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In the Beginning
by Randy DiPinto, CPIM
As the San Joaquin Valley Chapter of APICS celebrates 32 years of bringing P&IC standards of excellence and a unifying code of professional ethics to the Central Valley of California, it becomes imperative to remember our history and look back over the years to our very beginning. Although there were but a handful of men and women who began this journey, you and I and hundreds of other participants in our chapter’s development deserve equal credit in maintaining and advancing the ideals of our profession.

In the early months of 1975, a small band of local P&IC practitioners sought to bring professional enlightenment into our Valley by gaining entrance into the fastest growing technical society in the world. This daring body of discerning logicians got in touch with Harold Hutchings, then Vice President of Region 10, paving the way for a new local chapter into the rapidly growing APICS organization. That event was 32 years ago.

APICS, the standard for world-wide professional excellence, was just beginning to really hit their stride. Society growth and influence were increasing exponentially, not just on the national front, but international inroads were rapidly being pushed forward as well. In those early days of 1975, the total size of our own Region 10 was less than 750 members. By the 1st of January 1976, the region had expanded to 13 chapters and almost 1,050 members, a 30% jump in less than one year!

Before our own chapter’s conception, APICS professionals in and around the Central Valley accepted member‑at‑large or member affiliation status to a Region 10 chapter, usually located in the San Francisco Bay area. The opportunity created by this professional society vacuum was too great a chance to pass up. The need was there. The timing was right. The people were ready. The P&IC erudite disciples sprung into action.

When our charter request was first submitted in April 1975, there were only 6 names on the proposed chapter roster. However Society regulations required 15 registered members as the minimum necessary for acceptance into the APICS fraternity of P&IC professionals. Nonetheless by the time our 2nd charter application was sent to National for approval just 2 short months later, 17 professionals were listed on the official APICS Charter membership register and were ready to open their wallets and sign on the dotted line to take up fellowship in the newly proposed San Joaquin Valley Chapter of APICS.

These 17 P&IC pioneers were John Wright of American Forest Products; Douglas White of Baltimore Aircoil; Ray Evans, Robert Matheny and George Newman of Duncan Ceramics Products; John Cortes of Pittsburgh-Des Moines; Judy Cortes, Alan Davis, Irene Palomares and Tom Schimidt of Johns-Manville Co.; Hollen Kinney of Gray-Lift; John Cotcher of United Vintners; John Geddes of R.T. French Co.; Carl Steele of S.W.F Machinery; and James Spalding, Jerry Sunamoto and Tom Upmeier of Sperry New-Holland.

Although our chapter’s first dinner meeting was actually held on June 4th, the official charter was presented by Robert G. Ames, APICS Executive Vice President, the following month on Wednesday, July 9th, 1975 with 19 members and friends in attendance. That first dinner meeting was held at the old “Outpost” restaurant in Fresno at a cost of $6.50 for a Prime Rib dinner. During that same year the annual APICS Society chapter dues started out at only $30.00 a year! 

The chapter’s first Board of Directors meeting was held 3 weeks later on July 30th at the old “Pardini’s” restaurant on Clovis Avenue. John Wright of American Forest Products was appointed our first chapter President; while Jerry Sunamoto, Bob Matheny, Jim Spalding and Ray Evans took up the newly created positions of Professional Development, Programs, Membership, and Secretary/Treasurer respectively. These 5 individuals began the task of guiding our chapter’s journey and are responsible for setting the original course of excellence that we continue to pursue and uphold today as the San Joaquin Valley chapter of APICS.

There have been many changes to our profession and to the greater San Joaquin Valley over the past 32 years of our chapter’s existence. New companies have moved in and the Valley’s population has grown dramatically. Many of the people that made up the original rank and file of charter members have long since moved out of the area, and several have already retired from the profession they once proudly served. More than a few of the original companies represented by these individuals are not even around anymore, while newer more dynamic organizations have come in and taken their place. Our own San Joaquin Valley chapter experienced a dynamic change in focus during the mid-1990’s when we intensified our efforts to bring educational programs leading to professional certifications such as CPIM, CFPIM, CIRM and the recently introduced new CSCP certification. Today our chapter has over 90 members, with 12 of these currently serving on your Board of Directors. That number is almost as many professionals serving the local chapter constituency as made up the original total membership roster way back in 1975!

Change, as with death and taxes, is inevitable. But in our optimism we can expect that as change does occurs, growth results. And as we continue to grow and evolve, we should strive to contribute back to this technical society that has offered us so much for so many years. Thus insuring our Society and the members we serve, will have the professional foundation to move forward into the next era of our professional growth here in the heart of California.

The roster is the roll-call of leaders the San Joaquin Valley Chapter of APICS has enjoyed for the past quarter century. This slate of officers represents the Valley’s finest P&IC professionals in dedication, commitment, perseverance and hard work.

Although this list was meticulously researched, some information may be missing or incorrect due to the nature of chapter record keeping during our early years. If anyone has been inadvertently misrepresented or unrecognized, the APICS Board of Directors regrets the oversight.
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