During the this week’s Educational Symposium, the RV Women’s Alliance (RVWA) will present the Champion of Women Award to an individual that embodies the group’s mission to elevate, educate, and promote women. Seven individuals have been recognized as finalists for the award and the winner will be announced this Thursday, Oct. 12 at the RVWA Awards Dinner, according to a release.
“We are thrilled to announce the exceptional finalists for the RV Women’s Alliance Champion of Women Award. These remarkable individuals have demonstrated unwavering dedication to empowering women in the RV industry,” said RVWA Board Member and Award Taskforce Chair Monika Geraci. “Each finalist has played a pivotal role in fostering inclusivity, mentorship, and professional development for women. Their outstanding efforts have not only enriched their organizations but have also positively impacted the entire RV industry.”
Recipients of the Champion of Women award have made it part of their daily efforts to make the RV industry a place where women thrive. Recognizing those making the biggest difference for women in the RV industry, the Champion of Women Award is awarded annually to both an individual and a company.
The finalists for the award are:
Lindsey Christen, Camping World
Lindsey Christen, an exemplary leader at Camping World, is a staunch advocate and mentor for women in the organization. Joining in 2008 as Corporate Counsel, she has ascended to Chief Administrative & Legal Officer and Secretary. In this influential role, Lindsey champions gender diversity and inclusion. She has significantly transformed HR and Legal functions, hiring 14 new female team members at various levels, and achieving over 50% female representation in the Legal department. Lindsey fosters an inclusive work environment, ensuring equitable opportunities regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity. Beyond her official duties, she dedicates time to mentorship, guides women’s career growth, and engages with organizations supporting female professionals. Lindsey’s dedication extends to the internship program, where she promotes diversity. Her approachable style and hands-on involvement make her an accessible advocate for all team members.
Julie Cox, Camping World
Julie Cox is an ardent advocate for women in the RV industry, consistently leading by example in all her endeavors. She possesses a remarkable ability to identify and nurture the potential in women, guiding them toward growth opportunities, and offering unwavering support. Her commitment to empowering women is evident through her consistent support and mentorship. Julie’s in-depth knowledge spans all dealership roles, and she leads by example, often stepping into various positions. Julie actively seeks out female talent, promoting them to higher roles and recognizing their achievements. Her actions resonate with the RV Women’s Alliance’s mission, exemplifying integrity, leadership, and humility. Julie’s unwavering dedication fosters an inclusive, thriving environment for women in the RV industry.
Nadean Cuddeford, Fraserway RV
Nadean Cuddeford is a role model in the RV industry. She began as a female RV technician, rapidly earning trust through her quality work and professionalism. Her journey led to her becoming the Service Manager, where she promoted women’s participation in the RV field. Nadean’s path then led her to the role of National Manager, Service for the Fraserway RV group, a rarity for women in this sector. She advocates for productivity, continuous improvement, and gender equality, even representing the industry at Skills Canada 2022. Nadean fosters an inclusive and customer-centric work environment, inspiring women to reach their full potential. Her leadership deserves recognition and admiration.
Melissa Kearney, Winnebago Industries
Melissa Kearney embodies RVWA’s mission to uplift and empower women in the RV industry. She currently serves as the RVWA Chairperson and Site Leader for Winnebago Motorhome, facilitating discussions on issues specific to women and driving empowerment. Additionally, Melissa is a key figure in Winnebago Industries’ Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN), fostering women’s professional growth by providing learning, mentoring, and networking opportunities. Within a year, the group has grown to over 200 members. Melissa actively promotes inclusivity, reaching out to new female employees and sharing valuable information about leadership and development opportunities in both Winnebago Industries and RVWA. Her role on the Forest City Chamber of Commerce Board further promotes the RV industry and advances women in her community.
Janine Pettit, Girl Camper Magazine
Janine Pettit is a passionate advocate for women in the RV industry through her platform, Girl Camper. She uniquely understands and values the contributions women bring, emphasizing the importance of recognizing their worth and setting boundaries. Janine breaks barriers by promoting both women and men in RVing. Her efforts elevate women in the industry, providing them with opportunities for exposure and collaboration. With a thriving Facebook community exceeding 300,000 members, Janine creates a safe space for women seeking advice, especially those camping solo or with children. Janine’s impact extends beyond her platform, catalyzing industry projects and connections. She is a tireless advocate, connecting women and driving progress in the RV world.
Mary Pouliot, Thetford
Mary Pouliot is a standout advocate for women in the RV industry. As the Executive Vice President at Thetford and a respected member of the RV Industry Association Board of Directors, Mary consistently displays exceptional leadership and unwavering commitment to gender equality. Throughout her 17-year tenure at Thetford, Mary not only showcases her professional expertise but also serves as an inspiring figure for women in the industry. She actively fosters an inclusive and supportive environment, championing training and mentorship programs. Mary’s advocacy for nurturing talent from within the organization exemplifies her dedication to women’s success. She consistently provides equal opportunities for growth and advancement, empowering women to excel in leadership roles and advocating for women’s advancement. Mary’s dedication to work-life balance and promoting talent from within sets a commendable industry standard.
Lisa Liegl Rees, Forest River
Lisa Liegl Rees is a passionate advocate for women in the RV industry. Leading a diverse team at East to West, Lisa has used her extensive industry experience to promote gender equality and empower women. She actively supports women’s advancement through education, networking, and fundraising efforts. Lisa also serves on the RV Women’s Alliance board, contributing her time, expertise, and fundraising skills. Lisa mentors young women, fostering their problem-solving and leadership skills. She promotes an inclusive environment where women take on leadership roles and make crucial decisions. Lisa’s exceptional relationships with partners have expanded the RV Women’s Alliance’s reach into Canada. She fosters inclusivity and openness to new ideas, actively participating in activities to uplift women within the industry. Her dedication to fundraising, chairing the sponsorship committee, has significantly impacted the organization’s growth and influence.
Founded in 2019, the RV Women’s Alliance purpose is to elevate, educate, and promote women in the RV industry, making the RV industry a place where women thrive. Open to anyone in the RV industry who supports our mission, the Alliance has more than 1,500 members from more than 500 companies. The Alliance is headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana, with leadership based across the United States and Canada. Learn more at www.rvwa.org.