Fastener News Desk was an attendee at the North Coast Fastener Association’s Hall of Fame dinner last Thursday evening. It was well attended event and for those there it was a reminder of how we all started in this industry.
That this event was even possible is a story in itself. Marty Nolan, aka Traveling Salesman, being the adventurous guy that he is wondered what happened to the industry’s physical Hall of Fame bricks that had been installed in front of the original home of the Fastener Show in Columbus, OH. He took a road trip to Columbus and found the bricks just as they were about to be removed and tossed out. He called and asked if he could return them to their rightful owners and the building owner agreed. So Marty called on a few friends, Jackie Ventura of Ventura Industrial Sales and Eric Dudas of Fully Threaded Radio and Fasteners Clearing House to assist him in hauling the bricks back to Cleveland where he would figure out what to do next. The bricks have previously been displayed at the 2016 NCFA Fastener Social.
In a moving ceremony Marty Nolan and the leadership of the NCFA returned the bricks to the families of the people who’s name is engraved on the bricks. We were treated to wonderful stories of how these folks came into the industry and grew their companies with the guiding principles that have allowed them to remain in business today.
Hall of Fame bricks were returned to Kerr Lakeside, Charlie Kerr accepted on behalf of his father, Dick Kerr. Charlie told the attendees about his father in his acceptance speech “He was demanding and we’re celebrating our 70th anniversary and quite frankly I don’t think the company would have lasted that long if he was not as uncompromising as he was, he always got the very best from his employees”.
Earnest Machine started in 1948 as Zehnder Engineering & Machine. In Marty’s introduction of Earnest Machine he asked the attendees if they knew where the history of the name Earnest Machine. He explained that Kirk’s grandfather, Paul did not want to use his Zehnder name, his middle name was Earnest and the name therein was born. He liked it because it was an ancient Greek word meaning “something of value given by a buyer to a seller to bind a bargin”. Marty reminded us about how Earnest hauled in their big automobile to the fastener show. Who remembers or has pictures of the old Earnest automobiles that were brought up to the Columbus Fastener Show? Earnest Machine accepted three bricks in the name of Paul Zehnder, grandfather of current President, Kirk Zehnder. John Zehnder, Kirk’ s Dad and James Zehnder, Kirk’s uncle and the father of Dan Zehnder, who owns and is president of Trinity Supply Chain Solutions. Dan is also a grandson of Paul.
Bryn Tuttle Stock accepted the brick of her grandfather, David Tuttle. Spencer Products. Bryn gave a brief history of the Spencer Products name that actually came a television character named Spencer in the 1950’s that became synonymous with good service.
Janet Ziegler Hanacek accepted for her father, Bill Ziegler of Ziegler Bolt. She said that she was at the induction ceremony in Columbus in 1984 with her family and she was sure her father was with us in Spirit. She also thanked Marty for his energy and enthusiasm for returning these dedication bricks and for that he will always be remembered. The attendees gave a warm round of applause.
After the bricks had been handed out, the next part of the ceremonial evening began. The original founder’s of the North Coast Fastener Association, Don ‘Doc’ O’Connor and Nick Viggiano were introduced to share their stories of how the association was conceived. Before bringing Doc up Marty reminisced with the attendees that his Dad had lunch with Don every St. Paddy’s day. Don came up and thanked the association for the wonderful recognition. He proudly congratulated the organization for their 36 year history. It was great to hear the story of how the organization began. He gave a shout out to Kerr Lakeside, Lake Erie Screw, Brighton Best and to Link Magazine for their help in bringing members in to this new found organization. Nick Viggiano told more about the founders including Marty’s father Gil Nolan. To Marty’s surprise the awards continued as the association recognized his father with a plaque to celebrate all that his father had contributed to the association and the industry. Marty’s father was inducted into the NCFA ‘Hall of Fame’ in prior years but the recognition was a very proud moment for Marty.
It was a true “Throwback Thursday” listening to the speakers tell their stories. Great to hear where this industry came from especially for the many younger members in attendance. After all a career in the Fastener Industry is “Not just a job it’s an adventure”!
Thank you to the North Coast Fastener Association for a great evening!
More pics coming soon check back…thanks! 🙂
Check out the NEW Fully Threaded Radio with their guest Charlie Kerr, Kerr Lakeside. Get his take on the new Steel Tariffs being imposed.