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Jeff Hirsch

Jeff Hirsch

Campers Inn President Jeff Hirsch was honored with the David J. Humphreys RV Industry Unity Award Tuesday (March 10) at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, Fla. An ardent industry supporter, Hirsch is past chairman of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA).

The award, presented jointly by the RVIA and the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), recognizes individuals “who continuously strive to encourage the multiple constituencies of the RV industry to work collectively for the growth and benefit of the industry,” said RVIA Chairman Derald Bontrager, president and CEO of Middlebury, Ind.-based Jayco Inc.

“Through his numerous leadership roles within RVDA and as one of the country’s most successful RV dealers, Jeff Hirsch of Campers Inn embodies the spirit of the award,” said Bontrager, who during the presentation was joined on stage by RVIA President Richard Coon, RVDA Chairman John McCluskey of Florida Outdoors RV Center and RVDA President Phil Ingrassia.

Bontrager added that Hirsch, the longest-serving chairman in RVDA’s history, continues “to bridge the differences between RV dealers, suppliers and manufacturers.” Hirsch also has served on the Go RVing Coalition, RVIA Transportation Coalition and RVDA’s RV Learning Center.

“Whether it’s wearing his RV dealer hat, or acting in his capacity as an association statesman, Jeff has always championed the need to work together as an industry so we can all realize the tremendous potential provided by the RV market,” Bontrager said.

Hirsch was gracious in his comments, saying those in the RV industry must all “walk the same path” and realize “our work is never done.”

“For those individuals I served with I will especially be grateful for their openness and sincerity of exploring the possibilities of a greater vision for our industry and most importantly our customer, the end user,” Hirsch said.

In addition, Craig Floyd of TRC – A Southwire Co. received the Distinguished Achievement in RV Standards Award.

“Craig has been involved the RV standards arena for many, many years. His dedication is easily shown by identifying the number of committees Craig has served on,” Bontrager said. Among the many committees Bontrager listed, Floyd has served on the RVIA Standards Steering Committee, RVIA Electrical Technical Subcommittee and the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee.

The award presentations took place this morning at the annual conference, along with three seminars, prior to the afternoon Membership Meeting. Nearly 100 people are attending the Annual Meeting, which among other things sets direction for the RVIA efforts for the year.

Today’s seminars included:

• John Bozzella, president CEO of Global Automakers and longtime automotive industry executive, discussed the convergence of technology and mobility and how connected cars will save lives, time and fuel.

• Carlos Alcazar, marketing expert with The Tombras Group in Washington D.C., a digital-centric advertising firm, shared insights on strategies to engage the nation transitions to a more diverse demographic breakdown.

In addition, a Truck & Chassis Seminar featured a panel of experts providing an overview of the RV tow vehicles and motorhome chassis. Panelists include Susan Jagoda, manager, Special Vehicles/Fleets Operations at General Motors Corp., and Ford Motor Co.’s Dennis Bearden, RV & Pool Account manager, NAFLRO, Market Sales & Service.

Sponsors included: Forest River Inc. (First Timer’s Reception); Thetford Corp. (Welcome Reception); Newmar Corp. (Continental Breakfast, Refreshment Break); Allied Recreation Group (John Bozzella Seminar); Jayco Inc. (Carlos Alcazar Seminar); Coach House (Refreshment Break); Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (Group Lunch); Cummins Inc. (Membership Meeting); Dometic LLC (Membership Meeting, Registration Desk); Louisville Convention & Visitor’s Bureau and Kentucky Exposition Center (Chairman’s Reception); Thor Industries Inc. (Chairman’s Reception); TRC – A Southwire Co. (Chairman’s Dinner); Dicor Corp. (Chairman’s Dinner); TCF Inventory Finance LLC (Meeting Signage); Richloom Fabrics Group (Program Directory).

In addition, several Level sponsors were acknowledged: Level Four – Freightliner, Newmar and Thetford Corp.; Level Three – Allied Recreation Group, Cummins, Dometic and Jayco; Level Two – Forest River Inc., TCF Inventory Finance, Thor, TRC; Level One – Coach House, Dicor and Richloom; Participating Sponsors – Foretravel Inc. and RVBusiness.