Robbie Gilchrist Awarded NFDA’s Inaugural Fastener Professional of the Year Award
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
The National Fastener Distributors Association’s first recipient of its new Fastener Professional of the Year award is Robbie Gilchrist of Capital Marketing (High Point, North Carolina).
The Fastener Professional of the Year award was created by NFDA to honor individuals and companies that make a substantial positive impact on people’s lives.
This award recognizes:
- An individual from a fastener distributor or supplier company who makes exceptional contributions to their company and to the industry
- Also partners or consultants who demonstrate exemplary support of the fastener industry
In presenting the award to Gilchrist at the recent NFDA/Pac-West joint conference in Long Beach, California, NFDA vice president Kevin Miller (Bamal Corporation, Charlotte, North Carolina) noted, “While there are a lot people who certainly fit the criteria for this recognition, one name shot quickly to the top of the list who embodies the true spirit of this award.
“This person should be no stranger to anyone. “He has been a tireless champion of the industry and the associations that he has been a part of.
“His endless support for those who have worked for and alongside him have set a high standard for future leaders of the industry and its regional and national associations
“After successfully building his own business and dedicating himself to the numerous associations he has been a part of, he and his lovely bride Gina, decided to start a scholarship foundation to give back to the industry that provided them with so much, a true example of selflessness that I hope future leaders of the industry will follow.
“With a great sense of humor, a quick smile and handshake, he makes everyone he meets feel like they’ve been friends forever.
“He is a man that I am proud to call a friend.”
Gilchrist made the following remarks upon receiving the Fastener Professional of the Year Award:
“Thank you, Kevin. What a surprise it was to get the call from Marc Strandquist several weeks back with the news of this award.
“So, thank you very much NFDA. Thank you, Pac-West for being present and for having the NFDA join your conference.
“It is always wonderful to get recognized, and to get recognized by your peers makes it that much better. And to receive the inaugural award: well, very special. Thank you, thank you.
“Thank you to this NFDA Board and the couple Boards before, for bringing the organization back to a strong and active association and joining with Vickie Lester and her team to manage the affairs. I for one appreciate this transition, and it appears we are solid for years to come.
“Associations to me are the real backbone of an industry. I have been fortunate to have been part of the NFDA for 27 years. And I was an original member company of the Southeastern Fastener Association (SEFA). I’ve got some real stories to tell you, and I met a bunch of folks that really assisted me through the years.
“Relationships are made at trade association meetings, not at trade shows. And, believe me, relationships are still the most important part of business. It is obvious you folks, here, understand and get it. So please continue to send your fellow workers and encourage your other industry contacts to join an association.
“The fastener industry has been a huge part of my life. Not only has it provided a way to make a living, but also to make some great friends. 46 years and still counting; not bad for taking a part-time summer job. I never left the industry. And, many of you may not know, but I met my wife in the business, Gina worked for Brighton Best in Atlanta, and I was introduced to her at a SEFA meeting 30 years ago. We have both been very lucky by finding this industry. Nut and bolts have been very good to me.
“Gina and I both feel really blessed for the formation of the Gilchrist Foundation. This accomplishment was certainly the way for us to give back to the industry that has been so good to us. We get excited each year when the new applications come in the mail. We hear news from several of the awardees each year about their progress, and from parents or fellow workers. We do appreciate hearing from them all. There are doctors, engineers, accounting folks and, really, they are involved in most segments of life. Last count we had assisted about 50 with their education. The foundation is solid, with opportunities for years to come.
“We appreciate (yes, we, because Gina is also a part of this) again for receiving this inaugural award. We look forward to representing the NFDA with this honor.”
The NFDA Fastener Professional of the Year award for 2018 will be open for nominations later this year.