The Bruce W. Wodetzki Award is the tent rental industry’s most prestigious honor. The award is named for the founding member and first Chairman of ATA’s Tent Rental Division (TRD) and recognizes professionals who continue his legacy of impacting the growth, direction and success of the tent rental industry.
At last week’s Tent Expo in Daytona, FL, TRD recognized two individuals for their outstanding contributions to the industry. The first was Kathy Schaefer, IFM, who is a fourth generation COO and co-owner of Glawe Tent & Awning. Schaefer boasts an impressive 35-year tenure overseeing the tent side of one of North America’s oldest tent companies, established 146 years ago. In 2010, she assumed leadership of the entire business, extending her influence to residential and commercial awnings. A trailblazer, Schaefer made history in 2008 as the first woman to chair the TRD board, contributing significantly to tent installation and safety seminars. Recently, she served as the chair of the ATA/IFAI Board of Directors, steering the association through the challenges of the “Covid years.” Beyond her expertise, Kathy is a dedicated networker, striving to provide ATA and the TRD members with the highest quality of service.
The second inductee was Michael Tharpe who recently retired from Rainier Industries. Tharpe is a distinguished veteran with 45 years of experience in tent rental and event solutions. Having served two 10+ year terms, including a chairmanship, on the IFAI/ATA TRD Board, he showcased exceptional leadership by extending his term during the pandemic. A dedicated advocate for industry codes, safety and education, Tharpe contributed significantly not only to TRD but also to the MATRA Board for 9 years., the ARA Board for 2 years and served as Treasurer of the Zone 4 Canvas Products Association for 4 years. He initiated the longest-running tent school in the industry for Top Tec Products, leaving an enduring legacy of education and skill development. Tharpe’s induction to the Wodetzki Award is a well-deserved recognition of his tireless commitment and influential contributions to the tent rental industry.
Click here to view a list of past winners of the Bruce W. Wodetzki award.