During it’s Annual Convention in Acme, Mich., J. Edward Sauter, current executive director for the Concrete Foundations Association (CFA), was awarded the Robert D. Sawyer Distinguished Service Award. The Annual Convention was held July 25-27, 2012, at the Grand Traverse Resort.
Previous recipients Barry Herbert of Herbert Construction (2009) and Scott Smith of MPW Construction Services (2010) recognized Sauter as this year’s recipient.
“Ed’s devotion to the CFA is perhaps most apparent when you look at what the organization was when he became executive director 20 years ago," Barry Herbert states. “The association was in severe disarray, money was scarce, membership was declining and the continuing existence of the CFA was in question. His professionalism became immediately apparent, and in the next few meetings it became evident that he was the right choice for the job. Ed’s commitment and hard work had the association back on its feet and thriving in no time.”
“I have always admired Ed’s ability and willingness to coordinate the many personalities in the CFA and, in particular, his skill with our Board,” Scott Smith states. “The membership of any construction association is full of hard-headed men and women with no lack of ego strength. If we had an award for 'cat herding' Ed would win that, too! His determination and skill are the ingredients that have led to many, if not most of the current programs and achievements of the CFA.”
The Robert D. Sawyer Distinguished Service Award honors outstanding service and commitment to the CFA and the concrete foundation industry. It is the CFA’s highest honor. Unlike other awards it isn’t given out on a regular basis. It is awarded only occasionally and only to those individuals who over and over have given their time and effort to promote the poured wall industry and the CFA.
Robert “Buck” Bartley of The Bartley Corporation from Maryland, a 2002 recipient of the Sawyer Award stated, “There’s hardly a soul alive whom I admire more than Ed Sauter and hard to imagine a person more deserving of the Robert Sawyer Award. It’s doubly hard to imagine anyone more important to the residential concrete industry over the past two decades than Ed Sauter, who piloted successfully the CFA through three serious economic storms.”
Sauter has been the CFA Executive Director since 1992, taking over for then executive director, Roger Nielsen, following the Summer event that year. Under Sauter’s direction, the CFA saw a four-fold increase in its annual operating budget and a three-fold increase in its membership base until this most recent recession.
“Managing an association such as the CFA through the challenges of such a deep recession has demonstrated the passion for which Ed holds his position,” states partner and technical director for the CFA, Jim Baty. “Not only has Ed been responsible for the growth of this Association during the good times, he has continued to demonstrate the potential to substantially grow the ‘foundation’ for the future of this organization in the face of strong adversity and to that the legacy of his leadership will be always be assured.”