000_UntitledAs America’s recreation vehicle industry kicks off a year’s worth of celebrations to honor its 2010 Centennial, industry members are putting the spotlight on the people who have kept the industry rolling for a century — America’s RV workers, according to a release from the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA).

Central to the industry’s celebrations this year will be a ”Salute to RV Workers” in the form of video tributes from industry leaders and special recognition of RV workers at a 100th Anniversary party being hosted by the RVIA on Monday, June 7, at the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum in Elkhart, Ind.

”The RV industry recognizes that the hard-working men and women on the factory floors, in the offices, and out in the field are the heart and soul of our industry,” said RVIA President Richard Coon. ”America’s RV workers make products that bring families closer together, and we recognize that our industry’s longevity and success is a direct result of their hard work and commitment. Honoring their contributions will be a big part of our year-long RV Centennial celebrations.”

Manufacturer members of the RVIA board of directors will participate in creating a video tribute to RV workers, telling how RV industry workers’ concern and dedication translates into products that make American families closer and happier.

The video will be a centerpiece at RVIA’s 100th Anniversary party. The industry party will be an energetic extravaganza with a live band, entertaining videos, a fireworks celebration to cap the evening, centennial salutes from RVing celebrities and other VIPs and the unveiling of an RV-themed time capsule that will remain on display at the RV/MH Hall of Fame and Museum. The invitation-only party is just one of many RV Centennial projects being spearheaded by RVIA as part of a campaign that promises to lift the spirits of the RV industry and help kick off its second century on a high note.

In an effort to help bring the RV Centennial celebration to the industry and to RV enthusiasts, RVIA also will conduct a national tour of the official Centennial mascot titled ”Centennial Charlie’s Cross-Country Caravan: 100 Days Celebrating 100 years of RVing.” Charlie is an American black bear stuffed animal — inspired by the bear in Go RVing’s 2010 Ambassadors of Affordability ad campaign — that RVIA will ship to RV consumer shows and industry plants to generate enthusiasm and provide additional media centennial opportunities. The stuffed animal’s visits will be chronicled in a presentation to be shared with the industry and on YouTube.

In April, an RVIA media tour with RV historian and media spokesman David Woodworth will launch, showcasing a 1916 telescoping RV alongside a state-of-the-art RV that features the latest designs and technologies. A satellite media tour will run in conjunction with Woodworth’s tour to distribute the centennial story to news outlets nationwide.

RVIA will also provide media and consumers with 100 days of fun RV facts and travel trivia on Twitter. These efforts will focus on the industry’s history of creativity and innovation while segueing into a look at today’s products and the RV market’s robust future.

To highlight the year-long celebration of the RV Centennial, RVIA is designating June as RV Centennial Celebration Month, a focal point for the industry to rally around just as Americans are gearing up for summer and the vacation season. RVIA is working to have official proclamations issued from both President Obama and Congress and is also pursuing state-level recognition of RV Centennial Celebration Month.

Throughout the year, the official RV Centennial website — RVCentennial.org — will serve as a clearinghouse of information and a source of free resources to help industry members incorporate the 100th Anniversary celebrations into their company-specific efforts. The website offers the official, downloadable RV Centennial logo for companies to use in marketing efforts; a four-minute RV Centennial video for members to post on their own websites and to share with constituents; a photo gallery of images of antique RVs for use in promotional materials; a white paper, press releases and news articles about the RV Centennial; and an open message board where industry members can exchange celebration ideas and plans with colleagues.

”We have a lot of exciting things planned for the RV Centennial celebration and are energized by the opportunity it offers all of us to demonstrate our strength and unity, to counteract the difficult economic conditions we’ve faced and to draw positive attention to the RV industry in the coming year,” Coon said.