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The Official Publication of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association

Experts and Institutes: Added Voices Family Firms Can Turn To For Guidance

Generation to Generation, Family-Owned Firms Find Different Paths to Success CONSULTANTS

A Reference Table for DOT Records

Second Quarter 2017

SMC ’17

Bigger, Better and in Boca!


ILMO: Innovating Into a 2nd Century


Uptick Holding Another Quarter



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Second Quarter • Spring 2017 • Volume 16, No. 2


PRESIDENT’S VIEW Experience GAWDA’s SMC Conference and Camaraderie


DIRECTOR’S DESK Our Member Experience: Continuous Improvement



When Business Is Relative

Suit Up!




FROM THE EDITOR Family-Owned Businesses – Some Fascinating Dynamics


Bob Dylan’s ‘Portal’


Regulatory Burdens May Be Easing Under President Trump



Cryotherapy – Medical Gas – Or Something Other?





 How To Get DOT Records Ready for a Surprise Audit





ILMO PRODUCTS COMPANY Innovating Into a Second Century




2 • Spring 2017

I TR ECONOMICS REPORTS Positive Outlook Continues



GAWDA REGIONAL MEETINGS The Things That Make a Regional Go ‘Round – and 2017’s Schedule


WONDERS OF WELDING Bob Dylan’s Found-Objects Welded Art



ROLL CALL - GAWDA FAMILY FIRMS A Proud, Long List of Multigenerational Companies








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Second Quarter • Spring 2017 • Volume 16, No. 2
















BEST PRACTICES Developing The Next Generation: Start Young and Add Age-Appropriate Learning


MONEY MATTERS Key Steps In Succession Planning



SMC 78




Diane Stirling SENIOR EDITOR


A COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE SMC Schedule, Speakers And Special Events


SMC SPEAKER GUEST WRITERS On Career Education, Good Communication And Aiming High




Tim Hudson


THE ‘GAWDA EVENTS’ APP Our New Mobile App Helps Members Network and Connect


SMC 2017 EXHIBITOR’S GUIDE See Who’s Coming and What They’re Showcasing


Welding & Gases Today (USPS 22-975) is published quarterly: Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, with additional publications in Spring and Summer. • Non-member subscription rate is $195 per year. • GAWDA members (key contacts and branch locations) receive the magazine as part of their dues. • GAWDA members can order additional yearly subscriptions (4 issues) for $40. • Welding & Gases Today is published by Data Key Communications, Inc. on behalf of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association. • Periodicals postage paid at Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and at additional mailing offices (ISSN 1558-5344). • Editorial correspondence should be sent to Editors c/o editor@WeldingAnd • Advertising correspondence and materials should be sent to William Brod, Data Key Communications, Inc., 1415 W. Genesee St., Syracuse, NY 13204; telephone (315) 445-2347, fax (315) 422-1721. • Postmaster: Send address changes to Welding & Gases Today, Gases and Welding Distributors Association, One Oakwood Blvd, Suite 195, Hollywood, FL 33020 • Welding & Gases Today is the official journal of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) and carries news and announcements concerning GAWDA. • It is not responsible for contents or opinions other than association activities. • Contents are copyright ©2017 Data Key Communications, Inc. • All rights reserved. • Nothing may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher. • Questions and comments can be sent via e-mail to Editors, c/o editor@WeldingAnd • Data Key Communications, Inc. reserves the right to print portions of all or any correspondence mailed to the editors without liability on its part and no such correspondence will be returned. • Visit Welding & Gases Today Online at

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An Exciting SMC and Other Special Treats Are Now Just Around The Corner by mark raimy

G Mark Raimy is GAWDA’s 2016-2017 president and chief executive officer of his family’s thirdgeneration business, Welders Supply Co., Inc. – a Raimy Corporation. The company’s two locations are in Erie Pa., its headquarters site, with a branch in Jamestown, N.Y. He can be reached at and at 814-454-1563.

AWDA’s meeting season is in full swing. This is the most exciting time of the year, as we offer many ways for you to engage, receive valuable content and get some quality networking time with industry members. The regional meetings are underway and the schedule this year is as great as it has ever been. Our regional meeting chairs are a committed and talented group of GAWDA volunteers who are driving high-quality meetings that offer a time-efficient way for members to get industry business content and to network. If you have not signed up for a meeting, please consider these opportunities. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Our Spring Management Conference is near and I am very excited. We have a lot to tell you about. There is a change in the event this year that I want to highlight. The opening night event this year will be a dinner party with a band. There is a pool area that is beach-side at the Boca Raton

Resort and Club. The dinner party on the pool deck is laid back, with beach-casual wear and flipflops encouraged. The great planning committee that I was lucky to work with has put this idea together as an easy-going conference first night. This format will let us all be together for the evening to have dinner, relax and have fun. The pool area is beautiful and the beach is steps away. The band is going to be great and there will be a special, surprise-guest band that you do not want to miss. Once you get to the resort, you won’t want to leave – and you won’t have to. If you aren’t certain about the feel and atmosphere of this new-style poolside President’s Reception and dinner, I made a fun video to show you what to expect. Look for it on the GAWDA Web site and on YouTube and in other GAWDA communications pieces. I am very happy with the speaker lineup for this conference. I want to highlight a panel presentation that I think is going to be revealing and very valuable. We are going to look at the Generation X thing in a different way. In the


6 • Spring 2017


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GAWDA is at its best when we all come together and learn from each other.


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past, we had our own industry Generation X panelists and Generation X speakers. This time, our panel members are going to be Generation X’ers that are our customers. The speaker is actually a Generation X -aged person. Those are two departures from how we have looked at this pressing issue before. As we all spend time figuring out how to manage our internal generational transitions, I would suggest the most important part of that is getting the external communication right. Connecting appropriately with the Generation X customer is mission critical. We are looking for you to provide questions to ask these panelists. Please email me with any questions you would like to have asked at: We also have launched the GAWDA Events mobile app. This is the beginning of a new communication platform that will give you easy access to all our meeting schedules and information. Beyond that, it will allow us to push notifications about our meetings in real time. The app also lets members who are registered to attend our events to send messages and schedule appointments with each other. The best part about this is it is our customized app, specific to GAWDA and the GAWDA audience. Moving forward, we will build the app out to do whatever else we may want – including our fall meetings and, down the road, regional meetings. Please download the app. We have both iOS and Android versions. Search for “GAWDA Events” in the Apple Store or the Google Play Store to find it. Then, be sure to let us know what you think and how we can make it better. In this issue is the second economic outlook report from ITR Economics. Make sure you read it and follow along from quarter to quarter. It is really valuable information. Alan Beaulieu, GAWDA’s chief economist, is one of the speakers at the SMC. So, if you have not yet made up your mind to attend, hearing Alan present his outlook and further explain our informational program may be enough to get you to make those plans. I hope to see you at our informative meetings and exciting events soon. As I like to say, GAWDA is at its best when we all come together and learn from each other.

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Evaluating and Innovating To Improve Member Experience by john ospina

O John Ospina is GAWDA’s executive director. He can be reached at GAWDA Headquarters in Hollywood, Fla., via telephone at 844-2513219 or via email at

10 • Spring 2017

ver the past few years technology has played a large part in how GAWDA, as an association, communicates with its members and how our members communicate and network with each other. Not long ago, social media was new to many of our members. Now, it’s fairly common to see members tweeting, using Facebook and expanding their connections on LinkedIn. Similarly, last fall, we introduced a new online registration process for the Annual Convention. Now we’re using that same process for all GAWDA meetings. Watching the membership adopt this process has been amazing. More than 94 percent of 2017 Spring Management Conference (SMC) registrations were completed online. Only 6 percent of those who registered opted to use the mail-in registration forms. At this SMC, we’re introducing another new technology for our association, the GAWDA Mobile App. This new tool allows attendees to obtain event information and event notifications on their smartphones. But more importantly, the app provides a simple way for attendees to send messages to each other, schedule appointments, download attendees’ information to their contact lists and much more. See the article on page 92 for a listing of the major features of this new app. Other communication improvements recently undertaken by GAWDA have been less about technology and more about design and content. Earlier this year GAWDA Media updated the look of the Welding and Gases Today magazine with a new masthead and fresh internal design. President Mark Raimy has added valuable content to the magazine in 2017 with the introduction of our

quarterly economic forecast by ITR Economics. You can read the latest ITR report beginning on page 70. The GAWDA booth at the SMC Contact Booth Program also has undergone a transformation. You’ll see that it has been given a complete redesign and that it now offers a more professional and more inviting feel. The GAWDA booth also will be the home for information about the Contact Booth Prize Program. As for the Prize Program, you’ll see the efforts of a committee of primarily supplier members that has been working to make improvements to this popular program. Now, instead of collecting tickets, distributors will be able to just drop off a business card at each booth visited. Prize winners will be pulled from each supplier’s booth a half hour before the program ends. The list of prizes and winners will be displayed on a monitor at the GAWDA booth and participating suppliers will also message their winners. There is a special article highlighting all the new aspects of this program on page 84. This year’s SMC continues to provide interesting speakers and valuable business content, but President Raimy has also added a touch of fun to the program to promote attendee engagement. As Mark likes to say, “GAWDA is at its best when we all come together and learn from each other.” Read more about this in his President’s View column on page 6. This promises to be an event to remember! I look forward to seeing everyone in Boca Raton soon. And as always, thank you for your continued participation and support of GAWDA.

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Business, When It’s All in the Family by diane stirling


Diane Stirling is editor in chief of Welding & Gases Today. A career journalist, public relations practitioner, communications strategist and online content creator, she is part of the GAWDA Media team. Get in touch with her at dianes@datakey. org and 315-445-2347.

nlike so many of you who are reading this issue of Welding & Gases Today, I didn’t grow up in a multigenerational family business. My mother operated a beauty salon for 35 years, though, and I ran a communications “solopreneurship” for a number of years. But the majority of my education about family businesses—until researching and writing for this issue—has come from my daughter-in-law, who has enlightened me about what it takes to manage a third-generation service company, as well as the strong family narrative that forms its brand and its work culture. So, I learned a great deal from the experts we spoke to for the centerpiece article that starts on page 22, as well as from the GAWDA members we interviewed about their own family-business experiences. There are many fascinating facets to the family dynamics, relationship intricacies, business evolution and succession planning aspects that it seems we could produce interesting articles about the issue for years. (In fact, that’s something to consider.) For now, we offer readers a list of institutes and experts we spoke to and researched for this article that can provide valuable sources of information and expertise to you. There are other great contributors in this spring issue. Articles by Spring Management Conference speakers Christopher Mapes of Lincoln Electric, Curt Steinhorst of the Center for Generational

Kinetics, and Women of Gases and Welding luncheon keynoter Kelly Latimer of Virgin Galactic appear on pages 86, 88 and 90, respectively. We offer a feature about GAWDA Regional Meetings. There’s also another report from ITR Economics presenting continuing good news and a positive forecast from GAWDA Chief Economist Alan Beaulieu. Its customized economic indicators and assessments are specific to the welding and gases industry. We think you’ll also enjoy this issue’s Wonders of Welding feature written by Senior Editor Charles McChesney (see page 114). It focuses on the found-objects welding art of musician, artist and Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan. And since the GAWDA Spring Management Conference is right around the corner, there’s a full presentation of the schedule, features, faces and places in store for those who are traveling to Boca Raton for the 2017 SMC (on page 78). It includes an introduction to the new GAWDA Events App that you’ll want to download before you arrive there and use throughout the SMC run, and the 2017 Contact Booth Program Exhibitors Guide. We’ll be covering all those SMC events May 11-13, so we hope you’ll look us up! We’ll be alongside Consultants Alan Beaulieu, Tom Badstubner, Michael Dodd and Richard Schweitzer in GAWDA’s new booth at the better-than-ever Contact Booth Program. See you there!

y on Twitter! a d To s se a G & g Follow Weldin y @WeldGasToda IA D E M A D @GAW 12 • Spring 2017





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Invests, Innovates and Adjusts To Keep Growing in its Second Century by charles mcchesney, senior editor


efore there were LED automobile headlights or HID headlights or plain-old electric incandescent headlights, there were gas headlights. Invented by Frenchman Louis Bleriot to replace dim and smoky kerosene headlamps, Bleriot lamps burned acetylene. The earliest Bleriot lamps included a canister attached to the car’s running board. A motorist would put calcium carbide in the bottom portion and water into the top. The water would drip down and, as every GAWDA member knows, acetylene would be produced. That acetylene ran through a line to the headlamps, lighting the way. The system evolved and, in time, the canister was replaced by a gas cylinder, leaving the motorist only the tasks of turning a valve and lighting the headlamps. A hundred years ago, Illinois Tire and Vulcanizing Co. was the place to buy the gas needed to make night driving less dangerous in Jacksonville, Ill. That was the start for what is now ILMO Products Company, a gases and welding supplies distributor headquartered in Jacksonville that has grown to nine locations in central and southern

14 • Spring 2017

The sign on this branch in Springfield displays one of the names used by ILMO Products since opening in 1913.


A photo from the early 1970s shows part of the ILMO fleet. The company serves southern Illinois and eastern Missouri.

“We’ve been tweaking all the little stuff to maintain a level of profitability.” — Brad Floreth President Illinois as well as eastern Missouri. Henry J. Floreth and his son, D.O. Floreth, started the business in 1913, selling batteries, tires and headlamp gas. Over time, the company focused more and more on the gas side of the business, adding welding equipment and oxygen in 1926. By 1948, the company left the automotive supply business to focus on welding. To reflect that, the company changed its name to Illinois Missouri Welding Products Co. In 2003, the firm changed its name again, this time to ILMO Products Company. Ten years later, ILMO celebrated its 100th anniversary with a series of events, including giving each employee $100, tax-free, on the 100th day of the year and a company outing to see the St. Louis Cardinals play. Spring 2017 • 15


Today, the company is run by CEO Linda Floreth Standley and President Brad Floreth, cousins who are fourth-generation descendants of Henry J. Floreth. They joined the company as the 1970s turned into the 1980s and took on their leadership roles later that decade when their fathers, R. Dean Floreth and Earl Floreth, retired. Brad Floreth also worked for the company some as a teenager, “painting cylinders and such,” he recalls. When he joined the business full time, he came up on the sales and operations side. Linda Standley worked on the business side, serving as controller before being named president and, later, CEO. The company has expanded over the decades, adding branches in the 1960s and 1980s. In the first decade of this century, ILMO added a branch in Peoria, Ill., home to Caterpillar Inc., and crossed the state line into Missouri with a branch in St. Louis. Currently, the company is finding growth despite a prolonged recession that has affected industries that supply agriculture and the coal mining industry. Caterpillar and many of its suppliers are ILMO clients. The heavy equipment maker has seen sales fall more than 40 percent in the past four years. “The last eight or nine years haven’t been that great,” Brad says, so the company has been stressing efficiency. “We’ve got a few fewer people now. We’ve improved our operations and procedures anywhere we can to get more efficient and get better at what we do,” he adds. “We’ve been tweaking all the little stuff to maintain a level of profitability.”


ILMO hasn’t just been playing defense. The company has long provided propane in 33-pound cylinders for customers who use forklifts. Spotting 16 • Spring 2017

Left: Brad Floreth, president, and Linda Floreth Standley, CEO, are cousins and fourth generation descendants of the founder of ILMO Products. Bottom: ILMO products are on display in this undated photo from the company’s archives. The man in the middle, a former ILMO driver, is unidentified.

growing demand about a decade ago, ILMO launched an effort to serve homeowners, farmers and contractors who use bulk propane for heating and cooking, Standley explains. The expansion created a new type of customer for ILMO. “Now we were selling people their utilities,” Standley says. “That’s exciting to us.” The success of the rollout – which included new managers and administrators as well as technical people to

handle the demand – prompts Brad to say that he expects ILMO will continue to expand propane service across its 30,000-square-mile footprint.


By the end of the 20th century, the company had outgrown its 1950s-era facility in Jacksonville and was unable to expand onto neighboring lots. “We were landlocked,” Brad says. So, the

MEMBER PROFILE vital for medical facilities, many modern fabrication shops and other industries, including power plants. “Anytime you see a smokestack, they are testing for emissions and they are testing the emissions against a calibration gas like we would sell — so they use a lot of spec gas,” Brad points out.


The warehouse at ILMO Products Company.

company built an all-new 40,000-squarefoot facility on the other end of town. As part of the upgrade, ILMO decided to purchase an automated fill plant. The plant, with components supplied by GAWDA Member Weldcoa, allowed the company to palletize its entire operation. That action made filling procedures go faster and reduced the need for personnel. Brad says that though pallets require maintenance and, eventually, replacement, “you come out ahead. You can load a truck in a fraction of the time.” Last year, the company reinvested in the 15-year-old plant, again turning to Weldcoa and updating all the electronics. “The automated fill plant has paid for itself over and over,” Director of Production Matt Renouf observed. “It was time to give it some love and attention.” The decision provided another tweak to the profitability of the operation. While the company doesn’t have a lot of waste, reducing it an additional 1 to 2 percent could generate annual savings of $15,000-$20,000, the company reasoned. The return on the recirculation-system investment of less than five years was another factor in moving ahead. And finally, the installation opened up sig-

“Anytime you see a smokestack, they are testing for emissions and they are testing the emissions against a calibration gas like we would sell.” — Brad Floreth President nificant floor space, making for a neater, safer and more pleasant work area, Renouf reports. The update supports expectations for the next 10 to 15 years in the specialty gases arena, one that has been successful for ILMO. The company, which has long been ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited and achieved a ISO Guide 34:2009 accreditation in 2014, supplies just about every spec gas needed, and has been investing in equipment, personnel and training to be able to better serve the market, Brad says. Specialty gases are

Jacksonville, Ill., is nearly four hours from Chicago and two hours from St. Louis. While once larger than Chicago and a regular stop for a young lawyer named Abraham Lincoln, the city now has a population of fewer than 20,000. It can be a challenge to recruit skilled workers to the area, Brad says. On the other hand, Standley says, the size of the company, its culture and its commitment to growth is attractive to some, particularly those from large companies. “They can make a difference,” she says. “You can almost see it kind of dawn on them. ‘Oh, I’ll get to see the results of what I’m doing.’” To face the challenge of developing a work force and the expected challenge of generational turnover that many in the industry anticipate, ILMO has begun to take the first steps in succession planning. “We’ve got a lot of young people here,” says Brad. “These are people we need to be considering for other things and start training them.” Kim Mullinix, a human resources generalist at ILMO, has been meeting with each of ILMO’s 92 employees to identify and discuss potential career paths. There have been surprises, such as employees expressing interest in moving to other departments within the company, and there have been employees who have made it clear they are happy in their current position and want to stay put. Standley notes that the company “works hard to match people to career paths where they can be successful.” Spring 2017 • 17

MEMBER PROFILE For those who would like to continue to grow within the company, the next task is employee development to help provide them with the necessary skills. For that, ILMO will begin by having the employee take a profile assessment to identify if the employee is a fit for their desired career path, according to Mullinix. In addition, ILMO encourages employees to further themselves, offering company-sponsored training and tuition reimbursement for those whose development includes college course work. The company uses a formal process, complete with an outside facilitator, to set out plans for the future. Being a “knowledge company” and being easy to do business with were part of the most recent plan. Looking to the next planning session, Standley says ILMO may continue to stress those twin themes while also looking at enlarging the company’s footprint. She says those plans remain consistent with the company’s combination of stability from a century of doing business and the emphasis on growth that has given ILMO, “a culture of constant change.”

Top: ILMO Products Company headquarters in Jacksonville, Ill., was built in 2001. Bottom: ILMO provides a wide range of gases, including medical and specialty gases.


ILMO’s willingness to invest and its workers’ willingness to learn new things brings us back to Bleriot, the man whose gas headlight helped give birth to ILMO. He used his earnings from the lamp to become an early developer and builder of airplanes and he trained himself as a pilot. In July 1909, he made history as the first person to fly an airplane across the Atlantic Ocean, traveling from Calais, France to Dover, England in 36 minutes and 30 seconds.

ILMO can trace its origins to supplying acetylene for headlights on cars like this 1910 Overland Model 42. credit: Wikimedia commons 18 • Spring 2017

Proven Investments

ILMO continues to support their growth expectations For 15 years, the 40,000-sq.-ft. palletized, automated fill plant has served as the heart of operations at ILMO Products, Jacksonville, IL. The fill system was installed in 2001 and is recognized as one of Weldcoa’s earliest automated industrial-fill-plant installations. The high-volume automated fill plant, capable of filling more than 20,000 cylinders per month, has never missed a day of work thereby proving to be a wise investment for ILMO. The company knows a thing or two about investing with an eye towards the future as they were founded just over 103 years ago. In 1913 ILMO was known as Illinois Tire and Battery. Fast forward to 2016 when ILMO chose to reinvest in their continued success by upgrading the facility to Weldcoa’s latest cylinder filling technology.

Due Diligence Streamlines the Project

Completing such an upgrade often can at best interrupt production flow, and at worst can prompt customers to look to other suppliers to meet their needs. In ILMO’s case, no such disruption occurred. “That’s due to a lot of due diligence and pre-planning by Weldcoa and by our team as well,” says Renouf. “Even before Weldcoa quoted the project, the Weldcoa team visited our facility on several occasions, to take a close look at our operations and learn how we are set up to operate. They reviewed the equipment with us, and ensured that they only quoted us what we needed. We worked together to carefully plan the work flow, constantly reevaluating everything to cover every base and avoid any surprises during installation that could delay the project.”


“ ur business has continued to grow, primarily through spec gases and higher grade medical products. Accuracy and repeatability from the fill plant has been critical to that success, and Weldcoa’s support after the sale, which has been phenomenal, certainly contributed as well.” Clifton and his team at ILMO, along with Weldcoa’s support and guidance, developed a two-phase approach for equipping the plant for the next stage in its life. Phase 1: replace aging electronics, including the variable-frequency drives on its pumps and motors; and install a new pump control center. That work was completed in July 2016, “under budget and well in advance of the original completion date,” shares Matt Renouf, Director of Production for ILMO Products Company. Phase 2, slated for completion in 2018, will include new control panels at each fill station on the island, and new software to capture data from the island.

A Quick ROI

consumed. Also, VFDs improve load control of the pumps, allowing for smooth operation and acceleration, helping to prevent premature wear and tear. “We see the upgrade project as putting the love back into something that’s performed nobly for us, year after year,” says Matt Renouf. “The automated fill plant has paid for itself over and over; it was time to give it some love and attention.”

“We calculate a return on investment of less than 5 years on the new VFDs,” says Clifton, “thanks to the power savings alone that will result.” VFDs adjust motor rotation according to the requirements of the application; a 20% reduction in motor speed should result in about a 50% reduction in energy

In the end, the upgrade project that originally was expected to require ILMO to shut production down for four days took only 2.5 days, “because of the detailed planning and pre-work done,” says Clifton. “That led to the project being completed very efficiently, with less production interruption than expected and under budget. Now we have a completely reliable fill plant that will support our growth expectations for the next 10 to 15 years. We’re pumping more high-grade gases (medical and food mixes primarily) than ever before, and Weldcoa’s design allows us to do more of that, without having to add labor.

