The Class of 2016 includes: James (Jim) Miller, Nationwide Custom Homes; Joseph H. Stegmayer, Cavco Industries, Inc.; Ernie Friesen, All Seasons RV/Redding RV; Gary Bunzer, Bunzer Consulting, Inc. (second row l-r)Thomas R. "Tim" McGuire, The Coast Distribution System, Inc.; Ellen Kietzmann and Michael Hesse, Jay Hesse's son, accepting for Jay Hesse (deceased) (front row l-r)William (Bill) Overhulser, Del Rey Industries; Robert (Bob) Edward Richardson, Richardson Homes Corp. Not Pictured: Ross Kinzler, Wisconsin Housing Alliance; and Roland Sahm (deceased), Elixir Industries.
ELKHART, Ind., -- The Class of 2016 was inducted into the RV/MH Hall of Fame (Hall) last Monday (August 1, 2016) in Elkhart, Indiana, in a gala ceremony before over 300 family members, friends, and colleagues from across the country.
The Class of 2016 includes RV industry inductees include Gary Bunzer, Bunzer Consulting, Inc.; Ernie F. Friesen, All Seasons RV/Redding RV; Jay C. Hesse (deceased), Blue Ox; Thomas R. "Tim" McGuire, The Coast Distribution System, Inc.; and William (Bill) Overhulser, Del Rey Industries. On the manufactured housing side, the inductees include Joseph H. Stegmayer, Cavco Industries, Inc.; Robert (Bob) Edward Richardson, Richardson Homes Corp; James (Jim) Miller, Nationwide Custom Homes; Ross Kinzler, Wisconsin Housing Alliance; and Roland Sahm (deceased), Elixir Industries.
(Editors: see more expanded bios below)
Before the induction ceremonies, Hall President Darryl Searer, said in his "Annual State of the Hall" address, "Over four years have passed since I volunteered to help the Hall of Fame out its financial difficulties, and with a lot of support from hundreds of individuals and scores of companies, we see the light at the end of the tunnel and the Foundation is getting close to its original debt-free goal.
"The Big picture is, we have doubled the average income for the last four years; we cut expenses by more than 10 percent per year; we paid off the "Boots" Ingram Family's loan in less than three years; we settled a dispute with the city of Elkhart in less than one year; we paid off David Woodworth on the antique RV collection in just over one year and we increased our credit worthiness allowing us to obtain a standard mortgage at a rate of 3.5 percent.
"All of these actions have reduced the Hall's debt to the level where we have over 90 percent equity. And now is the time to look towards the future.
"Tonight, you are the first to look at the vision of the future plans of the Hall of Fame at this, its 40 acre location.. These plans will allow us to grow with the RV and Manufactured Housing Industries .as well as the greater Elkhart community to service the event center needs, office needs and the long-awaited Scoular Manufactured Housing Museum. These plans will also insure a positive cash flow to make certain the Hall will be here forever. The goal would be to have the new expanded Hall of Fame, Event Center, rally site, offices and manufactured housing museum completed by 2020 or sooner based on how soon we can raise the funds so we are debt free when we occupy the new facility."
Overview of Future Expansion Plan
Darryl Searer presented the annual Hall of Fame Spirit Award to Barry Cole who owns MH Insurance Services, Hall of Fame member, and former chairman of the RV/MH Heritage Foundation.
The Spirit Award is an annual award to honor the person who has demonstrated his or her desire and dedication to further the legacy of our great heritage.
2016 Spirit Award honoree Barry Cole (r) accepts the award from Hall of Fame Chairman Darryl Searer(l).