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AWCI’s Pinnacle Award Winner: Bob Heimerl

Bob Heimerl, chairman of Mowery-Thomason Inc. in Anaheim, Calif., is the 2012 winner of the Association of the Wall and Ceiling Industry’s most prestigious and elite honor, the Pinnacle Award. Heimerl was honored at AWCI’s Convention during the Awards Presentation Brunch in Charlotte, N.C., in April.

AWCI’s Pinnacle Award is presented annually to the individual who most merits our industry’s recognition, an individual who has given unselfishly of his or her time and energies to benefit AWCI and the industry. Not only are the candidates evaluated on their dedication to the industry, but also on their civic and community work and the excellence of their companies.

For Bob, a career in construction came on an outside-in entry. Born in Los Angeles, he finished high school and junior college in Pasadena before going on to San Jose State where he received a degree in business administration.

His first job was with Jet Propulsion Laboratory, followed by a six-month spell as a propeller repairman with the Air National Guard. Upon his discharge in 1961, Bob was recommended as an estimating trainee to Mowery-Thomason, which today is one of the most successful and highly respected lathing, plastering, light gauge metal framing, drywall and exterior insulation finish systems contractors in Southern California. When Homer Thomason died four years later, Bob bought his interest in the company. He completed his ownership by buying Tom Mowery’s shares when Mowery retired in 1972. It’s been strictly a Bob Heimerl show ever since.

In business since 1960 and an AWCI member since 1974, Mowery-Thomason, Inc. covers a range of building projects including hospitals, office structures, special theme restaurants, churches, medical complexes and department stores. In fact, if you’ve ever been to Disneyland Park in Anaheim, you’ve most likely seen Mowery-Thomason’s work.

Over the years Mowery-Thomason, Inc. has earned a reputation for expertise in ornamental and custom plastering, restoration, light gauge metal framing and other difficult specialty work. More than 40 years of construction experience enables MTI to confidently handle complex, out of the ordinary projects that many other contractors are often reluctant to bid.

Mowery-Thomason, Inc. believes in working closely with the builder and architect to achieve maximum efficiency and production. The ability to do its own lathing, plastering, light gauge steel framing, fireproofing and drywall enables MTI to exercise complete operational control over the required work, and in so doing, provide a better bid package with greater cost savings to the general contractor.

Bob also has played many roles within the AWCI community. Frequently serving as chairman or vice chairman, Bob was on AWCI’s board of directors for six years in addition to having served on many AWCI committees throughout the years, including the following: Awards Committee, Communications Executive Committee, Continuing Study Council, Convention Committee, Convention Exhibitors’ and Sponsors’ Committee, General Education Committee, Laborers’ Union Liaison Committee, Manufacturers’ Liaison Committee, National Affairs Committee, Nominating Committee, Publications Committee (vice chairman), Resolutions Committee (chairman), Site Selection Committee (chairman), Technical Subcommittee #3 and the Ways & Means Committee.

But Pinnacle winners aren’t given the award simply because they are active in AWCI; winners are also active on the homefront. Bob has been active in his local community (he was a scout leader for the Boy Scouts of America as well as a Little League coach), and he played some major roles at his local construction industry associations. In 1972 he was president of the Southern California Plastering Contractors Association, and he has also been active with the California Wall & Ceilings Contractors Association and the WWCCA Executive Board Plasterers Health & Welfare Trust and its Plasterers Negotiating Committee.

Bob is admired by both friends and competitors, as evidenced in the congratulatory comments made in the video about Bob’s life and construction history during AWCI’s Convention. We’ll close with some of their comments:

Ron Brady (Bradco International Ltd., California): “Congratulations for being recognized for long term, consistent, tough, fine leadership. You truly do represent doing it for the team, and not for yourself. You live the philosophy of ‘you win, we win, and then I win last.’ You’re awesome.”

Mike Chambers (J&B Acoustical, Ohio): “We will always be grateful to Bob for sharing his business wisdom, for his time and friendship, and especially for bringing the lovely Toni along for the ride.”

Jim Rutherford (Rutherford, Inc., California): “Congratulations, Bob, on receiving the Pinnacle Award from AWCI. I’m so thrilled. I can’t think of anyone more deserving than you. I’ve known you for over 50 years as a friend, competitor and colleague and have observed your dedication to your family, friends and the associations you’re affiliated with. You are truly a leader in our industry, not only locally, but nationally. I have always admired your integrity and honesty, which is rare in our industry.

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