About Us


With these words spoken by L.A. Sommer, the National Tool & Die Manufacturers Association (NTDMA) was formed on September 29, 1943. “I hereby declare the name of this organization to be the National Tool & Die Manufacturers Association, the purpose of which is to promote by any lawful means, the general development and improvement of the tool and die industry. During the war, the industry was being crippled at the Federal level and the contract tool and die industry was not rated as “essential” in Washington and it became apparent, as long as our young men were being drafted to the war, they weren’t able to be trained, which would inevitably bring an end to the tool and die industry.” In Chicago, on that autumn day in 1943, 40 delegates who many not have known much about how to run a trade organization recognized that forming such an association was beneficial and necessary to the future of the industry and they recognized that they were stronger as a whole than they could be individually. At the organization meeting, the delegates called for the passage of the Articles of the Association and the Associations by-laws, and with the 78 tool and die companies who had pledged their support, the NTDMA was officially established.

From 1943 to 1964, the Association maintained its principal office in Cleveland, OH. During this time, the Association reached its 1,000 member mark in 1955, set up its first group insurance program for members in 1956 and changed its name to the National Tool & Die Precision Manufacturers Association (NTDPMA) in 1960.

In 1964, the NTDPMA moved its headquarters to Washington, DC, where it remained for eight years. Then, in 1971, the Association acquired land in Fort Washington, MD and began construction on a new headquarters building, taking occupancy on June 24, 1972. In 1980 the Association’s name was changed to the National Tooling & Machining Association (NTMA).

In 2008, a determination was made by the NTMA Board of Trustees to sell the Maryland headquarters and relocate back to the Cleveland, OH area. This decision was based on the plan to form a jointly owned Association Management Company called MSI (Metalworking Services, Inc.) in Independence, Ohio, to perform the back office duties for multiple associations to better serve our members. NTMA’s strategic and member-centric operations continued to be led by dedicated staff to ensure that members’ needs were met and that there was a clear and concise focus on supporting the precision manufacturing industry.

In 2010, the NTMA brought on Dave Tilstone to serve as President of the Association. Since his arrival, the Association has focused on member value and has since split off from MSI and moved into its own office building, still in Independence, OH. Dave Tilstone established a new management team focused on fulfilling strategic initiatives while creating a network of industry partners that included the premier technology leaders of the world. He also introduced the Association to international business opportunities and worked tirelessly on workforce development and advocacy for our industry.

In August 2018, Dave Tilstone retired and Dean Bartles, PH.D., FSME, MASME was brought on as the new President of the NTMA. The year 2018 also marked the 75th Anniversary of the National Tooling and Machining Association and the past 75 years of NTMA history, leadership and growth were celebrated at the NTMA Fall Conference in October.


NTMA’s mission is to help members of the U.S. precision custom manufacturing industry achieve profitable growth and business success in a global economy. Nationally and locally our members prosper by networking and we focus on education and technology while together also advocating for the industry through a united voice.


NTMA’s vision is to become the premier center of industry knowledge, leading U.S. precision custom manufacturing in continuing world leadership. We unite to create prosperous, competitive companies for our families, employees and communities.


  • Integrity in all we do

  • Stewardship of the lives and assets in our charge

  • Learning as individuals and working as teams

  • Prosperity is earned and requires competitiveness

  • Families are first priority

  • Suppliers and customers are vital partners, and we are both