Lifetime Achievement Award
Gary Nichols Receives Schwing’s Lifetime Achievement Award
Photo from left to right: Tom O’Malley, Gary Nichols, Bill Murray
Schwing America associates took time out from World of Concrete this year, to honor Gary Nichols with the “Tom Anderson Lifetime Achievement Award,” the company’s top award acknowledging a person’s outstanding contributions to Schwing and the concrete pumping Industry.
Tom O’Malley, Schwing senior vice president for sales and marketing, presented the award, citing the many achievements made by Nichols, including a history in concrete that spans more than five decades.
Nichols’ roots in concrete pumping are as humble as they come: starting as a wash boy for Ralph’s Concrete Pumping in Seattle in 1966. After a stint in the Army that included 14 months in Viet Nam, Gary returned to Washington state where he took a job as a pump operator for McDonald Cranes — he was operations manager a mere five years later. By 1976, he founded PACPUMP Concrete Pumping but, facing a recession that hit Seattle hard, relocated to Atlanta with half the fleet and started a new company called Pumpco. Within two years of moving there, he started Nichols Concrete Equipment Company in Chattanooga, Tenn. In the mid-1990s, he established Premier Concrete Pumping with his then-competitor but good friend Pat Inglese; they remained partners for 23 years and still remain good friends. Inglese said: “They’ve written books about guys that have done less than Gary Nichols.”
According to O’Malley, throughout Nichols’ career, he proved himself an industry leader and a great promoter of concrete pumping. “Gary was well known for forming relationships with ready mix producers in an effort to make more pumpable mixes,” he said. “As a Schwing customer, he was always driving product development. His fingerprints can be found all over a number of Schwing products including the Big Rock Valve and the 47 SX.”
Nichols is only the ninth person to receive the Tom Anderson Lifetime Achievement Award.