INDEPENDENCE, OHIO (MARCH 8, 2024) – The Industrial Fasteners Institute (IFI) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2024 Soaring Eagle Awards, recognized at the Annual Meeting held in Bonita Springs, Florida on March 5,2024. The prestigious awards honor outstanding contributions to the fastener industry across several categories.

2024 IFI Soaring Eagle Technology Award – Ken Gomes

The IFI Soaring Eagle Technology Award acknowledges individuals with extensive experience in the industrial fastener industry who have significantly advanced technology within the field.

This year, the award is presented to Ken Gomes for his exceptional contributions to fastener technology, including the development of innovative high-performance thread rolling screw designs. His work has emphasized ‘In-Place’ cost reduction using appropriate technologies and optimized methodologies. Ken Gomes’ contributions, which include several U.S. patents, have made the TAPTITE® family of thread rolling screws the global standard across various sectors, especially in the automotive industry. His dedication, passion, and disciplined, analytical approach set a high standard for the industry.

2024 IFI Soaring Eagle Service Award – John O’Brien

The IFI Soaring Eagle Service Award recognizes individuals who have devoted significant time and effort to the leadership of the Industrial Fasteners Institute and the well-being of the fastener industry.

John O’Brien is honored for his many years of dedication and service as an active IFI member, industry advocate, Officer and Chair of the Institute. He led the standardization of packaging and labeling requirements in the automotive fastener industry and was an impactful advocate in Congress for amending the Fastener Quality Act. John’s vision for IFI’s market-oriented support led to the reorganization of the Institute and the founding of IFI’s Division III, Automotive Industry Fastener Group (AIFG), where he served as the first Chair.

His innovative market-oriented philosophy was adopted in Europe by the European Industrial Fasteners Institute (EIFI). John’s extensive knowledge, close ties with members, and thoughtful counsel have significantly contributed to the overall well-being of the fastener industry in North America.

2024 Joe Greenslade Young Leadership Award – Viral Varshney

The Joe Greenslade Young Leadership Award recognizes individuals early in their careers who have made significant contributions to the fastener industry.

This year, Viral Varshney is recognized for his remarkable achievements within the first 10 years of his career, including the invention of ‘smart’ fasteners that have resulted in two U.S. patents. These innovative designs represent a significant advancement in fastener technology. Viral has also successfully promoted the integration of these innovative solutions in lightweight automotive applications by emphasizing sound joint design concepts and optimized installation methodologies.

Submit a Nomination

Click here to submit a nomination for next year’s Soaring Eagle Awards program.

About the IFI

IFI is the leading voice representing the interests of the North American manufacturers of mechanical fasteners and formed parts, as well as the key suppliers to the industry, fostering their working together to shape the future of the industry. IFI represents the industry to its suppliers, customers, the government, and the public-at-large to advance the competitiveness, products, and innovative technology of the Member Companies in a global marketplace. Learn more about IFI and its membership at


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