NATE Co-Founder Bill Carlson Passes Away, 82

WATERTOWN, S.D.—The National Association of Tower Erectors have announced that on Monday, March 25, the organization’s co-founder Bill Carlson died at this home.

Carlson enjoyed a five decade career in the wireless infrastructure industry, including owning and operating Tower Systems Inc. as its president and CEO since 1975. In 1995, he helped bring together 60 independent tower contractors to establish NATE with the mission of providing uniform safety standards, education, communications and serving as the unified voice for the wireless and broadcast infrastructure industries. Today, NATE has more than 870 member companies.

In 2014, Carlson was inducted into the Wireless Hall of Fame by the Wireless History Foundation and was the initial recipient of the NATE Lifetime Service Award. The NATE award has subsequently been named the Bill Carlson Lifetime Service Award.

Colleagues of Carlson described him upon his passing as an iconic figure and Renaissance man for the wireless industry.

Carlson is survived by his wife Ruth Lorraine Carlson, daughters Kari Carlson and Kelli Anderson, son-in-law Eric Anderson and granddaughters DeLaney and Avreigh.