A Conversation With ... Jerry Wahlin, AAA Plating & Inspection Inc.
At the NASF SUR/FIN show in Las Vegas, Jerry Wahlin received the Silvio Taormina Award, an honor given to an individual who has performed outstanding service to the finishing industry. Wahlin has served as an officer of both the National Association for Surface Finishers and the Metal Finishing Association of Southern California, as well as the Nadcap Management Council. AAA Plating & Inspection has been in the aerospace plating industry for more than 50 years, and we recently caught up with Jerry at his shop in Compton, Calif.
You were presented with the Silvio Taormina Award for your service to the finishing industry. What went through your mind when you were told you were being honored?
JW: This award is the highest award the old NAMF and now NASF gives to job shop members. Many outstanding people received this award before me. They contributed much more than I have. I’m not sure why I received it.
You’ve also been on the Nadcap Management Council as a supplier voting member for several years. Tell us about your work on that council.
JW: Nadcap is a worldwide aerospace accreditation entity. With few exceptions, all of the aerospace prime manufacturers in the world—including Boeing and Airbus—are members of Nadcap. To do business with these manufacturers, special processors such as platers, heat treaters and others must be accredited by Nadcap, thus Nadcap has life-or-death power over these special processors. With this much power, there is room for mischief. In self defense, I became a member of the NADCAP Management Council, which undertakes and approves everything of significance within Nadcap operations. As a member of this council for six years, I was able to vote, influence and institute projects and programs that affected job shops; improve the efficiency of the Nadcap operations; as well as modify or stop things that were detrimental to special processors.
AAA Plating & Inspection has been in the aerospace plating industry for more than 50 years and has a facility of more than 50,000 sq ft. How did you get your start in the finishing industry?
JW: I came on board as a favor for an old friend and owner of AAA Plating.
What’s the best personal or professional advice you’ve been given?
JW: “Sugar attracts more flies than vinegar.”