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CFA Lifetime Achievement Award

The CFA Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to recognize an individual for their lifetime contribution to the CFA, AISC and the steel fabrication industry. It is considered the CFA’s highest honor.

2020 Award

Terry F. Peshia

Terry F. Peshia, CEO of of Garbe Iron Works, Aurora, Ill. former CFA President and Board of Director, passed away on August 9 at the age of 80. Fittingly, his company provided the steel fabrication for the hospital, Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora, where he died.

Terry joined the Board in 1984, and served as President from 1991-1993. He remained actively engaged in CFA over the years regularly attending meetings.  Even as the industry changed and evolved, Terry remained a strong advocate for its core values, which he lived out through his entire professional career at Garbe Iron Works, and his personal dedication to his wife Connie and their sons Ted and John.

A recognized leader in the structural steel industry, Peshia began as an ironworker and joined Garbe Iron Works in 1964, where he spent his entire career. In addition to his significant contributions to CFA, he served as ASE Board Member and was a member of the Associated Steel Erectors.  In 2009 he received the prestigious AISC Stupp Award for Leadership Excellence. 

One of the most memorable experiences I had with Terry was the time he had the CFA Dinner hosted at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automotive Museum. In addition to the great experience, the most amazing part was to have Terry show us his 1932 Auburn Boattail Speedster.”

An avid car collector, Peshia was a member of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Club and lifetime member of the ACD Museum in Auburn, Ind.  Terry  had the CFA Dinner hosted at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automotive Museum where he Terry showed his 1932 Auburn Boattail Speedster.

He was also a freemason and a member of the Jerusalem Temple Lodge in Aurora, Ill.  He was very involved in many county and community organizations including the Kendall County Board, the Oswego Village Board, the Kendall County Historical Society where he was a past president, and he was also a former Oswego police commissioner.

Terry Peshia’s life in the Steel Industry

  •  Graduated High School in early 1956
  • Started Ironworking in 1957-1961
  • Attended U of I, Aurora College, and Northern Illinois University, Graduated Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 1959
  • Drafted into the U.S. Army, served 1961-1963 
  • Continued Ironworking 1963-1975

Garbe Iron Works Inc, Aurora, IL.      Established 1919

  • Started at GIW, as a 1-day replacement on December 4, 1964
  • Foreman 1964-1967
  • Superintendent 1967-1972
  • V.P. of Erection Div. 1972-1976
  • President of the Steel Construction Div. 1976-1991
  • President of Montgomery Machine Works, GIW subsidiary in Montgomery, AL.
  • President of Garbe Iron Works 1991-2002
  • CEO/Chairman 2002

Industry involvement

Central Fabricators Association

  • CFA member
  • CFA board member 1984-2001
  • CFA President 1991-1993
Associated Steel Erectors of Chicago
  • ASE board member

  • ASE Management trustee to Local #1 Ironworker Pension Fund, 1995-Chairman 2010-2018


      • Board member 1996

      • Vice Chairman 1999-2001
      • Chairman 2001-2003
      • Chairman of AISC Holdings 
      • Recipient of the Robert P. Stupp Award for Leadership Excellence 2009

Central Fabricators Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 

P.O. Box 68518, Grand Rapids, MI 49516  |    616.301.3570    |   |

Central Fabricators Association is  is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.

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