Peter Borden, AMTDA President commented, “Jim Ellison’s influence on AMTDA and the entire machine tool industry has been widely known and regarded, and deserves to be recognized and applauded. Jim served on almost every committee and task force at AMTDA beginning in the 1970s and continuing through his entire career. Jim’s chairmanship in 1981-82 was highlighted by AMTDA’s entrance into the regional machine tool show business which allowed AMTDA to expand its products and services offerings, and provided the foundation for significant Association membership growth and influence.”
The Ellison legacy with AMTDA began with Jim’s father, J.O. (Jim) Ellison who was Chairman of AMTDA in 1958-1959, and began the Ellison Company in 1955. Jim became president of Ellison in 1968 and diversified the company into new ventures such as accessories through SMW products, as a machine tool builder at Tree Machine. Jim was the first distributor to incorporate service and applications engineers as part of being a total systems integrator. Jim was also very active in attracting new talent to the industry, spending time with Michigan State University to launch their Industrial Distribution Program, as well as starting the MBA mentoring program at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.
Today Ellison Technologies is the largest machine tool distributor, with 21 locations across the United States and Canada and has over 500 employees.
Tim Kilty states, “Jim has served as a terrific model for me to follow, but more importantly, he is a special friend. It is an honor for me to succeed him as Ellison CEO.”
“Jim has always been a strong advocate, not only for manufacturing in the U.S., but also for the importance of distribution as the best method of sales and support for the customer. Jim’s vision and leadership have been remarkable and noteworthy for the industry and for AMTDA. “Jim is a true gentleman,” added Borden.
The honorary membership award has been made to five individuals in AMTDA’s 87-year history and was most recently presented to Marcus Crotts of Crotts and Saunders Engineering in 2009.