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Mike Bonani

ED SCHILZ, THE FATHER OF B.I.F.A.

I do not recall the first time I met Ed. 
I do not know why that is other than I have difficult time remembering what happened yesterday, much less 17 years ago. I do know that in a very short time I came to respect him. Not just for the knowledge, professionalism and command he had of his area of expertise, but I also came to respect the man for his character. Ed taught me early on as a fledgling assistant traffic manager, the importance of being open, honest and to incorporate integrity into my work. In the position of trust that Ed held at Young's, J & V Trucking and his position as President of BIFA, these were integral components his persona. The devotion Ed had toward Verleen and their children was very evident to me from the outset, as well. He was very proud of all of them. All you had to do was ask how they were doing and he would get a big smile on his face and tell you.

Ed not only was a role model myself, but set an example for the industry and traffic professionals everywhere. Anybody that I have spoken to who knew Ed has agreed that he carried the highest standard of professionalism and integrity. He most certainly had a positive influence on my career and life. I don't want to make Ed out be some kind of perfect human being. God knows, no one is perfect. But, I certainly could not find much fault with Ed Schilz in the 17 years that I knew him. It did not take long to get to know Ed, because he took me under his wing shortly after I started to work at Young's. I soon realized what a meticulous man he was. It seemed that everything he came in contact with required the utmost attention to detail. Whether Ed was tearing apart a detailed contract for analysis or tearing a piece of paper, he took his time and did the job right

He would not stop at the first attempt to complete a task. He would go back again and again, if necessary, to insure that he had completed his assigned task to the best of his ability. This kind of perseverance is what contributes to the success of an individual. And Ed's life will always be looked upon as a success, by anyone's standards. One year before he retired from Young's in 1985, when most men would be thinking about all the golf they would be playing or planning their next trip, Ed embarked on a new career, seizing the opportunity that was provided by Congress in the form of the Shippers Act of 1984. Putting his ideas, knowledge and perseverance to the test, Ed started the Beverage Importers Freight Association. referred to as BIFA, this association grew from 5 original members in So.Cal. to over 100 members nationally and eventually merged to become an international association known as Med America. BIFA was Ed's passion. He took his idea for a freight association, raised the initial capital, had it approved by the Justice Department, organized the meetings, contacted the steamship lines, analyzed the contract proposal and BIFA was off and running. He remained active and involved in its operation until the very end of his life. He poured all that he had to give into the association, which has benefited many, many companies throughout its existence. I have never known any man to work as hard as he. Speaking for the Board of Directors of BIFA and Med America, I would like to convey our deepest sympathy to the family of Ed Schilz. All of us had nothing but the utmost respect, gratitude and love for this man. He will always be spoken of with warmest regard. We will miss him and I will miss him.