January '18

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52 • RV PRO • January 2018 rv-pro.com S H O W C O V E R A G E S H O W C O V E R A G E ideas and new approaches," said Hugelmeyer. "As we all look to the RV market of the future, the success of the industry will be in the hands of our next generation of leaders." Top Tech Challenge Aside from grooming professionals for future success, there was a focus on how business can secure their foothold beyond 2018 in the form of improving the customer experience. As a way of highlighting this, RVIA launched the inau- gural Top Tech Challenge in which eight certified technicians competed against each other to diagnose and recommend fixes to RVs. In the flair of reality TV, part one of the event kicked off with the sound of the Kentucky Derby bugler's horn. After the jolly, red-coated man trumpeted "The Call to the Post," the technicians scrambled to diagnose mechanical issues with the tools supplied to them. In the first round, five people were eliminated, leaving three that would go on to compete for the Top Tech trophy and $10,000 grand prize. The finalists were: Brandon Galbreath (D&N RV Service), Joshua Bedsaul (RVs Unlimited), and John Larson (Nevada Mobile RV Service). During the final round on Nov. 29, before the Industry Awards, the three techs were charged with diagnosing products and steps to fix the problems that met the products' buyer's standards. The faulty products at three separate stations were: a water heater, a 12-volt battery, and a refrigerator. The three emerged from the green room curtain, and once the 15-minute timer started, diagnosed issues with the analytical mindset of a surgeon. BONTRAGER PHOTO COURTESY OF RVIA RVIA handed out several awards at the Mercury Ballroom on Nov. 29. In photo above left, Derald Bontrager (center) of Jayco receives RVIA's Distinguished Service to the RV Industry Award. He is flanked by RVIA President Frank Hugelmeyer and RVIA Chairman Bob Parish. Above right, Bob Tiffin (center) of Tiffin Motorhomes receives the Titan Award, reflecting a lifetime of achievement. Tiffin is pictured with his wife, Judy, and RVDA Chairman Tim Wegge. Dog is Good apparel retailer Gila Kurtz was one of several non-traditional suppliers with a booth in the Outside Lifestyle Pavilion section of the RVIA Show. Dometic celebrity chef Kevin Roberts hosted live cooking demonstrations during each day of the RVIA Show.

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