Posts Tagged ‘RV/MH Hall of Fame & Museum’

cartoon motorhome graphicELKHART Ind. — Al Hesselbart, RV/MH Hall of Fame & Museum historian, curator and librarian, has been invited to be one of the keynote speakers at the 1st National China RV Show in China. The event will be held at the Xiedao Resort in Beijing from September 12 through September 16, 2012.

The show is sponsored by the FICC Asia-Pacific Commission, the China Tourism Automobile and Cruise Association, and the China Tourist Attractions Association.

According to Hesselbart, he was contacted by RVIA General Counsel Craig Kirby in June and asked whether or not he would consider being a guest speaker at a large RV show in Beijing. Several Chinese business people who are sponsoring the event had contacted RVIA about providing a speaker on the evolution of the RV Industry in the United States.

Hesselbart said, “When I accepted, I was contacted by Ed Han, director of the RVIA Asia Project, who put me in contact with the show staff in China.”

Hesselbart intends to present an illustrated lecture on the evolution of the U.S. RV industry through its first 100 years. Hesselbart said, “I hope to amaze, educate, and entertain the Chinese audience on the rich and varied history of industry products.”

Besides his duties at the RV/MH Hall of Fame, Hesselbart is a frequent speaker at RV rallies and events across the United States. This trip to China will not be his first. In 2010 he was one of four U.S. representatives who participated in the 3rd Annual Hangzhou China Outdoor Lifestyle Show in support of the growing Chinese RV industry.

ELKHART, Ind., March 14, 2012 –The RV/MH Hall of Fame & Museum (Hall) has restructured its financial obligations with its secured investors and is now on a path to long-term stability, thanks primarily to the generosity of the family of longtime benefactor Boots Ingram (deceased), according to Chairman of the Board Bill Garpow.

The RV/MH Hall of Fame & Museum

The RV/MH Hall of Fame & Museum

“The RV/MH Hall of Fame will live on,” Garpow said. “Our glorious building will remain open for years to come. Our history will continue to be preserved. It’s a day of triumph and celebration for the RV and manufactured housing industries, a day made possible by the continued generosity of the Ingrams.”

Under terms of the agreement between the Ingram family and the Hall, former treasurer & Hall board member Darryl Searer of Ultra- Fab Products, Inc, and Hall of Fame member, will assume the position of president and chief operating officer of the Hall, on a volunteer basis. The Hall’s current staff remains in place.

Darryl Searer as president and chief operating officer of the RV/MH Hall of Fame & Museum

Darryl Searer of Ultra- Fab Products, Inc, is a Hall of Fame member, former treasurer & Hall board member. With more than 50-years experience in the industry and his years of devotion to the RV/MH Hall of Fame makes Searer an ideal candidate to bring the Hall of Fame out of its financial crisis and lead it into the future.

Searer said, “This day has arrived because of the hard work of a dedicated group of Hall Executive Committee members who fought for the Hall’s future despite many obstacles and because both First Source Bank of Elkhart and Tony Ingram and his siblings wanted to see the Hall survive and came up with a solution that allows that to happen. I’m sure one person smiling down on all of us today is Boots Ingram, a friend to this organization like no other.”

The Hall has been facing a collective obligation of $4 million with the majority of it due in mid-2012. The restructuring plan allows for the bulk of the obligation to be paid over a term that reduces the monthly payments to what the Hall can afford. First Source has significantly lowered its interest rate and restructured its agreement. The Ingram family forgave overdue interest obligations, agreed to forgo any payments or interest on its loan until after the bank is fully paid in 2016 and has agreed to donate one dollar for each two dollars of principal that is retired each month by the scheduled payments beginning in August of 2016 or by prepayments.

The Ingrams also announced a $100,000 matching “Let’s Pay off the Bank” gift if a like amount can be raised by individual donations before the end of August 2012.

“What the Ingrams and our banking partner and our dedicated officers have given the Hall is a new life — a chance to survive during these turbulent economic times when our industry has suffered and when contributions to museums and other types of organizations that depend on contributions have seen major reductions,” said Garpow. “This new plan allows us to get to the light at the end of the tunnel.”

“This is step one,” Searer said. “We are now going to go out to the other pioneers and leaders who have built their lives around this industry and ask them to follow the inspiration of Boots Ingram and his family and make significant long-term contributions to this wonderful treasure that showcases who we are and how we help Americans discover their country.

“And the new message to contributors is as clear as a summer sky over a mountain campsite — you can contribute knowing your money will not be wasted. The museum is no longer under threat to close. Their contributions will be used to keep the museum open and staffed to meet the hours of operation, to maintain the property and its many historical exhibits, to maintain the library and put on programs for the industry and consumers and to promote attendance and bookings of events. Contributions are greatly needed. Those who contribute can be assured their money will be used smartly and their generosity recognized.”

In conclusion Garpow said, “There were many people who believed that if our industry showpiece closed down, it would cast a dark shadow over us at a time when we need to send out only positive signals. Today we are sending out the most positive of all messages — the sun is shining bright on our beloved home.”

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