This award is chosen annually by the MAHPBA Board and is ''awarded to the individual who is distinguished in their commitment to the hearth, patio & bbq products industries and whose ideas, energy and actions have enhanced opportunities for hearth, patio & bbq products professionals throughout the Mid-Atlantic.''
William J. Magnotti was the owner of the Magnotti & Son granite and stone factory in Overbrook and founder of a chain of The Fireplace & Patioplace stores throughout the Pittsburgh area.
Affectionately known by his friends and family as ''Pat,'' Mr. Magnotti was a successful businessman, a devoted family man and a community servant who was at his best when helping others in the form of charity and volunteer work for many causes and organizations.
''He wanted to be able to help someone in need, whether it was financial help or moral support. When he was done helping one person he couldn't wait to help someone else.''
Mr. Magnotti dared to step out on his own and start a company selling fireplace equipment when nobody else in Pittsburgh had ever done it and the prospects were dim. But Mr. Magnotti was a force to be reckoned with, and his little shop in Mt. Lebanon grew to four locations.
''He was a great businessman with a sharp eye for opportunity,'' said Charlie Johnson, president of the Greater Pittsburgh Area Citadel Club, an organization Mr. Magnotti co-founded and served as an officer.
In addition to several trade and community organization boards he served on, Mr. Magnotti was a longtime board member for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and served 12 years on the board of Jefferson Regional Medical Center, an organization for which he helped raise millions as chairman of its annual golf event. The hospital honored him by naming its outpatient wing the Magnotti Family Center for Outpatient Services.
''Pat Magnotti lived the American Dream and helped thousands of people,'' said F. Lynn Foltz of Bridgeville, one of his oldest and closest friends. ''When Pat Magnotti took a bite out of life he took a big bite.'' - Tim Grant, Pittsburgh Post Gazette July 2010