“The fact that Weldcoa stands behind what it builds and supports it diligently is not something that happens with everyone in this industry. We certainly appreciate that, and believe it’s a key ingredient to our longevity and success.” Jim Clifton, Fill Plant Manager at ILMO Products Company



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Tech Air Southeast:

Augusta, GA Gainesville, GA Mobile, AL


n the acquisition biz, it is not uncommon for a buyer to change their offer at the eleventh hour, leaving the seller in the position of taking less – or starting the whole process over with another partner. That doesn’t happen with Tech Air. Once the business evaluation is completed and a formal offer is presented, the sale closes at those terms – a deal’s a deal. Are you a small- to mid-sized company ready to make the first move to sell your business? Call Myles for a confidential, no-obligation, No-BS evaluation at (914) 490-7915 or

Tech Air of Texas:

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Myles P. Dempsey, Jr. Chief Executive Officer Tech Air

Tech Air of Colorado: Denver, CO

Tech Air Specialty Gases:

Apopka, FL Long Beach, CA Oldsmar, FL Pasadena, TX

A Perfect Pairing With Tech Air – An Acquisition With No Regrets Mark Straka had been a hard-driving guy throughout his career in the gases industry. He spent many years moving around the country, working as an acquisition integrator, building sales and buying territories for some of the biggest guys in the business. With that expertise, he formed his own company in 2000, Special Air Technologies. He spent 14 years taking it from scratch to an enterprise with sales of $4.5 million in the wholesale specialty gas side of the industry. Around 2012, Straka began to look for acquisition partners. Wanting more time for personal pursuits beyond work, he’d decided that it was time to sell. His knew his company was attractive; and he’d been talking to a few of the industry’s big guys. But in 2013, Myles Dempsey, Tech Air’s CEO, who was just beginning his multi-region growth strategy, was suggested as an alternative partner. It didn’t take long to realize the chemistry felt right. Some of Mark’s hesitancy about working with big firms came from a previous acquisition experience with a smaller company as a minority partner that he owned years before, which didn’t go well. “It was a horror story,” Straka says, explaining that the memories stuck with him. Something about Myles Dempsey’s approach, though – the way he worked, the assurances he made, the follow-through offered, the comfortable work ethic – reminded him of ADVERTISEMENT

his early career days – “when employees were important and the customer was the focus.” Tech Air’s philosophy and demeanor struck the right chord and convinced Straka he’d found a perfect pairing.  “What impressed me the most was that on the day of closing, Tech Air brought in just four people,” Straka recalls. Dempsey, an acquisition integrator and two people from Tech Air’s Human Resources team came in and met with every one of Special Air’s 14 employees for an hour and a half to two hours each, over a two-day period. Straka recalls, “They discussed everything about Tech Air and its policies, which really put my employees and me at ease,” Straka relates. He liked the idea of staying on as a consultant for a year and structured a non-compete agreement where he could start a small, new company leasing tube-trailers for helium and hydrogen storage and transport. “Being in the corporate world and then having my own business, I really couldn’t go to work for anybody else, but the fact I was able to do consulting work for them for a year was very enticing to me,” Straka says. “Tech Air delivered on every promise they made, from a financial perspective. The entire acquisition process remained true to our objectives and plans. I’m thrilled with how everything worked out,” Straka says. “It’s everything I could have hoped for and more.” 

“Tech Air delivered on every promise they made, from a financial perspective. The entire acquisition process remained true to our objectives and plans.” - Mark Straka Aircraft Welder

“Some things just go together perfectly!” - Myles Dempsey CEO, Tech Air Spring 2017 • 21


Family Businesses Find Success... L

ike superheroes, family businesses have origin stories. Their narratives often involve a single founder who overcomes a lack of money with determination and a steely, near-superhuman work ethic. But not always. In the welding and gases industry, some companies got their start when an industry veteran was given an opportunity to own his own distributorship. It meant leaving a comfortable position, moving the family someplace far away and working very hard; but it also meant the beginnings of an enterprise that could last for generations. A number of GAWDA members who are among the numerous multigenerational operations within the welding and gases industry spoke to Welding & Gases Today for this article. They spoke with pride about the founders of their family businesses, some of which go back four generations in their families. Decades later, today’s family-business owners say they draw strength knowing that those who came before them managed a multitude of challenges in order to sustain businesses that continue to serve the household and business needs in their communities. They also express satisfaction that those businesses continue to involve their families and provide them not only with professional careers and a way to make a living, but also with a great deal of family pride. It’s also plain, in hearing them relate their experiences, that there is no one way to have a successful family business. While experts lay out processes and guidelines to ensure a family business is run properly and profitably, the family business people we spoke with say they have succeeded by operating in the specific ways that happen to work for them.

22 • Spring 2017

Shared Decision Making, Consensus Style For the Winkle brothers at Weldstar in Aurora, Ill., control of the business is equally split three ways. “Like a lot of us, my dad was a conflict avoider,” Matthew Winkle recalls. Rather than choose a successor, he says, his father’s attitude was, “you boys will fight it out.” But the brothers haven’t done that. More than six years after John Winkle passed away, his three sons continue to make decisions through consensus. Matthew, Joseph and JB gather twice a year for official meetings. It turns out that they’ve found themselves in agreement on every business question they’ve faced. There have been no two-to-one votes, Matthew Winkle says. In fact, they haven’t needed to vote even once. Brothers Joseph and Matthew Winkle note that they weren’t always so harmonious. As boys, they and JB used to beat the daylights out of each other, they admit. But as adults running a business, they find themselves in harmony about the right things to do. “We don’t have a lot of conflict,” Joseph Winkle says. “We try to do what’s best The Winkle brothers, Matt (standing), JB (left) and Joseph at the Aurora, Ill., headquarters of Weldstar.


...Generation to Generation Mom and Pop, Big Shop to ESOP, GAWDA-Member Multigenerational Companies Are Thriving

by charles mcchesney

for everybody.” Cavagna Group is a global company with more than a thousand employees in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa, as well as a 25-person operation in North America. Miriam Cavagna, director of marketing and communication, explains that like Weldstar, decisions at the family-owned company are reached by consensus. Founded in 1949 by Paolo Cavagna and his children, the company has grown through the decades, often through acquisitions. Miriam Cavagna says the company is in a transition phase now, as the founder’s children pass along decision-making to the third generation. On a day-to-day basis, only some members of the Cavagna family who work at the company make decisions. “Strategic roles are still in the hands of family members,” she says. The “family council,” made up of shareholders, gathPaolo Cavagna ers twice a year. There’s a consistency in

running the company based on unwritten family principles that stress reinvesting in the company, Miriam says. “In bad times or crisis, keep investing” is the guidepost. Arc3 Gases, with regional offices in Dunn, N.C. and in Richmond, Va., is a combination of two family-run companies, one by the Arledge family of North Carolina and the other by the Dillards and the Ellens of Virginia. The merger of equals, as leaders refer to the combination that was completed in 2013, works because the two companies had very similar cultures, they say. The merger “has been a tremendous amount of work,” says Paul Dillard, regional manager at Arc3. However, because the two companies had such a similar focus, the merger was able to be undertaken, and operations continue, with little conflict. It comes down to, “what is your idea of customer service and taking care of customers?” Dillard asks. “That right there is very similar, if not the same.” Now, the joined management knows, “we’ve got to make a decision for better or worse and move forward, and that’s what we are going to do,” Dillard says. Main Photo: Brian Dawes and his daughter Rebecca took the top photo on the way to Take Our Daughters to Work Day in the 1990s. Today, Dawes and his daughter, now Rebecca Kinsey, both work at James C. Dawes Company. Spring 2017 • 23


Left: Rebecca Kinsey and Brian Dawes today. Right: James C. Dawes Co. has been selling welding supplies and gases in the Ohio Valley for four generations.

Deciding Different Paths of Ownership Nicole Kissler, director of medical reimbursement at Norco, in Boise, Idaho, says control of her family-run company has been closely held for two generations. Her father, Norco CEO James Kissler, is the only member of his generation who chose a career in the business. Over time, he acquired shares of the company held by his three sisters. In 2015, James Kissler diverted a bit from a strictly fami-

ly-operated enterprise. He created an employee stock ownership plan and gave ownership of 35 percent of the company to its 1,200 employees. A trustee represents the employees in business decisions, Nicole Kissler explains. She and her two younger sisters now own 33 percent of the company. Brian Dawes, president and owner at James C. Dawes Company in Martins Ferry, Ohio, was 22 when his father died


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WHEN BUSINESS IS RELATIVE suddenly. He found himself running a family business that his grandfather had started and that still bears his grandfather’s name. At that time, he recounts, some employees left the twobranch distributorship, lacking confidence in his ability to lead the company forward. The family was left with another challenge: he owned just a fraction of the shares of the company, and his mother owned the rest. The mother and son found they had different ideas about what needed to be done to continue operations. Specifically, they disagreed about the issue of buying cylinders. For two generations, the company had rented cylinders and then leased them out. He remembers being told how his father “didn’t want to own all that iron.” But Dawes saw the company passing along all its revenues, and wanted to bring that system to an end. So, he went behind his mother’s back and ordered cylinders without authorization. “She almost fired me,” he recalls decades later. Since his mother kept the company’s books, though, it didn’t take long for her to see the wisdom in the change. When his mother passed away, Dawes bought the remaining shares from the

The Castiglione family has been running WestAir Gases & Equipment since its founding in 1970. Family members include, from left, Steve, Chris, Janet, Lindsey, Kim, Sue, Andy and Andy Castiglione Jr.

estate, giving him sole control of the business. WestAir Gases & Equipment, the San Diego-headquartered distributor, is owned by the Castiglione family. Andy Castiglione is director of marketing and ecommerce, and the third generation in the family business. He shares his name with his grandfather, the company founder.


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WHEN BUSINESS IS RELATIVE The family has been fortunate in that successions have so far been fairly straightforward, Castiglione says. His father, Steve Castiglione, has a sister who was not interested in working in the business. Andy and his brother Christopher have a sister who likewise is not involved in business operations.

Join the Family Business, or Take a Different Path?

Top: Machine & Welding Supply Co. in Dunn, N.C. has grown through expansion, acquisitions and mergers into Arc3 Gases. Middle Left: Charlie Dillard, one of the founders of Arcet Equipment Company, photographed in the late 1950s.

28 • Spring 2017

Middle Right: Emmett C. Aldredge, Sr., photographed in 1968. Bottom: Arcet Equipment Company, part of a merger of equals that created Arc3 Gases, has been serving Virginia since 1946.

Joshua Haun was teaching special-education students at a middle school in North Carolina, far from his hometown of Syracuse, N.Y., and several states’ distance from the family-owned Haun Welding Supply, Inc., when he and his wife found out they had another child on the way. Concurrently, a role became open at Haun that would permit him to return to the family business. It was a bit of good fortune that meant his wife would be able to stay home with the children. Joshua came back. Seven years later, he still works with his father, Mark Haun, and his brothers, Kyle and Erich Haun. Three of them work from the Syracuse headquarters, while Erich works in the eastern center, about a two-hour drive away. Mark Haun, the third generation in the company, never made a conscious decision to join the family business; it seems it was in his blood and his brain all along. “All I ever wanted to do was be like my father in business and own it someday,” he says. Randy Squibb was the third generation of his family to run Welders Supply in Dallas, Texas. He and his brother worked together there for years, but he says, “we were never pushed into it.” That wasn’t the case for his father, Charles “Charlie” Squibb. When Charlie Squibb told his father, Carl


On their 50th anniversary, Paolo and Rachele Cavagna were photographed with their children and grandchildren in 1974. The youngest of the children in this photo are currently taking on leadership roles at the thousand-employee company, says Miriam Cavagna, director of marketing and communication. (She’s the one in the plaid dress and black hat in the very front.)

Squibb, he might have different plans for his life, the elder Squibb exclaimed, “what do you mean don’t want to come into the business? I’m building this for you.” Matt Winkle had a career going in a large corporation after graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in materials logistics management. But during a visit home, his brothers bluntly told him he was missing out on a better opportunity at Weldstar. “My brothers talked me into coming back to the family business,” he says. Walter “Wally” Brant, CEO of Indiana Oxygen in Indianapolis, Ind., shared how his father, Robert “Bob” Brant, “literally grew up in the business.” Because Bob’s mother died during the birthing process, Bob often ended up going to work with his dad. Despite that environment, Wally Brant says with some embarrassment that, when it came his time to choose a career path, he thought the family business wasn’t good enough for him. Instead, he had planned on going to law school. After a detour into the Air Force, Wally faced a decision. He was stationed in Guam when his father called him long-distance to report that he’d had a good offer for the company. He told his son that he would sell — unless Wally wanted to return to the family business. Wally took leave, flew home and within days was ready to help his father keep the company going. When it came to running the family business, FIBA

President John “Jack” Finn believes, “I was destined for it.” The eldest of five, he went to school expecting to be the second generation to run the company, a manufacturer with roots in the gas distribution business. “When I started out of college, we had 30-40 employees, today we have more than 300,” he says. After graduating from Northeastern University with a degree in business finance, Jack worked at the company as a cost analyst and quickly moved on to manufacturing production. His arrival at FIBA coincided closely with the death of Al Bamford, his father’s business partner. Bamford was focused on operations, while Jack’s father, Frank Finn, managed sales and business development. “Before long, I took over the day-to-day affairs. We were a small company then,” Jack Finn recalls. Evan D. Bennear worked at his family’s business, Dale Oxygen, in Johnstown, Pa., as a teen-ager. “Each year I learned more and more about it, worked in different departments and grew a genuine interest for it,” he recalls. But during college, Evan did internships at other places, “high-end technical companies.” He also worked for one of them for two-and-half years following graduation. “These experiences just reaffirmed how much interest I really did have in the family business,” he says. “It was reassuring. I eventually left employment in Pittsburgh, moved home and rejoined my dad and brother.” Spring 2017 • 29


FIBA Technologies, Inc. has developed larger cylinders over the years and currently includes members of the third generation of the Finn family.

Cylinder Painting and Other Leadership Preparation No report on family-owned GAWDA-member businesses would be complete without noting that many of those who are running their family’s operations today got their start in the industry painting cylinders. Time and again, members proudly report how they started at the base level, often as youths. Still, they enjoyed going to work because it gave them a chance to spend time with their family and create memories, they report. Christopher Aldredge, vice president of business development at Arc3, tells a family narrative about his grandfather and father. Emmett Aldredge was pleased with the work the teen-aged Emmett Jr. was doing painting cylinders. The elder Emmett told him so, then announced that he was promoting Emmett Jr. to vice president in charge of cylinder painting. “It didn’t take long before my father realized his job responsibilities hadn’t changed much, and neither had his pay,” Christopher Aldredge recalls with humor. Preparing the next generation for leadership is a process that varies widely among GAWDA member companies. For some, tragedy thrusts them into a leadership role. For others, there is a path laid out to get them ready for what may be their future. Nicole Kissler has spent years preparing for her role at Norco. She studied business administration at Oregon State University. 30 • Spring 2017

She worked more than four years as part of an executive team at Target stores in Washington state. She worked for another welding and gases business, Central Welding Supply, for two years before returning to Norco in 2014. The route was planned, she says, and the goal of working in the family business was something she long desired. “I knew since I was 4 years old,” she states. Nicole remembers the first work she did at her family’s company, cleaning the microwave in the break room. (Payment was a bag of Cheetos from the vending machine.) Other times in her youth, “I practiced signing checks and that sort of thing, even pretended answering the phone. I thought that’s what my dad did,” she remembers.

Formalizing Qualifications and Establishing Roles At Cavagna, the business role for future family members recently has been codified. “Last year, each family member signed a family employment policy, a document that addresses how to include members of the third generation in the business, establishing guidelines for all and prerequisite qualifications,” says Miriam Cavagna. If family members qualify to join the company, they are assigned mentors,

WHEN BUSINESS IS RELATIVE another family member plus someone working within the organization who helps them understand their role and guides their way, she says. Andy and Chris Castiglione joined WestAir in different ways. Chris Castiglione affiliated with the business right out of high school. Andy Castiglione earned a degree in regional development at the University of Arizona, then pursued a real estate development career before deciding to join WestAir. In the years since, the family has adopted new rules requiring the next generation to meet certain qualifications in order to work at the family business, Andy Castiglione says. “My sons are better educated and smarter than me,” says Jack Finn. The sons, John Finn Jr. and Chris Finn, have key roles in the company, Jack Finn notes, “one in sales and one in operations.” Specialization in company roles is a common theme when new members join the family business. At Haun, the three sons of current President Mark Haun all have distinct roles in the company. Kyle Haun, service manager, has been in the department for years. He was mentored by the previous service manager. Joshua Haun, director of operations and marketing, recognized early on that he had a propensity

Ken Haun, left, whose father started the company, with his children at Haun Welding Supply, in this photo from 1988. Next to Ken are Gary and Mark Haun; seated is Judy Haun Bertrand.

All photos in this article were graciously provided by the families interviewed.



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Years of growth have included investing in new locations and equipment for the Winkle brothers of Weldstar.

for certain areas and that he was “more of a corporate guy, for marketing, I.T. and operations.” Youngest brother, Erich Haun runs the company’s eastern territory from Albany, N.Y. The territory reaches into neighboring Vermont. “The three of them have specific talents and abilities that fit well into the company’s needs,” Mark Haun observes. “I kind of watch the puzzle pieces fall together.” Because of his sons’ diversity of abilities, Mark Haun has been able to delegate many of the tasks that had been all his since his father appointed him president in the 1980s, he says. Having those skills at hand means that, “I don’t run anything on a daily basis,” he reports. Similarly, the Winkle brothers have self-defined roles. Stressing that the three brothers reach consensus on important matters, Matt Winkle says, “JB has strength in personal relationships and gets involved in sales, operational and branch-level strategies. Joe focuses on financial, administrative, legal and other high-level matters.” Joe Winkle says Matt Winkle has become “the more analytical of the three of us.” That means Matt focuses on studies regarding everything from the cost of shipping a cylinder to the cost of servicing individual customers, Joe says. “We concentrate where our natural strengths lead us,” observes Matt Winkle. 32 • Spring 2017

Communicating Like Business Associates

Given the dynamics inherent in families, and how those can have a tendency to run over into the family-operated business, communication is an essential issue for family-operated companies. Matt Winkle says he and his brothers have a strictly-business call about once each month. Plus, he and Joe Winkle have places on a lake near each other where they and their children spend time together. Nevertheless, “Like a lot of family businesses, we don’t talk a lot,” Matt observes. Other companies have formal business meetings where family members who are shareholders gather to discuss the business. For some, the meetings are a chance to do more than review the latest quarterly reports and sales projections. The Cavagna Family Council meetings run for an afternoon, notes Miriam Cavagna. The occasion presents an opportunity for the family members to be involved in financial and business discussions. They also dedicate a portion of the meeting to some cultural and historical grounding, allotting time for the founding generation, the children of Paolo Cavagna, to speak. “They always take time to talk about the company’s origins

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WHEN BUSINESS IS RELATIVE and our unwritten principles,” she says. Norco has quarterly meetings where financials are discussed. These have become more important since the company created the ESOP, Nicole Kissler suggests. Additionally, the Kisslers brought in a family business consultant to help them formalize family-business communication. In June, the family members met with the consultant in Sunriver, Ore., to discuss the company and the family vision. Participants included Jim Kissler, his daughters and their significant others. It was a wide-ranging discussion that Nicole Kissler expects will be repeated. The Castigliones also are using a family-business consultant to help them communicate and plan for a growing family and the eventuality of expanded involvement in the family business. They have been working with the consultant twice a year during the past three years. As a result, the family business has created a family creed, a buy-sell agreement for ownership in the business and employment guidance for family members. The decision to bring in professional guidance was made by Andy Castiglione’s father, he notes. It was part of his father’s overarching plan to grow the business significantly, from one that was in the $35 million range, to one that is targeted to reach annual sales of $100 million, Andy reports.

A Blessed Situation, But One with Inherent Issues and Pressures Top left: Current Norco CEO James Kissler pictured with his father, the late Larry Kissler; and mother, Fran Kissler. Top Right: James Kissler and his daughters, Nicole, Dawn and Julie, at a formal event celebrating his contributions to the community. Middle: The Haun family is in its fourth generation of running the company, now Haun Welding Supply. Family members include, from left, Mark, Joshua, Erich, Janine and Kyle Haun. Bottom Left: Charlie Squibb; with his wife Matha Squibb, photographed in 1994. Bottom Right: Randy Squibb, during his term as GAWDA president in the middle 1990s. 34 • Spring 2017

While outsiders may see family members who have the chance to be involved in a family business as particularly blessed, there can be pressure and worry tied to working at a place with your name on the front door. Nicole Kissler vividly recalls an incident that occurred when she was

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Is This the Right Choice?

Steve Castiglione, now CEO at WestAir, moving cylinders in his early days in the business.

working at Central Welding, a welding and gases business, but not one owned by her family. She happened to observe a job applicant coming in for an interview. She immediately recognized that the person was related to one of the top officials in the company. She reacted as many might: with the fleeting thought, “she only got this job interview because of who her dad is.” Then, Nicole was hit by a revelation. “For that fifteen seconds, how I felt about her is exactly how everyone feels about me,” she recalls. That incident gave her great insight, and now, “I just try to keep that in mind with every initial interaction, so I never take that for granted,” she says. (And, as it turns out, she and the woman who was interviewing are now best friends.) The special status of family in a family business can be isolating as well, notes Randy Squibb. When his brother decided government regulations were taking the fun out of the business, he quit. His brother’s departure left Randy Squibb alone in running the business. “It’s lonely at the top,” he reports feeling. 36 • Spring 2017

For others, there is a sense of anxiety about whether joining the family business is the right choice. Everyone has days when they question their career choice, many interviewed for this article say, even if they believe deeply in the business. However, for some, those doubts may persist. Christopher Aldredge says he could not be happier than he is working in his family business. But he does remember some moments in a younger age when he had doubts. As he has matured, he is more certain he made the right choice, however. He offers a bit of advice to the unsure. “It probably would be beneficial for someone who had significant questions about their life’s purpose or their life’s work to pursue work outside the family business for a year or a couple of years,” he advises. “It’ll either reaffirm that those doubts were valid and they need to go in another direction, or it will open their eyes to the real world for a little bit and make them appreciate the opportunity back on the homefront.” Those taking up a business run by grandparents and parents sometimes labor under another concern that might sensitively be called the “third-generation curse.” The saying, “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations,” reflects the idea that a founding generation is followed by a building generation and then, as Arc3’s Dillard puts it, “the third generation usually screws it up.” While that potential may weigh on some, Craig E. Aronoff, co-founder and primary consultant with the Family Business Consulting Group, notes that the statistics on the issue may be misleadingly pessimistic. Family businesses have a longer average lifespan than non-family businesses, he reports. Besides, “most of the time the statistics don’t make any difference,” Aronoff says. “Family businesses work against the odds all the time.”

