ST. LOUIS — Publishing executive Jeff Forker was presented with the Service Roundtable's " Servant Leader" Award posthumously in September at Penton Media's Comfortech meeting here. Mike Murphy, chief editor of Contracting Business magazine, accepted the award on the behalf of the Forker family.
Forker, former publisher of Contracting Business, a sister publication to CONTRACTOR, died Jan. 22 after a three-year battle with cancer. He was 60. Forker joined Contracting Business in 1971when it was called Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Business.
"Jeff Forker's impact on the HVAC industry was wide ranging and largely unnoticed," said Service Roundtable CEO Matt Michel. "I doubt anyone knows all of the ways Jeff exerted a positive influence on the air conditioning industry because Jeff usually worked behind the scenes. He liked it that way. It allowed him to get more done.
"Jeff was the contractor's best friend and the industry's guardian angel. He quietly ended feuds that hurt the contractor and hindered the industry. He subtly steered manufacturers away from courses of action that would harm the contractor and damage the industry. He built bridges between people and groups. He watched over the industry like a father watches his children at the playground. He was in every sense of the word and spirit, a 'servant leader.'"
Candidates for the Servant Leader Award are nominated by Service Roundtable members and reviewed by an internal committee. Recipients of the award are presented with a marble statue. An engraving on the statue reads: "The truest, most noble form of leadership is that of 'servant leadership.' The Servant Leader leads by example, not command. The Servant Leader is compelled to help others, to serve. The Servant Leader Award recognizes individuals who have selflessly devoted a lifetime to serving others in their field. They are servants first, who have become notable leaders through their service to their fellows, enriching us all."
Serving the HVAC and plumbing industries, the Service Roundtable is a private contractor group. Membership information is available at www.serviceroundtable.com.