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WINAMAC â€“ Due to his unyielding contributions to the automotive mobility industry, Ralph Braun was inducted as an honoree into the inaugural National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) Hall of Fame, last Friday.
Braunâ€™s commitment to the disability industry began 65 years ago, when at the age of 6, he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and told he would lose his ability to walk. As he grew older, he recognized a need for mobility and would go on to invent the motorized scooter, filling orders from his parentsâ€™ garage. He adapted to the times and his changing mobility, outfitting an old jeep when his employer moved, and installing lifts when the first full-sized van was introduced. The eventual launch of the minivan would help to cement Braunâ€™s revolution of the entire mobility industry.
â€śRalph Braunâ€™s legacy is unmatchable and immeasurable,â€ť said NMEDA Executive Director and CEO Dave Hubbard. â€śHe is a true leader in an industry that began in the confines of his own home, and without his innovation or determination to overcome a disability, the automotive mobility industry certainly would not be what it is today.â€ť
The NMEDA Hall of Fame was established to honor those who have contributed selflessly to the establishment and growth of the Automotive Mobility Industry. Inductees are recognized based on their initiative and leadership in supplying freedom and independence to people with disabilities.
â€śI want to thank the NMEDA Hall of Fame Committee for this great honor,â€ť said Braun CEO Ralph Braun. â€śMobility is essential to a personâ€™s life and itâ€™s rewarding to know my small part in this industry has helped others live full and active lives.â€ť
His leadership has helped The Braun Corporation grow from just three part-time employees in 1969 to more than 800 employees today, making the company the worldâ€™s largest manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vehicles, ramps and lifts.
Braun was given the Hall of Fame award at the 2012 NMEDA Conference Banquet in Phoenix, Ariz. last Friday.
For more information about the NMEDA Hall of Fame, please visit www.nmeda.org.