The RV/MH Heritage Foundation Inc. has announced the election of the Hall of Fame class of 2005.
The class will be inducted at an industry-wide banquet and ceremony Aug. 1 at the Hall of Fame facility in Elkhart, Ind. Inductees are:
* Wendell L. Batchelor: A housing manufacturer from Southern Energy Homes, Addison, Ala., Batchelor is 20-year Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) member. He is a longtime industry leader, activist and Alabama MHI board member, serving as chairman in 1991 and 1992. He was one of the organizers of the South Central MHI, serving as its chairman from 1997-1999. In the early 1980s, Batchelor pioneered customization in manufactured homes and was featured as an industry icon in the November 1996 issue of Forbes Magazine. Batchelor was inducted into the Alabama MHI Hall of Fame in 2002.
* Don Boles: Founder of RV manufacturer Boles Manufacturing, Burbank, Calif., Boles is a pioneer builder of Boles Arrow trailers. He was active in the creation and building of industry associations such as the American Institute of Travel Trailers, Trailer Coach Association and Mobile Home Manufacturers Association. As a tool and die maker he developed many tools used in aluminum trailer fabrication, and is a life-long promoter of quality construction in trailer manufacturing.
* Jerry Greer: A 30-year RV dealer, Greer operated Jerry Greer RV, Sunbury, Ohio, and is a longtime Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) board member, serving as chairman from 1990-1992. He served on the board of RV Assistance Corporation for nine years, including five years as chairman. He also served as RVDA Education Foundation’s original chairman, serving for seven years, and was awarded the James B. Summers award in 1995. Greer is recognized for advancing the interests of the RV industry, and RV retailers in particular.
* Rick Horsey: Owner of Parkview RV Center, Smyrna, Del., Horsey is a longtime RVDA board member, serving as chairman from 1997-1998. He is a six-year chairman of the RVDA Education Foundation and has served for 10 years on the RVDA-RVIA Service Technician Certification Board and the RV Service Training Council. Horsey is a founding member of the Go RVing Coalition’s Committee on Excellence and was the driving force behind the reorganization of the RVDA.
* Tony Ingram: An RV manufacturer from Teton Homes, Casper, Wyo., Ingram is a 35-year active RVIA member. He is recognized as a strong supporter of the association and its promotional Go RVing campaign. Teton Hills also is a winner of the RVDA Quality Circle Award, recognizing overall service and product quality, and Ingram holds the patent for the design of the oversized “big and tall” storage compartment in fifth-wheels.
* Gary LaBella: An executive with Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), Reston, Va., LaBella has been a dynamic industry leader and spokesman for over 27 years. He has been the architect of many acclaimed marketing programs to promote RVing and has helped coalesce the RV industry. In his role as vice president of public relations and marketing, LaBella is the administrative head of the Go RVing campaign and all RVIA public relations campaigns. He has received over 20 awards from various national professional marketing and public relations associations for innovative program design.
* Donald Pletcher: An RV manufacturer from Damon Corporation, Elkhart, Ind., Pletcher is a longtime industry leader as a supplier, RV manufacturer, and manufactured housing builder. Serving as an RVIA board member and executive committee member, he was the recipient of the Distinguished Service to RV Industry Award in 1993, and the National Legislative Award in 1999. Pletcher has been a leader, spokesman and example of the benefit of personal and corporate integrity in the industry.
* Arthur L. Richter: A manufactured housing retailer from Trading Post Homes, Louisville, Ky., Richter is a 50-year veteran retailer and 36-year member of Kentucky Manufactured Housing Association (MHA). He is recognized as a leader in customer relations and service. Richter also has been an advisor to manufacturers in the development of housing advances from the original 8-foot wide homes to today’s 14- and 16-foot wide models.
* Robert Sage: A consultant and recruiter from Sage and Associates, Winter Haven, Fla., Sage was a pioneer in executive and staff recruiting for the RV and MH industries. He developed the forerunner to today’s HUD code third party inspection teams. Sage was also the first to develop plant management surveys incorporating personnel competency, materials management, costing and purchasing functions and recommendations for corrective procedures.
* B.J. Thompson: Owner of marketing communications firm Bj Thompson Associates, Mishawaka, Ind., Thompson is a 25-year RVIA member and association leader, having served for 20 years as its Public Relations Committee Chairman. He is a founding member of the highly successful Go RVing Coalition and received both the RVIA National Service Award in 1986 and RVIA Distinguished Service to the RV Industry Award in 1995. In his role with RVIA, Thompson has devised and led numerous national RV promotional campaigns.
* Bill Webster: A manufactured housing community operator and retailer from Webster’s Inc., Lawrence, Kan., Webster has developed and managed over 250 manufactured housing sites, including 120 rental homes. He is a 30-year state association board member serving as president in 1972. He also served as part of the lobbying team for the 14- and 16-foot wide home movement in Kansas and led the team that got sales taxes removed from manufactured homes. He is a 20-year board member of the Kansas City Manufactured Housing Show.
* David L. Webster: A manufactured housing and RV industry supplier from Kinro, Arlington, Tex., Webster is a 25-year MHI member and board member. He has served as chairman of the suppliers division and is a long-term RVIA member and industry supporter. Webster is also a 25-year member and board member of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association for window and door manufacturers, serving on many vital committees for the two associations.
The RV/MH Heritage Foundation, based in Elkhart, was founded in 1972 and has honored over 250 leaders of the RV and manufactured housing industries by induction into the RV/MH Hall of Fame.