RV/MH Hall of Fame – Class of 2019
More than 400 manufactured housing industry and RV professionals gathered Aug. 5 at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind., to celebrate a new class of inductees who expressed gratitude for the honor and a great amount of optimism for the future of the industry.
“I’ve never been more excited to give this address,” RV/MH Hall of Fame President Darryl Searer said prior to announcing that the hall has paid off all of its debt, phase one of the RV addition to the hall is nearly complete, and plans are being laid for a manufactured home museum.
“The progress I’ve seen in the last 90 days is incredible,” Searer told the inductees, friends and family who attended the dinner.
The 420 attendees who came to honor the new class arrived in Elkhart from no fewer than 25 states, the hall’s Ryan Szklarek said.
Among the inductees from the manufactured housing industry was Raymond Broderick, of Superior Homes in Pennsylvania.
“This is such a great honor from a great industry,” Broderick said. “Our customers, their kids, their grandkids. This is generations of providing ‘The American Dream’.
“It’s true, if you choose a job you really love, you’ll never work a day in your life,” he said.
There are 407 RV/MH Hall of Fame Honorees
The latest Hall of Fame class, which brought in five new members from each of the manufactured housing and recreational vehicle industries, brings the number of professionals honored to greater than 400.
“To be mentioned in the same breath as all the folks on those plaques on the wall upstairs is a tremendous honor,” said John Carey, of Modern Home Sales and Midwest Homes in Topeka, Kansas.
Carey entered the industry for a second job in 1953.
“Little did I know it would turn into a lifetime occupation,” he said.
Carey opened his first dealership in 1986 and since opened a second location in the same market.
“Any business to be successful takes a lot of collaboration from many people,” he said, waving for his team to stand up. “I thank all you guys for your hard work and dedication.
“The homes have gotten bigger and better constructed,” Carey said. “But there are things about HUD code housing that have stayed the same… this industry is a lot of hard work, and it’s very rewarding work.”
‘I mean, you’re good but…’
Wally Comer of Adventure Homes said he was warned to stay away from starting his own home building enterprise.
“A lot of people warned ‘Wally, don’t do this… I mean, you’re good, but…” he told the attendees.
But Adventure enters its 10th year in business with three MHI manufacturer of the year awards (for a builder with three or fewer plants). And continues to win business by building homes the company’s customers are asking to have built.
“Our team does an absolutely fantastic job of getting that done,” Comer said.
Dick Ernst, of Financial Marketing Associates Inc., said his induction came as a surprise.
“It wasn’t even on my radar,” Ernst said. “It’s not what I looked to achieve, and it is such a great honor.”
Leo Poggione, from Craftsman Homes in Nevada, is among the youngest entrants to the Hall of Fame.
“To be one of five people in the entire industry this year to be inducted into the hall of fame is a tremendous honor. I am so grateful for the support from so many people in this industry,” he said.