Motto of the Month


President's Corner

"Recognizing People Who Give Back to the Industry"

Each year around this time, trade associations and non-profits of all stripes gather to elect and install the leaders who will guide their organizations in the year to come, while taking time to recognize and celebrate the efforts and accomplishments of the people who have preceded them.

In January, the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Tooling & Machining Association (LA/NTMA) installed its Board of Directors and officers for 2011. As I reflected on the big event, I realized that we have quite a crew out here in LaLaLand that provides leadership and direction both at home and for "National." So, if you'll indulge the proud writer, allow me to list only some of the Los Angeles Chapter's current leaders (one always takes a huge risk of recognizing some while, for space limitations, leaves others out):

First, the 2011 president of the Chapter is John Martinez. John has 32 years of experience in our industry. I should know. He's spent all of those years at TCI Precision Metals and is currently our sales manager. We're delighted that he's chosen to give back to the manufacturing community with his leadership at NTMA. John has been active with the NTMA, having attended a number of national conferences and quite ably has served for the past few years on the board of directors of the Chapter. He also recently served a 3-year term on the Industry Marketing, Meetings & Business Development Team.

Photos of the installation of officers and directors are below. Aside from the installation, we were honored to have NTMA Chairman of the Board Grady Cope and First Lady Anne Stilson-Cope of Reata Engineering and Machine Works in Englewood, CO join us for the evening.

Our immediate Past President, Patricia Szczuka of Computed Tool, provided 2 excellent years of leadership for the Chapter. In addition, she has taken on the responsibility of Co-Team Leader of the Government Affairs Team at the national level. Oh - I might just mention that she and Jason are expecting their third child this summer!

Preceding Patricia as president of the Los Angeles Chapter was Paul Sapra of Upland Fab. He led our chapter for 2 years prior, and has now taken on the new responsibility of leading the national association's Membership Value Leadership Team.

This one is a little closer to home. My son, Ben Belzer, who is the Vice President of TCI Precision Metals, has been serving on the Chapter board as a director for the past couple of years. But he has also been actively attending national meetings and recently served as the Team Leader of the Website Team and received an NTMA Outstanding Achievement award in 2009 for his work redesigning NTMA's website.

Our Executive Director Brenda Baker is the administrative glue for the Chapter. But she has also been instrumental in transforming the work and visibility of chapter executives and leading at the national level as the Chapter Executives Team Leader from 2008-2010.

At the recent NTMA Fall Conference at Amelia Island, FL in October, LA/NTMA Training Centers of Southern California President Michael Kerwin received the highest honor in the field of training from his peers at NTMA. The William E. Hardman Award for Excellence in Training is awarded to a company or individual who has consistently demonstrated strong support and active participation in structured training for the industry. Michael has certainly done all of that. But he is also serving at the national level on the Education Team and on the National Robotics Team.

The Los Angeles Chapter, of course, has a National Trustee who represents the Chapter on the NTMA Board of trustees. Our trustee is Mike Kartsonis of Dynamic Fab who served the Chapter as president in 1996. Mike has served as our trustee since 2004. In the meanwhile, Mike also served nationally for 3 years as Team Leader of the Membership Growth & Retention Team. Not being satisfied that he's given enough back to the industry, he is now serving at the national level on the NTMA Nominating Team - arguably one of the most important teams in the association.

One of these days, the NTMA will "smart up" and replace me as Team Leader of the Budget & Finance Team. I'm currently serving year 8. If there are any past chairmen of NTMA reading this little blog, know that I'll be head hunting soon.

Finally (last but not least, as they say), the Los Angeles Chapter is being represented at the highest level of the national association. Bob Mosey, president of Moseys' Production Machinists, is currently serving as NTMA Treasurer on the Executive Team. He will become the chairman of the NTMA in 2013. While serving in this extremely busy and responsible position, he has also been serving the Chapter as a director and the LA/NTMA Training Centers as one of three trustees. He served the Chapter as president in 2004. Years ago, I asked Bob to serve the Chapter as a director. He replied that he didn't have any "political" (leadership) aspirations. Holy Cow!

I am extremely proud of all of our NTMA leaders from the Los Angeles Chapter, both locally and nationally. These are the people who recognize the value that they have received from NTMA and from their many mentors in the industry over the years. Never have so many accepted leadership roles nationally and simultaneously and it's an amazing achievement. My thanks to all of you who give so much of yourselves to the custom precision manufacturing industry.

-John Belzer

NTMA - John and Blanca
Los Angeles Chapter President John Martinez and First Lady Blanca

NTMA - Patricia and John
Immediate Past Patricia Szczuka and President John Martinez

NTMA - New Officers
New Chapter officers and directors (in attendance) L-R: Lee Norton, John Martinez, Mark Osterstock, Ben Belzer, Patricia Szczuka, Michael Dochterman, Milt Thomas, Joe Abbott, Darin Martinez, Mike Del Medico

NTMA - Grady and Anne
NTMA Chairman Grady Cope and First Lady Anne Stilson-Cope.

NTMA - Patricia, Lesley and Jason
Patricia Szczuka, Lesley Silverstone and Jason Szczuka. Don't tell us we don't know how to party!

NTMA - Grady and John
NTMA Chairman Grady Cope and Past Chairman John Belzer leftdiv

This Month's Featured Process - Duplex Milling

Duplex Milling is the most cost effective way to produce high quality square-corner blanks. Duplex Milling provides blanks with squareness and parallelism tolerance to .0002" and reduces pre-machining costs up to 50%. To achieve such a close tolerance, blanks ready for Duplex Milling are clamped in place with two sides exposed for milling. Then, opposing cutters run the length of the material removing equal amounts of material from each side. Pre-machining costs are reduced by milling two sides of the blank simultaneously. This combination of accuracy and speed provides a blank with superior tolerances, squareness, parallelism, and surface finish (up to 16 Ra) at significantly lower costs.

duplex milling

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