, Textron provides floorplan financing for more than 800 dealers and annually finances over $1 billion in industry products.
* Billy Sims, owner of Billy Sims Trailer Town, Lubbock, Texas: An RV retailer for 37 years, Sims has served on the board of directors of the Texas RV Dealers Association and on the dealer councils for several manufacturers.
* Paul Skogebo, president of Robert Crist and Co. RV, Mesa, Ariz.: The RV retailer is the founder and president of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Exchange Co. (REDEX), an independent dealer buying group with more than 100 dealers. In addition to operating an RV dealership that is more than 70 years old, Skogebo has founded multiple RV and manufactured housing parks.
* Tom Stinnett, president of Tom Stinnett RV Freedom Center, Clarksville, Ind.: In addition to operating one of the nation’s larger RV dealerships, Stinnett is co-chairman of the Go RVing Coalition, chairman of the Recreational Vehicle Assistance Corp. (RVAC) and past chairman of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA).
* Don Walter, president of Starcraft RV Inc., Topeka, Ind.: Walter is a founding member and co-chairman of the Go RVing Coalition. He is a past chairman of the RV Indiana Committee and has served for over 20 years on the RVIA Public Relations Committee.
Manufactured housing honorees include 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.