any organization it's always the few doing for the many.
HMA is no different in that regard and would like to thank
those listed below for their dedication and service throughout
the 2011 Nomination Form
Hall Of Fame - 2012
There was no recipient of the Hall of Fame Award in the year 2012.
2010 Hall of Fame Recipients
Edward C. and Douglas R. Suydam of the Ed Suydam Company
Ed Suydam and his brother, Douglas, owned and ran a company in Pasadena, California that manufactured camera equipment, roll film adapters, grill tops, and animal cages, among other items. However, in 1950 they desired to get into model-railroading and shifted the output of their factory to that area. The line of well thought-out mat board buildings, corrugated metal buildings., and railroad freight and passenger cars could be found in every hobby shop in an eye catching yellow box. The metal buildings needed to be soldered, which was different than anything else in the hobby. At one time it was hard to view a model train layout without seeing a Suydam model. Even today the models are still being sold, made and displayed.
Prior to the formation of the Model Railroad Industry Association (MRIA), several model railroad industry leaders would meet regularly in Tustin, California: Leo Campbell, Tom Ayres, George Hook, Ted Hollow and Ed and Douglas Suydam. Out of those meetings the Model Railroad Industry Association was formed. Ed held the position of secretary/treasurer in those early years of 1967 and 1968. Ed, with his quick wit and sense of humor, was the front man in the company, while Douglas worked behind the scenes at the factory. Both Ed and Douglas passed away several years ago.
The HMA MRID Council was extremely pleased and excited
to induct Jim Conway and Phil Walthers into the Model
Railroad Industry Hall of Fame this year.
Walthers – Wm. K. Walthers
With his nearly four-decade record of hard work, creativity,
service, and most of all, integrity, Phil Walthers has
earned a reputation as not only one of the most capable
executives in our industry, but one of the most trusted.
His tenure at Wm. K. Walthers, Inc. has been marked
by a substantial expansion in the firm’s line of products,
including a new track system, a new line of passenger
equipment and limited-run trains, and the 2005 acquisition
of Life-Like Products. Phil also led an expansion in
the number of lines Walthers distributes, and he has
helped many smaller firms grow by promoting and distributing
their products via the Walthers catalog.
He has represented our industry ably, including service
on the boards of the Model Railroad Industry Association
and Radio Control Hobby Trade Association. Under his
leadership Walthers has helped build awareness of our
hobby by being a primary sponsor of the World’s Greatest
Hobby program and also of the PBS railroad program “Tracks
Ahead.” And while it is less well known, thanks to his
modesty, Phil has compiled one of the most remarkable
records of community service in the industry. Throughout
his career, Phil has consistently led by example in
promoting the hobby, serving our industry, and introducing
new products that have inspired model railroaders. It
is for those reasons that he is nominated for election
to our Hall Of Fame.
In 1958-59 when Jim was 18 years old, he built a large
HO train layout in the basement of his family home.
He later found a part-time job at a local hobby shop
in Chicago and his love for trains grew. He built hundreds
of model freight car kits and sold them through local
hobby shops and mail order. In1960, Jim joined the NMRA
and attended his first NMRA National Convention in Chicago.
In 1962, Jim developed a line of kits called “Con-Cor
Models.” Among the first kits were USRA Boxcars and
Billboard Reefers, Hon3 freight cars, and the “Airslide”
Covered Hopper kit. Also in 1962, Jim organized a group
of fellow model railroaders from Chicago and opened
a new Model Train Hobby Shop on the West Side of Chicago.
During the 1960’s and 70’s, Jim grew his business under
the name of Con-Cor. Con-Cor became the “N” Scale Rivarossi
Agent in the USA starting in the mid-1970's. Jim also
had a wholesale business under the name of JMC International.
the press release
We tried very hard to gather this information but are
missing a few photos and a few descriptions. Please
let us know if you can help.
played a key role in the creation and sales of hundreds
of the model train hobby’s most successful models and
has been an employee or a trusted partner of many of
the industry’s major firms, including AHM, Athearn,
Atlas, Con-Cor, Life-Like, Liliput, Mehano, Rivarossi,
Robert H. (Bob) Staat of Horizon/McHenry
Couplers is the primary inventor of, and patent holder
for, magnetically actuated couplers. In addition to
his dedication to the railroad industry, Bob has been
an avid flyer and R/C enthusiast. He has been a leader
in the industry serving as President of the Model Railroad
Industry Association for two terms and was a key member
of the Industry Unification Task Force that formed the
Hobby Manufacturers Association. Bob was elected in
2005 to serve as the first President of the newly formed
HMA during the very difficult start-up period, and did
an outstanding job of pulling together the various industry
divisions to help make the HMA the association it is