Joe Walden to be Inducted into Hall of Fame

29 Mar 2015 12:01 PM | Anonymous
Joe Walden To Be 2015 Inductee Into SC Manufactured Housing Hall of Fame

Walden will be honored at MHISC’s Annual Meeting in April 

Joe Walden casts a large shadow in the manufactured home industry. And it’s not just because of his athletic 6-foot, 6-inch frame.

Walden has been an active association leader through-out his four decades in the manufactured home industry.  He has served on the MHISC Board of Directors in three different capacities: as a chapter president, in a service / supplier slot on the board and as a representative of the state’s community members.

The industry will have an opportunity to say thank you to Walden for his leadership the evening of April 22 in Columbia.  The event will be part of MHISC’s Annual Meeting.  (Click on "Meetings" on the left, then "Spring Meeting." )

First President 

In 1988 Mr. Walden was chosen as the first President to lead the newly chartered Upstate Chapter of MHISC.  He bought his first manufactured home community in 1990. He now owns communities in Pendleton and Anderson and continues to serve the association as a member of MHISC’s Community Managers Committee.

Walden is Vice President for Manufactured Housing of Tri-State Distributors.  The Manufactured Housing Division of the company is known as an operation with technological savvy and modern facilities.  But under Walden, Tri-State has maintained a family atmosphere with long-term relationships and close friendships with the state’s dealers.  Joe Walden will celebrate his 30thanniversary with Tri-State this year.

Joe is a native of South Carolina’s Upstate area. He was born in Spartanburg and moved to Anderson in 1976. Walden was a high-school basketball standout who played for USC Spartanburg. Walden modestly asserts that his basketball career was a short one.  “I was a pretty big boy in high school but one of the smaller guys in college. Playing in college is a whole different game.”

The Needs of Retailers

Joe’s understanding of the needs of the state’s retailers grew out of his own experiences as a salesperson going back to 1972.  Walden went to work for his uncle, Marvin London, of Starvin’ Marvin retail fame. London was partners with Norman Pulliam, an early industry leader and an original member of the state agency SC Manufactured Housing Board.  Pulliam was a strong positive influence early in Walden’s career in the industry.  Walden ran his own retail center and then moved to Tri-State in 1985. 

Joe has been a consistent advocate for high ethical standards in the manufactured home industry--and for an association that presents the right image as well.

In the 1980’s he was part of a group of members who sought to make MHISC’s annual convention a family event.  At one time the convention was a golf and boy’s night out type of affair.  Around 1987 Walden, Mitch Gault and a few other members brought their families to the convention.  “That year we had about 12 kids at the convention.   The next year the number of youngsters doubled, and doubled again the year after that.”

A Family Affair

Walden’s personal contribution to the family atmosphere was a major one.  He brought all his six children to the events.  You couldn’t miss the tall, outgoing Walden kids; Zach, Joyce, John, Matt, Joe, and Mary; at the convention each year.

Joe says that attending MHISC’s annual summer meeting also made an impression on his six children as well. “Every one of them will tell you that they learned a lot about how to meet and greet people, the importance of networking, the types of relationships it takes to build a business and an industry.”

Through the years Walden has been a perennial supporter of MHISC’s state meetings both as an attendee and a sponsor. Tri-State’s financial support helps the association offer first-class events for a modest registration fee. 

Joe Walden has always encouraged his employees to become active and assume leadership positions in MHISC.  Doug Marchbanks has played an essential role in the association’s Upstate chapter for over a decade and serves on the state Board of Directors.  WA Burns held a range of positions in MHISC’s leadership, serving as a supplier representative on the Board and as Treasurer on the key MHISC Executive Committee. 

Four Decades of Success

With over four decades of success in the industry and an impressive list of accomplishments as an association leader on his resume, Walden continues to work for the good of the industry.  He works actively as a member of MHISC’s Community Managers Committee as an advocate for improved standards and a new image.

When the Town of Pendleton in his home county attempted to eliminate manufactured homes from with-in the city limits, Walden sprang into action.  He teamed up with MHISC, lobbying town leaders and speaking repeatedly at council meetings, according to MHISC Executive Director Mark Dillard.  Walden and the association ended up virtually writing the ordinance themselves, providing wording that town officials ultimately incorporated into the ordinance.

“The secret of Joe’s success was perseverance,” Dillard said.  “It’s common for people to get riled up about an issue and show up at a meeting or two.  But Joe kept talking to the right people and coming to the meetings time after time until the industry got what it needed.”

“That’s just one of the traits that makes Joe Walden the type of person who deserves the honor he’ll receive April 22.”

MHISC is the voice of the manufactured and modular home industries in South Carolina.

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