RVDA is Looking for the Next James B. Summers Award Recipient

(Fairfax, VA) -- More than 30 years ago, the RVDA Board of Directors established the James B. Summers (JBS) award in honor of past RVDA Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Summers, who was the first to receive it in 1986. This is the association’s most prestigious award, as it honors an individual who has made frequent and distinguished contributions to RVDA and its members. 

As RVDA membership evolves each year, the significance of the award means something different to each generation the association represents. Many of the past recipients of the award knew Jim Summers, but some only knew of him. Jim was the second person hired to administer to the needs of RV dealers.  He knew his mission was to help dealers, and that he did.  After he retired to South Carolina, he attended the convention almost every year to present the award to the next recipient.  He worked hard at delivering an introduction that would tease the audience through stories that could fit several individuals, eventually closing in on personal information that would identify the winner.  Jim passed away on the eve of the 2010 convention. RVDA will forever miss his quick wit and charming personality. 

It is the time of year when the RVDA Board looks to the dealer and associate members to submit nominations for worthy recipients of the 2021 JBS Award. The award is a gold ring that has changed design over the years, but its value is ever increasing – not just because of the price of gold, but because of the finger it fits.  The value of the nominees and their work with the association is what makes this award so priceless.

The winner of the 2020 JBS award has been selected but has not been revealed.  At their September 2020 board meeting, the RVDA Board of Directors decided that a virtual surprise would not provide the level of esteemed recognition as in a physical event.  They voted on a winner, but the winner’s name is held in confidence until the 2021 Convention/Expo, at which time a 2021 winner will also be revealed.

Please review this list of the past JBS recipients. Many past honorees are still active participants in current RVDA boards, committees, and task forces. They are still making consistent and outstanding contributions to RVDA.

2020  TBA

2019 Andy Heck

2018 Bill Koster

2017 Mike Molino

2016 Jeff Hirsch

2015 Earl Stoltzfus

2014 Debbie Brunoforte

2013 Jim Shields

2012 Butch Thomas

2011 Bert Alanko

2010 Jeff Pastore

2009 Marty Shea

2008 Randy Biles

2007 Ernie Friesen

2006 Joe Range

2005 Rick Horsey

2004 Jim Fogdall

2003 Tom Stinnett

2002 Fran Van Pelt

2001 Dan Pearson

2000 Crosby Forrest

1999 Randy Thompson

1998 Bill Thomas

1997 Bob Strawn

1996 Bob Azevedo

1995 Jerry Greer

1994 Bill Gorman

1993 Larry McClain

1992 Dave Altman

1991 Dave Ayers

1990 Duane Spader

1989 Jack Moran

1988 Rex Floyd

1987 Gaylord Maxwell

1986 Jim Summers

If you have a nominee in mind, that person should have provided at least five years of service with and for RVDA and given outstanding contributions to RVDA and its members. One of the few restrictions to winning this award states that the nominee may not be a current elected member of the RVDA Board of Directors.

To nominate an individual, please don’t just submit a name.  Instead, provide a narrative describing the things you know about your nominee’s contributions to the association.  Make a strong appeal telling us why you want your nominee to be selected.  Staff presents all nominations to the RVDA Board of Directors for their consideration and vote.

We will present the award during the RV Dealers Convention/Expo, November 8-12, 2021 at Paris Las Vegas.  Be there to see if we announce your candidate’s name! Nominations are due by May 20, 2021.  Please take the time to submit your nomination to Ronnie Hepp today, via e-mail to rhepp@rvda.org.