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RVIA Honors Industry Leaders at Committee Week 2008

At RVIA’s Joint Committee luncheon June 9, several RVIA members were honored for their exceptional contributions to the association and the RV industry.

Wade Thompson of Thor Industries received the RVIA Special Award. This prestigious award aims to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the overall success of the RV industry. “Thompson is a true titan of our industry,” said RVIA Chairman of the Board Carl Pfalzgraf, citing the industry leader’s early support of the Go RVing campaign, the respect he has earned among Wall Street insiders and business analysts, and his media savvy as things that have helped raise the stature of the RV industry. Pfalzgraf added, “with his keen business acumen, Thompson has grown Thor Industries into one of the largest and most-respected companies in our industry."

In accepting the award, Thompson said, "I've been in this industry over thirty years - more than half my life. Maybe the industry isn't so great now - we're supposed to be down 14% this year - but cheer up. It's not 1979. The sky is not falling. The industry will thrive and continue to grow - we've proved our mettle before and we will again."

The Distinguished Achievement in RV Standards award was presented to Jerome Hoover, a compliance engineer with Monaco Coach. The award was established to recognize those members who have greatly impacted the enhancement of RV industry standards. Hoover has been actively involved in the RVIA standards program for 20 years. Pfalzgraf cited Hoover’s “dedication to serve and assist in the development of standards and policies, that has helped the industry build safer RVs.”

Ed Lee of Marshall Gas Controls was the recipient of The National Education Service Award, presented to recognize those who have been instrumental in the development of educational programs in the RV industry. Pfalzgraf praised Lee, saying, "As an active member of RVIA’s Industry Education Committee, he has played an integral part in the development of RV Service Technician Publications and had a key role in the RV Service Technician Certification and Job and Task analysis efforts."

At the luncheon, Committee on Excellence Co-Chairmen Jim Sheldon and Marty Shea also recognized the heads of the Committee's task forces. Sheldon said, “Our ability to grow and prosper as an industry depends on continuously improving the RV travel and camping experience for our customers. The work of the task forces greatly enhanced our industry’s potential to do just that.”

Ellen Kietzmann, leader of the Customer Warranty Task Force, Stan Sunshine, head of the Industry Communication and Support Task Force, and Debbie Brunoforte, leader of the Replacement Parts Availability Task Force, were present at the luncheon while Bruce Cooper, head of the Industry Wide Training Task Force, and John Thompson, head of the Product Quality Task Force, were unable to attend.

The five task force heads were presented with plaques to commemorate their work.

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