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RVB Announces Top 50 Dealer Award Recipients

U.S. and Canadian recreational vehicle retailers named in late September as recipients of 2015 RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards tend to share some consistent traits, according to the panel of industry experts who annually select the winners — including a penchant for cutting-edge digital marketing, selfless charitable giving and a more open-minded approach to servicing all traveling RV owners, not just their own customers.

The newest class of Top 50 dealers, including a slate of five exemplary Blue Ribbon honorees and two special award recipients, are to be honored on stage as part of an RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards reception slated for 5:30-8 p.m., Wed., Nov. 4, during the RV Dealers International Convention/Expo at Bally’s in Las Vegas.

Eligible dealers are nominated by North American RV manufacturers for their business acumen and professionalism in a variety of skill sets —from service bays to showrooms — in a national program first launched in 2008 by RVBusiness magazine and marketing communications agency BJ Thompson Associates. The independent program today is underwritten by Ally Financial Inc., Cummins Power Generation, Dicor Corp., Dometic Corp., Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp., Lippert Components Inc., Protective Asset Protection and GE Capital Commercial Distribution Finance (CDF).“

The six unpaid industry veterans — our panel of experts who select the Top 50 roster after reviewing applications during a rather intense two-day session at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind. — also noticed a marked improvement in the detail with which most nominated dealers approached their applications this time around,” reported RVB Publisher Sherman Goldenberg, a partner with Beverly Gardner, vice president of sales, in Elkhart-based G&G Media Group LLC. “ And that was certainly good news for an expert panel that depends so heavily on the information in those applications in making sound decisions.”

“ At the same time,” noted program administrator BJ Thompson, “ we realize full well that there’s a lot of great North American RV retailers out there who are also worthy of Top 50 consideration and we look forward to seeing their applications in the future.”

In addition to making the TOP 50 list, also receiving special recognition this year for awards named in honor of two industry legends, are the following two dealerships:

• Universal Marine & RV, Rochester, Minn., which is receiving the Arthur J. Decio Humanitarian Award, sponsored by Ally Financial Inc., named after the iconic philanthropist and Skyline Corp. founder, for over-the-top charitable giving.

•Mount Comfort RV, Greenfield, Ind., recipient of the Gaylord Maxwell Innovation Award, sponsored by Lippert Components Inc.— an honor named for the late RV consumer advocate, teacher and columnist that goes to a 2015 retailer exhibiting out-of-the-box business creativity.