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A Passing of an Industry Legend

It was with deep sadness that I learned last week of Bob’s illness, and deeper yet that I heard today of his passing. What a great friend we have lost.

I first met Bob in about 1978, at one of the early meetings of the original Poured Concrete Wall Contractors Association (later renamed the Concrete Foundations Association). It was very clear to me at that first meeting, that here was a man whose goal was to improve an industry.

Many years later, Bob was trying hard to get me to update my forming system. I had talked to many people, looked at many types of forms, read lots of propaganda. Bob had been so very helpful with ideas and most of all straight answers. I remember telling him that I wasn’t sure which brand of forms I wanted, but I knew that I wanted to purchase them from Bob Sawyer. While finally closing the deal, Bob gave me an additional $150 discount that we had not discussed, I asked him what this was for, and he said “that is your first years dues in the Concrete Foundations Association, ..join it!” I did, and have continued my membership since, it has been the single best thing I have ever done for our company. Without Bob’s gift and stern “urging”, I doubt that it would have happened.

A few years ago, Bob shared some criticism of the CFA, that we weren’t doing enough for our members, that we should be researching and tackling the issues that confront his friends, the poured wall contractors of the country. He was absolutely right! We decided to set up an Education and Research Foundation, and request funding for special projects. We had no more than let Bob know about this action, and the needed monies started coming in. In no time at all, Bob had almost single handedly raised over $100,000.

Bob’s spirit will live on as the Concrete Foundations Association continues to help the poured wall contractors and as it bestows the award named after him to worthy recipients. We will be hard pressed however, to find candidates as worthy as the original, Bob Sawyer, our friend.

Bob Sawyer was a part of the CFA before it was the CFA (formerly known as the Poured Concrete Wall Contractors Association). The first Executive Director of the Association, Bob spent his life as a loyal member and exhibitor, and worked hard to encourage other poured wall contractors to join as well. When the CFA decided to form an Education and Research Foundation, Bob was highly influential in getting other CFA Associates to contribute. In the end, approximately $100,000 was raised for research such as the recently completed cold weather concrete study.

A Distinguished Service Award is named after Bob Sawyer and given to members whose contributions to the industry merit recognition. These members tirelessly give their time and resources to serve the poured wall industry, as Bob Sawyer did for the Association.

The Bob Sawyer Award is presented during an Award Luncheon at the Summer Meeting. This year’s Award Luncheon is at the Beaver Run Resort in Breckenridge, Co. on Friday, July 16, at 1:00 PM.

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Concrete FACTS, a publication of the Concrete Foundations Association, is THE voice for residential concrete industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the cast-in-place concrete industry. Subscriptions to Concrete FACTS is available to anyone involved or interested in the residential concrete industry as a service to your industry. Please contact CFA Headquarters to find out more about your free subscription or Email Us