Last updateFri, 18 Jan 2019 3pm


VMA’s Annual Meeting: Elections, Awards and a New Initiative

Ivan and BillVMA President Bill Sandler (right) thanks outgoing VMA Chairman Ivan Velan of Velan Valve Corporation for his service during the past year. Board members were elected, special members were recognized and a new career program was approved at the Valve Manufacturers Association’s 76th Annual Meeting Sept. 18-20 at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain in Marana, AZ. Association members also heard from several experts in the economic and consulting fields.

A New Board

Gregory Rogowski, president, Mueller Co., took over as 2014-2015 chairman, succeeding Ivan Velan, executive vice president, Velan Valve Corporation. Bob Kemple, executive vice president of sales and marketing, ASCO Numatics, a division of Emerson Industrial Automation, became the association’s new vice president while Jim White, general manager, Curtiss-Wright – Target Rock Group, became program chairman.

Newly elected to the board were Arie Bregman, general manager, DFT Inc., and Jim Walther, president, Kitz Corporation of America. Re-elected to second terms were Jim Gray, global VP of sales, flow & process technologies, GE Oil & Gas, and David Hughes, director, global key accounts, Pentair Valves & Controls.

Continuing on the board are: Sam Bennardo, president, AUMA Actuators, Inc.; Bryan Burns, president & CEO, DeZURIK; Randy Cowart, president, CEO & chairman, The Wm. Powell Company; Jeff Drees, president, Flow Control Division, Flowserve Corporation; Patrick Dunn, vice president of sales, Metso Automation USA; Mark Nahorski, COO, PBM Inc.; and Louis Pinkham, group vice president, Fluid Handling, Crane Co.

Former VMA Chairman Mark Cordell, president, Distributed Valves, Cameron Valves & Measurement, and Ed Holtgraver, CEO, QTRCO Inc., rotated off the board and were presented plaques in recognition of their service to the association.

Award Winners

Arie BregmanArie Bregman of DFT Inc. received VMA’s highest honor at the association’s annual meeting. VMA’s most prestigious award, Person of the Year, went to Arie Bregman of DFT Inc. Bregman has worked tirelessly on behalf of the VMA Technical Committee, including serving as its chairman. He has also played a significant role in events planned by the VMA Education & Training Committee, including the initial development of the association’s Valve Education program and its 101 course. He has served as a check valve presenter on numerous occasions.

Four individuals received Service Awards this year:

  • Jim Storm has been an integral part of the Valve Repair Council and its board of directors. This past year he was instrumental in securing speakers for the VRC 25th Anniversary meeting and in referring prospective members and performing new member audits.
  • Jeff Kane, sales & marketing manager, DFT Inc., and Paul Souza, quality assurance training manager, AUMA Actuators, Inc., have been active participants, teachers and advisors for VMA’s Valve Basics program. Kane has been instrumental in the check valve segment while Souza has helped with the actuation side. Both have given countless hours to enrich efforts on behalf of new members to the industry as well as students.
  • Michael Halloran, CFA, senior research analyst, Robert W. Baird & Associates, was recognized for many years of insightful analysis of the economy from a Wall Street perspective, which he has presented at VMA’s Market Outlook meetings.

Careers Initiative

At its Sept. 18 meeting, the VMA Board of Directors approved a new Careers Initiative proposed by VMA's Communications Committee. The program is designed to inform young people about career opportunities in valve manufacturing and other fields within VMA member companies. To reach as many students as possible, a multi-pronged approach will be employed that ranges from secondary to technical schools to colleges and universities. VMA will act as the clearinghouse for people who want to learn more about working in the industry.

Among the program’s key components are a ValveCareers.com website, informational materials, videos, a public relations/outreach program and participation in a variety of career fairs. A number of young people employed by VMA member companies will serve as “young ambassadors” to tell students what it’s like to work in the world of valves. These ambassadors will describe their jobs, how they came to work in manufacturing and how they are benefitting from a career in the industry.

When presenting the Careers Initiative to the VMA Board of Directors, Greg Johnson, vice chairman of VMA’s Communications Committee, and president of United Valve, explained why the committee feels the program is so necessary: “U.S. and Canadian valve manufacturers are finding it increasingly difficult to find qualified people,” he said. “As the industry’s association, it’s important we spread the word that these companies are hiring now, and there are abundant opportunities for those seeking interesting and well-paying careers in all aspects of the valve, actuator and control manufacturing community.”

The program will kick off in January 2015. For more about VMA’s Careers Initiative, please email Judy Tibbs at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Marilyn Moats KennedyMarilyn Moats Kennedy spoke to the mostly “Boomer” audience about the differences between the generations and how to best relate to “Millennials,” those born from the late 1980s to the early 1990s.Several speakers at the annual meeting addressed a diverse range of informative topics:

  • Alan Beaulieu, president,ITR Economics, discussed the state of the U.S. and global economy and described how the world could achieve “Prosperity in the Age of Decline” (the title of a book he recently co-authored). While “life in the U.S. is good” right now, he warned that we can and should prepare for the fairly significant recession that will hit in 2019, he said.
  • Marilyn Moats Kennedy, a career consultant and coach, presented a detailed examination of the characteristics and work styles of various generations and how to work with each group, from “Boomers” and “Cuspers” to “Busters” and “Millenials.” She then moderated a panel of four young professionals currently working for VMA member companies.
  • Greg Link, senior vice president of the Covey Leadership Center and author of “The Speed of Trust,” explained why trust is the “one thing that changes everything.” He discussed why trust is so important, how to teach it and why it should permeate every aspect of an organization.
  • David Wasserman, U.S. House Editor for The Cook Political Report, offered attendees “a political roadmap to the 2014 elections.” He pointed out how our country is more polarized than ever and what that means for both this November and the 2016 elections.

These presentations will be highlighted in upcoming articles on VALVEmagazine.com and in future issues of VALVE Magazine.

Judy Tibbs is VMA director of education and editor-in-chief of VALVE Magazine. Reach her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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