SAN DIEGO, CALIF. – Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) presented its Contractor of the Year award to John Smith, CEO and chairman of Lake Mechanical Contractors, Inc., Eustis, Fla., at its National Convention in San Diego. This award is given to an ABC member or member firm that has demonstrated significant accomplishment for the association, the merit shop and the construction industry.
“John is a true champion for free enterprise and workforce development,” said ABC President and CEO Kirk Pickerel. “But, what has truly set John apart is his undying passion and tireless dedication to apprenticeship and craft training.”
Smith began working at his family’s company as a licensed mechanical contractor and master plumber in 1962, with his wife, Evelyn, as a business partner. Lake Mechanical is now one of the largest mechanical contracting companies in central Florida, with annual sales near $22 million.
He began his ABC leadership career as one of the first board members of ABC’s Central Florida Chapter in 1973 and became its president in 1977. Next, Smith stepped into a leadership role at ABC of Florida, the statewide organization, and served as its president in 1979.
Throughout the 1980s, Smith was a member of ABC’s National Education Committee, which developed construction curriculum that became the backbone of the National Center for Construction Education and Research. Smith was the innovator behind ABC’s first National Craft Olympics in 1987, which developed into the renowned National Craft Championships competition.
Smith served as ABC’s national chairman in 1991. He was president of ABC’s Construction Education Foundation in 1993 and its trustee in 1998. He chaired ABC’s Mechanical Contractors Council from 1996 to 1998. And in 2004, Smith became chairman of ABC’s Trimmer Education Foundation and continues to serve as a member of its board.
Smith is a graduate of North Carolina State University and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business Administration.