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 Subject : History of WAFD, by Bob Lehman.. 10/27/2011 12:52:58 PM 
Pac-West

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1995

In the Spring of 1982, I was talking with Terry Jewell, who at the time, was Sales Manager of West-Spec Corporation. We thought it would be nice if we had a Western Fastener Association. The next day, I spoke with Ken Winters, who at that time, was the General Manager of Fastener City. A week later, the three of us had dinner and decided we would try to start a Western Association of Fasteners. We kept in touch, and then had a final dinner to see whom we would invite to a meeting in Los Angeles. We called a few other suppliers to see who would be good distributors to invite. We drew up a letter and set a date to have this meeting at the Stevens Steak House in the City of Commerce. Terry typed up the letter and sent it out to about fifty companies, both suppliers and distributors. We invited them to come to an all day 11 am to 9 pm meeting with all expenses paid for the day, but they had to pay their own transportation and hotel expenses.

I went to the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Fastener Association and told them what we were doing. I also wanted to borrow $2,000 to pay for the rent of the room and the two meals. They gave me the money, when I gave them a promissory note signed by me. Dick Proteau was the President of the LAFA at that time, and was then working for Fastron Co. He now has his own distributorship, Ultra Fasteners. With the loan, we paid Stevens Steak House for the day. I forgot how many companies and people showed up that day, but we had a very good cross section of suppliers and distributors.

I asked Forrest Cornell of Bell Fasteners to take the minutes of the days' activities. "Vickie" has the original minutes. I chaired the meeting with the help of Ken Winters. We had many long discussions to decide a name for the association, who would be eligible for membership, geographical territory, etc. etc.

Late in the afternoon we elected the first Board of Directors. Three directors would serve for 1 year, 3 for two years, and 3 for three years. All the companies in attendance had one vote. Elected for 1 year were Martin Calfee, Harold Bensen, and Mel Kirsner. Elected for a two-year term were Dave Kendall, Ray Bristow, and Dick Thull. And elected for a three-year term were Larry Stanley, Chuck Jenefsky and Bob Lehman. The last group actually served 3-1/2 years. The Board then elected Larry Stanley as President, Dave Kendall as vice-president and Bob Lehman as Secretary. We were all assigned many duties.

Looking back now, I can not believe how we did everything so fast and well. When we collected our first dues, we paid back the LAFA, and I was off the hook for the note. We decided to have our first meeting in the fall at the Hyatt on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. Dave Kendall scouted out the hotel and made the initial arrangements. Larry Stanley and Bob Lehman met in Reno in the summer to get a speaker from the University of Nevada in Reno. We also met with the manager of the hotel. The whole Board then met at the Hyatt and all the arrangements were finalized for our first meeting of the WAFD.

Pacific Warehouse Sales did all the secretary work for the first four meetings of the WAFD. Joyce Lehman and Sharon Reed did most of all the work. They did all the mailings and did all the work the Board requested. Sharon was working for us at that time before she married Larry Davis. Chuck Jenefsky opened a bank account with First Interstate Bank, and took care of all the financial matters for the association.

Vickie should have all the other data for the first meetings. I have turned over all the old papers to her. She also has an audiotape of the minutes of the early Board Meetings. I have some early pictures.

P. S. Terry Jewell is now out of the fastener industry. Ken Winters is General Manager of Western States Fastening Systems. They both were a big help in getting everything started. We were also very lucky to have a first President like Larry Stanley who was so organized at every meeting. He kept us all on our toes. Larry was a great delegate and made sure we all got our jobs done. That is how the WAFD got its start. Also, Harold Benson did a great job drawing up the bylaws. He drew from the LAFA and NFDA. The first board helped to modify the first set of bylaws. I only disagree with one law. How can we keep out such fine companies as Lake Erie, Safety Socket, Earnest, Nucor and others from our membership?

Bob Lehman
Pacific Warehouse Sales
Santa Fe Springs, CA
Last Edited On: 10/27/2011 01:41:37 PM By P
 
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