DOWNERS GROVE, ILL. — The Plumbing Contractors Association Midwest honored three outstanding individuals who have shown personal commitment, ingenuity and passion to improve the plumbing industry during their careers at its Winter Social, Jan. 26 at Brookfield Zoo’s Seven Seas dolphin viewing area. The 2018 inductees into the Chicago Area Plumbing Industry Hall of Fame are Charles S. Allen, executive chairman of Sloan Valve Co.; John Bojan, retired Plumbers Local 130 UA pension fund administrator; and James P. Smith, past president of C.J. Erickson Plumbing Co.
The PCA Midwest created the Chicago Area Plumbing Industry Hall of Fame in 2002. Since its inception, more than 30 distinguished men and women representing PCA plumbing contractors, United Association of Journeyman Plumbers Local 130, and the manufacturer/supplier segment of the industry have been bestowed with this tribute.
• Charles S. (“Chuck”) Allen is the third-generation leader of locally founded and still family-operated Sloan Valve Co. Allen has enjoyed his 45-year career, guiding the worldwide manufacturer of water and efficient plumbing solutions through some of the most explosive growth and periods of innovation in its 112-year history. Far from being retired, he remains the executive chairman at Sloan.
Allen holds numerous patents, and is still involved in engineering new products and groundbreaking technologies that save water and help protect the health of the nation.
• John Bojan is best known in the plumbing industry for his work as the Plumbers Local 130 UA pension fund administrator from 1988 until his retirement in 2008. Serving in the Air Force after high school, Bojan worked as an engineer and eventually acquired his plumbing license in Illinois. In 2018, he celebrates his 50th anniversary as a member of UA Plumbers Local 130.
Bojan became a member of the American Society of Sanitary Engineering in 1963. Over the years, he earned numerous ASSE awards and accolades, including the Edward J. Zimmer Award (1987); the Crystal Drop Award (1990); and the Lifetime Status Award (2007). Bojan acquired the coveted Fellowship status with the national ASSE and he served as a past president of the ASSE Illinois Chapter.
• James P. (“Jim”) Smith has left an indelible mark on the entire plumbing industry. Smith started his plumbing apprenticeship in 1974. He became a UA Plumbers Local 130 journeyman in 1978 and one year later was promoted to a foreman at C.J. Erickson Plumbing Co. After working as an estimator/superintendent in the 1980s, Smith moved up the ranks to serve as the company’s vice president and then later as president.
In 1997, Smith joined the PCA Midwest board of directors and went through all of the chairs leading up to his role as vice president. He was appointed as a UA Plumbers Local 130 Pension Trustee in 2007 and two years later voted to serve as co-chair of the fund. In addition, Smith was appointed as a Welfare Trustee in 2011 and was instrumental in the merger transitions of three locals into Local 130. While officially retired from C.J. Erickson, Smith remains active in the industry as a new plumbing inspector for the Village of Alsip.
This year’s Hall of Fame Committee, who were tasked with the selection process, included Chairman Michael J. Kerrigan (F.J. Kerrigan Plumbing Co.); John Baethke (John Baethke & Son Plumbing); Mark Brickey (Metropolitan Industries); Michelle Freihage (T&J Plumbing); Rob Johnson (M. Cooper WinSupply); Patrick McCarthy (Plumbers Local 130 UA); and S.J. Peters (PCA Midwest and Plumbing Council Midwest).
As one of the oldest trade associations in the United States (founded in 1882), the PCA Midwest, affiliated with the national and state Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Association, Union Affiliated Contractors of the PHCC and the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, represents more than 300 union signatory (UA Plumbers Local 130) plumbing contractor firms operating in 17 counties in Northern Illinois in labor relations and legislation.