MRO Magazine

Association Newswatch: New blood on board at PTDA

The Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) elected its officers, board of directors and Allied Council for 2002 at the association's annual convention in Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 6, 2001.Patrick...

November 1, 2001 | By Bill Roebuck, Editor

The Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) elected its officers, board of directors and Allied Council for 2002 at the association’s annual convention in Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 6, 2001.

Patrick Frater, president of Northwest Power Products of Eagan, Minn., has been elected to succeed Kevin McCloskey as PTDA’s president in the coming year. Frater, the association’s first president in 2001, has been active in PTDA since 1994, serving on the board since 1998. He also has served as past chair of the marketing committee and as the association’s treasurer.

Carlos Ingram, vice-president of business systems for Kaman Industrial Technologies of Windsor, Conn., becomes PTDA’s first vice-president for 2002. Ingram has served as a board member for the last four years, as well as past chair of PTDA’s business information management committee.

Don Latham, vice-president of Canadian Bearings Ltd. of Mississauga, Ont., is PTDA’s second vice-president in 2002. A PTDA board member for the past three years, Latham has been active in the association since 1985, serving on the association’s convention and marketing committees.


Andy Nations, president of Bearings & Drives Inc. of Macon, Ga., has been named PTDA’s treasurer for 2002. He also currently serves on the association’s board of directors and as its liaison to PTDA’s Educational Resources committee.

Tim Murphy, manager, industrial belt marketing for The Gates Rubber Co. of Denver, Colo., assumes the duties of PTDA’s allied chair for 2002, replacing John Almarez of WAM USA. Murphy was allied vice-chair in 2001 and has been a member of PTDA’s Allied Council for three years.

Barbara J. Ross, national account manager for Garlock Sealing Technologies of Palmyra, N.Y., becomes allied vice-chair for 2001. Ross has served on the Allied Council since 2000 and previously served on the association’s industry relations committee.

The remaining delegates serving on PTDA’s board of directors in 2002 include: Tom Bohardt, president, Meier Transmission, Ltd.; Dennis Narduzzi, general manager, Power Industries, Inc.; John R. Neal, vice-president of marketing, Root Neal & Company; Stephen Philpott, president, Bearing Belt Chain Co. Inc.; Fernando Rojas, president, Rodamientos Rovi C.A. (Caracas, Venezuela); and Helen Yost, general manager, The Rowland Co.

Additional PTDA Allied Council members for 2002 include: Bill Demmel, corporate sales director, TB Wood’s Inc.; William Hoagland, vice-president, sales, Osborn International; James Humphrey, president, Diamond Chain. Co.; Jim Lamb, vice-president, marketing and sales, Drives. Inc.; Robert Larsen, national sales manager, Cleveland Motion Controls, Inc.; Jerry Peerbolte, vice-president, marketing, Baldor Electric Co.; and Charles F. Schwender, vice-president/national sales manager, Sumitomo Machinery Corp. of America.

Founded in 1960, PTDA is an Chicago-based trade association representing almost 240 power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) distributor firms with almost 3,000 locations throughout North America and almost 20 other countries, as well as almost 200 manufacturers that supply the PT/MC industry. PTDA is a member-driven organization dedicated to providing the information, education and business tools required to meet the needs of the industrial marketplace competitively and profitably.


Manufacturers and distributors need to work on a variety of problems, according to a new study. The PTDA’s Educational & Scholastic Foundation released results in October 2001 from its landmark research on the state of working relationships in the power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) industry.

Conducted by the Northfield, Ill.-based Industrial Performance Group and underwritten by the foundation, the research focused on both distributors’ and manufacturers’ satisfaction with their current relationships and identified sources of tension. The goal of the research was to establish a baseline for relationship satisfaction in the PT/MC industry and to outline issues that must be addressed if distributors and manufacturers are to successfully work together to address increasing customer demands.

When asked to assess the overall performance of their channel partners: 35 per cent of distributors rated their manufacturers as above average, 40 per cent rated them average, and-25 per cent said they were below average.

When asked to rate their distributors on overall performance: 37 per cent of manufacturers rated their partners as above average, 44 per cent said average, and 19 per cent rated distributors below average.

Based on an analysis of data compiled from PTDA-member survey responses by 68 distributors (a 29 per cent response rate) and 62 manufacturers (32 per cent), the research concluded that:

Sales performance and profitability of manufacturers and distributors in the PT/MC industry are hindered by an overall lack of commitment, co-operation, and communication in their working relationships with each other.

