Fort Worth couple elevates Texas A&M industrial distribution

Photo of Paul and Judy AndrewsAt Texas A&M University Paul and Judy Andrews wear the mantle reserved for champions of industrial distribution. The TTI Inc. CEO and his wife have generously supported faculty and students in the program for almost two decades.

Now the Fort Worth couple has announced a $300,000 contribution to establish the Judy and Paul Andrews Endowed Excellence Fund for Global Research and Education, which will help industrial distribution researchers look at even better methods to move products from manufacturers to customer.

"ID at Texas A&M is vital to the future of our company, and we depend upon the program to be our primary source of entry-level personnel. ID majors have a strong educational foundation and good work ethics. Consequently they become productive employees much sooner than students from other campuses and majors," Paul Andrews said.

Established through the Texas A&M Foundation, the gift also provides funds for undergraduate travel and student projects focused on global distribution.

"Our industrial distribution program is number one in the country and the national leader in professional development activities for managers in the distribution field, in no small part because of the longstanding support of Paul and Judy Andrews," said Dr. Walter W. Buchanan, department head and holder of the J.R. Thompson Department Head Chair in Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution.

"This recent gift further strengthens our leadership in education and research, which has a large impact on one of the fastest-growing segments of our economy," Buchanan said, noting that the U.S. wholesale and industrial distribution sector consists of more than 434,000 establishments with sales exceeding $6.5 trillion, which is larger than the manufacturing sector. The industry employs more than 6 million workers, which represents 4.6 percent of the 131 million non-farm of total employment.

The couple's support of Texas A&M also includes the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band, Ross Volunteers Company in the Corps of Cadets, Solar Motorsports student team and several campus projects. Their previous gifts to the ID Program total more than $2 million and have provided support for faculty and program development, the program's 50th anniversary celebration and renovation of its conference center. Encompassing the seventh floor of Rudder Tower on campus, the Judy and Paul Andrews Conference Center is the heart of the program's professional development outreach.

"For the last 20 years gifts from Paul and Judy Andrews have supported ID research at Texas A&M. As that research with a national emphasis matured, TTI and other distributors found themselves facing global challenges. For Texas A&M to remain relevant, it comes as no surprise that the Andrews family again takes the lead in supporting our global undergraduate classes and global research efforts," said Dr. F. Barry Lawrence, program director and holder of the Leonard and Valerie Bruce Leadership Chair in Industrial Distribution.

"This endowment guarantees that our Industrial Distribution Program and its students will continue to lead the field globally as well as at the national level," Lawrence said.

Graduates of the program are engineering professionals with expertise in supply chain management who help strengthen the productivity and profitability of distributors, wholesalers and re-sellers of products used in the industrial manufacturing MRO (maintain, repair, overhaul) marketplace.

Paul Andrews founded Tex-Tronics Inc. in 1971 following his employment in the purchasing department for General Dynamics, a military aircraft manufacturer. Andrews developed a specialized inventory and combined it with supply chain management systems to service customers who primarily manufactured military/aerospace electronic products.

The corporate name changed to its current title in 1973. Now a Berkshire Hathaway company, TTI Inc. is a specialty distributor of passive, interconnect and discrete components with over 1,800 employees in more than 55 locations in North America, Europe and Asia. Ranked among the world's largest passive electronic distribution firms, the company is a top employer of Texas A&M industrial distribution graduates.

The Texas A&M Foundation is a private nonprofit organization that encourages and manages investments in Texas A&M academics and leadership programs.


Credit: Gittings Photography