Ultimate Advantage: Stewardship for the Generations Asked how their family business succeeds generation after generation, many GAWDA member business executives cite the business’s commitment to treat customers well. “It comes down to the way that we service,” says Andy Castiglione, in words nearly identical to those used by others. That commitment to customers is mirrored by a commitment to provide a living to employees. “That motivates us to grow and get bigger,” says Nicole Kissler. “I guess we each feel an obligation to improve the business,” says Miriam Cavagna. “It doesn’t matter what our titles are. If your name is Cavagna, you give just a little bit more.” For some, the commitment to a family business rises to

WHEN BUSINESS IS RELATIVE stewardship. They feel they have been entrusted with an enterprise that reflects generations of family members, and they feel a sense of duty to its success and continuance. “Stewardship” is a word Dillard and Christopher Aldredge bring up separately when they discuss Arc3 and why they have faith in the merger that created the company. “Dad often used to talk about stewardship,” Christopher Aldredge says. In fact, his father never felt the business was his, he said. Instead, he thought of it as belonging to his father and those employees who rallied to his side when his father died suddenly. That attitude has been a powerful theme in Emmett Aldredge Jr.’s life and has helped him get through tough times, he observes. For Nicole Kissler, the legacy of her family’s generations is carried on through the ESOP that has made Norco’s employees part owners. It’s also carried out through the Kissler Family Foundation, a charitable foundation set up by the company leaders for charitable works.

When It’s Time to Loosen the Reins: How Families Make That Happen The dedication to a family business and a commitment to its ongoing success also can make it difficult for one generation to cede control to the next.

38 • Spring 2017

Some never hand off, but many find that showing up for work less often is a help. Mark Haun’s father, Ken Haun, spent more and more time in Florida, allowing son Mark to take on more and more of the decision making. Mark Haun is doing the same thing now, and sometimes declines to intervene in business decisions, even if he is right in his office. “I’ll come to him for some things,” says Kyle Haun, “and he’ll say, ‘I’m not going to advise you. Get other people involved.’” Wally Brant says his grandfather hung onto the company until he was 87 years old. “We kind of skipped by dad’s generation” for that reason, he suggests. In contrast, Wally’s father handed the reins of the company to him after just eight years. “We got along really well, but occasionally would dig in our heels over an issue if we disagreed. Finally, he said to me, ‘Fine, do it your way.’ He was really willing to put the company in the hands of the next generation.” After his brother announced he was leaving the business, Randy Squibb found himself wondering what to do next. A former president of GAWDA and the son of a former GAWDA president as well, he considered the legacy of his family business, talked with his father and decided to look into selling the company in the late 1990s. At the time, his father owned 10 percent of the company. Randy Squibb went to see him to discuss the offer he’d been made. Charlie Squibb thought the offer was good, but not great. Then Randy Squibb explained that the number he had shown his father wasn’t the whole offer, but just what his father would receive for his own 10 percent of the company. Upon understanding the numbers, the elder Squibb told Randy to get on the phone and tell the buyer he was accepting the offer “before they change their minds.”

WHEN BUSINESS IS RELATIVE In the 1990s, Brian Dawes and daughter posed for a photo in matching James C. Dawes Company T-shirts on the way to what was then called Take Our Daughters to Work Day. Two decades later, they took the picture again. The difference, Dawes says, is that this time, his daughter, now Rebecca Kinsey, drove herself to work. After the younger Dawes went to college to become a teacher, she found herself helping out at the business when another employee fell ill. She continues to work there as office manager in the Cadiz, Ohio, branch. She enjoys the work, finding it less stressful than taking charge of a classful of elementary school students. Nevertheless, she says, she doesn’t have the knowledge or the interest to carry the family business into the next generation. She notes that fellow employees can answer complex questions about welding, the kind of things that would take her decades to learn. Kinsey says she’s talked to her father about succession, and her message to him is clear: “When you are ready to retire, if you want to sell, you go right ahead,” she notes. “If he really wanted me to, I’d give it a shot,” Kinsey adds. “But I’m not sure how successful I’d be. I’d rather see the business go out on a high note as being successful than have me take it over and drive it into the ground.”

Keeping the Family Firm Going, and Growing For others, there is no question that they want to keep the business going, and growing. “If you’re not growing your business, some people say, you’re dying,” Christopher Aldredge says. The merger of Arcet Equipment and Machine &

Welding Supply Co. that created Arc3 Gases was an effort to ensure that, he says. Dillard agrees, saying “we relish our history but I look forward to the future even more.” Mark Haun, who has grown the business from three branches when he became president, to 19 locations today, says he thinks about retiring, “but I never get past the thinking stage.” Prompted by his sons, he recalls a time when he was grousing about some work matter at the dinner table and his wife asked why he didn’t just sell the place. “Don’t ever say that again,” he replied — in a tone of finality that he and his sons recall nearly three decades later. “We’re not here for the money,” he says. “If we were, we’d sell the place today and we’d all be pretty well off.” Looking to what comes next, Miriam Cavagna says, “I think we’re on the right path and with strong corporate governance, rules, policies and structures in place, and some ‘cultural norms,’ we might be able to succeed. Of course, having a successful business will help a lot.” When he looks to the future for Arc3, Dillard sees it involving the children of family members and the children of current employees. He expects that 20 years in the future, he’ll still be at his desk experiencing the same frustrations and pleasures that working in the family business gives him every day. And just like now, he says, “I’ll go home with a smile on my face.”

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Wisdom, Wit & Kindred Spirits Family Business Centers Are Sources of Camaraderie, Voices of Experience, Wellsprings of Information for Multigenerational Firms by diane stirling


amily businesses are the mechanisms by which much of the world’s societies are organized. They’re how people around the globe have created the means to financially support the family unit for more than a millennium. Families have operated all types of businesses, including shipbuilding, innkeeping and wine-, paper- and glass-making—and some family businesses go back more than 40 generations. For the welding and gases distribution industry, family businesses are common. The abundance of two, three, four and even more generations operating a business continually is a pattern well beyond the norm, since the average lifespan of a family-owned business is 24 years, according to the Conway Center for Family Business, a non-profit organization based in Columbus, Ohio. 40 • Spring 2017

Economic Forces, Everywhere The impact of family businesses is far and wide and their reach ubiquitous, says Ann Kinkade, founder of Family Enterprise USA, a public policy advocacy group, and now head of Lucid Legacy Consulting. “They’re absolutely everywhere and in every industry sector,” she says. “The family thing” serves as an underpinning for the American economy, just as it does for the economies of countries around the globe. Cornell University’s Wesley Sine, faculty director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute there, calls family businesses key drivers of economic growth worldwide and “the most common type of business on the earth, particularly in developing countries.” The Conway Center references their dynamic force, characterizing family-owned businesses as “economic powerhouses”


employ just over half of U.S. workers. (Large public companies, such as Wal-Mart, Anheuser-Busch and Starbucks make up the balance of jobs.) Family-owned businesses account for 78 percent of all new job creation.

Resilient, Innovative, and Entrepreneurial Craig E. Aronoff, co-founder and primary consultant with the Family Business Consulting Group, concurs with those traits. The author of more than 30 books on family business points out that family businesses are creative, innovative and resilient.

Family businesses have powerful internal cultures; they score much higher on worker motivation, leadership. – The Economist

and the backbone of the American economy. Statistics about multigenerational, family-owned enterprises reported by that organization attest to that statement: • Family firms constitute 80 to 90 percent of all business enterprises in North America. • In the United States, 5.5 million family-owned businesses are in operation. (That compares to about 4,000 actively traded public companies on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.) • Roughly 35 percent of all Fortune 500 companies are family-controlled (Business • Family-owned businesses create more than half of America’s Gross Domestic Product. • They generate 62 percent of America’s employment. • The small-sized variety of family-owned businesses

In fact, family-owned businesses are more innovative (and perhaps more able to be so) than nonfamily firms, says the Family Enterprise Institute (FFI). They achieve higher numbers of patents, new products and more new-product revenue for every dollar invested in research and development than nonfamily firms, the Institute reports. FFI also contends that most startup entrepreneurs (85 percent) begin their ventures with financial help from their families. In addition, the entrepreneurial spirit seems to run in the blood; several years ago, OnStartups reported that just over 48 percent of entrepreneurs said they grew up in a family business.

Sources of Help and to Shore Up Success For a long time, family businesses remained out of the public eye. That was in part because the media was unable to access the data of private companies so focused instead on the workings and ways of public firms, says Aronoff. That lack of attention and scrutiny was probably a good thing, most might say. It left families unfettered to focus on sustainment and success, relying on the talents of their members, employees and sometimes nonfamily executives. Occasionally, family firms sought help from wizened associates and familiar consultants. Spring 2017 • 41


New Sources of Expertise For the past three decades or so, however, external sources of help and expertise have become available to families finding their way through business challenges as well as the unique and sometimes sticky issues that can result when business is all in the family. The field of family business studies and family-business consulting has emerged as an academic specialty and means of professional, specialized assistance. Many top national universities and local colleges across the U.S. host family business centers and family-business educational and training programs. They usually are housed in business schools. Some colleges offer specific majors in the field, a curriculum aimed to help students who grew up in multigenerational firms decide if they want a career in the family company. Other schools offer specially scheduled, short-term retreats and classes that provide family members opportunities to tap consulting expertise and sort through common issues. A number of private institutions and consulting groups exist

for the same purposes, providing an array of topics. However such learning opportunities are structured, information today is based on research that began only 30 years ago, according to Anne Smart, director of the Family Business Center at Loyola University Chicago. The field also is complex because it is interdisciplinary, touching on topics in law, business, social sciences, social work and psychology, she adds.

Three Circles of Management

Researchers and experts in the field of family enterprise have popularized the concept of the “three circles” of management. They say all three, which overlap and are interdependent, produce seven different interest groups, “each with its own legitimate perspectives, goals and dynamics,” according to researchers Renato Tagiui and John Davis, who developed the original model at Harvard Business School in the 1970s. The model is considered a central organizing framework for understanding family business systems. In practical terms,



Family Employees

Nonfamily Members

Family Owner-Employees Family Owners

This is a representation of the Three-Circle Model, a concept first published in 1982 by authors Renato Tagiuri and John Davis in the Family Business Review article, “Bivalent Attributes of the Family Firm.” 42 • Spring 2017

Nonfamily Owner-Employees

Nonfamily Non-manager Owners Ownership

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of the U.S. work force is employed by family-owned businesses – University of New Hampshire Center for Family Business

the concept is meant to advise family businesses to align the components in order to have success and harmony in the firm. Or as Tagiui and Davis wrote, family business is defined by “the interaction of all three of these subsystems” and they believed that “the long-term success of family business systems depends on the functioning and mutual support of each of these groups.”

Finding Ways to Regenerate Pramodita Sharma, professor and Daniel Clark Sanders chair at the Grossman School of Business, University of Vermont Family Institute, is a well-known scholar and author on the subject of family-owned and operated enterprises. She believes that the dynamics of families within the business environment make for unusual situations in both realms, but are ones that can be overcome. She says family members can synthesize the “kinship ties and cutthroat business” situations that exist side by side in family-business environments by understanding that running a family business is a paradox that can and must be managed. “They don’t see it as ‘a problem that must be solved,’” she notes. “That mindset allows them freedom to focus on one and the other, paying more attention to the one where the need is more, but making sure the other issue gets attended to. The peaks and valleys of work tend to balance themselves with mindfulness,” says Sharma.


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WHEN BUSINESS IS RELATIVE In her book, “Entrepreneurs in Every Generation”, Sharma advises how family firms can regenerate the business for a new era. There is a long menu of possibilities for how families can do that, and “since each family and their context is unique, they will choose what works best for them.” To prompt families — and their individual members — to assess their roles and determine the company’s way ahead, the Vermont institute focuses on the concept of “the hunger of working hard and smart” and developing “a hunger for excellence and innovation,” Sharma says. They work to develop each member of the family by, “understanding their inherent strengths and interests and their needs and aspirations, and building career plans to ensure that each member of the family can live up to his or her full potential.” Both the longevity of the business and the growth of the enterprise receive equal consideration in this process as, “key to such transgenerational success.”

Dynamics, Communication, Governance How do families balance the misalignments that family life and unique family dynamics inject into the work environment? Dana Telford, principal consultant of the Family Business Consulting Group, advises of the need for formalized communication and governance processes to provide guidelines for conducting business and for settling the inevitable minor—or major—disagreements.



of Fortune 500 firms are represented by family-owned businesses – Cox Family Enterprise Center



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WHEN BUSINESS IS RELATIVE “Good governance begins and ends with effective communication,” he says. Telford suggests that having rules about how the family communicates, “can save a family meeting from falling apart and becoming a wasted, frustrating use of time and energy.” Such guidelines create an expectation of professionalism that helps avoid family-meeting situations that end up as “either an explosion of emotion and frustration or not enough energy to accomplish goals and make progress,” he writes.

Providing Information, Learning and Reassurance The head of Cornell University’s family business center believes enthusiastically that this is a very interesting time for family businesses, and for the study of them, too. “There is a lot more attention being directed their way. We’re starting to learn a little bit more, yet there is still a lot of mystery around them,” says Daniel Garrett Van Der Vliet, the John and Dyan Smith executive director of Family Business, at the Smith Family Business Initiative at Cornell’s S.C. Johnson School of Business. The center serves families who want help with the myriad questions family businesses face, plus it provides a place where families can connect with others like them, says Van Der Vliet. A network that provides a source of business information is important, and so is having a source of support and understanding, he believes. “Every family is so uniquely different, and really what they look for when they come to us is reassurance that they’re not so incredibly different, that there are other families that struggle with many of the same issues, and many others who excel with the same opportunities.”

Figuring Out That Big Question What families ultimately are trying to figure out, he says, is the “big question” of whether it is worth keeping the business in the family. “It’s a question that has to be asked and asked and asked — and answered — over and over and over again. He says family companies often wonder, “if the business is doing well, should we sell it now, or does it make more sense to keep it in the family? If the business is not doing so well, should we get out, or is it time for the next generation to take over and maybe do something else with it?” In addition to business expertise and programs of study for students deciding if they want to enter the family business, Cornell’s program provides another valuable resource, “confidential forums where you can share concerns, discuss challenges and share experiences with folks who have navigated similar 46 • Spring 2017

Kongo Gumi, founded in 578, was the world’s oldest continually operating family business, sustaining

1,400 years through 40 generations. Excess debt and a for

poor business climate closed it in 2006. – waters,” Van Der Vliet says. The forums reveal a common theme, he says. “All families think their family is kind of crazy. It’s one thing to have a family like that. Applied to the business setting, to go to work with a brother or sister or not be able to get away from mom or dad, that just amplifies the craziness at times. There’s a lot of identity woven into the business and that’s why these decisions tend to be very, very challenging.”

Raising Up the Next Generation of Owners For those who intend to transition the family firm to future generations, planning and preparation of the next group of owner-operators should start early, with age-appropriate introductions to the business, according to Deb Houden, a senior consultant with the Family Business Consulting Group and a faculty associate at the Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Madison. That process first starts at home, with attitudes and household conversations about leadership, ownership, independence and stewardship. It also includes whether the business is referenced as positive or negative and as a benefit or a burden. Children pick up on the regard shown for employees, sibling relationships within the business, and how the challenges of the day are characterized, too, Houden says. How that all is said and done, “sets up an underlying attitude that can be sustainable during the child’s lifetime,” she adds. (Her guest column on page 58 offers practical ways to introduce children at every age into the family business environment.)

Succession Planning Questions Questions about succession plans are another key reason why families look for information and guidance from family-business centers and specialized consultants. It’s widely reported that 30 percent to 40 percent of family-owned businesses make it to the second generation, 13 percent reach the third generation and just 3 percent survive to the fourth generation

WHEN BUSINESS IS RELATIVE (Business, 2010). Planning for transition and accomplishing it are two different things, however. The Smith Family Business Initiative website cites University of Connecticut studies showing that almost a third of family business owners have no plans to retire at all. Nearly another third said retirement was more than 11 years away. With a median age of current leaders at 51, it seems many will finish their working years at the company helm, the study shows. There are risks when the firm doesn’t have a formalized succession plan. The Smith Initiative reports that nearly a third (31.4 percent) of family-owned businesses have no estate plan beyond a will. The Connecticut Center reports that in nearly half (47.7 percent) of the collapses of family-owned businesses it studied, the failure of the business was precipitated by the founder’s death—and nearly a third by the owner’s unexpected death. In only 16.4 percent of situations studied did the business failure follow an orderly transition. (For tips on succession planning, see GAWDA Member Jessica Borowy’s guest column on page 62.)

Bringing in Nonfamily Executives In some cases, the family business may need or choose to bring in a nonfamily executive as a strategic bridge to the next generation, or to run the company entirely on the family’s

Family-owned or controlled businesses account for an


estimated of companies globally. – Claudio Ernandez Harvard Business Review behalf. Firms that choose this path must vet candidates very well, finding ones who sync with the family’s style, beliefs and values, says Gaia Marchisio, associate professor and executive director of the Cox Family Enterprise Center at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. Once a good choice is found, it’s essential that the family delegates authority and decision-making, so the person can do his or her best work, Marchisio adds. In addition, it is still up to the family to monitor the work and decisions of the executive as a governing board. Marchisio notes that some companies have the luxury of looking at this step proactively, while others may take it out of necessity at a time of crisis. Any company facing such a decision certainly has qualms, she says, as the idea of losing power is a big concern and it’s not an easy thing to do. “If this is a first for the owning family, its members, “absolutely need to check whether they are open and ready.” The Center recommends that such families spend a good

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WHEN BUSINESS IS RELATIVE amount of time thinking about the consequences of taking the step. “They need to process the decision and take the time to talk about what will be different, what will be difficult, what are we scared about.” Often, it’s a step that can refresh a company with a lot of new ideas, she adds. Since change is involved, everyone needs to be prepared for that, both owners and new nonfamily executives. In selecting a candidate, the Center advises families to “make sure you find someone who has high emotional intelligence. The executive must understand the different context they are in, be successful navigating the family business, and



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Over the last 5 years, womanowned family businesses have increased by 37%.

be able to adapt. In addition to being technically competent, the person has to be able to understand both the family’s culture and dynamic, and respect that in the company’s decision-making, while performing their fiduciary role, never underestimating the people-to-people relationships within the company and among the owners,” Marchisio adds. An analogy a CEO once provided her explains both the complexity and profoundness of such a situation, Marchisio says. The nonfamily CEO told her, ‘In a way it is like they give me their baby and want me to take care of it, grow it, and they trust me with the most precious thing they have. I’m responsible for this thing, but at the end of the day, I always need to remember that I am not the parent,’” she relates.

A GAWDA Member’s Experience

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GAWDA Member Indiana Oxygen, of Indianapolis, brought Gary Halter into the company to bridge a period of family succession, and it’s been a highly positive experience, Walter “Wally” Brant, the third generation owner, says. Halter came from BOC in 2008 and was named president more than two years ago. Brant had been president since 1982, he relates, and the decision was made because he felt the company “needed someone with fresh ideas and a lot of enthusiasm. I was starting to get thin in both of those.” The company also brought in a nonfamily executive vice president, Mike Gunnels, at the same time. Currently, Brant’s daughter Anne is corporate counsel and CFO, and his son Jay is in charge of ecommerce and IT. Brant does plan to pass the company to the next generation eventually, and the company has taken steps to formalize


 % 24

of family businesses are led by a female CEO or president (vs. 2.5% for Fortune 1000 nonfamily firms)



of family firms surveyed say the next successor also will be a female – Mass Mutual American Family Business Survey

how that will happen. In the interim, Halter was given purse-strings control and full-rein authority, Brant says. The decision was welcomed by members of the family, who were relieved about not having one child picked over the other at that point, Brant adds. Eventually, “one of them will take over, and we’ll work that out. In the meantime, since that point is another dozen or so years away, “we’re just letting it play out. Gary’s doing a great job and I really owe him the chance to set his legacy and to run the full course,” the owner, a former GAWDA president, says.

he writes in “9 Elements of Family Business Success,” is a “sense of connection and identity the owners and their family members feel with the business.” Family business founders and employees have, “an incredible passion for the business, and a focus and energy that you’ll never find in a nonfamily employee,” he says. Echoing that is third-generation car-dealership owner Paul Gentilini, who spoke

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to Business Daily News in 2014 about the keystone dynamic of family-owned companies. While businesses know that taking The family business is “literally a part of your life,” says good care of employees helps ensure that employees take good third-generation family business member Evan Bennear, who care of customers, family-owned businesses take that concept worked at his family’s Dale Oxygen Co. as a youth and teen, further, he adds. “If you take care of your employees and then spent a few years at another business before going back treat them like to work for the family. family, they The family dywill take care namic is ever-presof your cusent, he reports. “It’s tomers and your livelihood, it’s a treat them job and you want job like famsecurity to make money i l y. T h e for yourself and your family. business will But when it’s a family dynamthrive with ic you really are in this thing loyal patrons together. You’re still going to and employees, see [family] at Christmas and and continue to Thanksgiving no matter how it goes. – Family Business Review grow and be profitable even It takes a lot of patience. There’s good during tough times.”

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(vs. 4,000 NYSE public companies) – Family Enterprise USA times and there’s bad, but you’re literally in this together — more so than any other business dynamic I can think of. When you’re family, that doesn’t end.” Bennear says he wouldn’t have it any other way. His grandfather founded the Johnstown, Pa., company in 1929 and his father Harry, the second generation, is president. Evan and his brother, Christopher, who is IT/operations manager, are the third generation. Evan, who is the sales manager/CWSR, says what he enjoys most now is “the fact that I get to work with my family, to own and operate a business that’s been around for so many decades and is so successful and that it continues to grow.” Evan Bennear projects how the family sense extends throughout the company toward its employees, too. “There’s a true passion with my family in how we work with our employees. By far our number-one priority is our employees, to make sure they have a secure job, that the company is growing, that wages continue to rise and that they can take care of their families. Fortunately, our company allows us to do that. Our employees are like our family. We treat them like they’re our own.”

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That Passion Personified Brant also describes that same family identity-driven passion. As a young man, he contemplated becoming a lawyer and taking a different career path, but decided to enter the family business after all. “Without a doubt, it’s a passion for the business. Not necessarily the welding industry. You don’t have to love gas or cylinders, it’s the passion to carry a degree of excellence,” he says. “It took us a long time to get to be the largest and the best company in our market, and I never want to go back to second or third or fourth place again,” he notes. “I think others in our family also appreciate that.” Brant looks to the generations ahead as he concludes, “I did not keep this business so my kids could come into it. I kept it alive not just for the kids, but the fact they’re involved and they take it as seriously as I do is one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve ever had. To hear them say, ‘I want to do this and let’s make this better,’ that’s wonderful.”

