The RV/MH Hall of Fame has announced the election of the Hall of Fame class of 2009. The class will be officially inducted on Aug. 3 at the hall’s facility in Elkhart, Ind. Those to be honored as selected by the RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inc. board are:
RV Inductees
Richard A. “Dick” Baidas (deceased), General RV Center, Wixom, Mich.: Baidas was a long-term industry promoter and board member of the Michigan MH and RV associations. He was a principal in the founding of 10 different RV and MH manufacturers and built his RV dealership into the largest in the country at one time.
Susan Bray, Good Sam Club, Ventura, Calif: Bray is a 30-year leader of the RV industry’s largest consumer organization. She has served for 25 years on the board of the American Recreation Coalition (ARC), and on the advisory board for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Scenic Byways program. Bray has been a valued collaborator with the RVIA legal affairs staff and was a key promoter of the “Take Pride in America” program to increase volunteer service on public lands that has been adopted by the Department of the Interior.
Hal Fowler, DTI RV Appliance Parts, Middlebury, Ind: Fowler built what is now the largest distribution center in the country for supplying repair parts to RV dealers and repair facilities. He has served as a board member of the Warehouse Distributors Association (WDA) and is an active member of RVDA. He is recognized for his maintenance of a huge inventory of parts for obsolete RV appliances and other parts.
Tim Dewitt, Michigan MHA, Okemos Mich.: As a 30-year executive director of Michigan MHA, DeWitt is recognized by his peers and his members as a dynamic spokesperson for the MH and RV industries and a leader in developing positive promotions for both.
David Garvin, Camping World, Bowling Green, Ky.: Garvin built the world’s largest RV supply and service business while also owning and operating a high-profile RV park. He revolutionized the marketing of RV aftermarket products and services with customer satisfaction as the cornerstone.
Peter Leigl, Forest River Inc., Elkhart, Ind.: Liegl is a long-time industry executive developing several companies. He built Forest River into the nation’s largest towable RV manufacturer. Liegl is most recognized for building his company into one of the industry’s largest and selling it to Warren Buffett, bringing Berkshire Hathaway into the RV industry.
MH Inductees
Kevin Clayton, Clayton Homes, Maryville, Tenn.: Clayton has been named MHI Industry Person of the Year three times and is the leader in what has been identified as the most dynamic team in the housing industry. He also spearheaded the sale of his company to Berkshire Hathaway Inc., giving an enormous credibility boost to the industry.
Donald F. Glisson Sr., Triad Financial Services, Jacksonville, Fla.: Glisson has brought over 250 commercial banks into serving the MH industry, and was selected as MHI Lender of the Year. He also built a small local finance institution into a highly respected national leader.
Jake Hannon (deceased), AAA Mobile Homes, Tucson, Ariz.: Hannon grew his business to become Arizona’s No. 1 housing retailer, and established an early customer service program. He developed a popular market research program for housing retailers, and developed 11 sales centers with annual sales of $52 million. He was twice elected MHI national retailer of the year.
Kristian Jensen Jr., Jensen’s Inc., Old Saybrook, Conn.: Jensen is a respected member of the MHI Board and Chairman of MHI Communities Council, Northeast MHA, New England MHA and all state associations where he has communities, including New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. He was the 2000 National Community Operator of the Year and has received recognition for the best land-lease community in the nation in both the over-150 sites, and under-150 sites classes.
The RV/MH Hall of Fame was founded in 1972 and has inducted over 300 pioneers and key leaders of the industry through its 37 years. Honorees are selected for their exemplary contributions to the growth and development of the greater industry and not primarily for their personal success.