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Setting A New Standard for Leadership

CFA Professional Awards


The Robert D. Sawyer Award is named for the CFA’s first Executive Director, whose commitment and diligence wove together a vital network of information, experience and togetherness that has perpetuated to shape the future of this industry. The award recognizes individuals who commit countless time and resources to serve the industry, and is presented to a contractor member whose contributions to the industry merit such recognition. “Bob’s inspiration and leadership brought together a group of minds truly focused at improving the technology and practices in an industry that we love so much,” states retiring Executive Director, Ed Sauter. “He will not be forgotten.”

The Board of Directors honored nearly two decades of educational contribution to business development by Custom Concrete’s Chief Financial Officer, Doug Staebler this past summer. Known for his thought-provoking and carefully researched topics on all aspects of running the complex structure of a cast-in-place concrete contracting company, Doug has been a featured keynote at the CFA Annual Convention and has had a large impact on many companies.

Staebler receives his award during the Convention Celebration in Sandusky, OH.

Staebler receives his award during the Convention Celebration in Sandusky, OH.

“As I met more members during and after presentations at Convention,” stated Doug, “I came to realize that most CFA contractors did not have CFOs or controllers, and relied on outside CPAs for financial matters. I also began to realize that outside accountants have very little appreciation for or experience with many of the issues and challenges that we face in our businesses. I began to focus on financial aspects of managing a contracting business and how our specific industry experiences, both good and bad, could be helpful to many other contractors. Prior to joining Custom Concrete, I spent 14 years in public accounting working with closely held businesses and their owners, so it seemed natural to develop presentations that could be helpful for other companies.”

We asked Doug what the legacy of Bob Sawyer means in this award? “Unfortunately, I only met Bob on a few occasions in my first few years attending the CFA summer meetings, but it was immediately apparent the impact that Bob had on our industry. As I became more familiar with the history of CFA, I learned that his tremendous vision and leadership were instrumental in forming the CFA. He was tireless in his efforts to build the Association. I was struck by the tremendous respect and appreciation that was held throughout the organization for Bob. Most of all, I remember that he spent immense effort and time to help other contractors in their business and to build an effective organization. Bob was a pioneer in our industry and was interested in everyone’s success, and the Bob Sawyer award is very meaningful and humbling to me.”

Bob Sawyer recipients all demonstrate an unselfish application of themselves to a multitude of efforts and peers. We asked Doug to consider those coming before him in this award and in light of it, what has compelled him to participate in the CFA, offering his experience, energy and leadership for so many years?

“When I first met Joe Carr and began working with Custom Concrete as the company’s outside CPA, I was amazed at the combination of hard work and high ethical standards, together with a desire to build a business that created opportunities for so many people,” stated Doug. “In my first experiences with CFA, I met many like-minded individuals. It was very clear to me that these were special people who invested everything into their businesses with incredible passion and vision. I quickly came to realize that most of these companies faced the same challenges as we did, and I wanted to share some of our experiences that could be helpful to others. I quickly saw that sharing our experiences allows all of us to grow and develop our businesses with the benefit of hands on experience and knowledge of other contractors.”

Staebler presenting during the CFA Convention in 2013 in Albuquerque, NM.

Staebler presenting during the CFA Convention in 2013 in Albuquerque, NM.

“I have truly enjoyed the great opportunities to get to know so many great people in the CFA. This is a great group of hard working entrepreneurs who perform difficult work on a daily basis and have a real passion for building their business and creating opportunities for their employees. There have been many great times over the years and I have truly enjoyed the relationships that have developed over the years.”

“It is always a proud moment for the CFA to be able to recognize a leader that has done so much and can be attributed for significant changes and improvements in the company strategies for so many,” states Barry Herbert of Herbert Construction, chair for the CFA Nominating Committee. “This award is not given very frequently so that the integrity of the award as our highest honor is maintained. Being able to recognize Doug in this way is very fitting for the hand he has played in the strength of the CFA network.”

We encourage congratulations to him at

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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