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By Morgan Taylor, HAA Staff Photgraphed by Mark Hiebert, Hiebert Photography
A Lifetime of Achievements AAA Plumbers was started by two men by the names of Steve Park and Cesar Lima, who only had three trucks and some service parts when the company was created 35 years ago. Today, the company has 70 employees, 25 service trucks and a 17,000 square foot warehouse. You either recognize the company name, have seen their service trucks on Houston’s roads or know the man with the mustache. This year the Houston Apartment Association is honoring the man with the mustache, Cesar Lima of AAA Plumbers, with the Lifetime Achievement Award. This award came to fruition in 1996 because the Hall of Fame Committee wanted to honor two supplier partners who made a lifetime commitment of service to the association and the apartment industry, instead of a legendary apartment owner or developer. The committee came up with what was originally called the Lifetime Service Award. Those two supplier partners were Nora Krakower of Royal Plumbing Supply and John Moore of John Moore Plumbing Co., now called John Moore Services. Lima is only the fifth supplier partner to receive this high honor. “Who could be more deserving of this award than Cesar? (The committee) didn’t even have
to launch into the whys. (Past President Darlene Guidry of Hettig Management and Past President and Hall of Fame member Eileen Subinsky) said his name and everyone in the room just felt so good about making that decision. We didn’t even have to discuss all of his contributions. We didn’t have to compare his resume to 20 different resumes, everyone knew,” Past President and Hall of Famer Suan Tinsley of DayRise Residential said about the committee’s decision to select Lima as the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. “In watching people since I’ve been involved in the association, which was in the 1980s, and not that there aren’t others, but (Lima) is a supplier partner who has put so much time and effort into the association over the years that I just couldn’t see anyone else … who would be worthy. There are very few vendors – we’ve only given this award to Nora Krakower, John Moore, Ken Bohan (The Liberty Group) and Mike Koch (Camp Construction Services),” Guidry, who was the first to nominate Lima for this award, said. “I was really pleased that the rest of the committee agreed, because I think it was time for Cesar. It’s his time.” The first, and only, female recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, was Lima’s very
dear friend, mentor and the driving force of Lima’s HAA involvement. Krakower put Lima and AAA Plumbers on the HAA map, as some would say, and he agrees that his success within the association and the industry is the result of her influence. While Krakower is no longer with us today, her spirit lives on through Lima and other supplier partners who she pulled into association involvement, including another Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and HAA volunteer, Koch. Meeting Mikey Koch and Lima met 35 years ago, at the first HAA meeting Lima ever attended. This was when HAA held meetings at the Shamrock Hotel, which vanished from the Houston skyline in the late 1980s. Lima walked into the hotel, unsure of where to go, and heard Koch’s big, bellowing laugh all the way from the bar. If you know Koch, you know the laugh. Eager to meet the man with the lively laugh, Lima introduced himself, “I was standing out in the lobby, I didn’t know what to do, and then I heard you laughing. I had to come in here and meet you because I figured you would know everybody.” Lima had been an HAA member, attending meetings and networking functions, for some
Photos from left: A little Cesar Lima. Cesar with his children Henry, Cesar Jr., Candis Mohr and Charlie.
Brought to you by Camp Construction Services. For his more than 35 years of dedication to the multifamily industry, the Houston Apartment As...