Modular Building Institute

    2011 Hall of Fame Recipients

Dick Haakenson began in the modular building industry in 1976 when he and two other partners started building small “add-a-rooms” for mobile homes. In the early days, the three partners performed all aspects of the operation from the construction of the structures to the sales and purchasing functions. The company was called Westwood Industries and over the next 8 years the company grew to 100 employees providing large scale commercial modular buildings throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska servicing the nuclear development and oil exploration projects of the late 70’s and early 80’s. 
In 1985, Dick left Westwood Industries to start his own company called Pacific Mobile Leasing, later changing the name to Pacific Mobile Structures. The company started primarily bidding on public projects including providing portable classrooms in Washington and Oregon. His philosophy was to reinvest all profits back into the company to purchase mobile offices for the rental fleet. This grew slowly over the years until 1995 when he decided to aggressively grow the rental side of the business. The company now has over 100 employees throughout eight branch offices in the western states. The rental fleet has grown to approximately 2.5 million square feet comprised of small 8x20 job site offices to large office complexes up to 15,000 square feet.
Pacific Mobile has a long standing relationship with Blazer Industries that dates back to 1985. Blazer was a willing and capable partner that was able to take on the challenging designs and concepts that Pacific Mobile developed. This partnership helped to push forward our industry by creating lasting showpieces that demonstrated the innovative capabilities of modular construction.
Dick has recently retired from the company and now lives in Tucson, AZ with his wife Roberta. He has been a long-time supporter of the MBI as a participating member since its inception in 1983. He still maintains the position of Chairman of the Board for the company and helps steer the course to insure that it remains true to its values and mission. 

Marv Shetler, began his career as a logger where he learned how to set chokers, fall and buck timber, and operate a bulldozer.
In 1966, he was asked to go to work for his father-in-law who was in the process of buying out his partner in a portable chemical toilet company. That company was Cascade Chemical Toilet Company. He received a great “on the job education.” His father-in-law took him along to meet with the banker, the insurance agent, and suppliers. He was also able to be involved in the purchasing of new vehicles and other equipment. He was exposed to everything. Before the portable toilets were available commercially, they had to build their own. Even though he had no formal carpentry or wood working training he discovered he had a knack for production, organizing workers and being creative. He also realized he had a hang up with perfection. For Marv, even a portable toilet needed to be as perfect as possible. They also built their own service equipment when they realized they could probably save money vs. having it built, plus could be creative and experiment with new ideas. It also helped keep their employees busy during the winter months when business was slow.
In 1975, Oregon passed a law requiring full flush toilets with warm water hand washing facilities on all construction jobs over $500,000. Cascade knew they would have to have these facilities available for their customers. After doing some research and not being able to get anyone to build them what they wanted, Marv saw an opportunity to start a side business. The plan was to build mobile restroom trailers, then sell them to Cascade who would rent them to contractors. That was how Blazer Industries began. 
Somehow, with no industry experience or exposure, Marv was able to slowly build a business that has grown and survived for over 35 years. He believes part of his success was due to the fact he had no prior knowledge of how things were done in the industry. In reality, he knew nothing about the industry. This allowed him to be creative and innovative. He had learned the basics of business and the importance of customer service from working in the portable toilet business. He used his 10 years of experience in the portable toilet business to build a modular building manufacturing business that is well respected in the industry today.
Blazer joined MBI in 1987. They have had representation on the MBI board of directors since 1996. Marv served as Treasurer for 4 years. Two Blazer employees, Marv and Steve Tucker, have been honored with MBI’s “Outstanding Achievement” award. 
He has been married to his wife Shirl for 45 years. They have one son, Rock, two daughters, Kendra and Paetra, ten grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Marv has been a strong supporter of MBI and looks forward to continuing to find ways to promote the industry that he has devoted most of his life to.
For information on MBI's Outstanding Achievement Awards, click here.



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