PHOENIX-Nearly half of the current membership of the American Measuring Tool Manufacturers Association (AMTMA) gathered for a three-day meeting March 14 to 16 in Phoenix. The annual meeting had several firsts-its first end user as a member, its first meeting under the leadership of the members themselves and its first in-depth look at the market in which their measurement tools are used.

For nearly its entire 35-year history, the manufacturers of measurement tools have been the primary members of the AMTMA. The group decided, nearly two years ago, to actively seek new members from the end user community and this meeting saw Bob Snyder of Emerson Climate Control (St. Louis) as the first member from this community. Snyder lent his insight on how his company approaches measurement and inspection tools and processes. Outgoing president George Scheutz of Mahr Federal (Providence, RI) led this change, and incoming president Norm LeDuc of Vermont Gage (Swanton, VT) is expected to continue it.

Besides the positive increase in attending members, the AMTMA received the results of its research on measurement tools and buying trends. Overall, the market continues to look positive and the analytical research was borne out by the individual members who, as is custom, reported increases in their individual company sales trends.

Those trends may continue, as speaker Brad Phillips offered plenty of sales tips in his presentation. Krista Watson of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also gave AMTMA members tips for avoiding workplace suits.

The meeting saw members in an upbeat mood, as they resumed management of the association. They recently took over management of the association from a professional association management company that had been running AMTMA for several years. This is a return to the AMTMA’s roots, as for most of its existence it had been run by the companies who make up the membership. With this return, the group plans more projects, such as a round-robin measurement program, increased active involvement with standards committees, increased publicity and communications, and more.

AMTMA welcomed its new officers as well. After two years, George Scheutz turned over the president’s gavel to Norm LeDuc. Other new officers included Jim Gregory of Hi-Tool Corp. (Cincinnati, OH) as vice president, and Nick Bosworth of PMC/Lonestar (Willoughby, OH) as secretary and treasurer. New board members include John Mead of Master Gage & Tool Co. (Danville, VA), Steven Popovic of Cleveland Specialty Inspection Services Inc. (Mentor, OH) and John Gehret of Vermont Thread Gage LLC.