Please pause for a moment to join us in remembering a dear friend, partner, and civic leader. Rex Hime passed away peacefully over the weekend surrounded by loved ones. He was a dedicated father, husband, friend, colleague, mentor, and member of the BizFed family.
Rex spent 37 years amplifying the voice of business at the helm of the California Business Properties Association. We are so grateful for his efforts to defend Proposition 13, a property tax limitation measure passed in 1978, and his leadership in pushing to improve the state’s business climate.
The photo below was snapped during a trip to Sacramento in May 2013. Rex joined other BizFed members for a spirited discussion about California jobs and education districts, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, and untapped energy sources. Naturally, Rex wore one of his signature Hawaiian shirts – and came to the meeting sporting his signature smile.
Thank you, Rex, for decades of hard work to create good jobs and improve the lives of Californians. We know you’re smiling down on business leaders carrying on your legacy of fearless advocacy – wearing your sunniest Hawaiian shirt.
Our friends at California Business Roundtable compiled quotes from statewide business leaders remembering Rex. Please scroll down to read them all – including a quote from yours truly – and to read Rex’s obituary. Many thanks to CBRT for mobilizing quickly to honor Rex in this way.
“It is hard to put into words the loss we all feel. Rex Hime was a great father, a great husband, and a great friend, mentor, and colleague. While we mourn his loss and send our love to his dear wife and sons, we remember Rex as a leader, always quick to laugh, quick to lend a hand and help out friends and colleagues. I will miss his friendship, his humor, and his energy to succeed for his members. The Roundtable joins the entire statewide business community in sending our deepest condolences to Rex’s family and friends.” – Rob Lapsley, President, California Business Roundtable
“For those of us lucky enough to work alongside Rex over the years, his passing leaves a deep void. In the often-turbulent world of high stakes advocacy, Rex brought insightfulness, humor, and humanity. He was a gentleman through and through.” – Jot Condie, President & CEO, California Restaurant Association
“California lost a favorite son this week and we mourn his passing. His love of family—paramount to all—was otherwise defined by a life of ‘public service.’ He served elected officials, a variety of non-profit organizations, his business colleagues, and all who met the man in the Hawaiian shirt knew there was just something special and good about him. For all his efforts, he made California a better place, accomplishing so much with patience, candor, kindness, and humor. For me, I lost my touchstone—a man who helped a young Governor’s political appointee through her paces with good counsel and friendship that lasted decades. Thank you, Gwyn, for sharing him with us all these years. We all grieve now but are comforted knowing his legacy will live forever.” – Lucy Dunn, Former President & CEO, Orange County Business Council
“Rex was a tower of a man and a pinnacle of the business community. I credit him with providing me guidance on issues, counsel on being a leader and humor to approach life’s challenges California is a better place because of him.” – Lance Hastings, President & CEO, California Manufacturers and Technology Association
“I learned from, laughed with, and got important work done for Californians by knowing and saddling up next to the inspirational and relentless Rex Hime!” – Tracy Hernandez, Founding CEO, Los Angeles County Business Federation
“People come and go in life, but few have a lasting impression. Rex Hime was one of those individuals. His love of politics, commitment to public service, but more importantly his love of people made him one of a kind. He was a mentor, a leader but first and foremost a friend. No words can express what a void is left with his passing, but for those of us who had the privilege of his guidance and mentorship we will carry on his legacy – even when it calls for a Hawaiian shirt!” – Rachel Michelin, President & CEO, California Retailers Association
“There are few words which can describe the impact of Rex Hime’s leadership to those of us who were blessed to know him and to work with him. He was the epitome of bringing facts and reasonable solutions to some of the greatest challenges and opportunities of our time and did so with a compassionate style and sense of humor that was invigorating and purposeful. I will never look at my Hawaiian shirts the same way as I reflect with tremendous appreciation on the personal connection and perspectives that I gained from our friendship.” – Jeff Ball, President & CEO, Orange County Business Council
“Rex Hime leaves an unparalleled legacy of leadership and service to the people of the state of California. His tireless effort to support taxpayers, keep the cost of owning a business reasonable, and ensuring we all had a great time with our families at the California State Fair each year is just a thumbnail sketch of his enormous contribution to California. His warmth, friendship and Hawaiian shirts are already missed, and his legacy of public service will live on in our hearts forever.” – Dan Dunmoyer, President & CEO, California Building Industry Association
