In 2007 the Richard G. Columbo award was established and named after the “financial father” of the Contractors Association of Will and Grundy Counties (CAWGC), a man that through his dedication, direction and support had achieved so much for this organization. This award is only presented periodically to individuals who have made significant personal contributions toward the advancement of the organized commercial, industrial and institutional construction industry.
Bob Baish was recently honored as the first recipient of this award. The award carries with it a high degree of regard for its recipients who have demonstrated personal dedication and noteworthy efforts consistent with the examples set forth by Richard G. Colombo. Baish, who like Colombo, according to the association.
Baish, who is owner of Baish Excavating, joined the CAWGC in 1991. In 2003, after serving some time as a Three Rivers Construction Alliance Labor/Management (TRCA) grievance committee member, he was appointed as a trustee to the TRCA. In 2006 he served as treasurer and in 2008 Baish was appointed co-chair of which he continues to serve.
In 2002 Baish was appointed to serve as a Teamster LU 179 Apprentice & Training Board Management Trustee. In 2003 Baish agreed to serve on the negotiations committee and in 2005 became negotiations chairman. In 2010 Baish negotiated all nine of the CAWGC’s contracts, something that had never been done before.
In 2004 Baish was appointed to the CAWGC board of directors where he served the next six years. In 1993 Baish started volunteering as a cook for the CAWGC’s Annual Steak Fry, and as the years rolled by he then took the roll as chairman of the steak fry, which serves 500 to 600 people each year and has become a heavily anticipated event each summer, according to the association.
In 2008 Baish was appointed to the WGIAT board of trustees of which he still serves. In addition to all of the committees and boards he served, Baish also found time to volunteer on other things. In 2006 he agreed to chair the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery’s Memorial Garden and 270 foot Contemplation Walkway Project with the Lockport Exchange Club. Baish coordinated the project from the beginning to the end of the then eight month project. Not only did he coordinate all the trades, supplies and union manpower but had his own company preform all the grading.
In 2003 Baish along with Rick Leonard were named co-honoree’s and received the Member of the Year Award. In 2005 he was once again honored with the Member of the Year Award.
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