Mahoning Valley Industrial Management Association

The Mahoning Valley Industrial Management Association, known as MVIMA at Camp Fitch, is a now defunct social and education club for area factory foreman, plant managers, and their families. Many Camp Fitch Alumni were members, including Joe Check and Henry Hunneke. It had close ties to the YMCA from the start. The Association was founded by YMCA Industrial Secretary Dr. J.W. Page and General Fireproofing President Walter Bender in 1918. By the 1930s it became the largest club of its kind in the world. Membership swelled to 4,500. The club hosted world renowned speakers, had picnics, and held classes to develop managerial skills. They worked with the union leadership in the valley to increase worker safety in the plants. In 1958, the organization took out a loan to pay to construct Lake MVIMA at Camp Fitch.[1] The club was tied closely to heavy industry. As steel declined in Youngstown, the association followed.[2] By 1993, the club’s membership dropped 91% in twenty-five years. Facing the inevitable, MVIMA President Robert Filip said he wanted to dissolve the club with dignity, while they were still viable and financially solvent. When all outstanding debts were paid, the surplus was donated to Camp Fitch to renovate the lodges and the Mahoning Valley Industrial Management Association officially shutdown. The group’s archives and history are stored at the Youngstown YMCA for safe keeping.[2]

References

1. a Youngstown Vindicator, July 1, 1958. Contract Awarded for Inland Lake. Vindicator Printing Company.
2. a, b Denney, George, December 27, 1993. Group for factory bosses calls it quits. Youngstown Vindicator, B1.
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