Douglas Savage of Bearing Service wins PTDA's Warren Pike Award


Douglas SavageThe Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA), a trade association representing the power transmission/motion control industry, has named Douglas Savage, president, Bearing Service Inc. (Livonia, Mich.), the 19th recipient of its Warren Pike Award for lifetime achievement in the power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) industry.

Savage received the award, named for PTDA's co-founder and first president, at the association's annual Industry Summit in Miami Beach, Fla. today. The award was established in 1984 to honor individuals who have demonstrated outstanding, continuous, long-term support of PTDA and the PT/MC industry.

Savage was the association's president in 1999 and a board member from 1995 through 2000. A champion of continual learning, he has served as a PTDA Foundation board trustee from 1999 to 2001 and again since 2007. Savage, his firm and his fellow managers have dedicated countless hours to the success of PTDA's Industrial Careers Pathway® initiative and its successful rollout in Detroit.

Savage's firm, Bearing Service, ranks as one of the most successful, progressive independent power transmission distributors in the country. Following the unexpected death of his father, Savage took control of the firm in late 1978, just before his 21st birthday. He grew the company through some tough times, all the while supporting PTDA, mentoring others and working to improve the industry.

In presenting the award, PTDA Executive Vice President Mary Sue Lyon remarked on Savage's "can-do" attitude. "Doug's numerous attributes of leadership and industry perspective personify the spirit of the Warren Pike Award," Lyon said. "He embodies a high-octane blend of professionalism, positive attitude, energy, curiosity and integrity. Doug brings those qualities with him every day, whether to work at his firm or to his volunteer work with PTDA and other organizations."

The presentation of the award came as a surprise to Savage. "I was very surprised and truly honored to receive this award. It is humbling to be recognized as a long-term contributor to the power transmission/motion control industry, and to be in the company of others who helped build the organization," said Savage. "I owe much of the success of my company to the many people that I've met through PTDA over the last 25 years. I am excited that I still have many years left to continue to learn from the experts in our industry." Savage added, "The Warren Pike Award validates a number of moves we've made as a company since joining PTDA. Participation at all levels of the association has been part of our core business strategy. As a small, now medium sized company, I knew that for Bearing Service to grow, we needed help from others in our industry, both suppliers and other distributors. Involving others of our management team has allowed us to develop these important relationships. The Warren Pike Award is recognition of our overall company's dedication to PTDA and something that I am proud to share with every employee of Bearing Service."

Other PTDA members, including Bearing Service's channel partners, can confirm Savage's commitment. Among them is Gus Kontonickas, president of NSK Precision America, Inc. "Doug is probably one of the Horatio Alger stories in the distribution business," Kontonickas said. "Not only has Doug contributed immensely to PTDA, he's built a vibrant company - in a tough market and facing tough competition - by selling value to customers.

"He helps his customers manage their bottom lines and, as a business partner, you always know where you stand with him," Kontonickas added. "He's dedicated to creating win-win-win situations for his company, his suppliers and his customers."

Bill Purser, PTDA's president in 1998, summed it up. "Doug epitomizes what the Warren Pike Award represents," Purser said. "He has unselfishly devoted his time and efforts to PTDA - not for what it would do for him or his company, but for how it would benefit the association and its members. I'm delighted he is receiving this award and truly believe the association could not have made a better choice."

Founded in 1960, the Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) is the leading association for the industrial power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) distribution channel. A U.S.-based trade association, PTDA represents 205 power transmission/motion control distribution firms that generate more than $10 billion in sales and span 3,500 locations in North America and 12 other countries. PTDA members also include 194 manufacturers that supply the PT/MC industry.

PTDA is dedicated to providing exceptional networking, targeted education, relevant information and leading-edge business tools to help distributors and manufacturers meet marketplace demands competitively and profitably. For more information, visit

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