MRO Magazine

Speakers coach BSA members at annual meeting

ttendees at the Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) 2003 annual convention April 26-30, 2003, in Pasadena, California, were coached on today's toughest business topics -- the economy, ethics and lea...

June 1, 2003 | By MRO Magazine

ttendees at the Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) 2003 annual convention April 26-30, 2003, in Pasadena, California, were coached on today’s toughest business topics — the economy, ethics and leadership.

“An ethical decision is a tough decision with the payout at the end and an unethical decision is an easy decision with the payout up front, ” said ethicist Frank Bucaro. His speech was intended to help attendees see that business can be ethical and successful.

Bucaro offers a unique perspective to client organizations that seek to integrate ethical standards of excellence with solid business practices. After 18 years as an instructor of moral theology, Bucaro made a transition to the business world. His book, Taking the High Road — How To Succeed Ethically When Others Bend The Rules, offers down-to-earth ideas for tackling difficult decisions.

Focusing on the contribution ethics and values make to long term success, Bucaro said, “Decision making is like throwing a rock in a pond, no matter how big or small the rock or the decision is, it always affects others. Think before you throw the rock or make the decision.”


Jim Tunney brought 28 years of experience as an educator and 31 years as a NFL referee to the BSA podium. Tunney knows more than a little about team building, leadership, peak performance, motivation, customer service and wellness. Recognized as a speaker who educates, motivates and entertains, Tunney works with Fortune 500 companies and international organizations ,teaching the skills needed for achieving goals and effective action. After making a formal presentation one morning, he returned in the evening as host/emcee of an informal “support your sport” event hosted by BSA participating manufacturers. (See Tunney’s article on team building on page 26 of this issue.)

Sten Malmstrom, president SKF USA, returned to the 2003 convention to present his perspective on the bearing industry and the American Bearing Manufacturers Association (ABMA).” His report included industry trends in the $24.1-billion industry: consolidation, alliances, globalization, production in developing countries, price competition throughout the world market, and the introduction of improved steel and new materials such as ceramics.

Malmstrom also reported that of the $5.3 billion in American bearing shipments, 40 per cent were ball bearings and another 30 per cent were tapered roller bearings. Of these, 34 per cent were for use in vehicles and 26 per cent were for industrial applications.

Because BSA committees and programs closely align with those of ABMA and because BSA holds a unique position among industry leaders in both the distribution and manufacturing venues, BSA’s 2003 Fall Meeting will be held in Charleston, S.C., to coincide with ABMA’s annual meeting.

Alphonso Feria, Ph. D., P.E., group supervisor, antenna mechanical and structural engineering group, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at CalTech, gave attendees a close look at some unique bearing installations. Economist Dr. Gene Stanaland offered his analysis of current economic conditions.

Conference tables at the convention zeroed in on the networking that made BSA an opportunity unlike any other for distributors and manufacturers to meet and learn from one another. This year BSA added an online sign-up via the convention website. This feature allowed attendees to pre-plan their conference table sessions. The electronic sign-up proved popular, as most schedules were filled before attendees even arrived in Pasadena.

Because they were able to prepare for the meetings in advance, attendees found these to be especially productive meetings. Chuck Hibbett of Emerson Power Transmission spoke for many when he said: “This was the best conference table session in which my company has taken part in the past 10 years.”

At its general session, the association elected the following slate of officers for 2003-2004: Peter Fitzpatrick, Bearings Specialty Company, chairman of the board; Jeff Ramras, Applied Industrial Technologies, president; Craig Gipson, Gipson Bearing & Supply Co. Inc., first vice-president; Douglas Savage, Bearing Service Inc., second vice-president; and Tom Miller, Motion Industries Inc., treasurer. Geoffrey Filker, Eastern Bearings Inc., Ron Aupperle, IBT Inc. and Chuck Kitchen, Interstate Bearing Technologies were elected to three-year terms on the board of directors.

The 2003 convention committee included Jeff and Jennifer Ramras (chair), Applied Industrial Technologies; Randy and Laura Bowen, SKF Service Division; Jim and Sally Fitzpatrick, Bearings Specialty Company; Peter and Ellen Fitzpatrick, Bearings Specialty Company; and Bruce and Marlene Hill, Minnesota Bearing Company.

BSA, based in Glen Ellyn, Ill., is an international service and educational organization of distributors, representing more than 70 companies distributing factory-warranted ball-, roller-, and anti-friction bearings. For more information on BSA, call 630-858-3838, e-mail or visit


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