Carmen Vertullo Awarded NFDA’s 2023 Fastener Professional of the Year

The National Fastener Distributors Association (NFDA) is pleased to announce that Carmen Vertullo of Carver Engineering and Manufacturing (San Diego, CA) is the 2023 recipient of its Fastener Professional of the Year award. 

The Fastener Professional of the Year award was created by NFDA to honor individuals and companies that make a substantial positive impact on people’s lives. Past recipients include: 

  • Robbie Gilchrist of Capital Marketing (High Point, North Carolina) – 2017 
  • Jim Ruetz of AIS (Franksville, Wisconsin) – 2018 
  • Kevin Queenin of Specialty Bolt & Screw (Agawam, Massachusetts) – 2019 
  • Don Nowak of Falcon Fastening Solutions (Charlotte, North Carolina) – 2020 
  • Jim Derry of Field (Machesney Park, Illinois) 2021 
  • Tim O’Keeffe of G. L. Huyett (Minneapolis, Kansas) 2022 

In his nomination of Carmen to receive this award, John Butler said he should be recognized due to “his years of devotion to the fastener industry through education, tribal knowledge, and generosity of time and materials.” 

Carmen Vertullo began his career in fasteners at Ababa Bolt, in El Cajon, California in the 1990s where he worked as sales manager, quality manager and all-around process improvement person. However, his technical experience with fasteners began in the US Air Force as a jet engine mechanic in 1974. He is a degreed manufacturing engineer and has worked in the aerospace industry making parts for Atlas rockets, designing and building test equipment for the Tomahawk cruise missile and after starting his company, Carver Engineering and Manufacturing, designing and building support equipment for military helicopter engines. 

Carmen has instructed fastener professionals in sales, purchasing and quality, as well as end-users, manufacturers, and engineers for more than 30 years. He is a founding instructor of the Fastener Training Institute’s (FTI) Certified Fastener Specialist (CFS) fastener training program and has instructed many hundreds of fastener professionals in all aspects of fastener technology through live training, webinars and mentoring. His “Fastener Training Minute” has been featured on more than 100 episodes on Fully Threaded Radio ( He is a sought-after presenter at fastener trade shows, association events, and technical symposiums. 

Carmen has trained our nation’s defense professionals at naval nuclear reactors at the Washington Navy Yard, the US Army Helicopter Engine Aviation Engineering Directorate at Redstone Arsenal, the Pantex plant in Amarillo Texas (the primary United States nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility), as well as countless OEMs, steel erectors, fastener suppliers, fastener manufacturers, and secondary processors. 

He has established fastener testing laboratories and fastener test methods and sits on several fastener technical committees and sub-committees including the ASTM F16 Fastener Technical Committee, the ASME B18 Fastener Standards Committee, the ISO TC2 Fastener Technical Committee Canadian Delegation, and the Research Council on Structural Connections (RCSC).  

Carver Engineering and Manufacturing is a proud member of the Industrial Fasteners Institute (IFI), the Pacific West Fastener Association (Pac-West) and the National Fastener Distributors Association (NFDA). 

Along with his wife Lois, who is also an Air Force veteran, he founded Carver Engineering and Manufacturing, the Carver FACT2 Center (Fastening Applications Consulting Testing and Training), and Carver Labs, a system of fastener testing laboratories focusing on fastener development, fastener failure investigation, fastener problem-solving and fastener technical consultation. Carver Engineering and Manufacturing is a producer of specially modified fasteners and laser cut special shaped washers, bent metal parts, and CNC machined fasteners. 

Carmen’s favorite fastener activity is mentoring new and seasoned fastener experts in developing their fastener expertise and passing on fastener technical knowledge to the next generation. His favorite fastener topics and particular areas of expertise include hydrogen embrittlement, structural bolting, tightening strategies, failure investigation, fastener testing, manufacturing, thread inspection, fastener standards, bolted joint design, CAD fastener drawings, and compliance issues. 

Carmen and Lois live in San Diego, California, and they enjoy traveling to visit their kids and grandkids and attending fastener association conferences and meetings. 

Carmen will receive his award at the NFDA Annual Meeting Welcome Breakfast in Chicago, IL on June 14, 2023. 

Nominations for the next Fastener Professional of the Year award will open in January 2024. 

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