MRO Magazine

PTDA announces lifetime achievement award

Las Vegas, NV -- The Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) has named Girard G. (Jerry) Etheridge, Jr.,...


October 20, 2005
By MRO Magazine

Las Vegas, NV — The Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) has named Girard G. (Jerry) Etheridge, Jr., chairman emeritus of Orlando, Fla.-based Miller Bearings Inc., the 16th recipient of its Warren Pike Award for lifetime achievement in the power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) industry.

Etheridge received the award, named for PTDA’s co-founder and first president, at the association’s annual Industry Summit in Las Vegas, Nev. yesterday. The award was established in 1984 to honour individuals who have demonstrated outstanding, continuous, long-term support of PTDA and the PT/MC industry.

The Warren Pike Award is not automatically given every year and is presented only if a qualified individual is identified. 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.

Etheridge has spent his long PT/MC industry career entirely with Miller Bearings, a PTDA charter member, which currently operates 17 locations across Florida. Along with his brother, Frank “Bud” Etheridge, Jerry Etheridge joined the firm in the 1950s after it was purchased by their father, Girard Gartrell “Joe” Etheridge.


Jerry Etheridge played a key role in growing Miller Bearings into one of the premier, most-respected PT/MC distribution firms in Florida and the Southeast. He still maintains an office at the company’s Lakeland, Fla., location.

From 1970 to 1985, Etheridge was one of PTDA’s most active, energetic leaders. He was PTDA’s president in 1979 and served on its board of directors from 1974 to 1980. He also served on 10 PTDA committees — including ones addressing industry relations, membership, convention planning, long-range planning, bylaws and government affairs — as well as its advisory board.

Etheridge is credited with helping mould PTDA into the leading, distinct professional association and voice for the industrial PT/MC distribution channel. In receiving the Warren Pike Award, he was saluted for shaping PTDA into a home base for PT/MC firms that are committed to strengthening the industry and its professional standards.

“PTDA was formed by breaking away from general industrial groups,” said George Flolo, general manager of The Flolo Corporation (Bensenville, Ill.), and a past PTDA president and Warren Pike Award winner. “Jerry felt very strongly about the type of members PTDA should have — ones that understood our industry. That was critical. He always had a great love of PTDA and our industry.”

John Gibney, a former PTDA president, former president of Warren M. Pike Associates (Hopkinton, Mass.) and an honourary PTDA life member, credited Etheridge with being “a tireless worker.” Gibney added that Etheridge “always recognized that we worked in a specialized industry and he did a great job of bringing in and helping new members that were qualified and in line with the goals of PTDA.”

Besides expanding the association, Etheridge played a key role in the development of the first PT Handbook — now the PT/MC industry’s professional reference standard — influencing legislation in favor of the PT/MC industry and building stronger partnerships between distributors and manufacturers.

Etheridge also has encouraged other Miller Bearings managers to play an active role in PTDA and industry leadership. The firm’s current president, Craig O. Faber, is a director on the association’s board.

“Jerry has great leadership qualities when it comes to servicing customers and taking good care of his employees,” Faber said. “He still has a burning passion for our business and PTDA, and he has been in the forefront of our accomplishments as a company and industry.”

Founded in 1960, the Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) is the leading association for the industrial power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) distribution channel. A U.S.-based trade association, PTDA represents over 222 power transmission/motion control distributor firms with almost 3,500 locations throughout North America and 11 other countries, as well as 195 manufacturers that supply the PT/MC industry. For more information, visit