Rudolph/Libbe honors Haas upon retirement with two scholarships PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer   
Friday, 28 December 2012 10:07
Gary Haas, retiring from Rudolph after 43 years. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
WALBRIDGE - Construction runs in Gary Haas' veins.
And now, retiring after almost 43 years with Rudolph/Libbe, both Haas and the company are recognizing his commitment by giving back to those who will follow him.
Two scholarships, one at Bowling Green State Univeristy and another at the University of Toledo, are being established in the names of Haas, former Rudolph/Libbe president Fritz Rudolph, and the company itself to assist students with an interest in the construction, architecture, and engineering fields.
"I was born and raised in the roaring community of Stony Ridge, Ohio," said Haas, "which is about four miles from the Rudolph/Libbe office."
A 1965 Eastwood graduate, Haas' association with the company began at a young age: mowing then-president Fritz Rudolph's lawn in the early 1960s.
He began working at the company in earnest in 1963 in their office.
"I started back there emptying wastebaskets and also cut the grass back there," and picked up and delivered materials for the office or work locations.
"Also I'd go out and help clean up job sites."
"I enjoyed construction," Haas said of what drew him to the company. "My dad was a carpenter, as I said, and I enjoyed being around him" and accompanied him to jobs.
"Got to know tools and things like that, so construction was kind of a natural for me, being around my father."
Haas has continued to work for Rudolph/Libbe since his teens in a variety of positions. Graduating from BGSU in 1974 - he received a baseball scholarship - Haas earned a degree in business administration, and worked for 17 years in the company's accounting department in various positions.
From there he became the head of Project Management, and was then put in charge of field operations. He is currently the Vice President of Contract Administration.
"It's a family-owned business," he said of what's kept him at Rudolph/Libbe for more than 43 years. "I was really treated fairly."
Noting his advancement from emptying wastebaskets to a vice presidency at the firm, he said "I always took on those challenges and got them done," stating he's worked 65-hour weeks for most of his tenure there.
"I put my time in. You do what you have to do in construction."
Among the most recent projects Haas has overseen in the area are the Wolfe Center for the Arts at BGSU, the new Lake High School building, and the Hollywood Casino in Toledo.
"It's just a good feeling to drive by all of our projects and say I was a small part of it."
"Gary has always been willing to jump in and put his shoulder to the wagon and push the wagon wherever it's needed, even if it's outside his job responsibilities," said Rudolph/Libbe Chairman Bill Rudolph.
"Part of our goal as a company is to make it a career, not a job, and to allow people to go and build on the natural gifts they've been given in life. So Gary's been a big part of that. He's been a big team player."
The $1,000 scholarships - the Gary Haas and Fritz Rudolph Honorary Scholarship at BGSU, and the Rudolph/Libbe and Gem Inc./Gary Haas Honorary Scholarship at UT - had their genesis in an idea by Haas. He spoke to Bill Rudolph and asked if the company would put up half of the funds to create a scholarship.
Rudolph agreed, and did one better, creating a second scholarship on behalf of Haas as well.
"So it's a great honor for the company to do that, to share one scholarship in my name" and establish another, Haas said.
"It's an acknowledgement, a way of honoring Gary's contribution, not just to the company, but to the construction industry as a whole," said Rudolph. "So it's a way of giving back."
Last Updated on Friday, 28 December 2012 10:44

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