Silver State Award

Robert L. Mendenhall

Robert L. Mendenhall has been an owner of Las Vegas Paving Corporation since founding the organization in 1958 and serves as its chief executive officer. Born on a farm in Alberta, Canada, Mendenhall learned the value of a strong work ethic at an early age. His first job in 1937 was as a water boy. He later worked as a flagman for his grandfather’s Utah construction company.

Although he doesn’t have a degree in engineering, Mendenhall is a master of ingenuity. In 2001, he developed America’s first recycled freeway—using 100% recycled asphalt. This idea earned him the Bicentennial Patent Award. He has been a respected, high-profile advocate for the conservation of natural resources through recycling. Mendenhall has received numerous awards, including the Industry Recognition Award and SBA Man of the Year. His innovation and determination have earned him the nickname “The Grandfather of Asphalt Recycling.” To date, a total of 47 different United States patents have been issued in his name.

Mendenhall was inducted into the Nevada Inventors Hall of Fame in 1984 and continues to pursue process patents to improve the construction industry. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from UNLV in 2006. Mendenhall is member of the UNLV Palladium Society. He and his wife, Paula, have invested greatly in UNLV. They were instrumental in the development of the UNLV Mendenhall Basketball Practice Facility and the Mendenhall Innovation Design Lab at UNLV’s Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering.