Last updateFri, 26 Feb 2021 5pm

Valve Basics Training to Expand in 2019

Stephane MeunierStephane Meunier demonstrates manual and fluid-powered actuators.Seventy-plus attendees participated in the Valve Basics Seminar & Exhibits, Oct. 30 – Nov. 1 at the Houston Area Safety Council in Pasadena, TX. Attendees provided high praise for the program, with 100% of evaluation showing “yes” in response to: Would you recommend this course to a colleague?

The Valve Ed program, developed by VMA’s Education & Training Committee and started a decade ago, has encompassed numerous changes over the years to provide participants with the type of educational experience they requested. Moving into 2019, Valve Basics is undergoing another expansion as it moves from a three-day program that includes valves, actuators and controls, to a two 2-day courses.

Committee chair Paul Souza of AUMA Actuators, Inc., believes the expansion will address the need for additional learning on some of the more complicated systems used in the flow control industry. “We’ve seen that some of the attendees are really focused on gathering information about mechanically operated valves but may not need or be ready for the lessons on electrical and automated products and systems. With the new format, attendees can choose to attend the first program on Industrial Valves or the second course on Actuators, Controls & Control Systems—or attend both.”

zoo from aboveA view of the “zoo” from above.

Space at the modern Houston Area Safety Council facility, which includes a massive workshop for the hands-on learning—or “valve petting zoo” as it has come to be called—has already been reserved for May 6-9, 2019. The first course on valves takes place May 6-7 while the actuator and controls portion is May 8-9.


Nine students from the University of Houston, which included graduate and post-graduate M.E. candidates, told us they were grateful for the opportunity to attend at no cost. One student wrote: “Thanks for providing this opportunity for us to attend this amazing and informative program.”

Each time the course is held, VMA contacts local schools to invite engineering students to attend. More than 75 students have taken advantage of the scholarship offered by the association. Bill Sandler, VMA president, is proud of the program: “It’s a great way to let budding engineers know about all the opportunities available in our industry. We expect to continue offering scholarships for many years to come.”

Students were not the only ones who offered positive comments:

  • "I am only four months into the industry, so I had a ton of awesome takeaways from this training."
  • "The petting zoo is a great idea—there’s nothing like hands-on learning."
  • Thank you for having put together an amazing week of learning and networking throughout this Valve Basics course. The whole show was well run… Keep up the good work!"


Greg Johnson awardGreg Johnson (right) receives the Valve Ed Founder’s Award from Paul Souza.Greg Johnson of United Valve has been instrumental in the development and success of the Valve Ed program, as well as having served as committee chair for the 10-plus years since the program was launched. To honor his achievements, Johnson was presented with the Valve Ed Founder's Award on the final day of the seminar. The plaque, presented to Greg by current chair Paul Souza, reads:

In honor of Greg Johnson's vision in recognizing more than a decade ago the need to educate newcomers about the valve industry, then following through with leadership, dedication, resources and his own deep knowledge to help develop the Valve Basics 101 program, guiding it into the major educational force it is today.

In gratitude for Greg Johnson's 10 years' service as chair of the VMA Education & Training Committee, which has overseen the development and execution of the Valve Ed program that has benefited more than 3,000 people across the United States, Canada and around the globe.

In recognition that the valve industry and the industries that use valves, as well as the Valve Manufacturers Association and Valve Repair Council, have truly been lifted to a higher level by Greg Johnson's efforts.


Bert EvansBert Evans explains control valves and systems.It takes a small army of volunteers to pull off this multi-day program and this event was no exception. A dozen-plus members were instrumental in making the 2018 Valve Basics event a success, including the VMA Education & Training Committee: Paul Souza, chair (AUMA Actuators); Greg Johnson, former chair (United Valve); John Molloy (ASCO-Emerson); Jeff Kane (DFT); Kim Beise (Dowco); Bert Evans (Emerson); and Tom Waldmann (KITZ).

Joining them were: Stan Allen (Bray); Noah Miller (Check-All); Vance St. Jean (Chesterton); Stephane Meunier (Cowan); Chris Perdzock and Jason Loner (Rotork); and Matt Lovell (United). In addition, Brent York and Aneil Ali from Automation Technology Inc. (ATI) brought the company's demo trailer to the workshop, providing attendees with a more in-depth look at manual and fluid-powered actuators. All volunteers are members of the Valve Manufacturers Association or the Valve Repair Council.


The Education & Training Committee will meet soon to develop additional programming for the 2019 event, which will be held Nov. 12-15 at the Houston Area Safety Council in Pasadena, TX. Those with questions about next year’s program can contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., VMA education & training coordinator.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is VMA director of education and VALVE Magazine editor-in-chief.


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