by Brad Waring, ORVA Executive Director
Although we did not actually win, the 2012 Eugene, Cascades & Coast Partnership Award from Travel Lane County this year, all the members and supporters of Oregon RV Alliance were big winners!!! A custom video featuring ORVA, and our mission, was projected on the giant screens of the University of Oregon Ford Alumni Center, for all of the dignitaries in attendance to see, acknowledge, and recognize, our amazing success, in our brief existence. This truly is one of those awards for which it is an honor just to be nominated. The contributions to our county from the efforts of Travel Lane County, and the Tourism Industry in general, are estimated at more than 500 million dollars annually!!! To be recognized by this important and influential Industry, is an amazing accomplishment in itself. The nomination this year is even more impressive, when you consider the actual winners are all icons in Lane County (the University of Oregon, Track Town USA, Marché, A. Helfrich Outfitters, Bike Friday, Sea Lion Caves, to name a few). As I sat at our elegant table adorned with art, created especially for the evening, by the finest local artists, I looked around in awe, at the many celebrities and dignitaries. I became even more humbled, throughout the evening, as I learned of the accomplishments of the prospective and eventual winners.
Being on the University of Oregon campus, it was fitting that the U of O a capella group, On The Rocks (as seen on NBC’s The Sing Off), began the evening, and U of O Track Coach, Vin Lananna, accepted the final award on behalf of Track Town USA. In his closing remarks he gave credit to his partnerships, with all of the attendees, to bring the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field to Eugene again this year. Successful collaboration was the theme of his message and the evening in whole.
The awards portion of the evening began with an introduction of dignitaries in the room, which included Mayors, County and City Councilors, numerous City executives, and representatives, from the Chambers of Commerce, of Eugene, Springfield, Cottage Grove, Junction City, and Florence that I can recall. The University of Oregon was represented in force with teams from their Marketing and Brand Management departments (a fellow nominee for the partnership award), Government and Community Relations, and of course Track and Field. The event was actually catered by the U of O too (YUMMY). Also in attendance were executives from The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, The Hult Center for the Performing Arts, The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts, Florence Events Center, Cottage Theatre and numerous other dignitaries from the Arts and Humanities. Hotel and Restaurant Executives dominated the attendees, including managers and executives from the Hilton Eugene and Conference Center, Valley River Inn, the new Inn at Fifth Street and Marche’ (also a winner!).
The exposure from this event already generated several inquires of partnership from some of the other attendees. The nomination has also served as a great ice breaker and door opener, as I recruit new members throughout Lane County and beyond. I would like to thank Travel Lane County for the gracious acknowledgement of our Partnership and our collaborative success. I would also like to thank my guests for the evening, Jerry Rust (former Lane County Commissioner/ORVA Board of Directors), Steve Rowland (Tribune News/ORVA Board), Deloris Hanlon (Premier RV Resorts), Steve Skiller & Josh Skiller (Countryside Interiors), Terry Morrison(ORVA volunteer administrator). It was a fun and exciting evening, and I am looking forward to what we can accomplish in the coming years, as we grow and evolve.
Thanks for your continued support.