2011 Robert D. Sawyer Award - Terry Lavy

During the 2011 Summer Convention in Wintergreen, Virginia, the CFA Board of Directors honored Terry Lavy, formerly of Lavy Concrete in Piqua, Ohio with the Robert D. Sawyer Distinguished Service Award.  Lavy was awarded this prestigious honor during the annual awards luncheon on Saturday afternoon by his long time friends and past two Sawyer recipients, Barry Herbert of Herbert Construction in Atlanta, Georgia, and Scott Smith of MPW Construction Services in Wellington, Ohio.

Barry Herbert addresses the attendees with his thoughts on Terry Lavy.  Scott Smith watches on and later gave his tribute the career commitment that Terry gave to this Association.

Herbert began the introduction of this year’s recognition stating: “The purpose of the Robert D. Sawyer Distinguished Service Award is to honor an individual for 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.”

Herbert went on to acknowledge that the CFA has many other awards for the many fine examples of performance and quality.  “We have awards for being a successful contractor, or for having a great or unique project.  But the Bob Sawyer award is a special award.  As I said before it’s awarded for an individual’s service to the CFA and to the foundation industry.”

One does not have to look very far to see the commitment and influence that Terry has had on the CFA during the years of his membership,” states Ed Sauter, CFA Executive Director.  “He has served as CFA President, a tireless Board Member and chairman of the Cold Weather Research Task Group.  He has been involved in membership, promotions, and technical development.  He has also given of his time as an educator giving many industry lectures throughout Ohio and surrounding states on cold weather, foundation fundamentals and other CFA knowledge base topics.”

Terry was dedicated to development throughout the duration of his CFA membership.  He recognized that in helping others, he was also improving his own company.  Examples of this were his involvement in helping to draft the first two CFA Standards, program content for many Summer Conventions, the CFA Cold Weather initiative and significant ACI works including the ACI 332 Standard and ACI 306 Cold Weather Guidelines.

Herbert went on in his introduction stating: “I’ve known Terry for almost 20 years and know him to be a man of extremely high character, a true family man, and someone who is dedicated to helping others, many times at his own expense.”

Terry’s service to the CFA includes an accomplished list of involvement and commitments including:

  • CFA board member from 1997 - 2009
  • CFA President from 2004-06
  • Committee Member of Technical Committee, Membership Committee, Standard Committee, Education Committee and Nominations Committee
  • Winner of CFA 2000 Basement of the Year
  • Chairman of the Cold Weather Research Task Group

Herbert reminds CFA members to think of the long range industry-wide impact of the CFA’s Cold Weather Research and the fact that it will continue to positively influence our industry’s use of concrete during cold weather after most of us are gone. But Herbert didn’t stop at just the work experience that is a significant contribution Terry has made;

I’ve been honored to know Terry and his family for many years.  I think of them as the typical CFA member family.  Always eager to learn new ideas from fellow members, always friendly, always ready to help any other member, in any way they can.  Terry’s entire family worked in the business for many years; there again, typical of CFA families. His family I believe is a testament to the type of person Terry is.”

Scott Smith also participated in the introduction of Lavy to those in attendance.  He picked up on this last point from Herbert and continued to describe Terry as a model of devotion to goals and commitments.  “Terry certainly had passion for the concrete industry but he also had passions outside of work.  One of these was Pheasants Forever.  If you’ve not heard of this organization, I suggest taking a quick look.  They are committed to the protection and celebration of habitats for one of the most popular birds and sports in America.  I know Terry has served at the local, regional and national level in this organization and has committed countless hours to making sure the legacy of the sport of pheasant hunting endures.”

Smith worked with Terry during the extensive cold weather research effort and experienced first hand the leadership and commitment to this task.  “The research we conducted for cold weather performance quickly grew beyond an impact anyone could possibly imagine for one’s own company.  Terry embraced the challenge and made sure our scope was broad enough to represent as much of the residential market as possible.  Today that work alone defines the influence that a group of committed contractors can make when working together and his leadership and focus were as much of the driving engine as anything.

Herbert concluded the presentation by stating: “American entrepreneur, Jim Rohn once said;  ‘Success isn’t what you’ve accomplished; it’s what you’ve become.’  Terry Lavy is certainly a success.”

Terry Lavy (center) pictured with Association friends and fellow Sawyer award recipients Barry Herbert (left) and Scott Smith (right).


About the Award
The Robert D. Sawyer Award is named on behalf of Bob Sawyer, the first CFA executive director, and it is presented to a contractor member whose contributions to the industry merit recognition. The award recognizes individuals who commit countless time and resources to serve the industry, as Bob Sawyer did for the CFA. Bob Sawyer passed away last year after a brief illness. His inspiration and leadership brought together a group of minds that are focused on improving the technology and practices in the poured wall industry.

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