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Family Business Centers You Can Contact There are family business information and academic program centers all around the country, and many business schools at universities and local colleges host programs to help advise family-owned businesses and business members. The organizations and individuals who provided information and comment for this story are listed with their contact information below. The Family Firm Institute also provides an overarching list available of those within the United States (listed by state) and also for Canada; Europe and the United Kingdom; Latin America and the Pacific Rim at:


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COX FAMILY ENTERPRISE CENTER Coles College of Business Kennesaw State University 3495 Campus Loop Road Mail Drop 4900 Kennesaw, Ga. 30144; 470-578-6045 Gaia Marchisio, Ph.D

WHEN BUSINESS IS RELATIVE FAMILY BUSINESS CENTER QUINLAN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS Loyola University Chicago Schreiber Center, 16 Pearson St. Suite 211, Chicago, Ill. 60611; 312-915-6495


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Grossman School of Business University of Vermont 55 Colchester Ave., 101 Kalkin Hall Burlington, Vt. 05405 802-656-4015

S.C. Johnson School of Business Cornell University Ithaca, N.Y. 14853-6201 Daniel Van Der Vliet, executive director 607-255-2881


UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSIRE CENTER FOR FAMILY BUSINESS Peter T. Paul College of Business & Economics 10 Garrison Ave. Durham, NH 03824 Barbara Draper 603-862-1107

Spring 2017 • 53

A Roll Call

of GAWDA Multigenerational Businesses


amily-business generations come in twos, threes and fours quite commonly within the Gases and Welding Distributors Association. This is an industry and an association of like-minded people where family often goes hand-in-hand with business, and where second-, third- and fourth-generation businesses are nearly the norm. In a few situations, the number of generations involved in carrying on the family business goes back even further. That isn’t the case in many other industries, but there’s something about the way the welding and gases distribution business is put together that sets the stage for that situation. Its spirit of kinship and sense of community draw others in. That’s a theme heard repeatedly whenever GAWDA members

gather. It’s part of what encourages ongoing generations to make the welding and gases business their home and to keep it among their family traditions. We recognize this list may not be comprehensive, even though we did our best to reach out to GAWDA members to accurately record the number of generations of their businesses – but we offer this look at the group. (P.S. – If we missed you, help US keep updated by sending your information to With a “hat tip” to longtime member Kenneth Thompson, principal of The Thompson Group, for the suggestion that we write about this topic, here is the proud “roll call” of GAWDA multigenerational businesses.

Second Generation A&E Mill & Welding Supply Company

Arcsource, Inc.

Ace Welding Supply, Inc.

Arctec Alloys Limited

ADF Welding & Medical, Inc.

ASM – American Standard Manufacturing

Advanced Gas & Welding Solutions LLC


Advanced Specialty Gases

B & J Welding Supply, Inc.

Advanced Welding & Industrial Supply, LLC

Badger Welding Supplies, Inc.

Advanced Welding Supply Company, Inc.

Baker’s Gas & Welding Supplies, Inc.

Aimtek, Inc.

Bickett Machine & Gas Supply, Inc.

A-L Compressed Gases Of Spokane, Inc.

C & C Oxygen Company

All Gas Welding Supply Co., Inc.

Capitol Welders Supply Company, Inc.

Alloy-Oxygen & Welding Supply Company, Inc.

Chemweld, Inc.

American Cap Company, LLC

Church Towne Gas & Welding Supply

American Cylinder Gas Inc.

City Welding Sales & Service, Inc.

American Welding & Construction Supply, Inc.

Coastal Welding Supply, Inc.

Arc Gas & Supply, LLC

Coleman Cable/Southwire

Arc Weld, Inc.

Complete Welders Supply


Compressed Gas Solutions, Inc.

54 • Spring 2017


Lake Welding Supplies, Inc.

T. J. Nowak Supply Company Inc.

Cramer Decker Compressed Gas Equipment

Liberty Industrial Gases & Welding Supply, Inc.

Techniweld (USA)

Cross Texas Supply LLC

Machinery & Welder Corporation

Trendex Inc.

Cryovation, LLC

Madco Welding Supply, Inc.

United Abrasives


Max’s Breathe Easy Gases & Supplies, Inc.

Uniweld Products

Delta Gases, Inc.


US Cryogenics, Inc.

Direct Wire & Cable

Metroplex Welding Supply, Inc.

US Tank & Cryogenic Equipment, Inc.

Discount Welds

Michigan Arc Products

Veite Cryogenic Equipment And Service, Inc.

Dixie Welding Supply Company, Inc.

Miller Welding Supply Company

Victor Welding Supply

Dupuy Oxygen & Supply Company

Mississippi Welders Supply Company, Inc.

Dynaflux Inc.

Mitchell Welding Supply

Volunteer Welding Supply/Awelders & Medical Supply

Economy Welding And Industrial Supply, LLC

Moore Oxygen Supply, Inc.

Eleet Cryogenics, Inc.

Napotnik Welding Supplies

Empresas De Soldaduras

Nealco Products, Inc.

Erie Technologies

New Bedford Welding Supply, Inc.

Evergreen Midwest, Inc.

New Braunfels Welders Supply, Inc.

FasTest, Inc.

Nexair, LLC

Flame Technologies

NLR Welding Supply, Inc.

Flange Wizard Inc.

Noble Gas Solutions, Inc.

Flexovit USA Inc.

Northern Gases & Supplies, Inc.

Four Corners Welding & Gas Supply

O2 Plus, Inc.

Wilson Products Compressed Gas Company, Inc.

G & E Welding Supply Company

Parenta & Sons Enterprises, Inc.

Wilson Supply Company

G&J Hall Tools, Inc.

PDC Machines, Inc.

Wire Wizard Welding Products

Gas Innovations/WWS

Pennsylvania Welding Supply Company

Wyandotte Welding Supply, Inc.

Gases Y Soldaduras Bringas Sa De Cv

Postle Industries, Inc.

Gem State Welders Supply, Inc.

Premier Air Products LLC

Third Generation

Genstar Technologies Company, Inc.

Prism Visual Software

AGL Welding Supply Company, Inc.

Gerhart Gas Technologies

Professional Welding Supply

All Welding Supplies, Inc.

Hocon Industrial Gas

Pure Ox

American Cylinder Gas Inc.

Hohenschild Welders Supply Company, Inc.

Ratermann Manufacturing, Inc.

Andy Oxy Company, Inc.

Ray Murray

A-OX Welding Supply Company, Inc.

Sanrex Corporation

Arco Welding Supply Co.

SOS Gases, Inc.

Argyle Welding Supply Company, Inc.

Southern Welders Supply Company

Beckley Welding Supply, Inc.

Holston Gases, Inc. Independent Welding Supply, LLC Industrial Welding Supply Company, Inc. Interstate Welding & Steel Supply Ivey Industries, Inc. Jones Welding & Industrial Supply, Inc. K C Welding Supply Inc.

Strate Welding Supply Company, Inc. Sumig USA Corporation

Kaplan Industries

Superflash – Compressed Gas Equipment, Ibeda, Inc.

Koehler Welding Supply

Superior Welding Supply Company

Wayne Oxygen & Welding Supply WEH Technologies Welders Supply Company Welders Supply Company Of Louisville, Inc. Welding Material Sales, Inc. Weldquip Inc. Weldsale Company WESCO Gas & Welding Supply, Inc. Western Sales & Testing of Amarillo, Inc.

Bemidji Welders Supply Inc. Berger Farm & Welding Supply Inc. Butler Gas Products California Cylinder Corporation Cavagna North America, Inc. Spring 2017 • 55


Havard Welding Supply Co., Inc.

McKinney Welding Supply Co., Inc

Central McGowan, Inc.

Hodges Welding Supply

Mercer Industries

Central Ohio Welding Company, Inc.

Huber Supply Company, Inc.

Metro Welding Supply Corporation

Champion Industrial Sales Company

Humphries Incorporated

Middlesex Gases & Technologies, Inc.

City Carbonic LLC

Industrial Source, Inc.

Middlesex Welding Sales Co., Inc.

Craig Welding Supply Company

Industrial Welding Supply, Inc.

Mid-South Welding Supply

Crumpton Welding Supply & Equipment, Inc.

IRCO Automation Inc.

Minneapolis Oxygen Company

J. F. Martin, Inc.

MK Products, Inc.

Cryo Weld Corporation

Jackson Welding & Gas Products

Monroe Welding Supply, Inc.


Jackson Welding Supply Co., Inc.

National Welding Supply Company

Dailey Resources Ltd.

James C. Dawes Company Inc.

Noel’s, Inc.

Dale Oxygen, Inc.

James Oxygen & Supply Company


Delille Oxygen Company

John’s Sales And Service

Northeast Pressure Vessel Testing

Earlbeck Gases & Technologies


O.E. Meyer Company

F & M Mafco, Inc.

Keen Compressed Gas Company

Orange Research

FIBA Technologies, Inc.

Kiswel USA, Inc.


Flint Welding Supply Company

Lampton Welding Supply Company, Inc.

Ozarc/Gas Equipment & Supply, Inc.

Gano Welding Supplies

Lefeld Welding & Steel Supplies, Inc.

Paraco Gas

Gas Equipment Company, Inc.

Lessmann Brushes

Purity Cylinder Gases, Inc.

General Air Service And Supply Company

Liberty Supply, Inc.

Ranch Cryogenics, Inc.

General Distributing Company

Logan Hagan Welding Supply, Inc.

Rayco Welding Gases

Gullco International Inc.

Mabscott Supply Company

Red Ball Oxygen Company, Inc.

H & M Pipe Beveling Machine Company Inc.

Mahany Welding Supply Co. Inc.

Roberts Oxygen Company, Inc.

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Worthington Industries

James C. Dawes Company Inc.

S. J. Smith Company

Wright Brothers Inc. (Wright Brothers Global Gas -Telemetry)

Phoenix Products

Saf T Cart Schad & Pulte Welding Supply, Inc. Scully Welding Supply Corporation Sidney Lee Welding Supply, Inc. Sky Oxygen South Jersey Welding Supply, Inc. T. W. Smith Corporation Terry Supply Company The Gasflux Company The M.K. Morse Co. Thompson Brothers Supplies, Inc. Tri-State Oxygen, Inc. Tyler Welders Supply, Inc. Vern Lewis Welding Supply Inc.

Rexarc International Inc. Rotarex North America

Fourth Generation

Shaw Oxygen Company, Inc.

Albright Welding & Supply Company Inc.

South Park Welding Supplies, LLC

American Torch Tip Company

Sutton-Garten Company

Anthony Welded Products, Inc.

Weiler Welding Company, Inc.

AWI/Arkansas Welding & Industrial Supply, Inc.

Welder Service Co., Inc.

“Bug-O Systems / Weld

Welier Abrasives Group

Tooling Corporation”

Welsco, Inc.

Carbonic Systems Inc. (NY)

West Penn Laco, Inc.

Dun-Lap Manufacturing Company

Witt Gas Controls

Forney Industries, Inc. Fresno Oxygen & Welding Suppliers, Inc. Goss, Inc. Greco Gas, Inc.

Fifth Generation ILMO Products Company

GTW Welding Supplies

Modern Supply Company (a subsidiary of Modern Welding Co., Inc.)

Welding Industrial Supply Company (Wisco)

Harris Industrial Gases

Terrace Supply Company

Weldstar Company

Hartman Brothers, Inc

WestAir Gases & Equipment, Inc.

Haun Welding Supply, Inc.

Seveneth Generation

Willard C. Starcher, Inc.

Indiana Oxygen Company


Winfield Iron And Metal, Inc.

Island Supply Welding Company

Trade & Industrial Supply, Inc.

Welders Supply Company Raimy Corporation

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Spring 2017 • 57


Developing the Next Generation Tips for When, How to Involve Young Family Members in the Business by deb houden, ph.d.

I Deb Houden is a senior consultant with the Family Business Consulting Group of Madison, Wisc. She is a frequent presenter for industry groups, family business centers and company retreats. Houden also teaches for the Wisconsin School of Business and its Center for Professional and Executive Development. She can be reached at and at 608-233-2517.

58 • Spring 2017

t is the responsibility of each generation to prepare the next one to exceed them. In families who own businesses, preparation includes the areas of developing concepts about leadership, ownership, independence and stewardship. Continuity in the family business is dependent upon the next generation – but there are many facets to that continuity and dependence.

START VERY EARLY Preparation with the next generation should start early and work toward developing a positive attitude in the way the next generation regards the family business. It’s important to recognize that household conversations about the business – the way that the family discusses their parents, their own siblings, the employees and the challenges of the day – sets up an underlying attitude that can be sustainable during the child’s lifetime. If employment in the family business is discussed at home as having the potential for selffulfilment, problems to solve, goals to achieve, relationships to enjoy and responsibilities to honor, then children are apt to look forward to the opportunity for employment in any business. On the other hand, if the workplace is characterized as stressful, boring, stagnant or involving unpleasant relationships with relatives who are hateful, or if the family business is presented as a duty, children are apt to foresee the enterprise as an obligation. They may come to see it as a place where they must work but will never be fulfilled. Here are some age-appropriate recommen-

dations for parent-owners of family businesses for gradually introducing their children to the concept of perhaps someday being part of, or running, the enterprise.

CHILDHOOD (AGES 5 – 10) Young children marvel when they go to a parent’s work. If they are allowed to nurture that wonderment (and are kept safe from dangerous machinery) and have fun at an early age, they can become comfortable and knowledgeable about it in a way that seems to seep into their blood. They just know the place, they just know the business. They’re even able to do simple chores at the business appropriate for their age level.

TWEEN/TEEN (AGES 10-15) Teens and tweens can conduct conversations with their parents about the business and how it’s operated, including understanding the business’ reason for being, asking how the children perceive the business, discussing what it’s like to be a business owner and what it means to work hard and have others rely on you. There are many chores a tween/teen can do around the business to earn spending money. That’s a simple way to involve them, but this is also the time to start describing how the business came about, why you do the work you do and who the business helps. Additionally, children at this age are extremely observant and produce wonderful thoughts. Parents can ask them questions about what they see and think about the operation – and then listen.

BEST PRACTICES LATE ADOLESCENT/YOUNG ADULT (AGES 16-22, HIGH SCHOOL - COLLEGE AGE) Young adult children can be very helpful in a family business, and it can be helpful to them, as well. It offers opportunities for after-school and summertime employment and internships before and during college. This is a time for: • Discussions about supporting employees • Discussions about how employees help you • Being held accountable for doing a job While parents should make sure that their young adult children have healthy outside interests, spending time at the business and being involved presents learning opportunities. Employment at this age should include setting goals each week as well as short weekly check-in meetings. Ask questions to show understanding and to gain perspective. Adolescents and young adults have a different view of the world. The child also needs to hear where and how they’ve done well, yet needs suggestions on how to improve. Remember the golden ratio of 5:1; five positive statements for every negative. Young adults can work in areas of interest of their own, or at other companies that may have similar skills needed

It’s important to recognize that household conversations about the business … set up an underlying attitude that can be sustainable during the child’s lifetime. for the family’s company. College-aged children can bring additional knowledge to the work force and can accept more responsibilities. If teens and young adults can develop a healthy attitude of opportunity in the family business, many of the other preparation steps fall into place. When introducing employment and ownership, including the teens in the operations of the business builds knowledge of the company and pride in involvement. One of the biggest challenges at this age is finishing school, though, and often, family members try to help by offering a job at the family business. While this can be a saving grace for a young adult, working at the family business should never be a fallback position. Instead, it should be an opportunity for







Spring 2017 • 59

BEST PRACTICES both the child and the business. After the child graduates, one opportunity to learn is to work somewhere else for a time.

FAMILY MEETINGS Parents can develop a culture of ownership by carving out time to create, attend and participate in their own family meetings. These meetings do not have to be long, and they do not have to be complicated. They do need to be consistent and they do need to have an agenda, even if it only contains three items. Family meeting attendance and involvement help to develop a commitment to being an effective owner. Finally, storytelling at family meetings by older senior generation members is a good way to capture the attention and educate younger members. Stories of the early days, of mistakes made and small triumphs achieved, help younger members understand that nothing was ever perfect, that sometimes there were failures, but the family endured. Those stories create a sense of hope and wonderment. Preparing the next generation takes time and energy – but the rewards are immeasurable, both for the family and the enterprise.

Stories of the early days, of mistakes made and small triumphs achieved, help younger members understand that nothing was ever perfect, that sometimes there were failures, but the family endured.

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Increasing Company Value Now A Key Step in Succession Planning by jessica borowy

I Jessica Borowy is a vice president with GAWDA member Owner Resource Group, a private equity firm in Austin, Texas, who covers the specialty manufacturing, food and distribution sectors for the company. She has advised and/or invested in privately held businesses of all shapes and sizes, primarily with familyowned manufacturers and distributors. Borowy can be reached at and 512-320-4086.

62 • Spring 2017

t’s a scenario called the “Silver Tsunami.” In the next 25 years, the number of people over age 65 is set to double. Many of these baby boomers own one of the 28 million small businesses in the United States, many of them family-owned. Given that demographic shift, such business owners are naturally concerned about shepherding their companies into the next phase, whether that involves some type of sale or a transfer to the next generation of leadership. Before thinking about a transition, business owners and their management teams should focus on one main goal: increasing the company’s value. This focus goes hand-in-hand with succession planning because the more prepared you are for the future, the more valuable your business will be. Here are seven strategies that can help in the quest for value creation. 1. Diversify your customer base. Businesses with many customers are worth more than businesses with customer-concentration issues. Your biggest customer shouldn’t account for more than about 20 percent of revenues (ideally, less than 10 percent). 2. Win recurring revenues. Recurring revenues and long-term contracts are worth more than businesses with lumpy or hardto-forecast sales. It may require offering new products or services to migrate to recurring revenues. 3. Strive for nichiness. Build out offerings that are complex, differentiated or consumable. Products or services that are difficult to replicate, patent protected or require engineered specifications create a defensible position, thus increasing value.

4. Employ a budgeting process. Keep solid financial statements. Forecast an annual budget and review that budget monthly. Devise and follow a short-, medium- and long-term strategic plan tied to budgets and marry capital to that strategy. You can have a great plan, but without set-aside capital to execute it, you’re less likely to succeed. 5. Be capital efficient. All companies are capital efficient in tough times in order to survive, but great companies are capital efficient at all times. Manage your payables, receivables and capital structure actively. 6. Be replaceable. Develop a complete, sophisticated management team. If business is tied primarily to the owner’s activity or industry presence, the risk profile changes and will be reflected in the valuation. 7. Develop a succession plan. Now. Lack of an exit strategy and solid succession plan can be one of the biggest value-destroying events for a business.


When it is time to develop your succession plan, there are some tried and true steps: 1. Solidify guiding values and principles. These provide stakeholders (including employees, customers and suppliers) a sense of purpose and community and a core philosophy beyond wealth creation. Ask how they view the business and what they want its legacy to be; these values will help drive future decision-making and help form the mechanics of succession. 2. Understand individuals’ goals and aspirations. Specifically survey family members

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At this point, you may be thinking about your eventual exit strategy, or you may be energized to fuel your company’s growth. If so, consider if you want to keep going it alone or whether it makes sense to take on a partner. Consider these partnership possibilities: 1. Bank financing – A loan to expand a facility, make an acquisition or increase working capital could make good sense. Start building relationships with potential lenders and/or equity partners now, before you need them. Search broadly for potential bank partners and do your due diligence. 2. Seller Financing – This lets the buyer purchase the company over time but may lessen operational control for the seller, and there’s a risk that if the company isn’t profitable, payments may not be received. 3. Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) – are essentially retirement plans in which the company contributes stock for the benefit of the owner-employees. This can create liquidity for an existing owner while motivating employees to grow the business and take on ownership. There are favorable tax benefits, but also increased Internal Revenue Service complexity and cash pressures if the company hits a rough patch. 4. Private Equity – If you want a partner whose sole purpose is helping companies grow, you might consider an equity capital partner. This may be viable if you don’t have the capital to acquire a competitor; the owner’s children do not have an interest (or capability) in taking over the business; a management team doesn’t have the funding to buy the business; the growing business needs capital to expand; or the owner is ready to reward himself/herself after working hard for years. Some drawbacks include having multiple stakeholders and loss of some control to outside investors. If you consider that path, look for a partner that provides a strong incentive compensation plan, including equity for key management, aligning achievement of key performance indicators with compensation and allowing for the exit of passive shareholders. A capital partner also should be willing to provide funding to spur growth, including acquisitions, developing or obtaining people, entering new markets and expanding facilities and equipment. The partner also should offer resources such as functional experts, relationships with potential new customers and vendors or acquisition targets and bank relationships. Importantly, any partner should share the vision and values of your company and how it conducts business. Consider the potential of such relationships early, before capital is needed.

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to identify if and how they may want to be involved in the company. Discuss different exit and succession strategies. Try to form consensus on what’s best for both the business and the family’s collective aspirations. What’s important is taking the thoughts of the group into consideration and using that to drive decision-making. 3. Set a plan and write it down. Identify successors in both leadership and ownership roles. Consider scenarios that could impact this plan, including the sudden demise of a member or potential successor. Have a plan to transition to the next generation of leadership. Identify and groom those who have both the tangible and intangible qualities needed to successfully run the business.

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New Administration Looks to Ease Regulatory Burden on Business by richard p. schweitzer, pllc

A GAWDA’s Government Affairs and Human Resources Legal Consultant Rick Schweitzer is president of Richard P. Schweitzer, PLLC in Washington, D.C. He is also GAWDA’s general counsel. Members can reach him at 202-223-3040 and rpschweitzer@

s he promised during his campaign, President Trump is taking immediate steps to ease the regulatory burden on U.S. businesses in an attempt to restore jobs and bolster the economy. Over the first few weeks of the new administration, this effort has taken the form of a series of memoranda and executive orders that seek to restructure the relationship between the federal government and the entities it regulates. First, on Inauguration Day, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus sent a memorandum to all heads of executive departments and agencies imposing a temporary freeze on all new regulations until a newly-appointed agency official has an opportunity to review and approve the requirements. Thus, until they have approval from a Senate-confirmed department head, agencies must refrain from sending any new regulations to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR); withdraw any regulations that have been sent to the OFR but have not yet been published; or, for regulations that have been published in the OFR but have not taken effect, temporarily postpone their effective date for 60 days from the date of the memorandum as permitted by applicable law. The memo applies to all regulatory actions as well as to guidance documents.


On January 30, President Trump signed an executive order that directs federal agencies to identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed for each new regulation proposed. The order will be in effect through the fiscal year, which ends September 30, 2017. 64 • Spring 2017

The order states that “the heads of all agencies are directed that the total incremental cost of all new regulations, including repealed regulations, to be finalized this year shall be no greater than zero, unless otherwise required by law or consistent with advice provided in writing by the director of the Office of Management and Budget.” Moreover, “any new incremental costs associated with new regulations shall, to the extent permitted by law, be offset by the elimination of existing costs associated with at least two prior regulations.” Because the federal agencies are unlikely to actually repeal two regulations in order to implement any new requirements, this order is expected to have a chilling effect on any new regulatory proposals in the near future.


