GOMACO has announced the death of its president, CEO and company cofounder, Gary L. Godbersen. Gary peacefully passed away on January 17, the opening day of World of Concrete 2023. He was 83 years old.
Gary dedicated his life to the concrete slipform paving industry. His career in concrete began in 1963 in Minnesota where he took on leadership roles in two family businesses as president of Highway Bridge Inc, and vice president of Godbersen-Smith Construction Company. In 1965, Gary, along with his father, Harold, created Godbersen Manufacturing Company (GOMACO) to manufacture bridge deck finishing machines. GOMACO grew to include a full line of concrete paving equipment, holding several domestic and international patents for new machine innovations. Gary served as GOMACO’s chairman of the board, president and CEO since 1986. Other leadership roles within his family-owned companies include: chairman of the board and president of GOMACO International. in the UK since 1984; chairman of the board, president and CEO of Godbersen-Smith Construction Company in Ida Grove since 1986; president and chairman of the board of BOBALEE Hydraulics in Laurens, Iowa, since 1986.
Gary was a leader within the construction industry, as well, lending his time and talents to all the industry’s major organisations throughout his career. Because of his dedication, he was recognised by his peers for several of the construction industry’s highest honors and awards. He was one of 12 individuals honoured as an inaugural inductee into the Construction Equipment Hall of Fame for outstanding contributions to the construction equipment industry. He was a recipient of the Annual American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Award. ARTBA also named Gary as one of the “Top 100 Private Sector Transportation & Design Construction Professionals of the 20th Century.” Gary earned the Governor’s Achievement Award from the Iowa Department of Economic Development for community betterment. He was the Iowa and Nebraska recipient of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. He earned the Hartmann-Hirshman-Egan Award from the American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) in 2015. He is also a member of the Construction Equipment Hall of Fame.
Gary spent his career traveling the world promoting the advantages of GOMACO’s full line of concrete slipform paving products and advancing the usage of concrete on paving projects.