KOA Honors Franchisee of the Year and Rising Star
Kampgrounds of America named Michael and Kristi Kuper, the owners of the Thunder Bay, Ontario KOA Kampground, as the KOA Franchisee of the Year for 2011.
The Kupers, who first met as teenagers and worked together on the campground for Kristi’s parents, won the award today (Nov. 8) during the first day of KOA’s annual International Convention in Savannah, Ga.
Michael and Kristi Kuper purchased the Thunder Bay KOA in 1998 from Kristi’s parents, and have worked tirelessly for the past 12 years to added new features and improvements for their camping guests. Their efforts have led to KOA President’s Awards every year, as well as three KOA Founder’s Awards.
The award was presented by KOA President Pat Hittmeier and CEO Jim Rogers, as well as last year’s winners, Sam and Renee Scialdo Shevat from the Herkimer Diamond, N.Y., KOA.
Along with a large bronze statue by Billings, Mont., artist Mike Capser titled “Always Welcome,” the Kupers will be the one-year guardians of the “Dave’s Hammer” traveling trophy. The trophy includes a well-used hammer once owned by Kampgrounds of America founder Dave Drum, who founded the famous camping company on the banks of the Yellowstone River in Billings, Montana in 1962. The company now has more than 470 locations.
RISING STAR AWARD
Also today, David and Helena Johnson were honored as the KOA Rising Stars for 2011. The Johnsons are the owners of the Willits, Calif., KOA. The award goes to a KOA franchisee who has been part of the KOA system for five years or less who demonstrates extraordinary dedication to guest service and support for the KOA system.
The annual KOA International Convention continues through Wednesday at the Westin Savannah Harbor Hotel and Convention Center.