Service Center News

Bill Hickey Earns Honor as ASD's Steel Executive of the Year

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On Tuesday, the nation turned its eyes to Texas, and a few other places, as the Democratic party continued its attempt to identify a presidential candidate for the 2020 Election. The steel industry also was in the Lone Star State, but it was for the FMA Annual Meeting in San Antonio, a gathering of executives from throughout the metals supply chain to discuss the topics of the moment.

The first day of the event culminated with the presentation of the Steel Executive of the Year to Lapham-Hickey Chairman Bill Hickey, the third-generation leader of the Chicago-based company. “Today is my Super Tuesday,” Hickey told the dinner’s attendees.

Hickey, who previously was named the 2012 Metal Center News Service Center Executive of the Year, was honored for his decades-long career guiding his family company. Taking over the business in his 20s, he has led Lapham-Hickey from a company with three locations and a little more than 100 employees to the 10-facility, 700-employee organization today. In 2018, he turned over day-to-day operations of the organization to the fourth generation, with sons Brian Hickey becoming president and Will becoming chief commercial officer.

But perhaps even more meaningful than his success driving his own company’s growth is Hickey’s tireless commitment to the U.S. manufacturing economy. “Everyone in the manufacturing chain creates value and creates wealth. We need to have the opportunity to the achieve more of this,” he said at the dinner honoring him.

For almost 20 years, Hickey has been championing the importance of manufacturing to anyone who would listen, from meetings with groups such as the ASD, MSCI and AWMI, to the people who really need to hear that message in the halls of Congress. But on Tuesday, he pivoted away from the value companies such as those in the FMA create, and instead focused on the values that industry participants bring to business on a daily basis.

"Without the values of the people in this room – thrift, innovation, perseverance, vision, compassion, risk taking and faith, just to name a few – there would be no manufacturing value creation in this country," Hickey said. "I salute you and your individual organizations and your individual people, and I’m really truthfully in awe of all the value you create."