DENVER, Colo. – As the RV Aftermarket Executive Conference wrapped up its annual event at the Embassy Suites in downtown Denver, it was pretty easy to spot the person who had just won the group’s biggest honor.
Scroll down for photos of all the winners.
If it wasn’t for the crowd gathering around Valterra President George Grengs and patting him on the back, the huge smile on his face was a sure giveaway that something big had just happened.
“I have tremendous respect for all the previous winners of the award, and there are some RV heavyweights in there,” Grengs said. “There are some people who have committed a tremendous amount of their time to the organization and to growing the RV aftermarket… It’s an honor for me to be on the list and humbling to be associated with those people in any kind of way.”
“Being a young woman first coming into the industry would have been more of a challenge without a great mentor such as George,” said Valterra’s Donna Warr. “With his education and help from the company, it has really expanded things for me.”
The Jim Barker Award is highly coveted and only granted to worthy nominations. There have been several years when the award has not been given.
This year’s award was presented by Warr, national sales manager of Valterra, because, as John Hawkins of BAL put it, it would have more emotion behind it coming from her.
Grengs took over the business in 1981 when his father retired. Valterra eventually was formed and became involved in the RV industry, but not until after a certain Valterra-branded skateboard made its appearance under the feet of Michael J. Fox in the 1985 movie Back to the Future.
Valterra continues to operate as a family-operated business as it grows its footprint in the RV industry.
Other awards also were presented during the luncheon.
Distributor of the Year went to Northern Wholesale for the fourth consecutive year.
Supplier of the Year went to B&W Custom Trailer Hitches.
In the Product of the Year competition, third place went to Creative Products Group’s Ultra E Pro Lock. Second place went to Hughes Autoformers’ Power Watchdog & EPO Surge Protector and first place went to Bio-Kleen Products’ Kleen Wash RV/Marine/Auto.