Distributors believe that manufacturers generally perform well when it comes to product quality and product innovation, but are lacking when it comes to the effectiveness of their field sales personnel, territory management, responsiveness to distributors’ concerns and their trustworthiness.

Almost two-thirds of the distributors who participated in the survey indicated that the policies and practices of manufacturers do not foster working relationships with high levels of commitment and co-operation.

Manufacturers gave distributors high scores for their understanding of the needs and expectations of customers in the marketplace and inventory management, but found them lacking in terms of product knowledge and technological sophistication.

Furthermore, manufacturers expressed concern about a lack of product focus on the part of distributors. Only two per cent of manufacturers responding to the survey believed that distributors are highly willing to commit their resources (time, money and people) to the sale and service of their products.

Results from the research were presented at the PTDA’s annual meeting in Atlanta in October 5, 2001, by Robert Nadeau, managing principal of the Industrial Performance Group, in a two-part workshop on “Improving Your Working Relationships.”

Complete survey results and conclusions from the ESF Working Relationship Survey are available for free download by visiting or by contacting the Foundation at 312-876-9461.

The PTDA Educational & Scholastic Foundation, whose work is funded solely by donations, was founded in 1982 to enhance knowledge, education, professionalism and productivity within the power transmission/motion control industry.


The PTDA named Ralph Rivera, president of The Gates Rubber Co.’s Hydraulics Division, the 13th recipient of the association’s Warren Pike Award for lifetime achievement in the power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) industry at its annual meeting in Atlanta Oct. 4-6, 2001.

The award, given to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding, continuous, long-term support of PTDA and the PT/MC industry, is named for PTDA’s first president and co-founder and was established in 1984. It is presented only when an individual merits the honour and not necessarily every year.

Rivera is the fifth individual from a PTDA allied manufacturer member firm to win the award. Among its many products, Gates manufactures a wide variety of PT/MC components, including V-belts and synchronous belts, as well as hydraulic hoses and couplings.

Rivera has been actively involved in PTDA for more than 15 years. He was the association’s allied chairman in 1994, served on its allied council from 1991 to 1995 and was a director in 1993 and 1994.

Rivera’s extensive committee work for PTDA has included stints on its convention planning committee, strategic planning task force, partnering summit and certification focus group. He served
on PTDA’s Educational & Scholastic Foundation in 1995 and 1996. This year, Rivera rejoined the foundation, and he continues to find time to contribute despite his world-wide responsibilities for Gates Hydraulics.

“No one is more deserving of PTDA’s Warren Pike Award than Ralph Rivera,” said Mary Sue Lyon, PTDA executive vice-president. “He is well respected throughout the industry for his knowledge, his abundant wisdom, his ever-present enthusiasm, and his willingness to share his abilities and time with others. Ralph is a true industry leader and one that is dedicated to making the PT/MC industry a better place.”

Among other achievements, Rivera was honoured for providing strong direction to PTDA’s leadership and helping to improve relationships, co-operation and understanding between PT/MC manufacturers and distributors.


PTDA’s Educational & Scholastic Foundation has introduced a new sales tool for the power transmission/motion control industry. The Industry Sales Guide series is designed to help distributor and manufacturer field sales staff identify new markets and increase sales to existing customers by providing an understanding of the processes and PT/MC products used in key end-use industries.

Developed by distributor and manufacturer volunteer experts on the PTDA Educational Resources Committee and underwritten by the foundation, the guides also may serve as an aid to increase add-on sales of related products or to train new sales people.

Each guide includes descriptions of major and subordinate processes for the industry covered, as well as PT/MC products used in each process. A flow chart helps users visualize the entire process, while an overview and additional resources provide general information on that industry. The series is designed to help sales people talk knowledgeably to customers about key processes, increasing their credibility and helping them close sales.

Industry Sales Guides are now available for the beverage, printing, pulp and paper, and unit/parcel handling industries. Additional guides scheduled to be released in 2002 will cover the bakery, mining, miscellaneous food, steel and wastewater treatment industries. Each guide is available in sets of 10 to PTDA members for US$29.95 per set, and to non-members for $49.95 per set. The Industry Sales Guides may be ordered by contacting PTDA at 312-876-9461, or by visiting


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