MRO Magazine

PTDA announces Lifetime Achievement Award

Orlando, FL -- The Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) has named Robert Callahan, who retired earlie...


October 18, 2004
By MRO Magazine

Orlando, FL — The Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) has named Robert Callahan, who retired earlier this year from U.S. Tsubaki Inc. of Wheeling, Ill., as the 15th recipient of its Warren Pike Award for lifetime achievement in the power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) industry.

The award was established in 1984 to honour individuals who have demonstrated outstanding, continuous, long-term support of PTDA and the PT/MC industry. Callahan received the award, named for PTDA’s co-founder and first president, at the association’s annual Industry Summit in Orlando, Fla. on Oct. 15, 2004.

The Warren Pike Award is presented only if a qualified individual is identified and is not automatically given every year. Nominees are reviewed by the officers of PTDA’s board of directors and the association’s Manufacturer Council chairperson. Once a candidate passes this review, they must be approved by the full PTDA board of directors.

Callahan began his career in the PT/MC industry with a distribution firm, Bearing Headquarters Co. of Broadview, Ill. He joined U.S. Tsubaki in 1983 and held the post of senior vice-president, sales & distributor services, when he retired.


He has been active volunteer in the association for 20 years, serving on numerous committees, the Manufacturer Council and the board of directors. He consistently involved U.S. Tsubaki in association activities and encouraged other companies to do the same.

Barbara J. Ross, director of sales and marketing for Klozure Oil Seals & Bearing Isolators of Palmyra, N.Y., and PTDA’s Manufacturing Council chair in 2003, saluted Callahan’s dedication to the PT/MC industry and PTDA.

“Bob has always had a passion for the industry and has the best interests of the whole industry at heart,” Ross said. “He’s always been very dedicated and gone over and above the call of duty.”

Most recently, Callahan has helped drive the expansion of PTDA’s Educational and Scholastic Foundation, which works to build the pool of qualified workers for the PT/MC industry and supports continuing education programs. He has been a trustee of the Foundation since 1998 and served as its president from 2000 to 2003.

Callahan has played a key role in developing and rolling out the foundation’s education and workforce development program, the Industrial Career Pathways. Under this initiative, a model curriculum — created in partnership with 16 distribution associations and one regional development organization — is being introduced at community colleges in the United States and Canada to better prepare new workers for careers in industrial distribution.

“Bob is someone who commits to a cause and is as tenacious as bulldog,” said Ralph Rivera, president of Gates Hydraulics of Denver, Colo., and a Warren Pike Award winner in 2001. “His leadership, drive and commitment have re-energized and refocussed the foundation.”

Doug Savage, president of Bearing Service, Inc. of Livonia, Mich., and a past PTDA president added: “Bob has kicked up the activity, participation and fundraising levels of the foundation. Creating the community college program is a huge job, but Bob realizes we need to reinvest in our industry by training new young people.”

Founded in 1960, the Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) is the leading association for the industrial power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) distribution channel. For more information, visit