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AWCI’s Pinnacle Award

W hen J. Patrick Boyd’s great-great grandparents got in their covered wagon in 1846 and ended up in Texas at around the time it became a state, they had no idea that their future generations would have such influence in the Texas construction market, in the national trade association for wall and ceiling contractors, and in the national construction market.

Pat’s father, Ray, was the 1980–1981 president of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry. His brother, Mike, was AWCI’s 1991–1992 president. So no one in the industry was surprised when Pat became AWCI’s president in 2002.

Ray received AWCI’s highest honor, the Pinnacle Award, in 1989. Mike won the same award in 2001. 2013 was Pat’s year, and the only person surprised was Pat himself.

As his brother said in the video shown to those in attendance at the AWCI Awards Presentation Brunch on March 21 when Pat was presented with AWCI’s 2013 Pinnacle Award, “[This award is] well deserved, maybe past due. I want to say how proud I am to have you as a brother and as a colleague.” (You can see the video for yourself by going to AWCI’s website,

Many in the industry know Pat as a past president of AWCI (2002–2003) and of the Texas Lathing & Plastering Contractors Association (1981–1982), an instructor for AWCI’s Steel—Doing It Right® program, a leader of many of AWCI’s industry committees, a superb margarita-maker and a jokester. What many don’t know is that Pat is also a rocket scientist.

After graduating from South Garland High School, Pat majored in aeronautical engineering at Texas A&M and got his degree in 1970 after only three and a half years. (His daughter, Tammy Boyd Ashby, said, “Having the dad that has a T-shirt that says, ‘As a matter of fact, I am a rocket scientist,’ kind of gave a new spin to being a child trying to learn math.”)

When Pat was young, his father had started Ray Boyd Plaster and Tile in a building behind the family home. Mom took care of the books while Dad ran the business. An 11-year-old Pat started working for his father in the summer and eventually became a lather apprentice. But with an interest in flying and space and an aerospace degree in his hip pocket, Pat dreamed of becoming an astronaut. He learned how to fly a small plane and got his pilot’s license. Unfortunately, his eyes were so bad that he wasn’t able to do any real flying. At the same time, the aerospace industry took a nosedive.

So his first employer was Delta Steel Buildings Company, where Pat was ahead of his time in setting up a complete numerical design program for structural steel buildings. But it wasn’t long before both Pat and his brother were officially brought into the family business.

At first Pat was responsible for tile, panels and engineering in the Boyd family company. Mike Boyd says his brother was put in charge of the tile because it’s very detail-oriented work, which was a good fit for Pat’s detailed way of thinking. Pat eventually took over the drywall end of the business while Mike handled the plaster side.

Over time, Pat and Mike became partners with their father and another friend. When their father retired and the friend left to start his own company, Pat and Mike took the wheel.

Jeff Boyd, Pat’s son, said, “They weathered many of the economic downturns that hurt other companies in the same locality because of their reputation and because of their quality workmanship and a willingness to stand behind the product.”

Pat’s wife, Brenda, adds, “A lot of times there was not enough work and as a result the funds would run pretty low. So there were times that he and his brother would not even get a paycheck in order to pay their employees.”

Despite their company’s excellent reputation and history, the brothers decided to sell the business in 2002. Pat intended to retire, but two weeks at home changed his mind. He worked for another construction firm before starting his own business, J. Patrick Boyd Consulting Engineers, which specializes in design calculations and engineered drawings for the use of cold-formed steel framing in commercial applications.

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