Third, on February 24, President Trump issued another executive order addressing regulatory reform. The order directs federal agencies to designate within 60 days a regulatory reform officer responsible for overseeing the implementation of regulatory reform initiatives and policies, including the termination of programs and activities that derive from or implement executive orders, guidance documents, policy memoranda, rule interpretations and similar documents that have been rescinded. Each agency will also have to establish a regulatory reform task force to evaluate existing regulations (using input from significantly affected entities including small businesses and trade associations such as GAWDA) and make recommendations on whether they should be repealed, replaced or modified. At a minimum each task force must attempt to identify regula-

tions that (1) eliminate jobs or inhibit job creation, (2) are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective, (3) impose costs that exceed benefits, (4) create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies, (5) rely in whole or in part on data, information, or methods that are not publicly available or are insufficiently transparent, or (6) derive from or implement EOs or other presidential directives that have been subsequently rescinded or substantially modified. Each task force must report on its progress within 90 days and at regular intervals thereafter. Finally, another executive order dated March 13 directs the Office of Management and Budget to propose a plan to “reorganize governmental functions and eliminate unnecessary agencies….” This plan contains the following steps: • Within 180 days, each agency head will submit to OMB a reorganization plan; • OMB will publish a notice in the Federal Register asking for suggestions (presumably this activity is to take place in parallel with the agency plan development function); and • 180 days after close of the Federal Register comment period, OMB will submit a reorganization plan to the President.

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How all of this will work is yet to be determined, but it marks a sharp departure from the regulatory approach of prior administrations from either political party. President Trump is trying to streamline the government and allow business leaders to make new investments in the American economy. This provides an opportunity for all businesses, small and large, to take advantage of the new environment in Washington.




Spring 2017 • 65


Liquid Nitrogen for Cryotherapy – Medical Gas? by thomas l. badstubner

C GAWDA’s FDA and Medical Gases Consultant Thomas L. Badstubner is president of AsteRisk LLC in Lewisville, Texas. Members can reach him at 508-883-0927 and

ryotherapy saunas are becoming more popular. GAWDA members and major gas companies are providing liquid nitrogen to cryotherapy saunas. Since this application is relatively new in the United States, there are some unexpected regulatory issues for suppliers of liquid nitrogen. Here are a series of questions and answers that will provide a status update for those of you who have questions, or who may be considering supplying liquid nitrogen to customers to use for that purpose.

Q. A.

 Should the liquid nitrogen for cryosaunas be medical grade (NF)? Not at this time.

The appropriate grade of liquid nitrogen is difficult to resolve within our current regulatory framework. Health benefits have been advertised for cryotherapy (such as weight loss, enhanced blood and lymphatic circulation activity, pain relief, stimulation of cellular regeneration, sleep improvement, etc.). On the other hand, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has limited the “Approved Uses” for medical nitrogen in the “Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act” (FDASIA), signed into law on July 9, 2012. (See “APPROVED USES (emphasis added)— A designated medical gas for which a certification is granted under paragraph (2) is deemed, alone or in combination, as medically appropriate, with another designated medical gas or gases for which a certification or certifications have been granted, to have in effect an approved 66 • Spring 2017

application under section 505 or 512, subject to all applicable postapproval requirements, for the following indications for use: … (II) In the case of nitrogen, use in hypoxic challenge testing.” Cryotherapy is not included in the hypoxia indication. The FDA has established approval processes for emerging technologies. These processes broadly fall into the New Drug Application or the Device 510(k) Pre-market Notification/Device Premarket Approval. We are not aware of any formal FDA drug/device approvals for cryosaunas. Cryotherapy seems to have some “drug” and some “device” similarities. However, it doesn’t fit well into either the current drug or device definitions, since cryosaunas are designed so that the liquid nitrogen does not contact the body. Perhaps someday the FDA will deem cryotherapy a drug or device application. Until then, we generally recommend that medical grade nitrogen not be supplied to cryosaunas. If you have a specific request from a licensed medical professional for cryotherapy liquid nitrogen to be medical grade, please contact and we can discuss the regulatory implications in your case.

Q. A.

 What grade of liquid nitrogen should I supply to cryosaunas? T his may surprise you – we recommend food grade liquid nitrogen be used for cryotherapy.

Cryotherapy is clearly not a food application by any reasonable definition. So why use food grade liquid nitrogen for cryotherapy? Simply, food grade gas practices provide better protection than industrial grade

gases with minimal restrictions. The FDA enforces significant regulations governing the appropriate marketing and usage of drug and device gases. However, the agency has not established the same level of restrictions (for instance, prescription only) for food grade gases. Additionally, food grade liquid nitrogen has a significant benefit over industrial grade gases for cryotherapy uses. Food grade products are produced, handled and distributed using Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP). Food grade CGMP is far less burdensome than drug or device CGMP.

Q. A.

 hat food grade CGMP measures should we impleW ment for cryotherapy liquid nitrogen? If you already have a food safety program in place, cryotherapy liquid nitrogen will not be a difficult product to produce or distribute.

Here are some key provisions of food gas practices that would assist in your cryotherapy supply business: • Supplier Qualification – food grade gases are produced by qualified suppliers. • Product Qualification – food grade liquid nitrogen is produced at a registered FDA food gas manufacturer. The Air Separation Unit tests the product to assure it meets specifications. Unless your standard operating procedures or hazard analysis specifies differently, you are not required to do further product testing. • Product Tracking – food grade liquid nitrogen is tracked from the manufacturer to you and from you to your customer by the use of lot numbers. If there is ever the need for a recall on a specific lot of nitrogen, you have the records to facilitate customer contact. • Written Procedures – the filling and handling of liquid nitrogen food grade containers is covered by written procedures. • Documented Employee Training – food grade regulations already require that employees be trained in allergen awareness and sanitation. A sample compliance program with all these features is available to GAWDA distributor members. The program includes free written procedures, monthly webinars, training and resources. Contact if you are not already subscribed to this free benefit.


After review of the regulations and uses, the upshot is this: Until the FDA or industry consensus indicates otherwise, we recommend adding cryotherapy liquid nitrogen to your food safety program. Spring 2017 • 67


Your DOT Records Filing System: Is It Ready for a Surprise Audit? by michael dodd

A GAWDA DOT, Security, OSHA and EPA Consultant Michael Dodd is president of MLD Safety Associates in Poplar Bluff, Mo. Members can reach him at 573-7182887 and at MLDSafety@

re you ready for an audit visit from Department of Transportation (DOT) officials? It’s my experience that many of our members are not. Still, I have heard the same “excuses” about preparation and readiness for such visits many times over. They include: • “I’ve never been bothered before.” • “I’m in the middle of nowhere, off the beaten path, they don’t come around here.” • “DOT doesn’t bother little guys like me.” Just tell that to the three small GAWDA members who were visited by the DOT in just the past month. (Thankfully, they were ready.) Members have asked me how they should keep their DOT files in order. DOT allows you to keep them in just about any fashion that you wish, provided the driver qualification and the



drug and alcohol files are kept secure, with authorized access only. I’ve developed a suggested method for organizing DOT files and records that GAWDA members say has worked well for them. This system does not cover every situation, but will help 99 percent of our members. This table can be kept handy for reference. It shows suggested tab titles, and recommended retention periods that you must keep them, along with specific necessary details. Having these files set up and together in a filing system will really help you keep organized and will look very good during a DOT audit. I have two other checklists that are very helpful. Just ask and I will be happy to send you any or all of them, and feel free to contact me on any of these items if you have questions.


Place this list inside folder to be used as a table of contents

DOT Filing System MCS-90 MCS-150

Current Current

Hazmat Registration

3 Years Only if you have CMVs in Interstate Commerce; 3 Years Current Current

Unified Carrier Registration List of Drivers List of Commercial Motor Vehicles Accident Register DOT Accidents Company policy regarding alcohol and controlled substances Annual summaries of drug and alcohol testing 68 • Spring 2017


Accident Register Accident Register and Accident Report Forms Place actual DOT accidents into separate manila folders

3 Years’ Retention 3 Years’ Retention

Current Version 5 Years of Summaries




Driver Supervisor drug and alcohol substance abuse recognition training


Documentation of brake inspector / adjusting training

Retained by the motor carrier for the period during which that individual is performing annual motor vehicle inspections for the motor carrier, and for one year thereafter

Schedule of Commercial Vehicle Maintenance


Vehicle Maintenance Files

Retained where the vehicle is either housed or maintained for a period of 1 year and for 6 months after the motor vehicle leaves the motor carrier’s control. Many keep the records for the life of the vehicle.

Leased Vehicles (maintenance lease only)


Roadside Inspection Reports

Copy of the inspection and any repair bill, kept for 1 year. I suggest 2 years because of the Safety Management System tracks them for 2 years.


Only if you have your employees doing brake adjustments)

Copies of the Schedule A lease agreement

Previous DOT audits (either State or Federal)

Driver Qualification File (set up folders for each driver)

Driver Qualification file folder Driver Drug and Alcohol file folder

Kept for 3 years after leaving or ceasing driver functions Kept for 5 years if a positive test, 1 year if negative but I suggest keeping everything for 5 years

Hazmat Training

Kept for 3 years

Training required every 3 years

Security Awareness Training

Kept for 3 years

Training required every 3 years

Vulnerability Assessment


These 3 items are required only if you are required to have a DOT security program

Security Plan In-Depth Training on Security Plan


DOT Security Program

Post Trip Month 1

Keep for 3 years

Training required every 3 years

3 months

Driver daily vehicle inspection forms, completed only if something is found defective

Post Trip Month 2 Post Trip Month 3 Post Trip – Month you are working on Special Permits

Current plus 3 years of documented training on each permit

Shipping papers / manifests

2 years Spring 2017 • 69




Commodity price rises helping economy; consumers in a position of strength


The ITR for GAWDA Industry Analysis Report is a customized quarterly economic report. As a service exclusive to GAWDA members, its customized content has been developed by ITR Economics’ principals and staff economists specifically to reflect the conditions, experiences and impacts in the welding and gases distribution industry. ITR develops its customized content using GAWDAspecific indicators, data extracted from the publicly filed information of GAWDA member companies and economic information related to the types of customers that are important to GAWDA members’ businesses. GAWDA’s goal in contracting the firm for these reports, and for other economic insights and information, is to provide members with practical, useful information to help them develop confidence in the business and economic conditions ahead and a solid basis for decision-making.

Q. W hat’s better than an economic uptick? A. One that keeps on ticking.

This content is exclusive to GAWDA Members.


hat’s the positive economic situation GAWDA member business-

For more information on GAWDA es (and the rest of the country) find for 2017’s second quarter, and association the latestmembership, ITR for GAWDA contact: Industry Analysis Report shows. Stephen Hill, GAWDA Membership Manager ITR Economics, a renownedServices economic analysis and forecast firm 954-367-7728 x 220Chief / headed by GAWDA Economist Alan Beaulieu, began providing

70 • Spring 2017

the reports for GAWDA in the first quarter of this year. The latest analysis and forecast is presented on the next several pages.


Welcome to the second GAWDA Industry Analysis Report provided by ITR Economics. We are pleased to present this quarterly snapshot of the overall U.S. economy, and even more importantly, customized content developed specifically for the member companies of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association. Our goal is to provide members with the insight needed to create confidence and drive practical and profitable business decisions. In this analysis, you will see terms such as “rates-of-change” and “phases of the business cycle.” We encourage you to review the terminology and methodology segment of this report (on page 77) to ensure you receive the full benefit of the information being provided.



Here is ITR Economics’ macroeconomic forecast for 2017 and recommendations about what GAWDA members should do about it. ■■ Economic expansion in 2017 will provide growth opportunities for GAWDA members. - Consider expanding margins by increasing prices in order to maximize profits during this period of rising demand. - GAWDA members should ensure quality control keeps pace with increasing volume to maintain customer loyalty.





HIGHLIGHTS Rise in U.S. industrial production will extend into late 2018. Leverage competitive advantages to expand market share.



Inflationary pressures are rising. Look to lock in material costs with vendors as prices rise in 2017.



Oil prices ended February at $54.01 per barrel. Have proper price escalators in place as an expanding industrial economy will push prices higher in 2017.





RATE-OF-CHANGE (12/12) 2006 – PRESENT Rate-of-Change

This content is exclusive to GAWDA Members.


New orders are expected to rise into mid-2018.

opportunistic capital and business ForMake more information onacquisitions. GAWDA U.S. ELECTRICAL New orders will rise inmembership, 2017. Be sure you have the and association contact: EQUIPMENT proper number of employees to handle rising demand -8.1% A NEW ORDERS into 2018. Membership Services Manager Stephen Hill, levels GAWDA 954-367-7728 x 220 / 2017. shill@gawda.org3.5% U.S. FABRICATED New orders will accelerate through B


Check your process flow for potential bottlenecks.


Expect new orders to rise into mid-2018. Build inventories to be able to deliver on orders rapidly.



Rise in the indicator signals a stronger U.S. macroeconomy in 2017. Use cash on hand to create new competitive advantages, if possible.












*Denotes that the current 12/12 rate of change may not be visible to the naked eye on the chart due to the scale of the data. **The ITR Leading IndicatorTM is a proprietary index comprised of consumer, industrial, financial, and global components. Movements in the Leading Indicator suggest the possible course of business cycle movements in U.S. Industrial Production 12/12, a measure of the overall economy’s activity, approximately three quarters in advance. The Leading Indicator is unitless. However, because it is designed to be a leading indicator to the U.S. Industrial Production 12/12, the monthly reading of the Leading Indicator is included under the “Current Growth Rate (12/12)” column but does not include a percentage sign.

Spring 2017 • 71



Plan for U.S. fabricated metals new orders to rise through at least 2018 as U.S. industrial production expands. - Look to expand distribution channels as volume demanded rises for the next two years. - Communicate competitive advantages to customers; build the brand during this period of growth. Year-over-Year Growth Rate

12-MONTH MOVING 12-Month MovingTOTAL Total



























































This content is exclusive to GAWDA Members. For more information on GAWDA and association membership, contact: WELDCOTE METALS E71T-1C/M ULTRAVIEW PLUS TRUE-COLOR Stephen Hill, GAWDA Membership Services Manager for ULTIMATE PERFORMANCE! AUTO DARKENING HELMET Blue-Optical Coating Technology! 954-367-7728 x 220 / Weldcote Metals Flux Cored E71T-1C/M •

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ROTATING INDUSTRY OVERVIEW U.S. AGRICULTURE EQUIPMENT PRODUCTION ■■ Rising food production may contribute to increased need for new agricultural-equipment production as demand for food products rises in 2017. - Make opportunistic capital and business acquisitions to prepare for increasing demand before production accelerates later in the year. - Invest in system and process efficiencies to prepare for rising demand. Agriculture Equipment

12-Month Moving Average


























Year-over-Year Growth Rate
































This content is exclusive to GAWDA Members. 2017: STRONGER GROWTH

■■ General rise in the U.S. leading indicators suggests greater

levels of activity in 2017. - Look to maintain and pursue quality as production expands.


For more information on2019: GAWDA DECLINE and association membership, contact: INDICATORS DIRECTION WHAT Services IT MEANS FOR THE U.S. ECONOMY Stephen Hill, GAWDA Membership Manager indicator rose for the 10th month, substantiating the ITR LEADING INDICATOR™ 954-367-7728 xRise220 /The tentative low in industrial production and signaling rise in the (Actual)

U.S. economy into at least the second half of 2017.

HOUSING STARTS (Most recent 12 months compared to same 12 months one year ago)

Mild Decline

CONSUMER EXPECTATIONS INDEX (Most recent 12 months compared to same 12 months one year ago)

Mild Rise

Internal trends suggest upward momentum is sustainable. Rise bodes well for retail sales in the second half of 2017.

U.S. TOTAL INDUSTRY CAPACITY UTILIZATION RATE (Most recent month compared to same month one year ago)


The utilization rate is rising from an August 2016 low, which indicates upward movement for the U.S. economy in 2017.


Cyclical momentum in housing starts is generally declining; the decline is expected to extend for the remainder of the quarter.

(Most recent month compared to same month one year ago)

Mild Rise

Ongoing rise in the U.S. leading indicator suggests rise for the U.S. industrial economy in 2017.

PURCHASING MANAGERS INDEX (Most recent month compared to same month one year ago)


General rise in the index since November 2015 supports the tentative low in industrial production and signals cyclical rise into at least late 2017.

S&P 500 STOCK PRICES (Raw data)


The S&P 500 rose further in February. Expect continued upward movement through the majority of 2017.

74 • Spring 2017

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U.S. ECONOMIC OVERVIEW The major news over the last quarter is that the U.S. macroeconomy is on the upside of the business cycle. U.S. Real Gross Domestic Product through December, which grew at an annualized rate of 1.9 percent, is in a tentative accelerating growth trend. Rising macroeconomic leading indicators, including the ITR Leading Indicator (fifth month of rise), suggest that the accelerating growth trend will persist into at least the second half of 2017. A general rise in commodity prices is helping the U.S. industrial sector recover. The U.S. industrial production annual data trend rose in December for the first time since the August 2015 peak. Meanwhile, U.S. consumers are in a position of strength thanks to rising employment, an increase in the pace of wage growth, low inflation and low interest rates. Rising consumer expectations and high savings rates signal that the U.S. consumer is both willing and able to increase the rate of spending in 2017. Prepare for a good year in the U.S. macroeconomy by en-

suring you have adequate capital and labor available to avoid capacity constraints. Interest rates are low and are expected to rise along with wages; investing in capital equipment at today’s low interest rates is a worthwhile strategy to consider. Also, be prepared to compete aggressively for labor, especially skilled labor, in a tight labor market as U.S. private-sector employment rises through at least 2018. Ensure your workplace offers competitive monetary benefits as well as non-monetary benefits, such as flexible work hours, that help retain workers. Finally, examine your 2017 pricing plan to take into account rising energy prices and labor costs. Expansion in overall U.S. industrial production in the upcoming two years and a generally stronger consumer in 2017 will present growth opportunities for GAWDA members during that time. Think of how you can capitalize on the recent consumer and industrial trend transition to accelerating growth. Invest in customer market research: Know what they value and market your brand accordingly.

This content is exclusive to GAWDA Members. For more information on GAWDA Gas Flow And Control and associationSolutions membership, For contact: Cryogenic And Gas...Services Manager Stephen Hill,Industrial GAWDA Membership 954-367-7728 x 220 /

Diverters HP Master Valves Globe Valves


Gate Valves

Relief Valves

76 • Spring 2017

Liquid Cylinder Valves



Moving totals/averages are used to smooth out the volatility inherent to monthly data at the product/company level. Monthly Moving Total (MMT) vs. Monthly Moving Average (MMA): There are times when it is desirable to calculate a monthly moving average instead of a total. Averages are used when the data cannot be compounded such as an index, percent, price level, or interest rates. Totals are used for things where it makes sense to add the data together (for example, units sold or total dollars spent).


A three-month moving total (3MMT) or average (3MMA) is the total (or average) of the monthly data for the most recent three months. Three-month moving totals (3MMT) or averages (3MMA) illustrate the seasonal changes inherent to the data series. 


A 12-month moving total (12MMT) or average (12MMA) is the total (or average) of the monthly data for the past 12 months. The 12MMT(A) removes the seasonal variation in order to derive the underlying cyclical trend. It is also referred to as the annual total or average.


A rate-of-change figure is the ratio comparing a data series during a specified time period to the same period one year ago. Rates-of-change are expressed in terms of the annual percent change in an MMT or MMA. Rates-of-change reveal whether activity levels are getting progressively better or worse compared to last year. Consecutive rate-of-change illustrates and measures cyclical change and trends. ITR Economics’ three commonly used rates-of-change are the 1/12, 3/12, and 12/12, which represent the yearover-year percent change of a single month, 3MMT(A), and 12MMT(A), respectively. A rate-of-change above zero indicates a rise in the data relative to one year prior, while a rate-of-change below zero indicates decline.

This content is exclusive to GAWDA Members. For more information on GAWDA BUSINESS CYCLE POSITIONS: and association membership, contact: The data trends and rates-of-change identify positions in the business cycle. Those positions are: Stephen Hill, GAWDA Membership Services Manager 954-367-7728 x 220 /









12/12 is rising below zero and the data trend is either heading toward a low or is in the early stages of recovery.

12/12 is rising above zero, data trend is accelerating in its ascent, and growth is occurring above year-ago levels.

12/12 is below zero and the data trend is at levels below the year-earlier level.

This is the first positive phase of the business cycle.

This is the second positive phase of the business cycle.

12/12 is declining but remains above zero, data trend is decelerating in its ascent or has stopped its rise, but it is still above last year.

This is the final phase and second negative phase of the business cycle.

This is the first negative phase of the business cycle.


Spring 2017 • 77







7:00 am - 6:00 pm

Conference Registration

8:00 am - 9:00 am

Executive Committee Meeting Kingman NE

9:00 am - 12:00 pm Board of Directors Meeting

Registration North

Kingman NE

12:00 pm- 3:00 pm

Young Professionals Event (Workshop)

The Yacht Club Santa Margherita

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Regional Chairs Meeting

Kingman NE

2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Committee Meetings


5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

First-Timers’ Reception

Grand Lawn

Attire: resort casual – shorts and flip-flops encouraged 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm President’s Welcome

Atlantic Pool Deck

Attire: resort casual – shorts and flip-flops encouraged TBD

Exhibitor Set-Up for Contact Booth Program


Grand Ballroom


6:00 am - 5:00 pm

Conference Registration

Registration North

6:00 am - 1:00 pm

Exhibitor Set-up

Grand Ballroom

7:00 am - 8:00 am

Networking Breakfast

Royal Palm/Grand Ballroom Foyer

8:00 am - 12:00 pm General Business Session

Royal Palm Ballroom

Panel Discussion: “Generation Next, Part Two” Discussion led by George Ratermann Speaker: Curt Steinhorst Center for Generational Kinetics 12:00 pm- 1:00 pm

Group Lunch

12:00 pm- 1:00 pm

Women of Gases and Welding Luncheon

Royal Palm/Grand Ballroom Foyer Veranda 3

Guest speaker: U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Kelly Latimer, Ret., pilot for Virgin Galactic 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Contact Booth Program

4:30 pm

Industry Hospitalities

6:30 pm

Booze Brothers Band

Grand Ballroom

Grand Ballroom


7:00 am - 12:00 pm Conference Registration

Registration North

7:00 am - 8:00 am

Networking Breakfast

Grand Ballroom

8:00 am - 11:30 am General Business Session

Royal Palm Ballroom

Foundation Scholarship Announcement Keynotes: Christopher Mapes, Chairman, CEO and President, The Lincoln Electric Company Alan Beaulieu, President and Principal, ITR Economics 12:00 pm

Optional Golf

Boca Raton Resort Golf

Play your own ball! GAWDA has negotiated a group rate for attendees to play on their own. Afternoon tee times can be reserved through the pro shop at 561-447-3419.



