January 14, 2010, IEC of Utah presented the IEC of Utah Dee
Clark Industry Leadership for 2009 to Craig Taft. The evening
started with a social, old (literally old–Cleve) and new friends
came together to recognize a business partner, family member,
Kevin Seeley, president, welcomed everyone and opened the
business meeting. After proceeding through the agenda, it was
time to introduce the first speaker of the evening.
Jerry Taylor, recipient of the award in 2008, was our first
speaker. He reminisced about the industry’s introduction of GSL
Electric. Comparing it to a type of stampede, the quote went
something like this, “There were horses to the east, horses to
the west, horses to the south and north. GSL was entering the
market and taking all the jobs.” He also remarked on his and
Craig’s relationship with Dee Clark, the awards namesake.
Guy Moore, Craig’s partner in GSL for many years, was the second
speaker. Guy commented on Craig’s ability to be a forward
thinker, and how they were able to secure the LDS Conference
Center. Guy had many wonderful adjectives to describe Craig;
however one really stuck out: “Late!” Yes, Craig is
perpetually late. Those who know him have learned to work
around this one “default” that Craig has.
Odine Christianson was next; his ‘roast’ included a story about
moving a very large freezer, which had the audience in
stitches. Odine recanted many stores, revealing the ‘true’
distributor salesman and contractor relationship. The two grew
up together; he shared stories of their struggles and triumphs.
Cleve Childs—well, Cleve really needs no introduction. Speaking
at the last two IEC events, he is a regular on our “circuit.” He
held back nothing, letting out all the secrets. Keeping things
light, however, he pointed out all the good work Craig had done
for the industry.
John Taft filled in the group on the inner workings of GSL and
the family. Talking about how Craig comes in around 5:45PM,
ready to work, and the GSL engineering group is sneaking out the
back door ready to call it a day. He talked about growing up
with Craig as his mentor and pointing out many of Craig’s very
generous donations to various charities.
Kevin Seeley presented the award to Craig and presented Meg,
Craig’s wife, with a beautiful plant.
It was then Craig’s chance to get “even”. He told a story about
his father during World War II that bought the entire evening
full circle. He also thanked the industry for all it had done
for him and all the great people he had the privilege of working
with over the years.
Kevin Seeley closed the meeting in true Craig Taft form—we were
10 minutes late in doing so.