MRO Magazine

Lots of Canadian content at 2001 BSA convention

This year's Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) convention in California saw Terry Tillsley wrap up his tenure as BSA president. Tillsley is president of Transmission Supplies (SA) of Lethbridge, Al...

June 1, 2001 | By Peter Helston, Publisher

This year’s Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) convention in California saw Terry Tillsley wrap up his tenure as BSA president. Tillsley is president of Transmission Supplies (SA) of Lethbridge, Alta. He passed the torch to incoming president, Scott MacPherson, president of U.S. Bearings & Drives, Portland, Ore. Scott is the son of Wendy MacDonald, chairman of BC Bearing Engineers of Burnaby, B.C.

To cap off all the Canadian content, MacDonald received the first BSA Lifetime Achievement Award for her immense contributions within the industrial distribution business and her outstanding accomplishments in Canadian industry.

Our camera caught several of the Canadians at various events during the conference.



The Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) has honoured Wendy MacDonald, chairman of BC Bearing Engineers Ltd., Vancouver, B.C., with its first Lifetime Achievement Award in a presentation at the association’s 35th annual convention. The award recognizes BSA members or manufacturers for their contribution to the association and the bearing industry.

In making the presentation at the meeting in Indian Wells, Calif., 2000-2001 BSA president Terry Tillsley of Transmission Supplies (SA) Ltd., Lethbridge, Alta., recalled MacDonald’s start in the business when she temporarily assumed the reins of her husband’s company while he saw active military duty in World War II. She took over the business permanently in 1950 after his untimely death.

“From her earliest experience during WWII when she set out to meet all her suppliers, Wendy has developed a corporate culture focussed on people — her customers, her suppliers and her employees. It has translated into a company-wide willingness to meet the needs of customers as well as an invaluable sense of loyalty, not only between the shop floor and the executive office, but also between B.C. Bearing Engineers and its customers,” Tillsley said at the conference, which took place April 29-May 2, 2001.

“Wendy’s unique business qualifications and experience have always been in great demand by her industry peers, and she has willingly accepted numerous positions serving many business and industry associations. In 1984 she was the first woman elected president of BSA.”

As chairman of B.C. Bearing Engineers, she has taken the company from its early years as a Vancouver upstart to a $140-million a year multinational company with branch offices and subsidiaries as far flung as Chile, Mexico, Singapore and the U.S.

She is joined in the business by son Robby MacPherson, president and CEO, also a BSA past president; daughter Penny Omns, vice-president marketing and human resources; son Scott MacPherson, president of US Bearings and Drives and incoming BSA president; and another son, Bill Dix, vice-president/international, BCB Group.


Attendees at the Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) 2001 annual convention April 29-May 2, 2001, in Indian Wells, Calif., elected a new slate of officers. They are: president Scott MacPherson, U.S. Bearings and Drives, Portland, Ore.; first vice-president Peter Fitzpatrick, Bearings Specialty Company, Canton, Mass.; second vice-president Jeff Ramras, Applied Industrial Technologies, Cleveland, Oh.; treasurer Craig Gipson, Gipson Bearing & Supply Co., Inc., West Homestead, Penn.; and chairman of the board Terry Tillsley, Transmission Supplies (SA) Ltd., Lethbridge, Alta.

The Association also elected two directors to serve three-year terms: Cameron Lawrence, BDI Canada, Mississauga, Ont.; and John Timble, Bearing Headquarters Company, Broadview, Ill.

BSA members continuing as directors are: Andy Glover, Farrell Bearings Ltd., Hamilton, N.Z.; Pierre Bouchard, General Bearing Service, Inc., Ottawa; Thomas L. Miller, Motion Industries, Inc., Birmingham, Ala.; William R. Kiley, Miller Bearings, Inc., Orlando, Fla.; and Charles Nicholson, Bearings & Drives, Inc., Macon, Geo.


The Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) celebrated its 35th anniversary at its 2001 annual convention April 29-May 2, 2001, at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort, Indian Wells, Calif. The conference theme was “Enhancing Relationships.”

Business programming for the annual event featured industry leaders from the distribution, manufacturing and customer segments of the channel along with industry allies such as W.R. Timken, chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM); Al Nixon, president, and Scott Lynch, director of member services, the American Bearing Manufacturers Association (ABMA); Jack Keough, publisher/editor of Industrial Distribution; and Dr. Albert D. Bates, president of the Profit Planning Group.

Convention programming focussed on a two-part panel discussion on the state of the bearing industry. John Dannemiller of Applied Industrial Technologies (retired) and Doug Savage of Bearing Service Inc. represented the distributor; Phil Knights of SKF Service Division and Larry McPherson of NSK Corp. represented the manufacturing sector; and Rosemary Mattick of Weyerhaeuser Company represented the bearing customer. Dennis Bobker of Bobker Bearings Inc. acted as moderator for panel sessions.

As well, W.R. “Tim” Timken, Jr., chairman and CEO of The Timken Company and chairman of NAM, offered his company’s view of the future.MRO


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