John Spaulding honored with 2015 Jim Barker Award

Recognized for dedication

VANCOUVER B.C., Canada — NTP-Stag Marketing Director John Spaulding accepted the Jim Barker Award during the 41st Annual 2015 Recreational Vehicle Aftermarket Association (RVAA) Executive Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia last week.

During the event, RVAA past president Jim Stark read a letter from Spaulding’s wife.

She described him as a fair-minded supervisor and a man dedicated to his work and the industry, who always does the right thing, even when it’s a difficult decision.

“I will tell you what has kept me standing alongside him for 24 years,” she wrote. “A steadfast sense of loyalty and integrity and an internal sense of optimism. Congratulations on this high honor today, you certainly earned it. Your family is enormously proud of you and we toast you from afar.”

Spaulding was met with a round of applause before suppliers, distributors and RV dealers when he approached the podium to speak.

“This probably won’t happen often, but I am speechless. I am honored, as my wife said. I have made remarkable friends…and I love my work. This is very unexpected,” he said. “I’m here partially because of a lot of you in the room. I’ve had terrific mentors and colleagues that I’ve worked with throughout the years that have helped me temper my quick judgment and forged a more respective approach to working with the market and working with suppliers and customers of all the businesses I have been associated with. I thank all of you for being a part of that. I am not going anywhere, thankfully. I intend to keep my involvement with RVAA very active. I thank all of you for this tremendous honor and I hope I can be able to live up to your standards.”

The Jim Barker award is highly coveted and is only awarded when a worthy recipient is nominated. There are several conference years where the award is not given.

The award is given to individuals who work enthusiastically on behalf of RVAA for several years, who have donated time and money spearheading projects and programs targeted to improve RVAA, served the board of directors or chaired a committee and have dedicated a clear objective to improve the RV industry that is noteworthy of their colleagues and contemporaries.

The 2015 RVAA conference was a record-breaker with 270 attendees including new suppliers and distribution, and sales representatives. Seven dealer council representatives served on a dealer panel to respond to questions regarding effective training methods, distribution and competing with Internet-based dealers. Several attendees were recognized with various awards and new committee members were welcomed as detailed below:

2015 Award Winners

• President’s Award: Matt Warner, Unified RV
• Distributor of the Year: Coast Distribution
• Supplier of the Year: Star Brite
• Product of the Year first place: Winegard
• Product of the Year second place: Atwood
• Product of the Year third place: Valterra

2015 – 2017 RVAA Executive Committee

• Past President - Jim Stark – Dealer Resources Group
• President - Susan Carpenter – JR Products
• Vice President - Steve Johnson – Northern Wholesale
• Treasurer - Tom Manning – Manning & Assoc.
• Secretary - Matt Warner – Unified RV
• Board Rep. - To be determined by board vote after first board meeting

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Diamonds and Torklift Jen

polaroid28There is a lot more to Torklift than acres of diamond plate aluminum and steel.


This was never more apparent to me than at our recent annual meeting.  We were treated to our assembly this year in what was once held in a small break room to now filling a grand events center ballroom.  The amazing growth in the company this year included an over 30% growth in the workforce.


Our department heads shared their pearls of wisdom and stories from their own inspirations, mentors, and passed on successes based on hard work and dedication.


One inspiring story we were reminded of was one we all know.  It is heard on the Earl Nightingale leadership training series in which every new Torklift employees participates.


This true story is based on an African farmer who is enticed by riches and lured away from his own land in search of the diamonds that were being found all across the continent.  He was so excited and distracted by what was out there that he sold his farm and searched endlessly for the riches he never found.  Meanwhile, the new owner of the farm picked up an unusual looking large rock from the land and placed it on his mantle as a curiosity.  A visitor to the man’s home later saw the rock and was absolutely amazed.  It was one of the biggest diamonds ever found and the farmer replied, “ Heck, the whole farm is covered with them.”


Opportunity does not just come along, it is there all the time- we just need to see it, develop, and believe in it.


With that message taken to heart, current events were also woven into messages about how we play the game here and, of course, included references to our own Seattle Seahawks.  Jazzed by the upcoming Superbowl XLVIII prospects and our simultaneous tremendous year, we were inspired to dream beyond where any single one of us came from and work as a team to boost each other up to see over challenges and achieve the victories we can celebrate for our families, our community and our company.


Looking at this upcoming year, we are focused on solution based goals and will continue to strive for excellence in serving our customers and building the best products in the industry one inspired piece at a time.


Yes, our acres are full of diamond plate and steel, but the precious resources are the people of Torklift.





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Hot off the Torklift Jen

torkliftjenIt feels like we just rung in the New Year and already Torklift is looking at the 2015 model year trucks and getting the last of 2014’s parts engineered and fitted.   The timelines of the automotive and RV industries keep us hopping and ensure that the Torklift pit crew never needs a new year’s resolution fitness plan!

I was amazed at what I learned during the time I got to spend with the new 2014 2500 Ram 4x4 Crew Cab short bed we had in-house yesterday.


The coil suspension is one huge difference in the 2014, but even the most minute changes in model years must be accounted for in our fits to ensure perfect compatibility and no drill applications.


The process has a team of 6 engineers and manufacturing craftsmen working like a NASCAR pit crew to get this done and have the trucks back to our valued local dealers within a day.


They are looking for any differences that would affect our product line fits like tiedowns, hitches, StableLoads and our HiddenPower under bed battery mount.  Working with the pre-drilled holes in the factory frame requires phenomenal calculations, engineering feats, along with an artist’s eye.  They are also looking for applications that will make the truck safer and more comfortable under all the different uses for towing and hauling that the end user will subject the truck to.  Sometimes, the manufacturer will make slight changes even within the new model year after production has started and we will need to make changes right along with them.


Parts are researched based on prior year fits, the exact matching truck is procured, it is drawn for differences, raw metal is precision plasma cut, cleaned, bent, and welded. Then parts are installed and adjusted as necessary and then they are tested for weights under heavy loads.  It takes a lot of physical stamina and the mental strength of our research and development team to get this done all under a ticking clock.


We are always looking to answer the questions our end users will have for the truck and in relation to our products.  We overbuild all of our products, but as always, we recommend that you stay within the factory ratings.  You will find that the 2014 2500 RAM has factory running boards that extend beyond the cab and we were able to fabricate a solution for tiedowns and the factory class V hitch is modifiable to handle the dual receiver SuperHitch and our beefier components.torkliftjen1


If you have questions or are in the market for a new truck just let me know, I’ll see what I can find hot of the production press!

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