The RV Aftermarket Association named Coast Distribution its Distributor of the Year and Star brite its Supplier of the Year winner Wednesday (Aug. 19) at its Executive Conference in Vancouver, Canada.
Later in the day, LKQ Corp. announced it had completed the acquisition of Coast.
Star brite, which makes cleaning, gas treatment and other niche products for the RV, marine and ATV markets, is a first-year member of the RVAA.
“To be part of this and to be recognized right out of the chute is a nice distinction, and it’s not that it doesn’t surprise us either, but we understand that we make products that work and fit niches within this marketplace,” said Star brite Senior Vice President of Sales Marc Emmi.
Over the past year, the company has worked to expand its offering for the RV market by leveraging its existing products from other markets and developing new technology through its research labs and facilities, according to Director of Sales Eric Hahn.
Hahn said the approach to the RV industry has come primarily from three products that include Star Tron, a fuel additive, the Aqua lineup, which is used to treat potable water, and the MDG NosGuard, which is designed to eliminate odors by oxidizing bacteria that causes the odors.
Star brite is a publicly traded company based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and provides its own packaging and bottles, which allows the company, not only to develop and modify its products, but also to provide private-label packaging for other companies.
Emmi said he believes that the expansion of the Star brite’s RV segment has benefitted from the existing infrastructure of a company grown from marine and recreation business.
“There’s synergy there, no question,” he said. “Our core competency has always been the marine industry, and the RV and marine industry are very similar. We also play heavily in the ATV industry.”
For the upcoming year, Emmi said he hopes that Star brite can continue to grow its distribution base and reach more dealers.
“For us, right now, it’s very timely for us (to receive the award), as new members this year, and to be (in Vancouver) to meet with distributors that we’re not doing business with, looking to work with them to add our products,” he said. “We feel that we’re going to continue to grow distribution … and continue to cement relationships with the members of RVAA.”
The RVAA Executive Conference continues today with the announcement of several awards, including the Jim Barker Award and Product of the Year awards during a luncheon.