The board of directors of the Recreational Vehicle/Manufactured Housing (RV/MH) Heritage Foundation has announced the names of those who will be inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame as the “Class of 2021”.
Foundation President Darryl Searer said, “Congratulations to the ten new honorees. All of them have had or are having outstanding careers and are richly deserving of this high honor.”
Searer also applauded the work of the nominating committee that had to narrow down a list of highly deserving candidates. He said, “I was especially impressed with the committee’s work for the diversity of this year’s class—not only in the inductee’s gender, but also the diversity of regions within the U.S. as well as the diversion of nominee’s industry segments such as suppliers, manufacturers, dealers, community managers and developers, as well as association executives.”
The Class of 2021 will be officially inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame at the Annual Induction Dinner on August 2 in Elkhart, Indiana, pending COVID-19 restrictions.
The Recreational Vehicle 2021 inductees:
Eleonore Hamm, RVDA of Canada, British Columbia
Eleonore Hamm is a leader who has strengthened and unified the RV industry, both in Canada and the U.S. Eleonore’s passionate promotion of technical education, development of deep bonds with the campground segment and successful government lobbying has raised the stature and professional level of the industry. The RVDA of Canada, under Eleonore’s lead as president, has partnered with CRVA, RVDA, RVIA and others to unite the industry to overcome common obstacles. This year she worked closely with dealers and industry stakeholders to provide RVs to first responders during the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic. Eleonore is frequently seen volunteering in her community at youth hockey fundraising events as well as charity drives to support the homeless.
Eleonore said: “I am truly honoured to have been selected to be inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame. I feel very fortunate to have been able to spend the last 25 years working in such a remarkable industry. Thank you so much for this recognition.”
Jeff M. Hirsh, Campers Inn RV, Florida
Over his career, Jeff Hirsh built a network of 28 RV dealerships in multiple states, while also serving in many capacities for the National RV Dealers Association (RVDA). Jeff looks for ways to give back and pay forward in his community. On the local level, he often lends out RVs for charitable events and he has supported the Little League and elementary schools. Some of his volunteer activities include: Make a Wish Foundation, Special Olympics, and the Heart Association. Jeff served in several capacities on the RVDA Board of Directors and has received RVDA’s highest honor—the JB Summer’s Award, and the Chairman’s Service Award.
Robert “Bob” Parish, Wells Fargo CDF, Florida
Bob Parish’s knowledge gained as a significantly involved volunteer to the industry helped Wells Fargo CDF (as a critical component of the RV industry) to navigate the uncertainty of the 2008-2009 financial crisis. CDF, the only wholesale finance lender to never stop funding the dealer base, remained true to the industry by fairly communicating its strategy necessary to remain a partner in one of the darkest periods in the RV industry, thereby benefiting the viability of the industry as a whole. Bob has consistently provided support to issues impacting the growth of the entire RV industry through willing and dedicated service at the board and committee levels of RVIA, using calm rationale and a data-driven approach. He has also been a champion for RVDA’s Con/Expo as a Wells Fargo CDF Gold Sponsor for many years and a charter sponsor of the Top 50 RV Dealer Awards. His key guidance in the formation of the RV Technical Institute is importantly noteworthy as it will have a positive industry impact for many years to come.
Jim Sheldon, Fleetwood Enterprises – Monaco Coach, California
The RV industry has achieved the success it has because of people like Jim Sheldon, leaders who put the good of the industry above all else. His ability to keep competitors and industry partners moving in the same direction to take the industry to new heights is what makes Jim stand out. Jim has continuously been striving to encourage the multiple constituencies of the RV industry to work collectively for its growth and betterment. A dedicated statesman during his entire career, Jim was a founding member of the GoRVing Coalition and has testified against unreasonable regulations, unifying the industry via his leadership.
Bob Tiedge has been instrumental in the success of not only Lippert Components, but as a true visionary for the RV industry in the field of hydraulics, product design, and innovation. He has always been focused on continuous improvement, servicing customers and making the experience of RVing the very best it could be for the retail consumers. A brilliant mind capable of developing patentable products, Bob is willing to drive thousands of miles at a minute’s notice to keep RV families on the road. Bob started work on a slide-out project for Lippert Components; he parked his motorhome at the plant and stayed day and night working on new prototypes that today are now mainstream on all hydraulic slide-out units in the industry. Bob started hydraulic landing gear for RVs that were more powerful, robust and faster than the electric counterpart. He took the landing gear a step further and started LCI’s leveling program and was responsible for why leveling is on every single high-profile fifth wheel. Bob Tiedge is a very valuable teammate and an invaluable asset to LCI and the RV industry.
Manufactured Housing 2021 inductees:
Ken Anderson, MHIA, Arizona
Ken Anderson’s dedication to the manufactured housing industry and MHIA (Arizona) is beyond measure. He gave up his own retail sales operation of 30 years to become president of the Association to assist the industry to stay aloft during trying times, serving on the Board and Executive Committee for more than a decade. Ken helped create the Arizona Image Committee; served on the Government Relations & Zoning Committee; and ran several annual home shows as well as chaired many annual conventions. He has also worked tirelessly on a national level, serving as a delegate to MHI for many years, as well as on the MHI Board of Directors and National Retailers Council. Ken has also participated in many of the MHI Legislative Meetings and has been the recipient of many awards during his time in the industry.
Keith Casenhiser has contributed much to the manufactured industry. Keith started in the MH industry as an intern at Fleetwood Manufactured Homes. Since partnering with Dick Bessire, they now own ten MH parks and manage 80. Keith personally joined other associations and, for the past 15 years, he has dedicated his allegiance to the California MH Institute as past Chairman of the Board and served as Treasurer on the exec committee. Keith speaks and participates at round tables, panels, committees and industry functions for California MH associations as well as in Idaho and Colorado. Keith received the top awards from WMA, CMPA, MHET and the Presidents’ award and Jack E. Wells from CMHI. He contributes to Pac funds and many charity fundraisers and has dedicated his life to his family and his industry.
Charles E. Lott, Fleetwood Homes Inc., Georgia
For five decades, Charles Lott has played a pivotal role in leading affordable housing in America. He has stayed consistent over the years with a strategy that was rooted in designing and building astonishing homes with a focus on affordability for all Americans. Every stakeholder in the MH industry is better from the impact Charles has made on the evolution of manufactured homes. Most importantly, homeowners today continue to reap the benefit of current trends, needs and wants because of his relentless goal to improve both the homes and the people he has trained over his lengthy career.
Debra J. Pizer, Zeman Properties, Illinois
Dee Pizer’s support of the Manufactured Homes Community Industry has been significant. This includes guest speaking at MHI National Meetings and mentoring women in the Industry to reach their potential. She continues to volunteer whenever asked to assist community owners and developers across the country; her reputation and success make her a great source of information and she always makes herself available. Dee helped change the perception of the MH industry being an exclusively male-dominated one. She has been essential to the growth and success at Zeman Homes and the overall growth and continuing success of the Industry as a whole.
Alan H. Spencer, Dakotaland Homes, South Dakota
Alan Spencer has 35-plus years of accomplishments in the MH industry, including community involvement, pioneering direct-to-consumer factory sales lots, and the expansion and management of national MH dealerships. He also has decades of involvement in MH associations with service on industry-leading national action committees. Alan has helped to pass laws and fight against legislation that would have negatively impacted the industry and consumers in South Dakota, as well as in several Midwestern states. He was instrumental in passing a law in South Dakota that enabled manufactured homes to be placed on foundations, allowing them to be converted to real property, thus giving the customer the option to obtain mortgage financing and making manufactured housing more appealing to a larger customer base.