John Adamo.

John Adamo.

The demolition industry is in mourning for one of its best known figures, John Adamo.

Mr Adamo, CEO of the USA-based Adamo Group, died after being involved in an industrial accident while working on a site in Ohio.

He was also treasurer on the executive board of the country’s National Demolition Association (NDA), having been elected in March of this year.

His company was shortlisted in the Urban Demolition category at the recent World Demolition Awards in Amsterdam.

It has worked closely with the city of Detroit on a programme to demolish thousands of dilapidated houses, and was one of the first US companies to embrace high reach technology from Europe.

Peter Banks, president of the NDA, worked closely with Mr Adamo during the association’s change of executive management.

He said: “John was a deep thinker. He had been on and off the NDA board of directors many times, and he originally didn’t want to commit to another 10 years. But with the transition the NDA was going through, I needed a really strong person to work with me, and John was that person.

“The NDA now compared to a year ago is like night and day, and John was a key component of that. As president I could ask him to do anything and he would jump on it and do it really well – not just well, but in a timely manner.

Adamo Group, which was started by John Adamo Sr, has been in existence for more than 50 years, and Peter said there was never any question that John Adamo Jr would do anything other than join the family business.

“He was the next generation. He took what his father had done and built on it. He and his brother Richard had a vision for the company and they took it to the next level.

“When we come to look at John’s legacy, we just look at the NDA, where it is now and where it will be in the future. We will fill the role, but we can never replace the person. In that sense, there will always be an empty seat at the table.”

Bill Moore, principal consultant at Environmental Resources Management, said: “John was a very intelligent, very hardworking man, and the fact that he was there working on site even though he was CEO of the company shows how concerned he was.

“I knew John for over 30 years and I knew his father. When I worked at the demolition contractor Brandenburg, we were friendly competitors. He worked in my city and I worked in his.

“I spoke to more than 20 friends and contacts in the industry when I heard the news and they all said the same thing – this is a tragedy.”

Walter Reeves, district sales manager, demolition, Volvo Construction Equipment North America, added: “John won so many awards for safety his office walls are covered in them. You couldn’t say a harsh word about him.

“It was a pleasure to be a friend of John Adamo.”

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