Independence Bank’s Celania receives KOA booth award

FORT WORTH, Texas — Chuck Celania, chairman of the Board of Independence Bank in Havre, Montana, received KOA’s Darrell Booth Lifetime Achievement Award Wednesday during the annual Kampgrounds of America International Convention in Fort Worth, Texas.

The award is named after KOA’s first president, Darrell Booth, who led the company during its formative years between 1967 until his death in 1980. Booth guided the company through expansions into Canada, Mexico and Japan, as well as guiding KOA through two challenging Arab oil embargoes.

With Celania at the helm, Independence Bank has become a major supporter or KOA and its more than 500 franchisees. The bank’s current KOA loan portfolio includes nearly $130 million in financing for more than 165 KOA franchisees in 41 states and one Canadian province.

Celania and his team also help train new KOA franchisees as presenters at several KOA University sessions at the KOA Home Office in Billings, Montana each year, as well as at KOA’s annual conventions and Buyer’s Workshops.
Past recipients of the KOA Darrell Booth Award include Richard Cutler, president of Recreational Adventures Company; Don Lowe, a longtime KOA executive who now serves as president and CEO of KOA’s sister company, Franchise Services Inc.; Loren Smith, president of Prairie Kraft Specialties; and Jim Rogers, former KOA president and CEO.

Kampgrounds of America Inc. is celebrating its 56th birthday in 2018. The world’s largest system of family friendly campgrounds was built on the banks of the Yellowstone River in Billings, Montana in 1962 and now has 515 locations throughout the United States and Canada.

SOURCE: KOA press release

Ronnie Wendt

Ronnie Wendt

Ronnie Wendt has been a writer/editor for more than 25 years, working in law enforcement, aviation, supply chain and the RV industry. She's not a stranger to RVs, however. She grew up camping, and still camps as many weekends as she can every year. She is the owner of In Good Company Communications and can be reached at

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