GJM’s Bob Bobek Receives National Award
Gilmore Jasion Mahler Partner Bob Bobek has been honored for his contributions to the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) Northwest Ohio Chapter.
The Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) is a national group supporting individuals in financial positions at construction companies. CFMA provides unique training tailored to financial/construction professionals, networking opportunities with their peers and other resources. Most major cities in the US have a chapter.
On December 19, 2019 Bob was awarded the Chairman’s Challenge Coin, a national award recently established by CFMA to recognize members for “service and excellence.” The Chairman’s Challenge Coin is awarded every year to about 25 individuals around the country. Bob is the first person from the local chapter to be honored with the award. A CFMA member for over 15 years, and board member for the local chapter, Bob received the award to recognize his work chairing what’s being hailed as one of the most successful state conferences in Ohio history (the 2017 Buckeye Conference) and helping to host one of the most successful golf outings ever for Northwest Ohio CFMA.
Matthew Harper, a fellow Northwest Ohio CFMA member and an attorney with Eastman & Smith, was also on the 2017 Buckeye Conference Committee.
“Bob has what I would call ‘infectious enthusiasm’ for anything he does,” says Harper. “He wants to make any event bigger and better than anyone thought possible and energizes a team to get that done. And he has a boatload of fun along the way!”
Another fellow CFMA Northwest Ohio member Teri Goins, the controller for The Spieker Company, also helped plan the 2017 Buckeye Conference, and worked with Bob on the golf outing.
“Bob just has taken every challenge and says ‘we are going to make this the best ever!’ He set our goals very high and somehow he brings everyone up to that level. And, like Matt said, we have fun doing it! Bob really is just a champion for our CFMA chapter. He deserves any and all awards we could give him.”
Pamela Hepburn of OCP Contractors , who is on the national board for CFMA, nominated Bob for the award and made the award presentation.
Bob says he has been on both the CFMA golf event and Buckeye conference committees for quite some time, ultimately chairing both. He says the local chapter golf outing was chaired for many years by longtime CFMA members Bob and Kathy Gummow, who grew the event into a very popular outing and a successful fundraiser. The event raises money to support accounting/finance scholarships at The University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University. Each year the Northwest Ohio chapter provides $10,000 to each school. 2019 was the local chapter’s 25th golf outing. It was sold out two months prior to the event and raised about $24,000 for scholarships.
“Of course, none of this would be attainable except for the great support from many sponsors and the hard work of the golf committee co-chaired by me and Laura Brandt of Campbell Mechanical Services,” says Bobek.
Appointed chairman of the 2017 Buckeye Conference in 2015, Bob says he jumped in with both feet and started organizing the event two years in advance. The Buckeye Conference is co-presented by the Cincinnati and Toledo Chapters of CFMA and the chapters switch off hosting. Bob says the committee had a vision to take the 2017 event to a new level and have the feel of the national CFMA conference, with keynote speakers, great networking opportunities and fun events. The conference was to be hosted in Toledo. Bob wasted no time and secured keynote speaker and former Detroit Tigers Manager Jim Leyland (a Toledo native).
“Then we started raising awareness through sponsorship opportunities, securing a significant amount of sponsorships, which allowed us bring in two additional national speakers. We also planned a dinner showcasing Toledo’s nationally recognized Toledo Museum of Art, which included a glassblowing demonstration.”
He says conference sessions were held in a state-of-the-art auditorium located on the first level of One Seagate. The location provided plenty of great seating and showcased all of the exciting development happening in downtown Toledo at the time. The conference agenda also included a welcome networking event at the Heights, the top floor bar/restaurant at the new Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel overlooking the Maumee River.
“We also had rooms available for out of town guests at the hotel, which sold out,” he says. “The conference had an approximately 30% increase in attendees and was able to generate a significant excess of revenue over expenses to be used by the Toledo & Cincinnati chapters for future programs and events. None of this would have been possible without great support from sponsors and all the hard work by the planning committee.”
Plans will soon be underway for the next Buckeye Conference hosted by the Toledo chapter, scheduled for 2021. Bob will be chairman for that event as well.
The CFMA Chairman’s Challenge Coin was established in 2018 by CFMA Chairman Joe McLaughlin as a way to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of members on an ongoing basis. The organization’s website says the idea was born out of the military tradition of a challenge coin. Bob is featured on the national CFMA website with other CFMA Chairman’s Challenge Coin recipients. He says he was taken totally by surprise when given the award at the holiday gathering for CFMA Northwest Ohio.
“I am honored. None of this would have been possible without the hard-working members of each committee. Upon learning of the award, I was totally speechless, which, as you know, doesn’t happen that often for me.”
Bob Bobek is an audit partner with Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD. Practicing in excess of 35 years and with GJM for 15 years, he works across many industries with an expertise in the construction industry, leading GJM’s Construction Specialist Team.
Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.