The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) honored six company and association executives Sept. 16 for their many achievements.
During the association’s annual meeting at Lake Geneva, Wis., last week, RVIA Chairman Claire Skinner presented the following awards to the following people:
• Distinguished Service to the RV Industry Award to Walt Bennett of Thor Industries Inc.
• The Special Award to B.J. Thompson of B.J. Thompson & Associates.
• Distinguished Achievement in RV Standards Award to Kurt Anderson of Monaco Coach Corp.
• The National Legislative Award to Derrick Crandall of the American Recreation Coalition (ARC).
• Distinguished Achievement in Journalism Award to Bob Livingston of Affinity Group Inc. (AGI).
• The National Education Service Award to Fred Louck of Atwood Mobile Products.
Bennett, Thor’s CFO and the RVIA’s chairman from September 2000 until September 2002, was recognized for “his tenacious efforts at raising the bar to challenge his peers and colleagues to deliver quality products and service and helping the entire industry thrive,” said Skinner, who also is chairman, president and CEO of Coachmen Industries Inc.
“During his tenure as (RVIA) chairman, Walt was challenged with guiding the membership through a slight downturn in the economy and the aftermath of September 11th,” Skinner continued. “But Walt’s leadership skills served as an invaluable asset during these times and he and the (RVIA) Executive Committee worked diligently to help the industry weather the storm”
Thompson was recognized for his work as RVIA PR Committee chairman when the RVIA developed award-winning initiatives, including the “Wish You Were Here” and “Going Our Way” national cable TV series, the National RV History Tour featuring David Woodworth and several notable RV spokesperson tours.
Anderson, Monaco’s director of environment, health and safety, was honored for developing “an integrated safety program between various operations” and for overseeing “the management of a comprehensive environmental compliance program as well as the permitting and compliance of 10 separate manufacturing complexes,” Skinner said. Anderson’s efforts “saved the industry substantial amounts of money, so substantial that even the automobile industry was impressed and, in fact, envious.”
Crandall, as the head of ARC, is “a true friend to the RV industry” who has won favor for the industry from influential federal government leaders, including Secretary of the Interior Gayle Norton, Skinner said.
Livingston, AGI’s vice president of RV content, was recognized for the how-to advice, product reviews and insightful feature articles he has written for RV enthusiasts that have appeared in Trailer Life and Motorhome magazines for more than 30 years and helped expand the RV market. He also is executive director of and an on-air contributor appearing on “RV Today,” the cable TV program that appears nationally on the Outdoor Life Network.
Louck was honored for “his steadfast promotion of technician training and his highly regarded work in the trenches,” Skinner said. Louck played an instrumental role, as chairman of the RVIA’s Technical Subcommittee for the Education Committee, in the development of the RVIA’s first certification test in 1991. He was an instructor at the first Trouble Shooter clinics and currently is involved in the Certification Test Governing Board, the Industry Education Committee and various textbook review committees.