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Corporate records, 1895-2018

Accession: 1411Identifier: 1411-III.


  • Creation: 1895-2018


From the NAM’s incorporation in 1905 until 2012, there have been eleven corporate secretaries, with dates of position in parentheses: Marshall Cushing (1905-1907), George Boudinot (1907-1928), J. Lewis Benton (1928-1932), John C. Gall (1932-1933), Noel Sargent (1933-1955), Thomas M. Brennan (1955-1958), David M. Reeves (1958-1965), John McGraw (1965-1976), Edmund W. Haskins (1976-1983), Joni C. Hodgson (1983-2004), and Dana Lee Cole (2005-2012).

Noel Sargent (1894-1971) joined the NAM staff in 1920, serving as the secretary of the association from 1933 to 1955. He also held the position of chief economist until 1946. He was the first NAM consultant to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, organized the NAM Economic Principles Commission (1941-1946) which wrote the two-volume “American Individual Enterprise System,” and in 1933-1934 and 1947-1948 was the acting managing director. Sargent was active in the international and church-oriented aspects of NAM. He retired in 1955 but continued as a close liaison with NAM and its activities until his death.

Scope and Contents

The Corporate Records series includes Board of Directors records and material related to the committees that fall under “administrative committees” as well as the corporate secretary, NAM library, and papers from two executive vice presidents. It consists of twelve subseries: Board of Directors, Congress of American Industry, Audit Committee, Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Nominating Committee, Financial, Office of the Corporate Secretary, NAM Library, Forest Rettgers papers, William Blasier papers, and Michael Baroody papers.

The Board of Directors subseries includes material related to planning Board of Directors meetings, biographies of directors, meeting materials, transcripts, director orientations, minutes, correspondence, and other activities related to the Board of Directors. It is broken into three groups of files. The first group contains Board of Directors minutes from 1906 to 2005, as compiled by the NAM in ledgers or microfilm. The next group is arranged chronologically by meeting, from 1970 to 2018. The last group of files is comprised of those not tied to a specific meeting, but rather the Board in a larger context. These files are arranged alphabetically, and then chronologically if necessary. When the headquarters moved in 1973, it was decided to have semi-annual Board of Directors’ meetings instead of three, with the spring meeting being held at a different location throughout the United States and the fall meeting typically in Washington, DC.

From the early years of the organization until the mid-1970s, NAM held its Congress of American Industry each December at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. This multi-day meeting featured panels, keynote speakers, entertainment, a women’s program for wives, and a large dinner. This subseries documents Congresses held, with an emphasis on the program, including transcripts and press releases. The folders are arranged by meeting. When the NAM moved its headquarters from New York City to Washington, DC in 1974, the meeting no longer retained its name or location.

The Audit Committee subseries includes minutes and meeting materials from 1984 to 1997. This committee was responsible for overseeing the financial reporting process and audit results. This material should be considered in conjunction with the Finance Committee and Financial subseries.

The Executive Committee subseries includes papers related to committee meetings held multiple times a year, meetings with government officials, minutes, and transcripts. As of 2017, the Executive Committee is comprised of the chairman of the NAM Board, vice chairman of the Board, president of NAM, chairman of small and medium manufacturers, vice chairman of each of the policy groups, chairman of the Nominating Committee, and the vice chairmen of the regional offices. The Executive Committee oversees Board committees and is a clearinghouse, of sorts, for issues and policies before they are presented to the complete Board of Directors.

Much like the Audit Committee subseries, the Finance Committee subseries documents the financial situation of the organization. At each Board meeting, the Financial Committee would give an update on NAM’s financial standing. This subseries should be considered in conjunction with the Audit Committee and Financial subseries.

The Nominating Committee is responsible for collecting and selecting nominations and overseeing election of new members to the Board of Directors and state directors. This subseries includes nomination manuals, nomination letters, ballots, and correspondence to nominees and elected directors.

The Financial subseries focuses specifically on the NAM budget and monthly financial statements, with some information related to retirement plans for staff members. This material should be considered in conjunction with the Audit Committee and Finance Committee subseries.

The Office of the Corporate Secretary subseries includes papers related to planning and publicizing various meetings and events held throughout the year, short biographies on NAM employees, official policy positions, as well as much of the day-to-day operations. The files are predominantly from Joni C. Hodgson, who served as corporate secretary from 1983 to 2004.

The NAM Library subseries is comprised of material similar in nature to the corporate secretary, on a smaller scale. It includes employee biographies, historical information, and policy positions. Due to budget constraints, the library was discontinued in the 1980s.

Forrest Rettgers (1921-1995), William Blasier (1949-1990), and Michael Baroody (1946- ) all served as senior vice president, a high-ranking position with the NAM. Rettgers came to NAM about 1973 after having served as a colonel in the Army, Army liaison to the Senate, and serving as an advisor to five different presidents. Blasier joined the Law Department in 1977 before becoming the vice president of finance and administration, a position he held until his death in 1990. Michael Baroody was hired in 1990 and remained at NAM until 2007. Each subseries includes papers from their tenure, including chronological files, correspondence, speeches, and testimony.


From the Collection: 1100 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Additional Description

Access Restrictions

Records subject to 25-year time seal. Litigators may not view the collection without approval.

Related Names


Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA