MRO Magazine

BSA presents two lifetime achievement awards

Vancouver, BC -- The Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) presented Lifetime Achievement Awards to two industry ve...

Vancouver, BC — The Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) presented Lifetime Achievement Awards to two industry veterans at its 2005 annual convention, held May 14-17 at the Fairmont Hotel, Vancouver, B.C.

The recipients are James J. Fitzpatrick of Bearings Specialty Company, and John Nations of Bearings & Drives.

In making the presentation, Jeff Ramras, Applied Industrial Technologies and chairman of the BSA board of directors, noted that the Lifetime Achievement Award recognizeS individuals who have made significant contributions to the industry and the association and demonstrated a leadership role within the industry.

Fitzpatrick is a graduate of Harvard University who served in World War II, including landing on Utah Beach in the Normandy Invasion. He earned both a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. From 1947 to 1964, Fitzpatrick was in the wool business, travelling around the world and importing wool into the U.S.


In 1964, he and partner Peter Boyle purchased a bearing company and, in 1966, the company became a charter member of BSA. Fitzpatrick grew the business from a single-store operation to seven successful locations serving all of New England.

Today, Bearing Specialty Company services end users and OEMs with quality lines, qualified salespeople and a sound balance sheet.

Nations attended Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia, and served in the Army Air Corps as an officer and flight instructor in World War II. In 1947 Nations purchased a small industrial distributor in Griffin, Georgia, and in 1950 moved the business and his family to Macon. He and his wife Nancy were married 64 years until her death in 2004 and together attended every BSA annual convention since the association’s founding.

The 2005 Lifetime Achievement Awards are only the second and third presentations BSA has made. The first Lifetime Achievement Award was presented in 2001 to Wendy MacDonald of BC Bearing Engineers of Vancouver, B.C.

Award recipients must have been BSA members for at least 25 years, attended BSA events, been actively involved in the affairs of the association and demonstrated a leadership role in the association.

BSA is an international service and educational organization of distributors representing more than 45 companies distributing factory-warranted ball-, roller-, and anti-friction bearings and 45 invited manufacturers of bearings and related products.

For more information on BSA, contact the BSA office in Glen Ellyn, Ill., at 630-858-3838; e-mail or visit

Further reports and photographs from the annual BSA convention will be featured in the June 2005 issue of Machinery & Equipment MRO magazine.