MRO Magazine

BSA presents fourth lifetime achievement award

Glen Ellyn, IL -- The Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to James Martin ...

Glen Ellyn, IL — The Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to James Martin III, who retired in late December 2005 as director-distribution, marketing services & integration, The Timken Company. It is only the fourth such award the association of industry leaders has presented and the first time it has been presented to a manufacturer.

The award ceremony and the presentation of a plaque took place at the association’s 2006 annual convention in Sarasota, Fla., on April 23, 2006.

Martin’s career in the bearings industry is matched by a long-time relationship with BSA. In fact, he and his wife never missed a convention for 23 straight years. He contributed to each committee and project he served on, most recently as the originator and driving force behind the Information Technology & Logistics Committee’s development of the Debit Memo Guidelines. Together, Martin and his wife served on three convention planning committees.

“But most of all he has been an endless source of energy and commitment to this association,” said BSA 2005-2006 chairman Craig Gipson in making the presentation. “Jamie’s mantra has always been, ‘Do the right thing; do something today you can be proud of tomorrow,’ which laid the foundation for his dedication to customer service and the many relationships and friendships he has formed over the past quarter century.”


Martin’s career in the bearings industry began in the 1970s when he joined Fafnir Bearing Company as sales engineer in its Philadelphia, Penn., office. In the late 70’s Martin relocated to New Britain, Conn., as a distributor sales manager. He continued in that job until Fafnir was sold to Torrington in 1985 and then performed the same job at Torrington. Early in 2003 Torrington was sold to Timken and his role changed. He became director-distribution, marketing services & integration.

Throughout these changes, Martin has left an indelible mark on the industry, training dozens of bearing professionals along the way.

In making the presentation, Gipson noted that the plaque was a small token of appreciation for Martin’s service to BSA and read, in part, “Your enduring support and devoted energy have been an endless source of enrichment.”

In 2001, BSA awarded the first lifetime achievement to Wendy McDonald of BC Bearing Engineers, Burnaby, B.C. Last year two additional lifetime achievement awards were given to Jim Fitzpatrick, Sr., of Bearings Specialty Company, Canton, Mass., and John Nations of Bearings & Drives, Fargo, N.D.

BSA is an international service and educational organization of authorized distributors representing more than 50 companies distributing factory-warranted ball-, roller-, and anti-friction bearings and 47 invited manufacturers of bearings and related products. For more information, contact the BSA office at (630) 858-3838; email or visit