MRO Magazine

PTDA celebrates 50th anniversary in 2010

Chicago, IL -- Fifty years ago, on Feb. 10, the Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) was founded...


February 11, 2010
By MRO Magazine


Chicago, IL — Fifty years ago, on Feb. 10, the Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) was founded to “solve problems plaguing manufacturers and distributors through education and communication.”

This year, the association will celebrate its long heritage of advancing distribution and providing its members with exceptional networking, targeted education, relevant information and leading-edge business tools.

At PTDA’s founding, representatives from 41 distributors in 23 states in the US came together to form the “Mechanical Power Transmission Equipment Distributors Association,” as PTDA was then known. It was decided that the association would serve as a forum for power transmission distributors across the country to meet, exchange ideas, become acquainted and explore ways to assist each other. Shortly after, 13 manufacturers and trade publishers joined the association.

“For 50 years, PTDA has been the glue that helps distributors and manufacturers forge and build lasting relationships. That’s why I am excited to serve as the association’s president in its 50th anniversary year!” said Keith Nowak, president MPT Drives Inc., Madison Heights, MI, and president of the PTDA Board of Directors.


The association is commemorating its golden anniversary with articles and features in its two newsletters, a special anniversary issue of its Annual Report, web content and a birthday bash at the 2010 Industry Summit on October 21-23 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix, AZ.

Nowak’s emphasis on PTDA’s vital role in enhancing relationships is echoed by Randy Breaux, vice-president of marketing for Baldor Electric Co., Fort Smith, AR, and chair of PTDA’s Manufacturer Council.

“I have enjoyed my involvement with PTDA over the past decade. As with any organization, you typically get more out of it than you put into it, when you really get involved. PTDA is no exception. I am happy to say that many of the best relationships I have developed with our customers are directly related (in one way or another) to the involvement I have had with them through PTDA. Whether it be serving on a committee with them or just having the opportunity to get to know them ‘away from the office,’ PTDA has provided the venue to grow our business, but more importantly, grow our relationships.”

According to PTDA’s executive vice-president, Mary Sue Lyon, who is retiring at the end of the year, these statements are consistent with the founding principles of PTDA.

“PTDA founder Warren M. Pike wrote, ‘In unity, there is strength. If we distributors and manufacturers of mechanical power transmission equipment band together, we will increase the recognition, the prestige and the status of all distributors, manufacturers and their personnel.’ I think he would be very proud to see the evolution of our association and hear the comments of today’s leaders,” said Lyon.

“As we think about what the association means to us in this landmark year, we must do more than reflect on its long history,” added Nowak. “We also have a responsibility to continue building a foundation for the next 50 years.”

Founded in 1960, PTDA is the leading association US-based trade association for the industrial power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) distribution channel. PTDA represents 198 power transmission/motion control distribution firms that generate more than $10 billion in sales and span 3,500 locations in North America and 11 other countries. PTDA members also include 187 manufacturers that supply the PT/MC industry. For more information, visit