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He’s one of the country’s most-informed economists, and now Dr. Alan Beaulieu advises GAWDA as its chief economist. A popular speaker, Beaulieu makes close to 150 appearances a year where he helps thousands of business owners and executives capitalize on emerging trends. For the past 27 years, Beaulieu has consulted with companies throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia on how to forecast, plan, and increase profits based on business-cycle trend analysis. He also serves as the senior economic advisor to National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors; contributing editor for Industry Week; and chief economist for the Heating, Air-conditioning, Refrigeration Distributors International organization.


CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER LINCOLN ELECTRIC HOLDINGS, INC. Christopher “Chris” Mapes oversees a company that has 43 manufacturing locations and a worldwide network of distributors and sales offices covering more than 160 countries. Lincoln is recognized as a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of arc welding products, robotic arc-welding systems and plasma and oxyfuel cutting equipment. Mapes has been Lincoln’s chairman since December 2013, and previously served as the company’s president and chief executive officer and chief operating officer. Before that, he was executive vice president of A.O. Smith Corporation. His duties there included leading the expansion and execution of a global strategy for electrical products.


CERTIFIED KEYNOTE SPEAKER CENTER FOR GENERATIONAL KINETICS Does it take one (millennial) to know one? Curt Steinhorst might say so. A millennial himself and an expert on millennial communications, Steinhorst is a certified keynote speaker for the Center for Generational Kinetics. With a reputation as a leader among his cohort, he has helped clients around the world make the most of generational differences in the workplace. 80 • Spring 2017

Steinhorst speaks from his personal leadership experiences about how employees and customers can bridge generations. He’ll discuss a digital age issue – ADD (Always Distracted Disorder) – and offer clues why it is a major reason for workplace underperformance. His high-energy style and easy-to-grasp explanations help audiences learn how distraction can be turned into functional action.


“GENERATION NEXT, PART TWO” GEORGE RATERMANN, DISCUSSION LEADER We’ll get the scoop on the mindset of the newest generation of customers, straight from the horse’s mouth, you might say. Supplier member George Ratermann leads a discussion showcasing the interests, needs and styles as real-life “youngest generation” customers provide their insights. From differences in work styles, to choices in technologies, to preferred forms of communication, the panelists will define the ways they want to be approached to do business and the characteristics of the companies where they choose to work and shop. Their insights will help GAWDA members become more aware of how they may need to change methods or adjust approaches to appeal to the newest customers in order to maintain market share.



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Spring 2017 • 81




COME MEET GAWDA’S ‘NEWBIES’! Join with the leadership of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association as we greet and welcome the “first-timers,” those who are attending their first Spring Management Conference, or those members who are new to GAWDA entirely.

THURSDAY, MAY 11 6:00 – 10:00 PM


IT’S A POOL PARTY! This year, the GAWDA President’s Welcome Reception is being hosted in a new format. So don your shorts and your flip-flops and join in for a hearty welcome to Boca Raton, the GAWDA SMC, and 2016-2017 President Mark Raimy’s first all-membership event this presidential year. Enjoy poolside dining – a fantastic dinner party feast. Then dance to a band all evening through. The circular, tiered-pool setting, water views, swaying palms, and camaraderie of fellow GAWDA members from all over the U.S. and international locations is all yours, all evening!



Introduce yourself, get to know the newest folks among us, talk about your company, and network the whole hour. It’s a resort-casual event, so shorts and flip-flops are encouraged!





LEAD TEST PILOT AT VIRGIN GALACTIC Wow! She’s flown more than 30 different aircraft logging more than 6,500 flight hours. She’s flown Air Force military transports and combat missions as an aircraft commander deployed worldwide, including in Iraq and Afghanistan. She’s been an experimental test pilot for NASA and chief test pilot for the Boeing Company’s C-17. Now, she’s lead test pilot for the Virgin Galactic Launcher One Program, helping to put small satellites into space. Kelly Latimer has soared to atmospheric heights for more than two decades. She’ll speak about her career choice, the path she took to her unusual field of work, and the kind of grit and guts it takes to do what she does.



When the SMC is all said and done, get some golf time in before you leave! The Boca Raton Resort and Club’s Old Florida setting includes its two renowned courses. The Resort Course, built in 1926 by Hugh Hughes, has unique water features and is known as one of Florida’s Golden Age courses. A short shuttle ride away, you can play on the Country Club Course, a visually stunning course with an 18th-hole island green. There’s also the opportunity for professional instruction at the Dave Pelz Scoring Game School. To reserve a tee time, call 561-447-3419.

GAWDA GIVES BACK AUCTION GAWDA Gives Back will benefit from a silent auction planned for the Spring Management Conference. Eleet Cryogenics has donated a 2,000-liter micro-bulk tank to be auctioned off during the Contact Booth program the afternoon of May 12. This is the 10th year Eleet has donated a tank to be auctioned for the benefit of GAWDA Gives Back, says Douglas Morton, Eleet’s vice president of sales. He adds that 100 percent of the proceeds will go to GAWDA Gives Back, the program that donates to charitable organizations in communities that host GAWDA’s Annual Convention. Eleet’s annual donation of a tank has raised $187,000 for GAWDA Gives Back since 2007, Morton says. Spring 2017 • 83

SMC 2017


FRIDAY, MAY 12 1:00 – 4:30 PM


Registrations are in; booth spaces are assigned; handouts have arrived; the pipe-and-drape is hung. The only thing needed now, GAWDA Members, is…you! GAWDA supplier members will be in place and ready to showcase new products, hand out brochures, talk about their new services and obtain that oh-so-essential face time with fellow GAWDA distributor members. It’s three-and-a-half hours that’s a unique combination – part Old Home Week; part seminar; part sales floor. Above and beyond finding new products and services, suppliers are an excellent information and knowledge resource for distributors, according to GAWDA President Mark Raimy. The chance to meet with suppliers at the Contact Booth Program allows distributors to expand their networks in ways that boost problem-solving and/or competitive advantage abilities to benefit their businesses, their employees and their customers, he says.


The goal of the newly formed GAWDA Contact Booth Program Committee this year is to promote 100 percent distributor attendance and engagement at the SMC Contact Booth event. Raimy urges distributors who haven’t gone to the Contact Booth Program before to attend, and those who have attended in the past to fully engage and network with suppliers when they do go again, in order to take utmost advantage of the informational resources available. The goal of 100 percent engagement is an important one, Raimy says, “since that kind of participation and interest is what makes this program successful for supplier members. Raimy expressed appreciation for the Contact Booth Program Committee’s work. “Everyone on the committee has been genuinely interested in making this a better program. It’s gratifying to see how much effort folks have in it and how much work they are willing to put into it.”

HOW IMPORTANT IS THE CONTACT BOOTH PROGRAM? VERY! The Contact Booth Program represents a major investment – as well as a major opportunity for GAWDA Supplier members, according to Melissa Perkins, of Electronic Fluorocarbons, who is chair of GAWDA’s Contact Booth Committee. She notes how suppliers support GAWDA all year-round, such as sponsored events and functions at GAWDA’s spring, fall and regional meetings. Their only expectation 84 • Spring 2017

is the interest and support that Distributor members can show in return by attending the Contact Booth show. Distributors’ time spent circulating through vendor booths to see what products suppliers are offering is well worth it, she says. “Distributors benefit from finding products and services they can use to help grow their business and keeping suppliers profitable and making their investment in GAWDA worth it,” the chair adds.





In terms of his company’s sales strategy, the Contact Booth Program “is huge for us,” says Contact Booth Committee member Bob Ranc, of Weldcoa. “It puts everybody at one place at one time, and we can see everybody at one three-day event.” For Weldcoa, which has 90 percent of its end user at the distributor level, “GAWDA is probably our single most important event,” Ranc adds.

Time spent attending the Contact Booth Program presents a distinct advantage for distributors, the way GAWDA Supplier Member Eric DeBaker, technical manager of Metal Man Work Gear Co., sees it.

The Contact Booth Program is a perfect example of the beneficial partnership between suppliers and distributor members, Ranc observes. Distributors’ focus on attending the Contact Booth Program “shows their support of suppliers’ commitment to GAWDA. We support GAWDA, and they in return support us by taking the time to visit our booths,” he says.

VISIT GAWDA’S NEW BOOTH! GAWDA has invested in a new booth, with bold new graphics and components that are compartmentalized and transportable, allowing them to be taken to the SMC, the AC, regional GAWDA meetings and other industry trade shows. The booth features: • Sit-down conversation areas • A multimedia display panel • Pull-up informational signage • Tabletops for handouts and brochures

MEET ‘WORKSHOPS FOR WARRIORS’ Workshops for Warriors is a guest of GAWDA at the Contact Booth Program, so be sure to look for the organization’s booth and stop to see what the organization is all about. The non-profit is dedicated to helping train, certify and help place veterans, wounded warriors and transitioning service members in careers in advanced manufacturing. It offers training and certification programs in welding and machining at no charge to veterans and transitioning service members. The organization addresses twin challenges: the large number of service members and veterans who find significant barriers to civilian employment and the growing demand for workers among American manufacturers.

“From a distributor standpoint, the main advantage is that all the vendors of all the different products that are important to your business are right there in one room. While you may see several of your largest vendors on a regular basis, this program lets distributors see some of the smaller vendors they don’t connect with regularly. They can meet the supplier’s people, find out what’s new, and make their contacts all in one place at one time.” The new knowledge distributors can pick up by physically walking the show floor can be advantageous for their businesses, DeBaker says from experience. “We have had distributors walk by and say, ‘We didn’t know you did that or didn’t know you had that product.’ Just being there created awareness, and it was a product they ended up using. That’s happened a lot of times. That’s why we like going to these programs. We get to talk to the people we can’t get to on a daily basis, and it really takes them seeing things in person and initiating a conversation. Many times, that situation leads to a product they are interested in and end up selling.” Spring 2017 • 85


Meeting Tomorrow’s Education Challenges Today Local Distributor Participation is Key to Work Force Welding Education by christopher mapes

A Christopher Mapes has served as chairman, president and chief executive officer of Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc. since late 2013. Before that, he was the company’s president, CEO and COO. He joined the company in 2004 after seven years at A.O. Smith Corporation, where he led the expansion and execution of a global strategy for electrical products. At Lincoln, Mapes oversees the operation of 43 manufacturing locations and a worldwide network of distributors and sales offices covering more than 160 countries.

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s a global provider of welding and cutting solutions, Lincoln Electric is intimately involved in providing solutions for the industries we serve to increase productivity, enhance product quality and keep employees safe – all necessary conditions for the sustainability of our industry. Just as critical to our industry’s sustainability is ensuring the supply of a highly qualified and motivated work force, without which manufacturing productivity, quality and safety suffer. However, our industry faces the daunting challenge of increasing the supply of skilled welders to compensate for considerable industry attrition. Our challenge is to attract and train a new work force from a generation that has had little interaction with manufacturing along with experiencing an unprecedented technology surge. Skilled-trades education is facing a technology and training challenge that we, as manufacturers and distributors, must help to overcome. The need for skilled welders is real and immediate, as evidenced by Lincoln Electric customer Chicago Bridge & Iron (CB&I). The company was cited in a recent CNBC article regarding its efforts to train workers (www. CB&I partnered with community colleges and technical schools to create customized work force development programs in Louisiana and also is increasing its military recruiting. With Gulf Coast energy infrastructure projects on the rise, CB&I plans to add more than 15,000 workers in the area. Other customers have indicated the need to add 3,000 – and even as many as 10,000 welders – within the coming years.


Simply attracting workers is not sufficient, though. Workers with advanced skills that can keep step with technology are needed. For more than a decade, employers have voiced concerns about a skills gap in welding and related processes, but there also is a growing concern about a knowledge gap. The 21st century welder needs to understand the principles and science behind welding – as well as the application of state-ofthe-art welding processes and procedures.

Skilled-trades education is facing a technology and training challenge that we, as manufacturers and distributors, must help to overcome. We think millennial-aged workers are well-positioned to bring value to this industry because they typically can quickly adapt to the tactile functions of programming and working with pendants to control welding processes. Even so, the industry needs to adapt its training methods and tools in order to prepare this group of workers for high-skill, high-wage jobs. That’s why Lincoln Electric continues to invest in educational programs, and why we see local distributors as central partners to achieving needed training and recruiting goals.


Our industry also faces a rapid evolution due to unceasing demand for enhanced productivity in the face of global competition. This demand drives advances in technology in areas such as metal additive manufacturing; welding automation, including robotics and controls, positioners and fixtures and CNC cutting; AC/DC multi-wire submerged arc processes and advanced welding processes addressing specific applications. Lincoln Electric has worked to remain at the forefront of welding automation. We see it as the key to the future of manufacturing and one of the leading and most visible signs of companies driving technology for improved quality, performance and productivity. Our own James F. Lincoln understood the importance of automation. In a recently found newspaper clipping from 50 years ago, he said, “Automation must be encouraged, not discouraged. If automation is attacked, our position in competition with other nations will be defeated.”

Lincoln’s welding training systems, where instructors train, score and review students’ work technique.


Skilled trades education and the professional development of educators continue to be high priorities within our company’s overall business strategy today, just as they have been for the past century. We continue to invest heavily in research, developing strategies and tools as the hallmarks of our education program. Those investments include: • The recently introduced U/LINC, a comprehensive curriculum package and learning management system that provides more than 1,000 training materials for welding instructors teaching at the high school, college and advanced levels. • Three virtual reality training systems, including robotic welding training cells and CNC plasma cutting table systems, used in our advanced trainer group. • Consultation services for high schools, community colleges and countries, assisting in the design and development of welding schools, connecting schools with grant writing experts, or walking a school through welding booth design. • Welding educator professional development through curriculum and local welding educator workshops, often conducted in conjunction with local distributors. • A $30 million investment in a new Welding Technology Center at our Cleveland headquarters. It is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2017, marking the 100th anniversary of the original Lincoln Electric Welding School—the longest continually operated welding school in the world.


We believe that our company’s resources and programs can be at the foundation of educating and training the next generation of welding educators. We also believe it is crucial to include distributors in efforts to attract and train the next generation of highly skilled welders. That is why we are advocating for a true partnership between Lincoln and welding distributors to help guide the future of skilled trades and welding education. In particular, we envision working closely with local distributors. As we continue to develop education modules, tools and products, we see the need for coordinated local-level efforts to bridge the gap between what local industry needs and what local educators provide. This industry’s distributors can help bridge the gap between local industry and schools by becoming part of that conversation. We encourage them to participate on local school boards to help drive a career and technical education and welding agenda and to become active with community colleges and other institutions that prepare individuals for the work force. It will take time to make the shift, but if such engagement occurs at the local level, the impact can pay dividends down the road. Both Lincoln Electric and welding distributors have a unique opportunity to shape the future of welding education. We are excited to be involved in this effort and look forward to working with our industry’s distributors to elevate welding education to ensure the sustainable, long-term success of our industry. Spring 2017 • 87


Generational Gaps at Work: They’re an Age-Old Dilemma by curt steinhorst

I Curt Steinhorst is the most experienced Certified Keynote Speaker at The Center for Generational Kinetics. His clients range from GM and Raytheon to the Naval Academy and Citi. His experiences leading millennials and as a speaking coach for top performers make him a powerful and entertaining speaker on solving generational challenges. He’s at the Center for Generational Kinetics at 512-259-6877.

n my work for the Center for Generational Kinetics, I help all kinds of organizations understand and deal with generational differences. The conflicts that can occur in the workplace between people of different generations can make it harder for employees to be their most productive and to have positive co-worker relationships. That conflict is a normal one. For all of history, older people have been frustrated by younger people and younger people have been frustrated by older people. But there is now a sharper edge to this age-old dynamic. The issues that separate the generations are more defined than ever. Lately, trends impacting the youngest members of American society – Internet availability, a lack of connection to the military and a dramatically different parenting strategy – have resulted in seismic levels of change. It’s no wonder that millennials literally don’t see the world as their baby boomer predecessors do. (I should know; I’m a millennial.)

Much of what older generations think is common experience simply isn’t common; it’s generational. Today, as many as four or even five generations (the Greatest Generation, baby boomers, Gen X, Gen Y/millennial and Gen Z) can be working side-by-side. With that dynamic, generational differences can manifest in glaringly different work styles, differing views about supervision and what constitutes appropriate work behavior. Such differences can be overcome with some education and improved understanding. Much of what older

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generations think is common experience simply isn’t common; it’s generational. So, it helps to recognize we are all the products of our unique life experiences and we all naturally believe that everyone else thinks just like we do. In reality, few of us realize how radically different life experiences are from one generation to the next.


Comparing typical life experiences for someone of the baby boomer era to someone who’s a millennial makes that clear. • Baby boomers probably moved out of their parents’ house at age 18 • Many were on their own right after high school graduation • By age 23, many boomers already had five years of full-time work experience • Baby boomers are OK with working independently • Boomers are comfortable making phone calls, the technology they grew up using. Today’s 23 to 25-year-old: • May be living in their old bedroom in their parents’ house • May be working in a first formal “career” position • Needs specific instructions regarding job expectations • Is used to a constantly connected world • Needs regular and ongoing supervisor feedback and craves positive reinforcement • Thinks a phone call is a rude intrusion, so prefers texts as a more polite alternative. There’s real value both in texting and in placing personal phone calls. Both have a place, just as boomer and millennial employees offer unique

skills, values and viewpoints in their work. With such divergent life orientations and experiences, it’s easy to see how conflicts can arise among workers of different ages.


Generational issues are especially pertinent for the welding and gases industry, which is experiencing a significant shortage of workers. There will be thousands of jobs open in welding and gas distribution professions in the future. The only people available to fill them are the current millennials and Gen Z candidates born after them. This industry also has a high ratio of family-owned businesses, but the millennial generation is the first one to heavily buck the trend of automatically joining the family business. (After all, this group was raised by parents who regularly affirmed their youngsters could do anything they wanted to do.) Still, a large number of millennials have opted out of entering the family business to instead follow careers that more closely mirror their own interests. Interestingly, our research center’s recently-concluded national study shows big differences in thinking between America’s two youngest generations. While millennials and the younger Gen Z-ers are similar regarding a dependence on devices and need for constant communication, there are big differences between the age groups. Because millennials have experienced a great deal of parental protection, they tend to have a sense of entitlement outlook. Their younger counterparts are far more practical and realistic. They’re the first generation in some time whose debt concerns factor in larger than prestige in deciding which college to attend. Gen Z-ers also are willing to put the time in to understand a process, and their mantra is, ‘Just give me a job and give me a chance.’

COOL GRIND – WHITE HOT VALUE! Carbo White Flap Discs • Grind and finish at the same time with one flap disc • Good cut rate and life on a variety of materials provided by strong, quality zirconia alumina abrasive • Great initial price point, stock offering – perfect for jobs where performance is not measurable


Dealing with different views and behaviors at work is the employer’s responsibility, but employees can help overcome difficulties, too. A simple tactic is to form multigenerational teams. That puts older and younger workers together to learn from each other and help them build understanding. Forging positive, productive relationships with co-workers of different ages can be as much about walking a mile in someone else’s generational shoes as about being a pleasant and cooperative work associate. In the future, employer dedication to addressing such conflicts and creating avenues for the generations to mesh will separate the best places to work from the others. Businesses that don’t address these issues will simply be frustrating places to work. Those that do will be better places to work, with good jobs for people of any age.

© Saint-Gobain June 2016. Spring 2017 • 89


Advice for Any Career Pursuit: Aim High by kelly latimer

I Kelly Latimer is a test pilot for Virgin Galactic, the privately-funded space company, and a 20-year U.S. Air Force veteran. She’s been an instructor pilot, a NASA experimental test pilot and a chief test pilot for Boeing’s C-17. She also has flown combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and has logged 6,500-plus flight hours on 30 different aircraft. She is keynoting the Women of Gases and Welding Committee’s SMC Luncheon.

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f someone were to ask me for advice on pursuing any career, including any of the diverse array available in the welding and gases distribution industry, I would say to dream big, do your research and follow it through with hard work. That’s the course I followed, and I’m happy to report that my big dreams, research and hard work helped my career desires become reality. I was originally inspired to be an astronaut at a very young age. I remember watching rocket launches from Cape Canaveral and men walking on the moon, thinking, “that is what I’m going to do.” I decided it was time to get serious about charting my course to space when I was in junior high school. I wanted to be sure to take all the right courses to set me up for success; even in my early teens, I was already very serious about living my dream and wasn’t going to leave anything to chance. So I did what teenagers did before the age of internet and Google – I rode my bike to the library and consulted the Encyclopedia Britannica. I spent days reading about astronauts – who they were, how they got to be an astronaut; and reading about test pilots and how to become one. I came out of my research session deciding that I needed to be an Air Force test pilot in order to have a chance at being an astronaut. That meant I’d need a four-year engineering degree, to be a commissioned officer in the Air Force and a pilot with at least 1,500 hours of jet flying time. I didn’t know what was before me, but decided to take it one step at a time. My plan was to concentrate on the near-term step while keeping an eye on the long-term, adjusting as needed as things changed over time. My initial focus of a four-year engineering degree and commission into the Air Force gave

Dream big, do your research and follow it through with hard work. me the options of a college with a ROTC program, Officer Training School after graduation to get commissioned, or to attend a military academy. After more research, discussions with a military recruiter, and watching the movie, “Women at West Point,” I decided the U.S. Air Force Academy was my best and quickest path. I received the application package – a thick envelope of paper then – and started the process, beginning two years ahead of the time when I needed to apply. Then, I did more preparation. I worked hard in high school to get top grades, took all the math and science I could, and played a lot of sports. I asked for my congressman’s and senator’s help. My preparation was essential. I was fortunate that I was successful. I graduated from the Academy in 1987. In my next career step, I had a long career as an Air Force test pilot. While I interviewed at NASA Johnson Space Center to be an astronaut, I did not pass the medical test. But that was not the end of my story. While at the time, it seemed like a crushing blow to be told I was not going to be an astronaut after a lifetime of work, my perseverance later paid off. All the experience and accomplishments I gained by pursuing the astronaut dream set me up for other amazing opportunities that I never could have foreseen as a teenager. I got to

When setting your goals, don’t be afraid to shoot for the stars; even if you miss, you might just land in a pretty cool place.

command an Air Force flight test squadron, be a test pilot for NASA at the Armstrong Flight Research Center and become a Boeing test pilot. Now, I work as a test pilot for Virgin Galactic, where I am still chasing my dream of flying into space. The icing on the cake is that I am now working at a company whose goal is to make space accessible to everyone.

When I look back the lesson I learned throughout all this, it’s that, when setting your goals, don’t be afraid to shoot for the stars; even if you miss, you might just land in a pretty cool place. I hope to tell you more about my exciting and unusual career steps at GAWDA’s Women of Gases and Welding Committee Luncheon soon.

