Last updateTue, 22 Jan 2019 8pm


VMA’s 75th Annual Meeting: Elections, Honors and Celebration

Commemorative-Program-coverVMA developed a special 75th Anniversary Commemorative Program for the event and for those interested in learning the history of the association and its members. All photos © Lila Photos.At its 75th Annual Meeting, held Oct. 3-5 at The Breakers in Palm Beach, FL, members of the Valve Manufacturers Association of America elected Ivan Velan, executive vice president of Velan to serve as 2013-14 chairman of the VMA Board of Directors, filling the slot held by 2012-13 chairman Mark Cordell of Cameron Valves & Measurement. Greg Rogowski of Mueller Co. is vice chairman, while Bob Kemple, ASCO Valve – Emerson Industrial Automation, is program chairman. Newly elected to the board for three-year terms are: Mark Nahorski, PBM; Bryan Burns, DeZURIK; Jeff Drees, Flowserve; and Patrick Dunn, Metso Automation USA.

Recognized for outstanding service on the VMA Board of Directors were outgoing directors: Sam Bennardo, AUMA Actuators; Don Curtin, Conval; Doug Dunn, Metso Automation USA; and Bruce Broxterman, Richards Industries.

Ivan2cMark-gavelIncoming chair Ivan Velan (left) of Velan accepts the gavel from outgoing chair Mark Cordell of Cameron.This year’s “Person of the Year”—VMA’s highest honor—is Ed Holtgraver, founder and CEO of QTRCO, Inc. He has been in the valve and actuator industry for many years, as well as an active member of VMA for more than 25 years. He has served on a number of industry councils and committees, including the VALVE Magazine editorial review board for a decade. Holtgraver has been a member of the VMA Board of Directors since 2008 and for the past four years he has been the actuator lead for VMA’s successful education and training program.

Service Award recipients included:

  • Kevin Kemerer, Precision Pump & Valve Service, in addition to being involved in the Valve Repair Council, has been an active member of the Manufacturing Committee for a number of years including serving as chair.
  • Bill Metz, Richards Industries, has also been a member of VMA’s Manufacturing Committee and is the immediate past chair of the committee. He was instrumental in finalizing the tour for 2014 to Mazak in Florence, KY.
  • Mike Rooney, Emerson Process Management – Valve Actuation, has served for a number of years as chairman of the Communications Committee and has led the communications effort for our 75th Anniversary.

The Wm. Powell Company was recognized for being the only company that has been a continuous member since the organization formed in 1938. Randy Cowart, chairman/CEO, accepted on behalf of the company.

Past Chairs-Cake-75thMany past chairman were invited to attend the 75th annual meeting and were recognized during the awards gala.Nearly 200 people attended this special annual meeting, presided over by Mark Cordell, 2012-13 chairman, and the atmosphere was indeed festive as those gathered at The Breakers celebrated the 75th anniversary of the association. In addition to members and guests, numerous past chairmen and top award winners also attended and were recognized at the Chairman’s Dinner & Awards Gala held on the last night of the three-day event.

An article, to be posted soon on VALVE Magazine.com, will highlight several of the speakers’ presentations, including comments by Alan Beaulieu, the well-known economist, who is president and principal of ITR Economics.

Next year’s annual meeting—which is open only to members of VMA and VRC (Valve Repair Council)—will take place at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain in Marana, AZ.

WmPowellAward-Brandy2c Randy2c BillWm. Powell is the only company that has been a member for 75 years. Here, CEO Randy Cowart (middle) is shown with his son and executive vice president Brandy Coward, along with VMA President Bill Sandler.As part of its 75th anniversary activities, VMA:

  • Launched a public relations campaign to let valve users around the globe know that its members’ products are the “best in the world”
  • Produced a video in which members discuss why they belong to VMA and why users would do well to work with VMA member companies
  • Held a press briefing at the annual meeting to announce the results of a recent member employment survey, which shows that valve, actuator and control manufacturers now employ 30,000 people in the U.S. and Canada
  • Published a special 75th Anniversary Commemorative Program, now available in The VMA Store.
  • A special section of the VMA.org website offers additional information about VMA’s 75th Anniversary, including a series of articles about industry icons, the history of the organization, timelines, a historical photo archive and more.

Judy Tibbs is associate publisher/editor in chief of VALVE magazine and VMA’s director of education. Reach her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

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