Four influential RV industry executives, some now retired, were among the 10 people inducted into the RV/MH Heritage Foundation Hall of Fame during ceremonies Tuesday (Aug. 5) in Elkhart, Ind.
The RV industry Class of 2003 inductees are: Robert “Boots” Ingram, founder of Teton Homes Inc.; Newton “Newt” Kindlund, founder of Holiday RV Superstores Inc.; Larry McClain, founder of McClain’s RV Superstore, and Gloria Telander, creator and publisher of Woodall’s Campground Directory, the Trailer Life Directory and founder of Wheeler’s RV Campground Directories.
Ingram, an Elkhart native, founded a manufactured housing industry supplier firm in 1954 before founding RV manufacturer Teton Homes in Wyoming in 1967. More recently, he has been a real estate developer and his projects include a 25-acre RV Travel Plaza in Indio, Calif., which opened in 2001. “Thank you again, you made me a happy camper,” Ingram said during last night’s ceremony.
Kindlund assembled the first coast-to-coast group of RV dealerships and was a founding board member of both the Florida RV Trade Association and the RV Rental Association. He sold control of Holiday RV Superstores in 1999 and that year established the first national RV industry scholarship fund through the national Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA). During the ceremony, Kindlund thanked Holiday Rambler Corp. founder Dick Klingler “for giving me the opportunity to succeed,” and the late John K. Hanson, founder of Winnebago Industries Inc., for encouraging him to become a multilocation dealer. “This is the capstone to a career,” he added.
McClain, whose stores are located in Lake Dallas, Tex., and Oklahoma City, Okla., has served two terms as RVDA president, has been an RVDA Board member for 32 years and founded of the Oklahoma State RV show in 1962. McClain said he was proud to follow fellow dealer Kindlund to the podium during last night’s ceremony and told his employees and family members who attended the gathering, “You should be standing up here, you made it possible.”
Telander, who began her career as an engineer for a construction company in Chicago, said the late R.A. Woodall, after whom the campground directory is named, “made me in this industry. He never put a limit on me.” She also gave credit to Good Sam Club and TL Enterprises Inc. founder Art Rouse, for whom she worked as a consultant. “I am extremely proud to be in the Hall with Art Rouse and R.A. Woodall,” she said.
The RV/MH Hall of Fame, founded in 1972, has recognized around 250 leaders from all sections of the RV and manufactured housing industries. Honorees are selected by a committee representing a broad cross section of the related industries. They are chosen for their lasting contribution to the greater good of their specific sectors, above and beyond personal gain, from a pool of nominations submitted by interested groups or individuals.