Kansas City, Mo. — On Friday, June 10, during the BTA at 90: A Celebration event at Kansas City Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri, Thomas A. Russo Sr. was announced as the first inductee into the newly created BTA Hall of Fame. Though Russo was not able to attend BTA’s 90th anniversary celebration, 2015-16 BTA President-Elect Rob Richardson presented him with the award in person on May 20 at the Thomas A. Russo Museum of Business History and Technology (MBHT) in Wilmington, Delaware. A video of the presentation was played during the BTA at 90: A Celebration event.
“Tonight I am pleased to announce the newly created BTA Hall of Fame,” said Richardson at the June 10 event. “Our intent, of course, is to recognize individuals whose contribution to the office technology industry is far reaching and exemplary. As we considered the possibilities, the name of one individual quickly rose to the top of the list…Ladies and gentleman, it is an honor for me to announce the first inductee into the BTA Hall of Fame: Thomas A. Russo Sr.”
Russo was the national president of NOMDA (now BTA) in 1985-86. During his presidency, he was instrumental in returning the association’s headquarters to Kansas City, Missouri, helping to locate the building that serves as BTA’s home today. He also helped manage the move from Wood Dale, Illinois, to the new building in Kansas City. In addition, he was instrumental in the development of an office equipment museum that was housed for a period of time at BTA’s headquarters. In 2001, Russo established his own museum in the building that housed his office technology dealership, Delaware Business Equipment.
The Thomas A. Russo Museum of Business History and Technology is recognized by historians and collectors around the world for its unique collection of office equipment. According to the museum’s website, its exhibits “focus on change, impact and the process of invention that transforms a compelling collection of artifacts into a means to demonstrate the power of technology on society and our lives.”
“To be remembered by BTA at this stage of my life is a wonderful experience that I never thought I would have again,” Russo said. “To have BTA President-Elect Rob Richardson present BTA’s first Hall of Fame trophy to me — with my family looking on — was a moment of pride that everyone should experience. To say ‘thank you’ does not really describe my elation and gratitude for being the first inductee into BTA’s Hall of Fame, but I will say it anyway: Thank you, BTA, for this wonderful honor that you have bestowed on me and my family.”
To watch a tour of the museum and an interview with Russo, visit www.bta.org/ThomasRusso. To watch the award presentation video shown at the June 10 event in Kansas City, visit www.bta.org/HallofFame16Video.