“Anyone blessed to have experienced even a brief moment, let alone many years or decades as I had, in the presence of Rex Hime would tell you that this man was larger than life in every sense of the word. Fiercely dedicated to creating a better California. An infectious wit, laugh and smile as colorful as his trademark Hawaiian shirts that brought light into every dark corner. And a genuine sense of faith, love for his family and friends, and giving heart that leaves a legacy and reminder to all of us to always do the right thing. I’ll miss him dearly.” – John Kabateck, State Director, National Federation of Independent Business, California
“Rex was a giant among mere mortals. He was easily the most welcoming person in all of Sacramento and we’re all better for knowing him.” – Lynn Mohrfeld, President & CEO, California Hotel and Lodging Association
“Rex Hime has left an indelible mark on the State of California and the business community. I will always cherish the work we did together and the support he gave me and our organization. Rex loved California, loved his family, and loved being a part of the close-knit business community. We mourn his loss, celebrate his life, and send our deepest condolences to his family during this difficult time.” – Maria Salinas, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
“Rex was a friend and a mentor. His passing is a loss for his family, his friends and California.” – Paul Granillo, President & CEO, Inland Empire Economic Partnership
“Rex Hime was a man of great character who served as model for all who seek a better California. He lived the California Dream and will be sorely missed.” – Jim Wunderman, President & CEO, Bay Area Council
Rex Stewart Hime was surrounded by family when he passed away in February 2023 after successfully kicking cancer’s butt for 10 years. Rex had been a fixture in the Sacramento capital community for nearly 50 years in both professional and volunteer capacities. He was single-handedly responsible for softening the State Capitol’s strict dress code by regularly walking the halls and testifying in Hawaiian shirts instead of a coat and tie.
Rex epitomized the philosophy work hard, play hard. He had a no nonsense, get-stuff-done attitude about his advocacy work, but he rarely let a conference call or meeting end without making you laugh.
A native Californian, Rex graduated from the University of California at Davis with a BA in Political Science and received his law degree from the UC Davis School of Law. Rex served in both the Army Reserve and the California National Guard before retiring as a Major in 1990.
For most of his professional career, Rex was the face for the commercial real estate industry in California. He served as President and CEO of California Business Properties Association (CBPA) for 37 years where he helped pass a prohibition on commercial rent control, stop several attempts to undo Proposition 13, and helped craft ADA reform legislation that serves as a model for other states.
Prior to joining CBPA, Rex served on then Governor Reagan’s educational staff and as Assistant to the Director for the State Department of Consumer Affairs. Later he was the Executive Director of the California State Commission for Economic Development, Director for the California Commission on Agriculture and served as a Special Assistant to the Lieutenant Governor. His legislative experience includes service as the Senior Assistant to the Minority Leader of the California State Assembly.
Rex served as the Presidential as well as the California State Assembly Representative on the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and was a member of the California Task Force on Violence Prevention. He also served as a Regent of the University of California and a Trustee for the Greater Sacramento Valley Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, as Chair. He is a past President of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association and has served on the various finance committees for the campus, the association and student campaigns.
Rex had a particular passion for his volunteer work with the California State Fair where he served as Chair, Vice Chair and board member at Cal Expo for more than twenty years. He was the only board member to be appointed to the board by five different Governors from both political parties.
Rex was unabashedly conservative and guided throughout life by his Christian faith. He often referred to himself as an “equal opportunity offender.” The diversity and longevity of his friendships reinforce that it is possible to stay true to your values while having genuine relationships – and a lot of laughs – with people who share strongly different views.
Rex is survived by his wife Gwyn Bicker Hime and his three sons Rex William Hime, Reagan Stewart Hime and Trevor Anthony Plescia.
BizFed Central Valley is proud to count Rex’s son, Rex William Hime, among its ever-growing membership. Rex Jr. is a Clovis-based Regional Relationship Manager at Western Electrical Contractors Association.
With gratitude to Rex for a lifetime of meaningful work,
BizFed Founding CEO