Global Fastener News

2013 FIN – Sutherland to Retire as Manufacturer’s Rep After 53 Years

March 14
00:00 2014

May 8, 2013 FIN – John Sutherland will retire and close his New England-based rep agency, Sutherland Industrial Sales, at the end of May 2013.

Sutherland, 79, started in the steel industry in 1960 with the Steel Service Center Institute. After five years one of his customers, The Woodward Co., of Albany, NY, a steel and fastener service center, hired him as sales manager. That started a 53-year career in the fastener industry.
During his 17 years with Woodward he rose to vice president and general manager.
In 1982, he became the first president of Bossard International Inc. in the U.S. Bossard had just acquired Bulten International.
Five years later Sutherland and his spouse, Jane Sutherland, owned and operated Sosensky, an industrial supply distributor in New Haven, CT.
After 27 years in management positions, in 1991 he formed Sutherland Industrial Sales, a manufacturers’ rep agency covering New England and upstate New York. “I went back to selling, which is what I like to do,” Sutherland told
He was the first rep to become president of the New England Fastener Distributors Association.  He held a variety of leadership roles and was named to the NEFDA Hall of Fame.
He leaves the fastener industry at a time when the number of reps is declining, Sutherland noted. But he is confident of a role for reps in the future.

”Our industry is small business,” Sutherland told “Even as mergers create larger corporations, the majority of fastener distribution companies have fewer than 50 employees. This is rep territory. It is disappointing that there are not more young people seeking the opportunities this career can provide.”
“It is not easy to retire,” Sutherland reflected. “It has been both my work and my hobby.”
He will join a group of consultant volunteers counseling nonprofit groups, such as charter school and conservation organizations.
Sutherland announced his agency will essentially close on May 31, 2013, though he will assist in transition of accounts.
The manufacturers’ rep agency has served fastener distributors with fasteners, special parts, tools and other industrial parts. Sutherland Industrial Sales address is: 8 Dunlin Way, Portsmouth, NH 03801. Tel: 603 431-8142 Fax 603 658-2777 Email:  ©2013/2014 Fastener Industry News.
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For the Bossard/Bulten story click on 1982 in the Fastener History of

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