Fasteners — those unassuming pieces of hardware that keep our buildings, machines, and structures intact — are the unsung champions of stability and reliability. And behind these tiny, but crucial components are visionary leaders and innovators who drive the fastener industry forward.
The International Fastener Expo (IFE), currently the largest fastener event in North America, presents a spotlight on the outstanding achievers and contributors in the fastener industry, individuals whose dedication and creativity have propelled the field to new heights.
These luminaries have been recognized with prestigious Hall of Fame and Young Fastener Professional awards, cementing their place in the industry.
Please join in honoring and congratulating the inductees at IFE 2023, which takes place October 9th to 11th at Mandalay Bay’s Convention Center in Las Vegas. The Award Ceremony is on Tuesday, October 10th from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Exhibit Hall Session Stage.
Hall of Fame 2023 Inductees
Bob Baer, Abbott Interfast
Bob Baer started his career in accounting in 1979, joining Abbott Interfast in 1992 as Controller, and became CPA certified in 1993. He managed accounting for more than 15 organizations owned by the Binder family and was promoted to VP in 1995. In this role, he oversaw manufacturing, purchasing, warehouse, and IT.
Baer was appointed President/CEO of Abbott Interfast in January 2017, a position he still holds today.
Throughout his 31-year career in the Fastener Industry, he has been an avid supporter of the industry, attending and participating in regional and national Fastener events domestically and internationally. He also volunteers and serves on several Fastener organizations, including the MWFA (past president, as well), the Fastener Industry Coalition (vice-chair), and the Fastener Training Institute.
Baer also organized an obstacle race with over 35 Fastener company professionals from across the country preceding FSTNR Week in Chicago for the past three years.
Eric Dudas & Brian Musker, FCH Sourcing Network / Fully Threaded Radio
Long time collaborators, Eric Dudas and Brian Musker came to the fastener industry during a speculative project of their web application development business, and co-founded FastenersClearingHouse.com, later re-branded the FCH Sourcing Network, in 2006.
They launched the industry renowned Fully Threaded Radio podcast in 2010 to promote their growing digital platform. Along the way, they created the FCH Scrubber, an AI-like software tool to manage fastener data, and soon after began providing data cleansing and formatting services to fastener distributors.
They also launched the widely circulated Fastener Distributor Index in 2011 to measure and publish current market conditions and sentiment. Beginning with their home association, the MWFA, the duo has consistently supported and participated in events and meetings across the industry.
Developing a unique blend of services for a fastener world emerging into the digital era, Brian and Eric have forged connections with an untold number of fastener professionals and facilitated many more for those who have benefited from their contributions.
George Hunt III, Brighton Best International
George Hunt III is a manager, board member and mentor in the industrial fastener space, known for his exceptional leadership and charismatic spirit. As a regional manager at Brighton-Best International, a global fastener distributor, he has helped cultivate TEAM concepts steering the company to unprecedented success.
With a keen eye for strategic planning and fostering partnership(s), Hunt has forged impactful relationships driving growth in diverse markets. His unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction, coupled with his emphasis on quality and efficiency, has solidified Brighton-Best International’s reputation as a trusted industry leader.
Hunt has inspired and motivated others while being employed with Brighton-Best International for more than 26 years.
Young Fastener Professional 2023 inductees
Mike Robinson, Lindfast Solutions Group
Michael Robinson is the key accounts manager for Lindfast Solutions Group and has been in the Fastener Industry for almost 15 years.
Robinson has always been heavily involved in our Fastener Associations, currently serving as the president of the NCFA (North Coast Fastener Association) while also serving on the Board of Directors of the NFDA (National Fastener Distributors Association) as the associate chair.
When he is not talking about nuts and bolts, Robinson loves spending time with his amazing wife Aimee and their three children Tyler, Piper, and Brayden.
Mallory Cravens Nichols, Advance Components
Mallory C. Nichols, VP Business Development, Advance Components, continues her family’s legacy established by her grandfather Doug Berry half a century ago.
As the president of Young Fastener Professionals and a board member for Women in the Fastener Industry and PacWest Fastener Association, she champions industry synergy and inclusion.
Nichols is currently pursuing her MBA at Southern Methodist University, with graduation anticipated in June 2024. Her roles in business, association leadership, and education reflect her dedication to advancing both her family’s business and the fastener industry.