120 former Bently Nevada Corp. workers attend reunion in Minden | nnbw.com

120 former Bently Nevada Corp. workers attend reunion in Minden

Kurt Hildebrand


From left, by name and BNC position when they left: Global Controller Markus Theumer; VP of Marketing George Palmatier; Senior VP of Sales and Service Steven Riggs; Customer Service Manager and MRP Implementation Manager Jim Prevatte; Training Manager Mark Gilstrap; and General Manager Rich Chapman.
Courtesy photo

MINDEN, Nev. — More than 100 former Bently Nevada Corp., employees gathered at Ferris Park last month to reminisce and remember their days with the company that helped put Minden manufacturing on the map.

Long-time resident Steven Riggs said working at the company allowed him to return to Carson Valley after college.

“Like many of my contemporaries, I was able to come back to Carson Valley after college graduation in 1969 and get a good job at Bently Nevada,” he said.

He said 120 people from around the nation and the world attended the Aug. 23 reunion.

He said that he and his fellow Bently workers made the company a household name around the globe.

“The most common complaint was, ‘I didn’t have enough time to talk to everyone I wanted to see,’” Riggs said.

He said he was almost certain they would do it again next year.

Minden industrialist Donald Bently founded the company that bears his name in his garage in the 1950s.

He moved the company to Minden in October 1961 and started experimenting using sensors to measure the vibration in rotating machinery, so operators could tell the status of the bearings.

Bently grew from a small shop with three employees to the largest non-gaming employer in Northern Nevada, with 2,000 employees in 2002 when Bently sold it to General Electric Energy.

The old Bently headquarters at Highway 395 and Buckeye Road has been converted into a heritage distillery by his son, Christopher Bently, ensuring his legacy.