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Here’s What’s


INTRODUCING: THE GAWDA EVENTS APP The GAWDA Events App is making its debut! GAWDA is introducing a special events-function app that is designed to be especially useful for members who attend the association’s national meetings. It was initiated to provide members with a better way of communicating and networking with each other during events and conferences, according to GAWDA Executive Director John Ospina. The GAWDA Headquarters team has been working with an app developer over the past several months to bring the GAWDA Events App to fruition so it can go live for use at the Spring Management Conference in May.

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“With our general society moving more and more toward electronic devices, we wanted to make sure GAWDA was ahead of the curve by having this. We will continue to develop it. As we see how it works and get feedback from members, we’ll continue to add functions as needs are identified,” he says. GAWDA will be examining its activity and gauging how members are using it after the event and will be surveying members for feedback on it following national events, as well. The app is one of the technology initiatives brought forward by 2016-2017 GAWDA President Mark Raimy, Ospina noted.




A quick introduction to the Gases and Welding Distributors Association. Descriptions of GAWDA events (such as the Spring Management Conference and the Annual Conference) with information about the planned activities, how to reach the location, accommodations, room rates and other details.


For the 2017 SMC, the app includes information about badges and registration, the SMC contact booth hours and prize program, how to contact GAWDA, event dress code, hotel information, local emergency information and local ground transportation plus wi-fi instructions.


A constant feed of information – including push notifications and updates put out by GAWDA HQ; GAWDA social media notifications, GAWDA social media platform announcements, information surrounding GAWDA and the event or conference.


Full details of the event/conference schedule, including day-by-day listings of the event timetable, meeting times, locations and other details. A complete, alphabetized listing of all persons who are registered to attend the event, including their title and company affiliation. It also provides a communication function, where you can send notes, messages and schedule meetings via the app.


When someone sends you a notice through the app, it will ring like a text message is being received. A number in a red circle at the top right notes how many messages you have waiting. Please note: • Attendees at GAWDA events must be registered for the event or conference and logged into the app in order to see information on this button • To log in, enter first and last name and email. You’ll receive a four-digit code (sent to that email) that you enter; once entered, that signs you in. (After logging in once, you’re logged in permanently.) • If you’re not registered, you’ll receive a message that you are not on the attendee list and therefore are unable to log in. This feature makes sure that only attendees are able to text each other through the app.


Detailed information and brief biographies of all conference speakers, panels, and special program elements.This button features an interactive option that speakers can use to collect audience answers to questions via an in-app, live-survey function. Speakers can initiate a poll ahead of their talk, collect responses, then report on audience response during their presentation.


This feature contains a GPS-enabled map of the city where the event is being held, and a resort accommodation map providing location assistance for event meeting rooms and unique spaces. There also is a live-view map of the resort’s shuttle-service route with pick-up locations. You can see how far away shuttles are from your location by watching the buses progress enroute and checking estimated times of arrival.


Instructions for use and tips for functionality.


A built-in game runs you through different ways to use the app. Every time you play, you get points, and you’re rewarded for further exploration and use of the app features.


The button provides a quick and convenient way to search for information within the app.

A built-in QR code scanner that lets you scan attendees’ badges and automatically obtain and upload their information. The ride-finding app provides local Uber (and Lyft) sources without having to switch to another app.

Members needing assistance with the app can check in at GAWDA’s booth during the Contact Booth Program, or look for GAWDA staff members throughout the event. THE GAWDA APP IS AVAILABLE ON THE APP STORE AND GOOGLE PLAY. Spring 2017 • 93




FRIDAY, MAY 12 1:00 – 4:30 PM ABICOR BINZEL IS MIG WELDING PRODUCTS AT THEIR BEST Frederick, Maryland — Our line of MIG torches and accessories are designed with the welder in mind. They’re comfortable, durable and made of the highest-grade materials to ensure a superior welding performance regardless of material. Ask about SpinArc and see why BINZEL is quality and innovation without compromise…worthy of welding. See us at booth 400.

LOCATION: GRAND BALLROOM ACME CRYOGENICS FINAL LINE MANIFOLDS Allentown, Pennsylvania — Acme Cryogenics is a leading designer and manufacturer of final line pressure control manifolds. Their time-proven brazing, cleaning and testing procedures provide superior results that cannot be matched by any other manufacturer’s process. Let Acme show you the difference! See us at booth 300.

ALM POSITIONERS IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY, THROUGHPUT ERGONOMICS AND SAFETY Rock Island, Illinois — ALM Positioners’ single-column positioners have capacities of up to 10,000 pounds and two-column capacities from 8,000 to 75,000 pounds. Available in 208/230/460 VAC 3 phase with optional electrical service. An electro-hydraulic system requires no special foundation. ALM’s unique positioner designs have proven to be more cost effective by improving ergonomics and safety for welder and operator, improving weld quality and boosting production throughput as much as 35 percent. See us at booth 220. 94 • Spring 2017

AMERICAN CAP COMPANY PROVIDES CUSTOMERS WITH HIGH QUALITY Wheatland, Pennsylvania — American Cap Company provides customers with high quality cylinder caps, valve guards, neck rings, and other cylinder related components. Our products are designed to meet CGA, CSA, DOT, ISO and EN standards. ACC is API-5CT, API-Q1 and ISO 9001:2008 certified. www. See us at booth 619.

AMWINS HAS DELIVERED FOR OVER 25 YEARS Charlotte, North Carolina — Distributors have entrusted their insurance investment to AmWINS Program Underwriters for over 25 years. With specialized coverages, competitive pricing, loss control, strong claims management, and now cyber liability. You cannot afford not to ask your agent about AmWINS. Contact us today to learn how your business can benefit from AmWINS Program Underwriters. See us at booth 204.

ANTHONY WELDED PRODUCTS LOADN-ROLL SERIES CARTS Delano, California — Anthony is excited to attend another GAWDA convention with a couple of cutting-edge products to show, one of which is the new patented Load-NRoll cart line. This four-wheel design revolutionizes the way cylinders are handled. Scan the QR code above for a quick video about the Load-N-Roll series carts. www. See us at booth 211.

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EXHIBITORS GUIDE ARCOS SHOWCASES LINE Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania — Arcos Industries, LLC manufactures a comprehensive line of superior quality bare wire, covered and tubular welding electrode products. Our wide range of consumables includes high alloy, stainless steel and nickel alloy electrodes. Arcos electrodes meet or exceed demanding military and nuclear application specifications such as: ASME Nuclear Certificate #QSC448; ISO 9001: Certified; Mil-I 45208A Inspection; and Navy QPL. See us at booth 202.



Central Bridge, New York — ASM has provided over 26 years of excellent customer service and outstanding product quality. They continue to manufacture high-pressure and propane cylinder storage and merchandising cabinets for both industrial and commercial use, along with a variety of ergonomic cylinder-handling devices. See us at booth 603.

Bradenton, Florida — For over 75 years, American Torch Tip (ATTC) has manufactured quality, American-made products for the cutting, welding and metal fabrication industries, including cutting and welding torches, consumables and accessories. ATTC’s manufacturing facility in Bradenton, Florida, USA sources and builds products spanning five cutting and welding platforms, including Plasma, MIG, Tig, Oxy-Fuel and Laser Optics. In addition to its own product lines, ATTC features 16,000-plus products for over 100 brands. ATTC has proudly produced American-made goods since 1940. See us at booth 217.


At ASM, we pride ourselves on our super fast turnaround. We can efficiently and effectively meet your deadlines for large cabinet quantities, leaving our competitors in the dust. And we can often ship smaller quantities the same day we take your order. Global Reach–Made in the USA.


The Standard of Excellence

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BLACK STALLION — INNOVATIVE FR GARMENTS, GLOVES, & MORE SINCE 1974 Santa Fe Springs, California — With 43 years of manufacturing experience, Black Stallion® is a market leader in high-quality, innovation-driven, and value-focused gloves, FR garments, and other PPE. See our booth or visit our NEW web site to experience the latest in innovative protective gear, including our NEW SmashPad and FlakFinger, the redesigned Tigster, and more. See us at booth 602.

BTIC AMERICA OFFERING INDUSTRIAL AND BEVERAGE CRYOGENIC CYLINDERS Houston, Texas — BTIC America Corporation (BAC) is a subsidiary of Beijing Tianhai Industry Co., Ltd., which is one of the best and largest cylinder manufacturers in the world. BAC provides cylinder sales and services. Products include high pressure gas cylinders (DOT/TC and UNISO), acetylene cylinders, cryogenic cylinders, fire-fighting cylinders and SCBA cylinders. See us at booth 210.

BUG-O SYSTEMS’ GO-FER IV AND KBUG-1200-BAT INCREASE YOUR BOTTOM LINE Canonsburg, Pennsylvania — Manufacturing in the USA since 1948, Bug-O Systems is the world leader and manufacturer of track, automation and motion control for welding and cutting. Visit our booth to see the versatile Go-fer IV with a 3-Year Warranty and the battery operated KBUG-1200-BAT. Learn how Bug-O increases your bottom line. See us at booth 207.

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Somerset, New Jersey — Cavagna Group’s I-VIPR is an integrated valve and residual pressure valve. Its ergonomic design provides the user with easy access to all primary functions from one side of the cylinder. IVPR is suitable for various welding gases, including oxygen, acetylene and AR/C02 mixtures. See us at booth 617.

Niles, Illinois — CGW’s premium Z3 flap discs have the fastest grain removal in the marketplace for carbon based steels and are ideal for aggressive, heavy duty applications. CGW’s innovative 3-in-1 wheels have three layers of fiberglass to easily cut/grind/finish stainless steel and steel. See us at booth 316.



A u b u r n , Wa s h i n g t o n — C K Worldwide Inc., is celebrating 50 years of developing innovative technology and products for the welding industry. Established in 1967, CK Worldwide has brought more improvements to GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding) equipment than any other manufacturer. The quality and range of products offered by CK has been unmatched, and continues to be one of the most preferred varieties of TIG products. See us at booth 118.

Jurupa Valley, California — From a simple flex hose to an entire complex piping system, CryoWorks provides a wide range of new and used products for the storage, distribution and transfer of cryogenic fluids. They specialize in “complex” system design, engineering services, project management, repairs, service and turnkey installations. www. See us at booth 706.

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CHART NEW SOLUTIONS: DURA-CYL•, ECONO-CYL™, NOMAD™, CARBOMAX• AND PERMA-CYL• Garfield Heights, Ohio — DuraCyl® Liquid Cylinders are now available with a seven-year vacuum warranty with improved control regulators. Econo-Cyl® Liquid Cylinders feature the Chart exclusive MCR regulator for easy in-field pressure adjustments. Nomad™ 830G Mobile Bulk Tanks are perfect for temporary gas or liquid jobs, or as a backup for liquid delivery. New for CO2 service — Carbo-Max® 1000 Bulk CO2 System and Perma-Cyl® 5500 VHP MicroBulk Storage System. www. See us at booth 214.

CTR INC. SHINES SPOTLIGHT ON THEIR LIQUID CYLINDER POLISHER Rock Hill, South Carolina — CTR of the Carolinas Inc. has released their latest version of their Liquid Cylinder Polisher. It removes debris, scratches, and scuffs returning the cylinder back to like-new condition. It accommodates most standard cylinders. CTR Inc. has been a premier cryogenic provider for over 20 years. See us at booth 121.

CYL-TEC NOW OFFERING CYLCONNECT ON MOBILE APP Aurora, Illinois — Cyl-Tec has taken the same technology and ability to remote monitor your tanks, and we’ve put it in your pocket! For CylConnect users, the SMARTank Mobile App is available on Android and iOS mobile devices at no additional cost. Download the app today at Search “SMARTank.” See us at booth 606.



Buffalo, New York — Since 1997, Exocor has focused solely on providing high performance welding filler metals and has recently extended its locations to better serve the U.S. Distribution market. Exocor has built its quality reputation on a superior product line, extensive inventory, competitive pricing, industry leading technical knowledge and excellent service support. See us at booth 419.

Littleton, Massachusetts — FIBA serves industrial and specialty gas distributors and manufacturers. FIBA manufactures and repairs transport, storage and filling equipment, including DOT, ISO and ASME pressure vessels, tube trailers, ISO modules, ASME and DOT receivers, bulk transporters and tanks, oil field equipment, and vaporizers. FIBA provides ultrasonic, acoustic emission and hydrostatic requalification of pressure vessels. See us at booth 414.

ELEET CRYOGENICS- AUCTIONING MICROBULK TANK FOR GAWDA GIVES BACK Bolivar, Ohio — Eleet Cryogenics is once again silent-auctioning a 2,000-liter micro-bulk tank during the Contact Booth program on May 12. This is the 10th year Eleet has done this to benefit GAWDA Gives Back, the program that donates to charitable organizations in communities that host GAWDA’s Annual Convention. Vice President of Sales Douglas Morton says that 100 percent of the auction’s proceeds go to GAWDA Gives Back. The annual Eleet initiative has raised $187,000 for the program since 2007. www. See us at booth 321.

IMPROVE CYLINDER FILLING EFFICIENCY WITH FASTEST Roseville, Minnesota — FasTest manufactures the industry-leading quick connectors for filling industrial, medical oxygen and other compressed gas cylinders. FasTest offers a wide variety of connectors for standard CGA 540, CGA 580 and CGA 870 valves common in gas filling applications. FasTest compressed gas products are in service throughout the world by the industry’s major compressed gas manufacturers. See us at booth 311.

FLANGE WIZARD® CONTINUES TO BRING NEW QUALITY TOOLS Placentia, California — FLANGE WIZARD® INC. continues to be the “welder’s choice for quality” for seasoned welders and students. Proud recipient of AWS/WEMCO’s 2016 AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE in the Small Business Welding Division, FLANGE WIZARD® continues to bring new quality tools to the welding and pipeline markets. All products are made in the U.S.A. See us at booth 201. Spring 2017 • 99



La Porte, Texas — Gas Innovations purchasCleveland, Ohio — The portable, compact, modular design of es adjacent property and expands operations, this heavy-duty remote control oscillator makes it easy to handle including carbon monoxide and cryogenic and set up, increases productivity and improves weld quality by ethane. Cryogenic ethane will replace comproviding precise automation of welding pressed ethane as the only available mode of applications. Mounted on a KAT travel supply. The “Welcome to Gas Innovations” carriage, the oscillator imparts pendulum, video features the company overview showtangential or step motion to the welding casing Gas Innovations competencies, ingun. 106-8212 1/4 pg. 4C _3.375 x 4.375_Welding Gases Today_Jan. 2017 novative&techSee us at booth 510. We know nologies and Hydrocarbon Refrigerants our high-puTHE HARRIS PRODUCTS GROUP OFFERS SPECIALTY GAS EQUIPMENT rity hydroMason, Ohio —The Harris Products Group offers a full line of carbons and specialty gas equipment. We manufacture high purity bar stock refrigerants. regulators available in stainless steel, Get quality products and service today! www.gasinnobrass and chrome plated. In addition to regulators, Harris offers complete gas See us at management products for flow control, booth 512. gas purification, and cylinder storage. See us at booth 412. • • • • • •

High Purity Hydrocarbons Bulk Quantities Storage Systems, Bulk and Cylinders Project Management Global Supply Portable, Interim and Temporary Supply

281.471.2200 La Porte, Texas (Houston Ship Channel)

Products include Ethane, Butane,Propane, Ethylene, Isobutane, Methane, Propylene and Pentanes. Packaging includes large and small bulk containers, high and low pressure cylinders, tube trailers, cryogenic ISO containers and international shipping containers.


EW Series Delivery Bodies Fork Lift Cylinder Tank Storage Cabinet

Kaddy-Kart Cylinder Handling

FOR ALL OF YOUR GAS HANDLING NEEDS H&H delivers the gas handling equipment you need to reduce labor, increase safety & save money. HAUL IT— The EW Series truck body features a modular design with your choice of steel treadplate or bar grate flooring for confident transport. H&H can provide the optimum lift gate for your loading/ unloading operation. STORE IT— Our Cylinder-Stor Cabinets set the mark for convenience and secure outside storage. Both single and double section models are furnished with tamper-proof padlock hasps, keyed padlocks and bolt-down features for the best in safety and security.

100 • Spring 2017

MOVE IT— H&H Kaddy-Karts are small enough to get through doors and traffic lanes yet large enough to carry plenty of cylinders. Palletstyle bottoms for easy movement and alignment. Some models offer casters, tow hitches or crane lifting eyes. You’ll find the model you need to improve your operation. Get H&H to help you today to safer and easier cylinder handling.

16339 Lima Rd., P.O. Box 686 • Huntertown, IN 46748-0686 Phone: 260-637-3177 • 800-551-9341 • FAX: 260-637-6880 E-mail: • Web:


KAPLAN INDUSTRIES PROVIDES TOTAL SOLUTIONS Harrison, Ohio — More than just an industrial cylinder supplier, Kaplan Industries offers a wide portfolio of services. Executives will discuss all our cylinder products and services including cradle manifold systems, liquid and propane offerings, medical and beverage options including cylinder reconditioning and both hydro and UT testing. No one inventories a more complete line of cylinders and valves for compressed gases, offering both new and refurbished cylinders. See us at booth 503.

LINCOLN ELECTRIC CO. WILL NETWORK WITH DISTRIBUTOR PARTNERS Cleveland, Ohio — With more than 200 technical representatives and field sales support personnel, Lincoln Electric strives to assist distributor partners as they meet end-user needs with application expertise, quality products and outstanding customer service. See us at booth 410.

MCDANTIM SHOWCASES THE TRUMIX® Helena, Montana — McDantim Trumix® gas blending systems are a unique approach to accurate gas blends. Using laminar gas flow properties, they maintain industry standard blend accuracies over a wide range of flow rates without buffer tanks or electricity. Two or three-component blends at flow rates ranging from 1scfh to over 4,000 scfh are available. See us at booth 508.


• 2 or 3 Component Gas Blends • 2 Blend Models Available • Flow Rates from 150 to 4000 scfh • Wall or Floor Mount Systems • Custom Models • No Electricity or Storage Tanks Required

888.735.5607 • Spring 2017 • 101

EXHIBITORS GUIDE MERCER INDUSTRIES — SOLUTIONS. START TO FINISH Ronkonkoma, New York — Mercer Industries supplies a full line of technologically advanced, superior quality, long-lasting bonded and coated abrasives and diamond blades as well as industrial files. The Mercer commitment to serving its customers and providing quality products spans over 50 years. Quality, performance, delivery, service, and value are the focal points for this third-generation family business. See us at booth 206.

METAL MAN WORK GEAR CO. INTRODUCES INNOVATIVE WELDING CABINET/CART Appleton, Wisconsin — Well known for innovate ideas for welding accessories, Metal Man Work Gear Co. has recently introduced a new welding cabinet/cart. The Metal Man TTWC3 Welding Cart/ Cabinet is designed to accept most brands of small light industrial welders. It has an on-board cylinder rack designed to hold shielding gas cylinders up to 7-1/2” in diameter. It incorporates a locking cabinet door to help secure valuable accessories, such as an auto darkening welding helmet. See us at booth 513.

NORTHEAST PRESSURE VESSEL TESTING TO INTRODUCE MOBILE ULTRASONIC TESTING W e s t b o r o , Massachusetts — NEPVT is excited to announce that we are now going mobile. Our mobile unit performs the same level of quality services as our headquarters providing ultrasonic requalification, visual examination and cylinder stamping at our customers location. We provide ultrasonic cylinder retesting where it is needed, eliminating your transportation costs and reducing the lost time for your cylinders to be out of commission, while providing accurate, superior requalification of your compressed gas cylinders. See us at booth 417.

Your Source For MIG Carts and Cabinets Universal Cart TTWC3

Heavy Duty Single/Dual Bottle Welding Cart UWC4


Deluxe Weld Cabinet DWC1

102 • Spring 2017 • 888-762-4045

Universal Cart UWC2

ABRASIVE SOLUTIONS POWERED BY NORTON, INSPIRED BY YOU Worcester, Massachusetts — Norton knows that you run a complete operation, and you expect complete solutions. Whether you are preparing materials for welding, grinding after the weld, or blending the work piece to achieve the finishes your customers demand, Norton offers the products you need to make it happen. Abrasive solutions powered by Norton, inspired by you. See us at booth 101.

ORS NASCO EXPERIENCE THE VALUE OF WHOLESALE Muskogee, Oklahoma — ORS Nasco is a single source provider of more than 200,000 products of premium brand from over 600 manufacturers in the industrial, welding, oilfield, safety, electrical, construction, HVAC, MRO, plumbing, janitorial and rental markets. www. See us at booth 420.

PFERD SHOWS OFF CCGRIND®-SOLID GRINDING WHEELS Milwaukee, Wisconsin — PFERD combines safety, efficiency and power with the CC-GRIND ® -SOLID reinforced grinding wheel for rough grinding applications. This innovative product integrates a high-strength, layer structured fibreglas backer and high-performance coated abrasive to deliver controlled, aggressive stock removal. Available with a patented cooling and mounting system, or with quick-change 5/8-11 threadedhub. See us at booth 609.

Spring 2017 • 103

EXHIBITORS GUIDE Prism Visual Software


Port Washington, New York — Prism Visual Software sells back office, CRM, mobile Android delivery and customer web shopping software to support a welding supply distributor’s end-to-end technology needs. Prism Route Management Dispatch Suite sells with a fully integrated Accounting ERP or integrates with QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics and SAGE. Supports cylinder exchange and replenishment workflow with scanning, rental billing, mobile invoice for delivery and equipment service, electronic surveys and DOTs, track gas lots and more. See us at booth 504.

RAY MURRAY INC. OFFERS PROTECTION FOR CO2 CYLINDERS Lee, Massachusetts — Ray Murray has introduced a new flanged pressure retention valve for aluminum cylinders. It minimizes potential of cylinder contamination by preventing backflow of impurities by retaining approximately 50psi pressure, maintaining the integrity of the cylinder contents against contaminants, even if the valve is left open. See us at booth 305.

RATERMANN MANUFACTURING TEAMS UP WITH TAYLOR WHARTON Livermore, California— Ratermann Manufacturing is excited to announce new stocked inventory of TW Bev- carb tanks, nitrogen generators, TW industrial liquid cylinders and our Arctic Fox cryogenic tanks 1500L6000L. Ultimately, Ratermann Manufacturing believes that we are 100 percent accountable for each customer order. Because of that commitment, we care for and manage every order, from beginning to end. See us at booth 620.

» Designed for compressed Air and inert gases up to 250psi @70° F

» No threading machines or torches needed

» Fewer connections

» Very flexible

» One continuous length of 328 feet » Can be installed with common tools

» No oxygen permeation » Wide “O “ ring for a better gas tight seal | 800-628-5044 104 • Spring 2017


SAFTCART EXECS DISCUSS LATEST OFFERINGS Clarksdale, Mississippi — SafTCart will discuss their latest offerings including the all-electric EZ Load-4L, the Magnet Cart Line, the warehouse friendly Box Cart Line, and the all new Cradle Series, the EC6 and EC12. Executives will be available to assist you in your complete operational needs including pallets, pallet beds, trailers and the all-new Cryostar. See us at booth 618.

