The RV Industry Association annually recognizes individuals, companies and organizations for outstanding contributions to the advancement of the RV industry with the presentation of awards honoring exceptional service and achievements in the areas of RV standards, education, government affairs and journalism.
Awards are presented throughout the year and the most recent round of honorees received their awards during RVs Move America Week earlier this month. Three awards were presented to deserving individuals during the all-industry event: National Legislative Award, Distinguished Achievement in RV Standards Award and National Education Service Award.
Don Gunden from Forest River presented Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) with the National Legislative Award during the RV Caucus RVs Move America Breakfast on Wednesday, June 5. Gunden said, “Don’t try to go into Jackie’s office with talking points. She’ll stop you cold, because she knows more about the RV industry than we do.”
Rep. Walorski co-founded the influential House RV Caucus, which she currently co-chairs. As the Representative for the RV Capitol of the World, Rep. Walorski has a deep understanding and passion for the RV industry. She has championed numerous RV-related endeavors on Capitol Hill, including leading the charge against steel and aluminum tariffs, introducing the dealer floorplan fix legislation, co-sponsoring the GSP technical fix legislation, delivering positive testimony during congressional hearings, supporting the passage of the REC Act, hosting numerous forums and roundtables with RV industry executives, advancing the RV Industry Association’s campground modernization and expansion initiative, and much, much more.
In remarks following a standing ovation and accepting the award, Rep. Walorski demonstrated her vast knowledge of the RV industry, not only the numbers in the newly released economic impact study, but also the challenges the industry has fought its way through since the near-knockout punch of the Great Recession. “It’s an honor to represent the ‘RV Capital of the World,’” said Rep. Walorski, referring to Elkhart, Ind., and the surrounding area. “As you continue to move, rise and gain market share, please know that I have your back in Washington, DC.” That line, too, drew another standing ovation.
RV Industry Association Chairman Garry Enyart and director, mobile generator sales & coach care at Onan/Cummins, presented the Distinguished Achievement in RV Standards Award to Matt Miller of Newmar Corporation and the National Education Service Award to Lance Wilson, Executive Director of the Florida RV Trade Association during the Chairman’s Dinner at the Newseum on June 4.
“The Distinguished Achievement in RV Standards honors those who contribute to the enhancement of RV standards in the industry,” said Enyart. “Matt Miller has been actively engaged with the RV Industry Association’s standards program for many years. His overall technical knowledge of RV production experience and global perspective have been vital in providing insights in the development of polices relating to important safety and standards matters. It has always been Matt’s first priority to guide the Standards Steering Committee in making decisions that serve for the betterment of the entire industry.”
During his tenure as Standards Steering Committee Chairman, Miller provided key guidance to the various technical subcommittees to better address the critical safety decisions that needed to be established in relation to the adopted RV standards. He understands that any effort to improve standards, program positions and policies greatly assists in this industry's desire to build safer RVs.
“It’s been a privilege to work with so many talented people in the industry on standards and education,” said Miller. “From the staff at the RV Industry Association to the many volunteers from the member companies who contribute their time and resources for the betterment of the industry, I’m very thankful to have had this opportunity.”
The National Education Service Award recognizes those who have been instrumental in the development of educational programs in the RV industry. Lance Wilson, executive director of the Florida RV Trade Association, is committed to the advancement, education and certification of RV Service Technicians. He has a deep understanding of how our industry and customers benefit from having a skilled, knowledgeable, well-trained work force.
“Throughout his distinguished career at FRVTA, Lance has been a tireless champion and advocate for industry training and education both at the national level and certainly in his home state,” said Enyart. “He has talked the talk and walked the walk by always making the advancement, education and certification of RV service technicians a top priority.”
Wilson stated, “I accept this award on behalf of Jim Carr, our Education Director and on of our Board of Directors. Jim has been with us from the inception of the FRVTA Distance Learning Network and we would not be where we are without him. For the last 20 years our Board has supported this program enthusiastically and will continue to lead us forward in the future. I have been fortunate to have been associated with these fine people. My thanks to the RV Industry Association for this exceptional honor.”
Congratulations to all recipients!
The RV Industry Association’s Awards Committee oversees the annual program and works with staff and industry colleagues to identify, nominate and name honorees.