LOS ANGELES — The National Industrial Fastener & Mill Supply Expo has recognized and awarded Bruce Wheeler, Chairman of Star Stainless Screw Company as the 2016 inductee to its time-honored Hall of Fame.
The show is also recognizing its first ever Young Fastener Professional award, given to Ryan Kertis of Stelfast Inc.
For 35 years, the National Industrial Fastener show has recognized and honored those individuals who have made significant contributions to the betterment of the fastener industry and for the first time ever the show will give a special shout out to the industry’s young professionals in a special, joint award recognition ceremony during the October 2016 event.
Hall of Fame Winner: Bruce Wheeler
The Fastener Industry Coalition committee reviewed several exceptional nominees and selected the top candidate, Bruce Wheeler, Chairman of Star Stainless Screw Company as the 2016 inductee. Backing this decision is the unwavering dedication demonstrated by Wheeler to provide the best possible service to the fastener community through a decades-long commitment that started many moons ago.
Wheeler, started his career back in 1973, working in the warehouse of Star Stainless Screw Company. He worked in nearly every department of the company, moving from the warehouse to the sales department, eventually becoming the branch manager. After nearly a decade in sales, Wheeler elevated to executive vice president and then president. In all his roles and responsibilities, he believes that solid relationships with customers, suppliers, and employees are critical in a successful business and to this day he still operates with an open door policy. “The nuts and bolts of business are easy, the real challenge is in managing a vast number of employees,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler is also an invaluable source as a true thought leader for young fastener professionals trying to navigate the industry. “It’s important to acknowledge that our industry is changing and we’re in need of young people who are eager to learn the ropes while we work towards moving our industry forward. And we do that by embracing fresh, new perspectives and ideas from the younger generation of fastener professionals,” said Susan Hurley, show director of NIFMSE. “We are excited more than ever to partner with the Young Fastener Professional community and we’re proud to start recognizing the next generations of young, driven leaders.”
Young Professional Fastener Winner: Ryan Kertis
The Fastener Industry Coalition committee has selected Ryan Kertis of Stelfast Inc. as this year’s Young Fastener Professional winner.
“There were many good candidates nominated for the Young Fastener Professional award, but Ryan Kertis definitely filtered to the top of the list. As the founder of the Young Fastener Professionals association, Ryan recognizes the need to develop the next generation of fastener professionals and is creating innovative ways to help this important group acquire and develop the skills they need to succeed in our industry. We feel this, in addition to his many admirable personal qualities, merits Ryan to be the first recipient of the Young Fastener Professional award”, said Vicki Lester, Fastener Industry Coalition Board of Directors.
While attending night classes at Monmouth University to complete his MBA, Kertis first post-collegiate job was with Porteous Fastener Company as an Inside Sales person in 2009. In 2012, he received a Master’s degree in business administration and was presented with an opportunity at Stelfast, Inc. as the pricing manager where he would be responsible for the development & adjustment of customer pricing on a national level.
In the short period of time since he has been a part of the fastener industry, Kertis saw the potential for young professionals like himself to thrive and succeed in this industry. In 2014, he founded the Young Fastener Professionals organization that aims to empower the next generation of fastener professionals through a multitude of platforms including educating, collaborating & networking.
A special recognition award ceremony to honor Bruce and Kertis will take place on the show floor in the Session Area at the National Industrial Fastener & Mill Supply Expo in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Oct. 26.