Timothy Wies, president of T.J. Wies Contracting, Inc. in Lake St. Louis, Mo., was recognized for his unselfish commitment to his company, community and the wall and ceiling industry when he was presented with the AWCI Pinnacle Award during AWCI’s Convention in Maryland at the end of April.
AWCI’s highest honor, the award is presented annually to an individual who most merits the industry’s recognition. A member of AWCI since 1994, Wies has served on numerous AWCI committees and was the association’s 2011–2012 president.
When he received the award, Wies gave thanks to his family members, the T.J. Wies Contracting family and to the members of his AWCI business forum.
“This isn’t an award for me,” he said. “This is an award for all the T.J. Wies family. … You guys make this company. You guys make this run. The guys out in the field … are out there kicking ass and taking names every day, and we really appreciate it; that’s who makes T.J. Wies the company we are. Thank you for believing me.
“Twenty-five years ago I had a fit of anger and made a decision, and thought I could do something better than what was currently being offered. I’ve got a pretty simple idea of how to lead people: You hire good people and you give them direction and give them instruction, then you get the hell out of their way and let them do what they do best. You guys kick it, and you kick it every day. Thank you.”
Wies also thanked everyone in his AWCI network: “… most of you guys in this room have helped me in one form or another. I always said I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I am absolutely the best pirate, and I have stolen ideas from every one of you guys in this room.”
To his forum friends he said, “These guys are my brothers. We have shared fun, we have shared information. You guys have helped me build my company and do the right thing all these years. … You guys have helped me develop as a businessman and as a human being, and I truly appreciate it.”
Wies ended his acceptance speech the same way he ended a speech nearly 10 years ago during his presidency. He first asked all the contractors in the room of about 350 people to stand. A good-size crowd stood.
Wies then asked everyone over the age of 42 to sit down. Then everyone over 32 was asked to sit down. By then, very few people were left standing.
“Are we really preparing ourselves as an industry?,” Wies asked. “Take some time to think about it. Let’s get some young people involved.”
Words of a true leader.