DAILY NEWS May 22, 2014 2:37 PM - 0 comments

Bearing Specialists Association sees attendance rise at annual convention

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By: Bill Roebuck

Scottsdale, AZ - The 2014 convention of the Bearing Specialists Association (BSA), which took place May 3-6 in Scottsdale, AZ, attracted the association’s second highest attendance since 2007, with a total of 65 distributors representing 31 companies and 98 manufacturers representing 43 companies. About 10% of companies and delegates in attendance were from Canada.

BSA members elected Brian Negri, Jamaica Bearings Company, Inc., as president for 2014-2015, starting July 1. The association’s board of directors for 2014-2015 includes: Jack Simpson, Applied Industrial Technologies., chairman; Tim Breen, Motion Industries, vice-president; and John Ruth, BDI, treasurer. BSA also elected Jim Scardina, Bearing Headquarters Company, Steve Smidler, Kaman Industrial Technologies, and Todd Hamlin, DXP Enterprises Inc., to serve three year terms on the board. Alfredo Bichara, Baleromex, S.A. de C.V., was elected to fill a two-year board term.

At the conference, BSA surprised William J. (Bill) Stevens, chairman and CEO of Motion Industries Inc., by presenting him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Stevens served as BSA president in 1999 after serving as treasurer, second vice-president and first vice-president. He missed only one convention in the past25 years. One highlight of his year as BSA president was a press briefing, held March 16, 1999, at McCormick Place in Chicago during Industrial Distribution Day at National Manufacturing Week to announce the Certified Bearing Specialist program and the first CBS recipients.

To be eligible for BSA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, a recipient must have been a member or participating manufacturer of BSA for at least 25 years, attended BSA events, been actively involved in the affairs of the association and demonstrated a leadership role within the industry. Previous recipients of this award include: Wendy McDonald, BC Bearing Engineers; Jim Fitzpatrick, Sr., Bearings Specialty Company; John D. Nations, Bearings & Drives; Jamie Martin, The Timken Corporation; Denny Clark, SKF; Dick Gipson, Gipson Bearing; Hal Allen, Allied Bearing Company; Bill Ives, BSA Legal Counsel; Peter Negri, Jamaica Bearings; and Andy Nations, Bearings and Drives Inc.

The 2014 Convention Committee continued the tradition of supporting a charity local to its convention site. This year it was the Desert Mission Food Bank, which provides emergency food assistance to help families within the Scottsdale area move out of crisis and into self-sufficiency, where they can provide meals for themselves. The food bank offers non-perishable and perishable food, including fruit and vegetables, bread and more. It also teaches clients about nutrition and healthy ways to use the food it receives through a variety of programs. In 2012, this charity served 40,752 families with food boxes and provided 40,352 weekend food packs to schoolchildren.

During the BSA 2014 Convention, attendees supported this mission in a number of ways. Each convention registration fee included $20.00 to be donated to Desert Mission. At one conference social event, attendees made donations for extra ‘funny money’ at the Night at the Derby Party. Also, BSA sold mulligans for its golf outing to support the food bank. During the convention, spouses and companions volunteered to put together emergency food bags at the food bank. In all, more than $8,000 was donated to the Desert Mission Food Bank.


Brian Negri is the new BSA president for 2014-15. Photo: Bill Roebuck, MRO Magazine
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Bill Stevens received BSA's Lifetime Achievement Award at the association's 2014 annual convention. Photo: Bill Roebuck, MRO Magazine
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