Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures, Inc. Goes ESOP

Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures, Inc. is now owned by the employees. Lawrence employees have always provided great service and quality to our customers. This EMPLOYEE STOCK OWNERSHIP PLAN will promote continued success and customer satisfaction for many years to come.

Lawrence Canvas Products, started in 1941 by Art & Dorothy Lawrence, was sold to Bob Helmsing in 1977. Jerry Grimaud started working at Lawrence in 1979 as the 9th employee of the company that had sales just over $250,000 per year. In 1984, Grimaud became a minority owner as the company grew from just industrial fabric products to a full service company manufacturing and installing awnings and tents. In 1996, Helmsing & Grimaud changed the name of the company to Lawrence Fabric Structures to better describe the wide range of fabric products that anchored the core business as they moved into a 68,000 sq. ft. plant in West St. Louis County.

As the company continued to grow into the 21st Century with the addition of Exhibits and Architectural Elements, metal products became an essential part of the business. In 2005, Grimaud bought out his partner of 21 years becoming the sole owner of Lawrence Fabric Structures. As metal components and metal awnings became a mainstay part of the business, “Metal” was added to the name, thus becoming Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures, Inc. in January of 2010.

“It is time to pass the proverbial baton”, Grimaud says. “Lawrence has been through a tremendous growth ride and now seems a great time to move forward. The culture of the company suggests that an ESOP is a great transition tool for me as well as a just reward for my many dedicated employees. The leadership team that inherently formed will be able to take Lawrence and our 72 employees to the next level of growth coming into our 75th anniversary in 2016.” Grimaud will be involved with the company assisting Mike Bowman the new President and Dave Bess the new Vice President.

Mike BowmanMike Bowman previously held the positions of Estimating, Project Manager and Vice President. He is an accomplished senior-level executive with a track record of over 25 years of successful strategic and tactical leadership skills within several relatable industries. He is visionary and creative with a positive attitude and steadfast commitment to excellence.

Dave BessDave Bess previously held the positions of Plant Manager and Operations Manager. He has been instrumental in maintaining and improving permanent priorities of safety, quality, service, and people. Dave is known as an innovative and results-driven leader who focuses on building and motivating cross-functional teams that exceeded Company expectations.