MRO Magazine

Challenges of future discussed at bearing industry meet

The Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) wrapped up its recent annual meeting following a series of business meetings and networking sessions that saw both manufacturers and distributors in an unusually upbeat mood.


June 1, 2004
By Bill Roebuck, Editor

The Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) wrapped up its recent annual meeting following a series of business meetings and networking sessions that saw both manufacturers and distributors in an unusually upbeat mood.

The association elected Craig Gipson of Gipson Bearing & Supply Co. Inc., as 2004-2005 president at the annual convention in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., April 24-28, 2004.

BSA is an international service and educational organization of distributors, representing more than 70 companies distributing factory-warranted ball-, roller-, and anti-friction bearings.

The convention welcomed a record number of attendees in 2004. With a theme of “Experience the Influence,” it offered the opportunity to meet informally and take advantage of a programming lineup that featured six presentations.

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BSA convention speakers included Tom Winnger on “Full Price: Creating Distinctive Value on the New Economy” and Jim Pancero on “Seven Questions to Evaluate the Competitive Marketing Health of Your Business.”

The convention’s business program began with an update from Sten Malmstrom, president SKF and vice-president of the American Bearing Manufacturers Association (ABMA), on the state of the bearings industry.

Hank Cox of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) reported on the status of the Coalition for the Future of Manufacturing. The coalition, which BSA joined earlier this year, is a grassroots effort that includes nearly 800 members and is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of a strong manufacturing base to U.S. prosperity and the challenges facing U.S. manufacturers, and to seeking pro-growth public policy changes that will ensure a vibrant U.S. manufacturing base in the future.

Another speaker, John Cassis, rolled his experience as a professional baseball player, minister, and director of special projects at World Relief into a talk called “Catching a Second Wind — Building a Winning Team.” Nascar driver Jeff Burton also took the podium to share his winning philosophy. SKF and Chicago Rawhide have been associate sponsors of Jeff Burton’s No. 99 Ford Taurus for the past six seasons.

One of the highlights of the BSA convention was a conference table session. The prescheduled, one-on-one meetings between distributors and manufacturers were popular, with most delegates attending meetings at the session.

The convention also featured a host of informal networking opportunities at social and sporting events, including golf and tennis tournaments and a closing dinner dance.

In a departure from traditional certification presentations made at member companies, BSA presented Bob Lewis, vice-president and general manager of branch operations at US Bearings & Drives, Vancouver, Wash., with his certificate as the 200th person to receive the Certified Bearings Specialist (CBS) designation, at a ceremony during the convention. “They told me I had the highest mark seen in the program,” Lewis whispered to Machinery & Equipment MRO after the meeting.

The 2004-05 BSA convention will be held May 14-18, 2005, in Vancouver, B.C.