As the RV Industry Association (RVIA) kicked off the Tuesday RVs Move America event, the air was charged with anticipation. The highlight of Tuesday’s luncheon was the association’s annual awards presentation, a moment to shine a spotlight on those who have made a real difference in the RV industry.
The first honor of the day, the Distinguished Service to the RV Industry award, is the Association’s highest accolade. This award is a testament to an individual’s outstanding service and dedication to the RV industry. This year, the prestigious honor was bestowed upon none other than Pete Liegl, the dynamic president and CEO of Forest River.
“Pete is an industry titan who founded Forest River in 1996 and built the company into one of the world’s most well-known, respected, and successful RV manufacturers,” said RVIA President & CEO Craig Kirby.
“Throughout his time at the helm of Forest River, he has been a steadfast advocate for our association and has always generously encouraged many talented people in his organization to be active on the RV Industry Association Board and on many committees.”
Liegl’s entrepreneurial leadership and innovative ideas have been one of the driving forces behind the RV industry’s growth over the past two decades. His efforts have introduced the joy of RV travel and camping to millions of families and outdoor enthusiasts. Beyond his professional contributions, Liegl is also known for his philanthropy, supporting numerous deserving causes both nationally and in the greater Elkhart area.
Moving on to the next category, the Special Award, the attention is turned to an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to the overall success of the RV industry. This year, RVIA was thrilled to present the award to Dick Grymonprez, director of Park Model Sales for Skyline Champion.
“Dick has been an invaluable volunteer leader for the RV Industry Association and an impactful advocate for the park model RV industry,” RVIA Board of Directors Chair Kevin McArt announced as he presented the award.
“He played a crucial role in working with the RV Industry Association to have park model manufacturers rejoin the organization in 2012. He served as a park model RV representative on the Board of Directors from 2012–2022 and has also served as a member of the Park Model RV, Membership, and Awards committee.”
The final honor of the day, the National Scholastic Award, is presented to those who have made significant contributions to the advancement of technical training within the industry.
This year, the award went to the Michigan Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.
“The Michigan Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds has been an unwavering champion for the RV industry’s educational and training efforts for decades and a passionate booster more recently of the RV Technical Institute,” said McArt.
“The organization has generously promoted the Institute programs through association channels and provided exhibit spaces and customer presentations at their events, free of charge to elevate awareness.”
He added that MARVC also facilitated networking opportunities with campgrounds, dealers and key contacts throughout Michigan, helping to unite the industry around the Technical Institute, improving the Repair Event Cycle Time, and serving the RV customer.
The National Scholastic Award was received by Darren Ing, director of the Michigan Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.