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James A. Gray - his show goes on.

James A Gray--his show goes on

After a brief illness, James A Gray died at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, DC, May 30. He was 64. Under the direction of Jim Gray, the International Manufacturing Technology Show has become the largest industrial show in the western hemisphere. Before his retirement in 1989, Mr Gray led an expansion of NMTBA's membership beyond basic machine tools to include robotics, plastics machinery, cutting tools, industrial controls, and other capital goods. He turned the association into a world-class organization, and this year's show and technical conference are a part of his legacy.

Mr Gray served as president of NMTBA-The Association For Manufacturing Technology for 23 years. His service to the metal-working industry at NMTBA and at the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) spanned four decades.

When Mr Gray came to NMTBA, the association occupied a small office in Washington with fewer than a dozen employees. Today NMTBA is housed in its own building in McLean, VA, and has a staff of 80. In building the association, Mr Gray greatly expanded services to its members and enhanced its influence nationally and internationally. Under his leadership, NMTBA became the first major trade association to establish a formal international marketing activity. In 1971 he set up NMTBA's International Trade Department, which coordinates overseas trade exhibitions and trade missions on behalf of American machine-tool builders.

In 1975 Mr Gray led the first US industrial trade mission to China since World War II, and in 1977 NMTBA sponsored the first of several machine-tool exhibitions in the PRC. Mr Gray also led many trade missions to the Soviet Union and to Eastern Europe. He served as chairman of the Small Business Committee of the US/USSR Trade and Economic Council.

In 1987, NMTBA became the first trade association to receive an umbrella Export Trading Certificate (ETC) from the US Department of Commerce covering all of the association's members. Other trade associations have built upon Mr Gray's pioneering activity and have established their own international marketing functions. In 1987 Mr Gray and NMTBA received the American Society of Association Executives' first International Section Award in recognition of excellence in international activities.

Mr Gray was also a pioneer in accident prevention and safety involving the use of industrial machinery. In 1968 he established a formal safety and liability department at NMTBA, and the association has been a leader in industrial-safety and product-liability reform issues since that time. In an earlier position at NTMA, and at NMTBA, he developed a training program for unskilled workers and minorities that has been used as a model by other trade associations.
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Title Annotation:National Machine Tool Builder's Association president
Publication:Tooling & Production
Article Type:Biography
Date:Aug 1, 1990
Previous Article:People behind the technology.
Next Article:ANSI Global Standardization Report, vol. 3.

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