Sandler has the longest-running tenure of any employee at the association ever and is second only to founding leader George Cooper as far as how many years he’s been president. He is only the sixth person to serve in that slot in the association’s 80-year history.
“Bill has been an outstanding leader of VMA for 21 years. Under his leadership, the organization flourished,” said David Hughes, VMA chairman and director, Global Accounts-Final Control, Emerson Automation Solutions. Among his many accomplishments, Sandler led the association through:
- Adding a membership category for suppliers, then expanding that category to also include distributors/channel partners
- Creation of an education arm that has created programs such as the annual Valve Basics Seminar & Exhibits
- Expansion of communications to members through electronic newsletters and a separate website for VALVE Magazine
- Introduction of two new economic surveys for association companies to follow
- Expansion of the association’s global reach by participation in international trade shows and other efforts
Sandler’s background is in economics and finance. He received his bachelors in statistics and a master’s in finance and was with two other associations before coming to VMA to head up its economics efforts in 1977. He was appointed president in 1998 following in the footsteps of his mentor and predecessor Malcom O’Hagan.
According to Sandler, one of the most rewarding parts of being the association’s leader for so long, however, is the connections he’s made with members.
“The friends I’ve made within the membership have meant much to me and will continue beyond my retirement,” Sandler said recently.
Hughes added that, “Our members have great respect for Bill’s ability and his integrity. Both he and [his wife] Ellen created many long-lasting relationships, and he will be sorely missed. However, he has earned his well-deserved retirement,” he added.