Monday, August 10, 2015

Industry Leaders Honored at 2015 RV/MH Hall of Fame Induction

Leaders from the recreational vehicle and manufactured housing industry gathered Monday to honor those whose innovations and dedication have left a mark on their industries.

About 350 people attended a ceremony Monday, Aug. 3, to induct 10 people into the RV/MH Hall of Fame.

The RV/MF Hall of Fame's cflass of 2015 includes, back row, Paul E. Hanser, HWH Corp.; Bert V. Alanko, MBA Insurance; Joe Kelly, Iowa Mfg Housing Association; front row, Jerry W. James, Franklin Homes Inc.; Bill Thomas, Bill Thomas Camper Sales; Marlene A. Sine, Marlene Sine & Associates Inc.; and Richard A. Mendlen, Manufactured Housing. Also inducted were Patrica A. Fiederer, Latham Oneota Homes; Sherman Goldenberg, RV Business Magazine; and Robert West, Affordable Community Living (Photo Supplied/RV/MH Hall of Fame)

This year’s Spirit Award, the hall’s highest honor, was presented to RV News publisher Don Magary. The award is presented each year to the person who has “demonstrated his or her desire and dedication to further the legacy of our great heritage,” according to a news release from the hall of fame.

Darryl Searer, right, chairman of the RV/MH Hall of Fame, presents the Hall of Fame Spirit Award to RV News Publisher Don Magary (left) on Monday, Aug. 3, 2015. 

This year’s hall of fame inductees were:

Bert Alanko, president of MBA Insurance of Arizona, who developed a sustainable RV rental insurance program that allows rental dealers to rent RVs to consumers without the burden of total liability. He established the MBA Rental School, which helps dealers and individuals start RV rental businesses. He served for 20 years as chairman of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association’s RV Rental Association and earned the RVDA Chairman’s Service Award and the RVDA’s James B. Summers Award.

Sherman Goldenberg, co-owner and publisher of RV Business Magazine, was honored for his three decades of work covering the industry. Goldenberg helped create the RV Industry Power Breakfast and theRV Business Top 50 Dealer Awards program. He is the only RV trade journalist to receive the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association's David Humphreys RV Unity Award and its Distinguished Service in Journalism Award.
Paul Hanser, founder of HWH Corp., pioneered the use of computerized hydraulics to level RVs. He is an engineer and inventor with more than 56 patents and helped write and edit a hydraulics manual for the RVIA and helped the association develop controller area network specifications and language.

Marlene Sine, owner and president of Marlene Sine and Associates, was the industry’s first female manufacturer’s agent and introduced thousands of products to the industry by educating and training others on how to promote products to the distributor, dealer and consumer. She also supported a number of industry associations including the Recreational Vehicle Aftermarket Association, RVIA and Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds.

Bill Thomas, founder of Bill Thomas Camper Sales, helped to organize and manage the Missouri RV Dealers Association and the St. Louis RV Dealers and has held “virtually every elected position in the RVDA.” He is one of the co-founders of the RVDA Education Foundation and was honored with the RVDA’s James B. Summers Award.

Patricia Fiederer, president of Latham Homes, has been the park developer of several manufactured housing communities, has been a member of the New York Housing Association for 40 years and on its board of directors for 33 years. She was inducted into the New York Housing Association Hall of Fame in 1997. She also served on the Town of Worcester Planning Board for more than 20 years.

Jerry James, founder of Franklin Homes, worked to improve and promote manufactured homes by serving on the Alabama Manufactured Housing Commission, as well as the boards of theManufactured Housing InstituteManufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform and the Southeast Manufactured Housing Institute.

Joe Kelly has been the executive director of the Iowa Manufactured Housing Association for 33 years and is responsible for 114 changes to Iowa law supporting the manufactured housing industry, including the reduction of sales/use tax on pre-owned manufactured homes, de-regulation of mobile home parks and tax reductions for low-income, elderly or disabled manufactured housing homeowners. He was the recipient of the RV/MH Hall of Fame's Spirit Award in 2009.

Richard A. Mendlen, former chief engineer in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Manufactured Housing, was the primary author of the HUD Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards. The standards took effect in 1976 and contributed to the acceptance of manufactured housing as a significant source of single-family housing in the United States.

Robert West worked as the president of Fuqua Homes and later, Westway Homes, and helped found the California Manufactured Housing Institute. He was also a board member of the national Manufactured Housing Institute. He received the CMHI’s Jack E. Wells Award in 1985 and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.

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