Joe Bowen inducted into NCMA’s Hall of Fame
Joe Bowen, Mutual Materials, inducted into the NCMA Hall of Fame.
Joe Bowen, retired President and current Executive Chair of Mutual Materials, Bellevue, Washington, was inducted into the NCMA Hall of Fame on March 2 at the association’s Annual Meeting held at The Westin at Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
NCMA’s Hall of Fame award is presented to the industry’s most valued participants whose careers are highlighted by continual accomplishments on the industry’s behalf, and who have demonstrated unquestioned dedication to NCMA’s highest values. Induction into the Hall of Fame also bestows Honorary Membership to the association.
Joe Bowen grew up in Great Falls, Montana, a town named for five waterfalls on the Missouri River. Great Falls is known for its rich history, going back to the Lewis & Clark expedition. In 1805, adventurers spent a month in the region after they were forced to carry their canoes ten miles around the river. While there, the explorers discovered Giant Springs, one of the largest freshwater springs in the United States.
Joe was the oldest of five children, attended Great Falls High School and went on to study at the University of Montana in Missoula.
It was during college that Joe began dating his future wife, Therese. They had both grown up in Great Falls and first met back in Junior High while snow skiing. The two were married in 1977 and September 2022 will mark their 45th wedding anniversary.
Joe studied economics before switching his major to accounting. He graduated from the University of Montana Business School in 1979. He later passed his CPA exam and moved from Missoula to Seattle where he joined the nationally known accounting and consulting firm Touche Ross.
Joe’s primary practice areas were financial institutions, construction, and real estate development.
In 1985, Joe was hired away by a former firm partner and mentor who represented NC Machinery, a long-time family-owned Caterpillar dealer with operations in Washington and Alaska.
Joe worked in both finance and corporate roles and by 1989, he was promoted to manage and lead four branch operations in Alaska. It was during his time at NC Machinery that he developed lifelong leadership and management skills.
In 1993, when the 4th generation owners of the historic CAT dealer decided to sell the business, Joe returned to Seattle to assist in the sale of the private company.
By 1995, a recruiter pursued Joe for a position at Mutual Materials Company, another long-time family-owned business, founded back in 1900.
Within two years of joining Mutual Materials, Joe took over distribution and was promoted to Vice President. With the support of management and shareholders, Joe was able to increase the market penetration of Mutual Materials further across the Pacific Northwest.
That expansion earned him a 2003 promotion to president and chief operating officer. Over the course of Joe’s tenure, the size of the Company continued to grow. Mutual Materials went from base operations in Washington and Oregon to manufacturing and distribution investments in Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia.
Early on, Jim Anderegg, one of the owners and president of Mutual Materials, introduced Joe to both NCMA and the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute. Jim’s philosophy was to not only provide monetary support but to also contribute human capital to participate in committees and serve in leadership roles.
Over the years, Joe served on a number of important NCMA committees and on both the Board of Directors and the NCMA Foundation Board of Trustees. He was named NCMA Chairman of the Board in 2015 and believes that experience made him a better president and later, Executive Chairman of Mutual Materials.
He says being a part of NCMA, working with its staff and collaborating with talented people from around the country was a great experience for him. He became great friends with many industry leaders and to this day, greatly values those relationships.
With Mutual Materials being a major hardscape producer, Joe also served as Chair of the ICPI in 2006-2008. It’s believed he’s the first individual to have been chair of both organizations.
He was also an active supporter of the Concrete Masonry Checkoff program, making many trips to Washington DC to lobby for legislation to create the program.
Today, Joe actively enjoys a number of outdoor pursuits including snow skiing, cycling and mountain climbing. Joe had a wonderful experience participating in ten grueling stages of the Tour of Italy, a prestigious multiple-stage bicycle race that’s been held since 1909.
And, like all true Washingtonians, he has spent much time at Mount Rainer utilizing his mountaineering skills to take on climbs of ‘The Mountain’.
Going forward, Joe and Therese hope that as COVID subsides they will be able to return to traveling internationally. In the meantime, they are enjoying spending time with their large family, including their three married children, daughter Sarah, and twins Meghan and Tyler. All of their children are married to fabulous partners and have given them five grandchildren to spoil.
“I’ve enjoyed working with you these past fifteen years, and I’ve seen your commitment to the industry and your leadership ability addressing important issues at both the state and national level.” – Tom Young, Executive Director, Northwest Concrete Masonry Association.
NCMA is pleased to add Joe Bowen to its Hall of Fame, recognizing his significant accomplishments and contributions to both the concrete masonry and hardscape products industries.
For a PDF copy of this press release, click here.