May 10, 2018

Airstream honors long-tenured associates at Service Awards Banquet

JACKSON CENTER (May 10, 2018) – Every year, Airstream celebrates its long-tenured associates. Recognition begins with those employees who have worked at Airstream for 20 years, and moves upward through the years in five year increments.

“This event honors the associates who have made Airstream more than just their job,” said Airstream Senior Vice President of Operations, Mark Wahl. “These folks have made Airstream their life’s work.”

The 2018 banquet was held on April 13 at Greystone Castle in Sidney with a dinner and awards ceremony. Twenty-four associates were honored for their combined 835 years of service.

“I have always said Airstream is a family, and this group really exemplifies that,” said Airstream President and CEO Bob Wheeler. “Every year this is a humbling event. We recognize the contribution of these individuals, but you cannot deny there is a camaraderie that links them all together as a group.”

Two of this year’s group – Gene Evans and Bob Sanford – were recognized for their 50-year service.

“It’s obvious,” said Sanford. “You would not stay this long if it wasn’t a fantastic company to work for. They treat their people fairly, and they reward that. It’s nice to see the company grow.”

Russ Armstrong – recognized for 45 years of service – agreed.

“It’s been a privilege to have worked with a first-class company for all these years,” Armstrong said. “The leadership at Airstream has a vision that reaches into the future.”

Working together for multiple decades, Sanford and many of his colleagues have grown together in their adulthood and watched many of their friends retire along the way.

“You grow into a family,” he said. “We’ve watched each other’s kids grow up, graduate, get married. You really evolve together.”

Less than a decade ago, Airstream’s average employment tenure was around 20 years. While recent growth to meet demand has brought that average down, the average tenure is still above five years.

The following associates were recognized:

  • 50-year Associates: Gene Evans, Bob Sanford
  • 45-year Associates: Russ Armstrong, Gary Shaner, Bob Thomas, Nick York
  • 35-year Associates: Mike Brown, Doug Burch, Deb Gates, Joni Leininger, Roger Markley, Judy Powers, Matt Ragland
  • 30-year Associates: Tim Burch, Dan Froehlich, Randy Goings, Rick March, Sr., Tim Maxwell, Kathy McVety, Bill Schmidt, Lee Scott, Ed Wilkins
  • 20-year Associates: Steve Shortridge, Mark Wahl
About Airstream

Airstream, manufacturer of the iconic “silver bullet” Airstream® travel trailer, is the longest-tenured recreational vehicle manufacturer in the world. The company’s mission, as set forth by founder Wally Byam, is to create well-designed, high-quality products that allow people to follow their dreams and explore the world in home-like comfort. A steadfast commitment to Byam’s creed, “Let’s not make changes, let’s only make improvements,” has made the aluminum Airstream travel trailer a timeless classic. An unwavering focus on innovation keeps the company at the forefront of technology and customer experience in both the towable and motorized sectors. Airstream is based in Jackson Center, Ohio, where a team of skilled craftspeople hand builds each travel trailer and upfits every touring coach, adding daily to the brand’s reputation for quality and innovation. Learn more about Airstream, our dealers, and current travel trailer and touring coach models at For the latest news on Airstream, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

Airstream, Inc. is an operating company of Elkhart, IN-based THOR Industries, Inc. (NYSE: THO). THOR is the sole owner of operating companies which, combined, represent the world’s largest manufacturer of recreational vehicles. For more information on THOR Industries and its products, please visit