MRO Magazine

Bearing distributors focus on relationships at annual convention

Indian Wells, Calif. -- May 2, 2001 -- The Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) celebrated its 35th Anniversary at...

Indian Wells, Calif. — May 2, 2001 — The Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) celebrated its 35th Anniversary at its 2001 annual convention April 29-May 2, 2001, at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort, Indian Wells, Calif., near Palm Springs. The conference theme was “Enhancing Relationships.”

Business programming for the annual event featured industry leaders from the distribution, manufacturing and customer segments of the channel along with industry allies such as W.R. Timken, chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM); Al Nixon, president, and Scott Lynch, director of member services, the American Bearing Manufacturers Association (ABMA); Jack Keough, publisher/editor of Industrial Distribution; and Dr. Albert D. Bates, president of the Profit Planning Group.

Convention programming focussed on a two-part panel discussion Sunday and Monday mornings on the state of the bearing industry. John Dannemiller of Applied Industrial Technologies (retired) and Doug Savage of Bearing Service Inc. represented the distributor; Phil Knights of SKF Service Division and Larry McPherson of NSK Corp. represented the manufacturing sector; and Rosemary Mattick of Weyerhaeuser Company represented the bearing customer. Dennis Bobker of Bobker Bearings Inc. acted as moderator for panel sessions.

The April 29 presentation was preceded by financial and operational snapshots of the industry. Al Bates, president of Profit Planning Group, used data from BSA’s 1966 Management Report and the 2000 Profit Analysis Report to give attendees a firm grasp of where the industry has been financially for the past 35 years. He also provided suggestions on how to adjust operations to deal with current conditions.


Jack Keough, associate publisher/editor of Industrial Distribution, unveiled the results of that publication’s 2001 survey of BSA members and participating manufacturers on the many changes taking place in distribution.

The April 30 panel presentation was preceded by a closer look at the worldwide economy and how the National Association of Manufacturers sees the Bush presidency affecting the environment in which convention attendees conduct business. W.R. “Tim” Timken, Jr., chairman and CEO of The Timken Company and chairman of NAM, offered his company’s view of the future. Al Nixon and Scott Lynch of ABMA, provided a look at bearing manufacturing today and where the manufacturing sector is headed.

In honour of the Association’s 35th anniversary, programming for the president’s luncheon featured a retrospective from past presidents, focussing on the value of the association to their companies and the industry. It also provided the opportunity for a lighthearted look back at BSA leaders and events.

Members of the 2001 convention committee are: Dennis and Tina Bobker, Bobker Bearings, Inc.; Jim and Linn Little, Chicago Rawhide North America; Peter and Kaye Negri, Jamaica Bearings Company, Inc.; and a trio of Canadians and their spouses–Terry and Linda Tillsley, Transmission Supplies (SA) Ltd.; Ken and Chris Lindemere, Industrial Equipment Co. Ltd.; and Bob and Delores Marshall, FAG Bearings Limited.

BSA is an international service and educational organization of distributors, representing more than 70 companies distributing factory-warranted ball-, roller-, and anti-friction bearings. For more information, contact the BSA office at 630-858-3838; fax 630-790-3095; e-mail or visit the association’s web site at