BSA Convention Pushes Building Business Through Enduring Relationships

Bearings Specialist Association and Jamaica Bearings President Brian Negri previews the 49th annual BSA Convention, held May 2-5 in Amelia Island, FL. The theme of this year's convention is "Relationships Matter."

This article appeared in the March/April edition of Industrial Distribution Magazine. View the entire digital edition here.

Relationships matter. 

The nearly-100 members of the Bearing Specialists Association (BSA) know that building a bearing distribution business without enduring relationships is like building a chain without links: it doesn’t make sense.

BSA is the “must-belong-to organization for authorized bearing distributors.” An international service and educational organization of distributors, we represent companies distributing factory-warranted, anti-friction bearings and invited manufacturers of bearings and related products. As a forum for enhanced networking, knowledge-sharing, and sales promotion, our work is all about building relationships. This is why the theme of BSA’s 49th Annual Convention will be “Relationships Matter.”

From May 2-5, the top leadership of only authorized bearing distributors and bearing manufacturers will gather at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island in Amelia Island Florida. The annual convention is our time to foster essential industry relationships and shape the future of the bearing industry. Our convention also provides unparalleled opportunities to grow successful relationships with trusted supply chain partners. Our event is a model of what BSA’s work is all about.


Relationships are all about day to day interactions, but this is our chance to pull back and look at the bigger picture. Our “Relationships Matter” programming will examine two key areas we believe are core to relationship-building in today’s business environment: building relationships into long-term partnerships, and the importance relationships have on successful implementation of new technologies.

To that end, we have put together a suite of presentations reflecting what we believe are central principles of relationship-building:

  • Association Relationships: Projects, Membership and Committees: In this session we will review BSA’s on-going projects to strengthen the relationships of our members. These include: the HUB Task Force, the HR Forum, the PAR Task Force, Customer Training and an update on our newest members. 
  • 3D Printing: Separating the Myths from the Marketing. From 3D printed guns to 3D printed organs, 3D printing is dominating headlines while raising manufacturing awareness and demand. Is this hype justified? What are the hard questions reporters aren’t asking? Join Bryce Pfanenstiel, of FORGE 3D Printing, as he explains the current state of this technology and whether it might save you time and money. 
  • Enduring Relationships: Prominent BSA members and manufacturers will share how relationships made through BSA have contributed to their successes in the industry. 
  • Teamwork: Power of Partnership. The Passing Zone is a comedy duo who not only work together – their safety is in each other’s hands! Every moment of this presentation is a clear example of collaboration between two people who rely on each other’s strengths, who communicate, trust, and have fun while cooperating. 
  • Dynamics of Global Relationships: Three prominent industry leaders talk about how relationships play a role in your business’ present and future. They will also identify keys to beneficial relationships and common pitfalls. Presenters include Mr. Richard Kyle, President and CEO, The Timken Company; Mr. Masahide Matsubara, Director Executive Vice President, NSK Ltd.; Mr. Tom Johnstone, recently Retired President & CEO, SKF.
  • BSA’s Conference Table Session: A group discussion encouraging distributors and manufacturers to build problem-solving relationships, together.
  • The Future of Distribution Panel: A frank discussion about the current state of distribution, current trends and notions for the future. This panel will be moderated by Mr. Peter Negri, BSA Past President, CEO, Jamaica Bearings, Inc. Panelists include the following executives from distributor and manufacturer companies: Carl James, Chairmen, President and CEO, BDI; Steve Smidler, President, Kaman Industrial Technologies Corporation; Masahide Matsubara, Director, Executive Vice President, NSK Ltd.; Tom Johnstone, Retired President and CEO, SKF; Richard Kyle, President and CEO, The Timken Company.

The key take away for our convention attendees is to appreciate and utilize the value of industry relationships for their companies and the entire industry. 

This relationship focused programming is, however, just the beginning. We have also programmed important updates from BSA and the American Bearings Manufacturers Association (ABMA) on the state of the industry.

Additional programming details are available at the website,, and attendees are encouraged to register now.

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