It is with great sadness that AEM notes the death of GOMACO President, CEO and company cofounder Gary L. Godbersen, who passed away Jan. 17 at the age of 83.

Dedicated to progress and international construction and exports, Godbersen worked tirelessly through industry organizations to promote the advancement of construction worldwide. His chairmanship of CONEXPO 1993 culminated over 20 years as a director, including past president, with CIMA (now AEM). His longtime support and numerous contributions to the association, its members and the industry led to him being inducted into the inaugural AEM Hall of Fame class of 1993.

“I met Gary at the start of my career at CIMA, and I always appreciated his open and honest feedback over the years,” said AEM President Megan Tanel. “He cared so much about the association, and I will forever be thankful for all he did in support of the association. He encouraged his family to be involved, welcomed new members into AEM and dedicated so much time and energy to our organization. Our thoughts are with his family and friends, as well as current and former colleagues at GOMACO, during this difficult time.”

Gary’s career in concrete began in 1963 in Minnesota, where he took on leadership roles in two family businesses as President of Highway Bridge Inc., and Vice President of Godbersen-Smith Construction Company. In 1965, he, along with his father, Harold, created Godbersen Manufacturing Company (GOMACO) to manufacture bridge deck finishing machines.

GOMACO grew to include a full line of concrete paving equipment, and the company holds several domestic and international patents for new machine innovations. Gary served as GOMACO’s Chairman of the Board, President and CEO from 1986 until his death. Other leadership roles within his family-owned companies include Chairman of the Board and President of GOMACO International Ltd. in the United Kingdom since 1984; Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Godbersen-Smith Construction Company in Ida Grove since 1986; President and Chairman of the Board of BOBALEE Hydraulics in Laurens, Iowa, since 1986; and President of Gomaco Trolley Company in Ida Grove, Iowa, since 1982.

Because of his dedication to the construction industry, Gary was recognized by his peers for several of the construction industry’s highest honors and awards. In addition to being named to the inaugural AEM Hall of Fame class for his many contributions to the off-road equipment industry, he was a recipient of the Annual American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Award. ARTBA also named Gary as one of the “Top 100 Private Sector Transportation & Design Construction Professionals of the 20th Century.”

Gary also earned the Governor’s Achievement Award from the Iowa Department of Economic Development for community betterment, and he was the Iowa and Nebraska recipient of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. Finally, he earned the construction industry’s most coveted award, the Hartmann-Hirshman-Egan Award from the American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) in 2015.

A Celebration of Life service for Gary will be held Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, in Ida Grove, Iowa. Christensen-Van Houten Funeral Homes, of Ida Grove, is in charge of the arrangements. View his obituary here.