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Derry: Write Down Goals to Increase Odds of Success

Derry: Write Down Goals to Increase Odds of Success
October 30
04:30 2017

“Write down your goals and plans,” Bill Derry said in his acceptance speech as into the International Fastener Expo Hall of Fame. “Quantify your goals with a time frame,” he added.

Less than 5% of people have written goals, but “over 80% of people who write it down accomplish it,” Derry said.

In introducing his brother and business partner, Jim Derry emphasized “passion” as a leading personal characteristic of the 36th IFE HoF inductee.

Derry got into the fastener industry 45 years ago because the Rockford, IL job fair’s line for a bank teller position was too long, but he could talk to the people at the Camcar table. He took a job at the Rockford Camcar plant and subsequently held “all levels” of positions from running a header making screws to vice president of sales. He got to know fasteners for markets from automotive to industrial.

“He can look at a part and understand it,” Jim Derry described his brother.

After 20 years with Camcar Textron and Rockford Products, Derry and brother acquired distributor Field Fastener of Machesney Park, in 1990. They have grown it from 12 local employees to 150 in 12 states and three countries.

Sales growth has averaged 19% for the subsequent 26 years and the distributorship has been listed on Inc.’s Fastest Growing Privately-Held Companies for seven consecutive years.

Honoree Derry said he believes in setting standards and not compromising. Though he acknowledged he like everyone “certainly takes some shortcuts,” in looking back, Derry finds sticking to standards would have been better.

Derry advised younger fastener employees that they can learn from “great and lousy bosses” and even from “crummy” jobs.

His advice also included “Ask good questions and listen to the answers” and “balance work with faith, family and fun.”

Derry was the 1997-98 president of the National Fastener Distributors Association during the U.S. Fastener Quality Act legislative process. He is a founding member of the Global Supply Alliance.

Derry is a mentor in Advancing Individuals through Mentoring, a program created by the NFDA for Young Fastener Professionals.

IFE HoF nominees are reviewed by the Fastener Industry Coalition, members of 13 North American regional and national fastener associations concerned with the distribution, manufacture and importation of fasteners as well as services to the fastener industry.

In addition to identifying opportunities, contributing to change leadership, and being visionaries with unimpeachable integrity and respect in the industry, winners of this award have developed innovative models and made important educational and professional contributions that advance the fastener industry. Web: and

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