Good Sam’s Sue Bray Credits Friends at RV Ceremony
Sue Bray, vice president and executive director of the Good Sam Club, was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind., on Aug. 3. Here is a copy of her induction speech:
To all of you, thank you for this great honor. I want to share it with the many people who make up this wonderful RV community we have out there.
When I started working at the Good Sam Club 33 years ago (at a very young age), the only thing I really knew about RVs was I didn’t want to be behind one on the freeway. And then, this wonderful new world opened up to me. I got to know people who were living their dreams, experiencing the freedom to travel around this great country of ours with no schedules, timetables, waiting in lines… choosing the sites they want to see, the places they want to stop.
I discovered new friends from widely varying locations, walks of life, professions, religions, values, educational backgrounds… all brought together into this RV community because of their passion for adventure and travel. And I would never have believed that such a group could exist – people who care so much about their lifestyle, their freedom to travel, and the comaraderie of the open road.
And that’s why most of us are here tonight. We are supported by the most amazing customers in the world. Despite the tough year many of us have been experiencing, we find that the RV community continues to remain loyal to us. We provide them with products to enhance the lifestyle they have chosen, we offer them protection from discriminatory laws and regulations, we promote this way of life, we plan events and experiences for them to enjoy, but in the end, it is the RV community which provides us with so much support in both the best and worst of times.
We are lucky to live in a country where we have the freedom to explore the national treasures of Yellowstone, Yosemite, Gettysburg and the Grand Canyon, and where our public lands are being preserved for years to come. RVers make this possible. They’ve volunteered to manage our state and national parks’ campgrounds, pick up trash along the highways, clean up trails and beaches, support causes like Special Olympics, Dogs for the Deaf and Hole in the Wall Camps, build picnic tables… the list goes on and on, but these are all done by volunteers who care enough about our public lands to want make them even better for future generations.
Some of these folks are with me tonight. Dave and Patty Morgen have been active Good Sam members for all of my 33 years with the Club, and have become wonderful friends who teach me about the lifestyle. Those of you who remember Art Rouse, his enthusiasm and love of this lifestyle were imbedded in me so many years and his wife Tony and her daughter Jane, are also here tonight. My colleagues, Sherm Goldenberg, Chuck Lasley, Bob Livingston and our incredible leader, Mike Schneider, make it easy to come to work every day. BJ Thompson and Derrick Crandall, who do such a wonderful job of representing the interests of both the RVer and the industry, thank you. And to my most amazing children, Ryan and Erin Bray, who have been with me for so many of these journeys, I’m so proud of both of you and the love of travel and adventure which we share. And finally, to Mel Magson, my partner for future journeys, thank you for your love and support.
Quite frankly, I think I should be sharing this award with the RVers who are out there, on the road, living their own adventures, but they’d never all fit on this stage.
So I say from the bottom of my heart, thank you.