SHERWOOD VALVE EXPANDS PRODUCT OFFERINGS Washington, Pennsylvania — Sherwood continues new product development of valves for medical gases, calibration gases and specialty gas applications to be released in 2017. Stop by the Sherwood booth to learn more about our current products and find out about our custom design capabilities. Sherwood provides American-made quality products and service you can trust. www. See us at booth 505.

SELECT-ARC SETS THE STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE IN TUBULAR WELDING ELECTRODES Fort Loramie, Ohio — Select-Arc, Inc. manufactures a complete line of premium quality flux-cored and metal-cored welding electrodes: carbon steel, low alloy, stainless steel, nickel alloy and hardsurfacing. The company backs its exceptional welding wire products with outstanding service and the best value-added in the industry. Select-Arc sets the standard of excellence in tubular welding electrodes. See us at booth 200.

Medium Duty Outfit #HS-MDUC

This is the that competes with those national chain stores and gives you the sales edge that you’re looking for.

Medium Duty Outfit #TI350T Includes MC & R Cylinders

All Ameriflame Outfits are designed and 100% tested in the U.S.A. The HS-MDUC is packed in a display clamshell and the TI350T is packed, complete with cylinders, with a portable tote.

UNIWELD PRODUCTS, INC. 2850 RAVENSWOOD ROAD, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL 33312 800.323.2111 • 954.584.2000 • Fax: 954.587.0109 •

Spring 2017 • 105 AmerFlame-GAWD-3.375x4.75-Ad-04-13-17.indd 1

4/13/17 11:28 AM

EXHIBITORS GUIDE SUPERIOR PRODUCTS Cleveland, Ohio — Superior Products will showcase an expanded product offering of SemiAutomatic Manifolds and manifold systems, new quick connects for welding equipment, an all-purpose propane torch, test gauges with bleeder valves and more! Spend time with us to learn why more distributors are switching to the Superior brand of products. See us at booth 408.

TAYLOR-WHARTON CELEBRATING 275TH ANNIVERSARY Taylor-Wharton produces produces a comprehensive range of cryogenic storage equipment for Industrial Gas, Life Science and LNG applications. Products include Atmospheric Bulk Tanks, MicroBulk Vessels, Liquid Cylinders, Beverage Carbonation, VJ CO2 Tanks, Hydrogen Vessels and Mobile Delivery Units. Tracing its roots to 1742, TW is now celebrating its 275th Anniversary in 2017. See us at booth 319.

UNIWELD CELEBRATES HISTORY OF INNOVATION Fort Lauderdale, Florida — Uniweld is a global leader in the manufacturing of tools and equipment for the HVAC/R industry as well as oxy/fuel welding and cutting equipment and accessories. Uniweld Products, Inc. has manufactured quality welding and cutting equipment at its factory located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida U.S.A. since 1949 with over 80% of the product line is proudly manufactured in USA. Uniweld.....“Quality Tools That Go To Work With You.®” See us at booth 703.

VEITE CRYOGENIC North Ridgeville, Ohio—Veite Cryogenic Equipment and Service (VCE) manufactures, installs and maintains custom, high pressure cryogenic gas delivery systems and turnkey compressed gas distributor fill plants for industrial gases. Veite also offers a complete line of quality tested cryogenic hardware and equipment, including transfer pumps, available for same day shipment. See us at booth 519.

Know Someone Who Ought To Join GAWDA? Membership application forms are available online for completion here: Anyone interested in additional information about membership may get in touch with GAWDA’s membership services manager Stephen Hill. Phone: 954-367-7728 ext. 220 Toll free: 844-251-3219 Email: 106 • Spring 2017

Join Us!

VOESTALPINE BÖHLER WELDING HAS COMPREHENSIVE GLOBAL PRESENCE Houston, Texas — Voestalpine Böhler Welding’s Böhler Welding and Fontargen Brazing divisions provide a range of soldering and welding filler metals in joint welding, welding for repair and maintenance, and brazing and soldering. Expertise is provided to the oil and gas, pipeline, chemical, power generation, transportation and automotive industries, and more. See us at booth 107.

WEH TECHNOLOGIES OFFERS SOLUTIONS Katy, Texas — The original, previously private labeled WEH Quick connectors are German made, certified, well proven, highest quality tool, and now serviced in Texas. Improve safety, reliability and quality of your compressed gases filling plants with this long-lasting tool. A worldwide operating privately owned family company dedicated to eliminate all repetitive thread connections. See us at booth 608.

WEILER ABRASIVES GROUP DEDICATED TO BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS Cresco, Pennsylvania — As an industry leader and global manufacturer of surface conditioning solutions, Weiler Abrasives Group is dedicated to forging collaborative relationships with our customers in diverse markets — Metal Fabrication; Industrial Production; and Maintenance, Repair & Operations — to tackle their toughest cleaning, grinding, cutting, de-burring, and finishing challenges. See us at booth 700.

WELDCOA - LOWPRO M2 GAS PACK - SKID BASED WITH FORKLIFT AND PALLET JACKABLE CAPABILITIES Aurora, Illinois — We’ve been manufacturing quality gas cylinder delivery systems since 1968. From the most basic to the most demanding, we have the products, experience and staff that will support you and your customer’s needs better than anyone in the high-pressure gas industry. Stop on by our booth and check out our 100 percent U.S.-made LowPro M2 Gas Pack. It features a four-way forklift and pallet jack accessible design and is a great solution for when wheels are not wanted. See us at booth 401.

NEW WELDSHIP SUPER MAX JUMBO HYDROGEN TUBE TRAILER Bethlehem, Pennsylvania — Weldship announces production of the Super Max Jumbo Hydrogen Tube Trailer fitted with nine 42-ft.UN/USA ISO11120, 178 bar (2580 psig) seamless steel tubes for embrittling gas service. This trailer will transport the largest hydrogen payload of any seamless steel tube trailer that meets US DOT weight regulations. Carries a 10-year retest period. See us at booth 308.

WORTHINGTON INDUSTRIES LEADING WITH EXPERTISE Columbus, Ohio — Worthington Industries is the leading manufacturer of pressure cylinders and related products for industrial, alternative fuels, oil and gas, and consumer products markets. Our steel, aluminum and composite cylinders, cryogenic vessels, storage tanks and specialty components serve more than 4,000 customers in 70 countries. See us at booth 103. Spring 2017 • 107


What Makes a GAWDA ‘Regional’ Go ‘Round? Great Settings, Super Speakers, and (of Course) Golf! by charles m c chesney


egional meetings, a long-standing part of GAWDA culture, are continuing to evolve in reaction to changes in the industry and the way business is done, say the volunteers who help make them happen each year. Regional meetings are organized by regional chairs who meet annually to hash out a schedule and talk about what worked. At a recent gathering, the chairs put together a list of best practices to guide them in their work. Among the best practices is choosing an attractive meeting site that is relatively convenient to an airport, offers activities for members and might stand as an attraction on its own. That has worked in Gettysburg, setting of the battle that turned the tide of the Civil War and the place where President Abraham Lincoln began his address, “Four score and seven years ago …”, says Doug Morton, vice president – sales at Eleet Cryogenics. GAWDA members have come from as far away as California to combine a regional meeting with a visit to the battlefield, Morton notes. He has organized the Gettysburg meetings since 2007.

108 • Spring 2017


Atlantic City has attracted visitors for more than a century, because of its beaches, its famous boardwalk – immortalized in the game Monopoly – and, more recently, with casinos. Regional meetings there have included visits to vineyards and a distillery, too. The Midwest regional meeting switches annually from Maumee Bay, Ohio to Lansing, Mich. At Seven Springs, Pa., regional meeting attendees not only get to play golf, they can compete at skeet shooting. For 2017, the year’s first Regional Meeting was at the Old Overton Golf Club in Vestavia Hills, Ala. The course, rated the country’s best new private course in 1994, sits in the hills above Birmingham. “You get a lot of amazing views you’re not expecting in Alabama,” says regional chair James Cain, executive vice president at Atlas Welding Supply in Tuscaloosa. Co-chairs Robert Gerry and Nicole Kissler, both of Norco, have set this year’s Northwest regional meeting for Sunriver Resort in Oregon. The setting is at the base of the Cascade Mountains.

Previous Northwest regionals have been held at Big Sky Resort in Montana, Bellevue in Washington and the Coeur D’Alene Resort in Idaho, with its famous floating golf green. The Houston regional, canceled due to flooding in 2016, will take place in 2017 at the University of Houston. It’s a place that co-chair Ashley Madray, executive vice president at Gas Innovations, says has proven to be “an energetic, collegiate and fresh environment” for the meeting. Golf will be played at the Bay Forest Golf Club, near Galveston Bay. The New England regional is returning to Lake of the Isles, a golf course right next to the Foxwoods Resort Casino. Following that suit, this year’s Tulsa regional meeting will close out the season Sept. 11 and 12. It’s being held at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tulsa, Okla.


As inviting as such locations are, the speaking program is what makes a regional meeting successful, say most regional chairs. “Content is what’s going to engage and draw distributors,” says Abydee Butler Moore, executive vice

HQ & PROGRAM NEWS president at Butler Gas Products. She has chaired the Seven Springs meetings since 2012, following two years of shadowing the prior chair. “It’s what justifies that ROI.” Cain agrees. “We endeavor to make sure the business content makes the meeting worth attending in and of itself,” he says. That is a change from the past, to a degree. “Historically, the regional meetings were really regional golf outings,” Moore says. Now, attendees want real value from the business meeting and the speakers. To provide that, Morton focuses on what distributors want because their attendance is key to the success of a regional meeting. In fact, distributor attendance is so important that the regional chairs’ list of best practices calls for 40 percent of attendees to be distributors. “You have to have a certain number of distributors to make it worthwhile,” Morton says. Still, selecting a speaker is critical to success, he admits. “The hardest part is getting the right speaker and getting the red badges to attend,” Morton says, referring to the color of the nametags worn by distributors.


Regional meeting speakers have included GAWDA officials, leaders in the industry, former National Football League stars, politicians, economists, law enforcement officials and a fellow GAWDA member who recently conquered Mount Everest. Most regional meetings include a mix of three speakers who talk to attendees both on industry issues and on broader subjects. To draw attendees in 2016, Morton invited Reggie Wright, Washington Region store supervisor, of Roberts Oxygen. His intriguing topic was, “The Customer is Always Right, Right?” Wright manages nine stores in the Washington, D.C., area. At first, he

What Gives a Regional Meeting That Zi-n-ng?

Here Are Pointers from Some ‘Old Pros’ What are some basic rules for making regional meetings an event worth attending, as well as one that’s talked about after the fact? Here are tips for top-flight regionals from folks who’ve been there and done that, from which both organizers and attendees can benefit. James Cain, executive vice president at Atlas Welding Supply in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and a regional meeting chair, urges attendees to:

PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE Don’t try too hard, but don’t miss the opportunity by being too quiet. A regional meeting is a chance to ask questions and give answers to others in your industry.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK Reach out to the meeting planner to see who else will be attending. If it’s someone you want to meet, make a phone call or send an email to warm up the connection before the meeting.

PLAY GOLF, EVEN IF YOU AREN’T A TOP GOLFER You’re not there to improve your game. If you hit a bad shot, don’t be afraid to pick up your ball and move on. Doug Morton, vice president – sales at Eleet Cryogenics, and another regional chair, has one key suggestion for those attending regional events:

SPEAK OUT If you want someone to attend a regional meeting, let them know. Feel free to call someone and urge them to come. If it’s important to you that they attend, consider offering to pay their registration fee.

STEP UP The quality of a regional meeting depends on leadership and input. Those who run the meetings today welcome new ideas and new people willing to take on some of the responsibility of making them happen.

REGISTER EARLY Attendance is part of what determines the high value of a regional meeting. Registering early helps others see that the meeting is going to be well attended, thus worth attending, and that adds more value for everyone. Spring 2017 • 109

HQ & PROGRAM NEWS turned down Morton’s invitation because he wasn’t used to making presentations to crowds of more than 100, but Morton talked him into it, he says. After finishing his presentation, Wright heard a lot of immediate positive feedback, and has heard even more at other GAWDA gatherings since.


When speakers draw distributor attendance, the result is a chance for successful networking, say regional chairs. While the benefits to suppliers may be obvious, the networking is also a great help to distributors, they note. With the pace of business nowadays, Cain says many distributors simply no longer have time to meet with suppliers when they “drop by” their operations

for a visit. He says that he sometimes has to force himself to step away from whatever work he is doing to make time to meet with a visiting salesperson. It’s easier to take a break from the fray at a regional meeting to devote time to hearing from a supplier, Cain adds. Weldcoa’s Bob Ranc, director of sales, industrial and medical divisions, says a regional meeting is an opportunity for distributors to expose other people in their organizations to the GAWDA network without the commitment of time and money that the larger GAWDA Spring Management Conference or the Annual Meeting require. Ranc says the benefits can be particularly great for small distributors. Some who can’t justify the time and expense of attending every Spring Management

Conference or Annual Meeting can connect with a supplier at a regional meeting “and maybe have something they can do together,” he says. Regional meetings can be helpful to business operations in other ways, according to Ranc. They provide a chance for distributors to find out that companies that are known for large projects also serve smaller clients, for instance. At a regional meeting, distributors get a chance to speak with suppliers they may wrongly believe are too big to help them succeed.


While settings and speakers are important elements of success, regional meetings can also be great fun. Morton recalls the early days of the Gettysburg meeting when Bob Urie, now

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110 • Spring 2017

11/22/2016 10:21:46 AM

HQ & PROGRAM NEWS vice president of operations at Butler Gas Products, would park his RV in the lot next to the Country Inn & Suites by Carlson. “Basically, it was a barbecue in the parking lot,” Morton says, remembering how they’d show movies on a sheet hung down the side of the RV. That meeting has grown, yet continues to be held in the parking lot next to the hotel, for the fun of it. The barbecue has become a sponsored event and there are fully stocked bars and party tents, tables, chairs and organized games the first evening of the meeting. The next day features a list of speakers, meals and a golf tournament at the Links at Gettysburg.


Golf is a fixture at regional meetings in the GAWDA crowd. “Golf has always

been a part of this industry,” Ranc says. Moore adds the perspective that past regional meetings “were breakfast meetings and golf afternoons.” That’s not because GAWDA members are great golfers, Cain notes. With a couple of exceptions, no one is a scratch golfer, though he recommends that “everyone who can swing a club should get out there and play. I definitely think you miss something if you aren’t out on the course. The key thing in these meetings is building relationships,” he says. “If you’re not putting yourself out there, you are missing out – even if you are a terrible golfer.” For at least one regional meeting, golf has also proven great for charity. At Gettysburg, golf tournament prizes are awarded. In 2016, prize winners

turned back every prize as a donation, Morton says. The regional meeting was able to donate $14,496 to GAWDA Gives Back. That generosity is integral to the regional meetings and the regional chairs who donate their time to make the events happen. They do it, they say, to give back. Moore says when she started out in the industry, she was urged to be active. “I was told by my dad, ‘Get involved. They will help you,’” says Moore. “In this industry, you get what you give.” Morton says his work at regional meetings helped him meet people throughout the industry. He says it can do the same for others who are willing to get involved and seize the opportunity. ‘There’s room for young blood and fresh ideas.”

Spring 2017 • 111



Lansing, MI

Sunriver, OR

North Stonington, CT Atlantic City, NJ Seven Springs, PA

Gettysburg, PA

Tulsa, OK

Check out GAWDA’s Regional Meetings

Birmingham, Al

Houston, TX

For the latest details and event information, see GAWDA’s web site at




Location: Old Overton Golf Club in Vestavia Hills, Ala.

Location: Bally’s Atlantic City

Attendance: 125

Wednesday, May 31 • Grilling and cooking classes by the Viking Cooking

Contact: James Cain

School. • VIP tour of the world class road racing facility of


APRIL 17-18

New Jersey Motorsports Park located in Millville, NJ for kart racing with professional instruction. • Clay shooting in the New Jersey Pinelands; 20

Location: University of Houston Hilton Hotel Monday, April 17 • Golf Outing at Bay Forest Golf Club, LaPorte, TX • Lunch; Tee off 12:30 p.m. • Reception 6 – 8 p.m., University of Houston Hilton

Tuesday, April 18 • 7:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast, University of

Houston Hilton, Magnolia Room • GAWDA Update and Speakers Chuck McConnell;

Dr. Bill Gilmer; close at noon Contacts: Ashley Madray; Gary Degenhardt 112 • Spring 2017

stations, 3 courses. • Evening reception and dinner at Bally’s Diamond

Club Room to enjoy ocean views while socializing with industry friends and colleagues. Thursday, June 1 • Breakfast and business meeting. • Keynote speaker: Peter Krause, Boston College

professor and terrorism expert, speaking on ISIS and terrorism: causes and what the U.S. can do about it. • Afternoon golf, Atlantic City Country Club.

Contact: Michael Trueba


JUNE 12-14


AUG 14-15

Location: Seven Springs Resort

Location: Lake of the Isles Golf Club and Resort


Details: TBD

• Unbeatable business content, training workshop • Mountain barbecue, golf, sporting clays

Contact: J  ay Kapur

• networking opportunities


Contact: Abydee Butler Moore


JULY 12-13

Location: The James B. Henry Center on the campus of Michigan State University Lansing, Mich.

Location: C  ountry Inn and Suites & The Links at Gettysburg Wednesday, Sept. 6 • Group networking dinner with music and games

Thursday, Sept. 7 • Business meeting followed by golf. Silent auction for

Details: TBD Contacts: Bob Ranc; JP Stoneback;


SEPT 6-7

JULY 19-21

GAWDA Gives Back featured Contact: Doug Morton;


Location: Sunriver Resort

Location: Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

Details: TBD

Details: TBD

Contact: Robert Gerry

Contact: David Hanchette

SEPT 11-12

Spring 2017 • 113

“Free Weldin” Bob Dylan, the musician, artist, cultural icon and 2016 Nobel Laureate created an iron-and-steel gateway to a new D.C.-area casino.

Photo Credit: MGM National Harbor

114 • Spring 2017

GATEWAY SCULPTURE MGM National Harbor Resort and Casino by charles mcchesney, senior editor


ob Dylan welds. Yes, that Bob Dylan — the one who in 2016 became the first musician to be honored with a Nobel Prize in literature. His work has been exhibited in a London gallery and a new piece, “Portal,” is now on permanent display in Maryland, at the new MGM National Harbor Resort and Casino.

ORE AS CORE Born Robert Allen Zimmerman in Duluth, Minn., in 1941, Dylan was 6 when his family moved inland to Hibbing, Minn., at the center of the Mesabi Range. That area is still the chief iron ore mining district in America and apparently still a part of Dylan’s identity and creativity. Dylan left Minnesota in 1961 to hitchhike to New York City and on to a new life in folk music. With songs such as “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Lay Lady Lay,” “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” he became a cultural icon before the decade was out. Five decades on, he continues to tour and record. In March, he released his 38th studio album. Music is not the only medium in which he works. Dylan has had gallery showings of his paintings, and in 2013 his metalwork gates were featured at Halcyon Gallery in London.

Spring 2017 • 115


Dylan’s metalwork sculptures are constructed from found objects, an art term for items not thought of as art. His gates at the London exhibition included wrenches, pliers, parts of a hand-crank meat grinder, bits of farm implements and other pieces of iron and steel that the welder thought made an interesting combination. Paul Green, Halcyon’s president, told the BBC that Dylan designs the works and decides which objects will be used. “He does some welding himself and has one or two people to help him, but he is intimately involved in the whole process.”


The artist’s American metal sculpture is on display at the recently completed MGM National Harbor Resort and Casino in Oxon Hill, Md., near Washington, D.C. The 26-foot by 15-foot gateway marks the casino entrance and includes 120 found objects, most dating from 1880 to 1920. They include an anchor, a propeller, a cleat, a hook, chain links and other found items, as well as a metal crab and the Black Buffalo trademark that appears on Dylan’s metalworks. The gate is impressive, according to Scott Van Pelt, vice president — sales, at GAWDA member Roberts Oxygen, of Rockville, Md. Van Pelt says that upon seeing the gate, he was struck by the quality of the welding. “The welds are not ‘perfect;’ they are a real representation of industry welds. There was no effort to clean them or hide them; they were part of the art.”


Dylan’s own words have expressed an attraction to metalworking. “I’ve been around iron all my life, ever since I was a kid. I was born and raised in iron ore country — where you could breathe it and smell it every day. And I’ve always worked with it in one form or another,” he said at the London gallery opening. Fifty years ago, he told an interviewer, “I’m 116 • Spring 2017

from someplace called Iron Range. My brains and feeling have come from there.” Dylan also has explained his interest in gates as a sculpture subject, saying, “Gates appeal to me because of the negative space they allow. They can be closed but at the same time they allow the seasons and breezes to enter and flow. They can shut you out or shut you in. And in some ways there is no difference.”


Mark Myers, an Annapolis, Md., art consultant and owner of Atlantic Arts, worked on the art collection for the resort. He said the resort piece began not long after Dylan’s London gates exhibit. As he and MGM’s leaders considered art to fill the resort space, they noted that Maryland law requires one to pass through a gate or portal before entering a casino. That’s when Dylan’s gate work, “kind of emerged as the direction we wanted to go. We said this is a perfect analogy, a perfect location.” Myers worked with a representative for the artist. He recalls how there was a fair amount of conversation on the design, and that Dylan selected found objects that would ground the artwork in its location on the banks of the Potomac River. Myers says Dylan’s team then “laid out all the pieces on the floor and sent photographs. Then things moved around and we had a few comments; then we’d see another iteration and another iteration. The hand of the artist was obvious, as the thing just tightened up in resolution. “As the composition came together it really began to flow from next to next. Early on it was little bit more a random group of pieces. I could definitely see the hand of the artist in the progression of composition,” Myers remembers. While many in show business dabble in art, often painting, Myers observes that there is depth in Dylan’s work. “There is content there. It’s not just decorative.”


Top: “Portal,” Bob Dylan’s gateway sculpture of “found objects” for the MGM National Harbor in Maryland, opens onto the resort’s casino. Credit: Robb Scharetg. Bottom left: Dylan, seen in his California workshop, is best known for his work in song, but also paints and has been welding for years. Credit: MGM National Harbor.

Bottom Right: Some of the “found objects” Dylan incorporated into “Portal,” include a hook, a lug wrench, gears, a cleat, chains and, if you look closely, a metal crab. Credit: Scott Van Pelt. Spring 2017 • 117



he following businesses recently joined the Gases and Welding Distributors Association. For more information about the benefits and services available to members, please contact the Association at 844-251-3219 and Stephen Hill, membership services manager, or visit www.


2900 E. San Augustine St. Deer Park, Texas 77536-4432 281-782-0672 Kelly Marull, business development manager Air Flow offers gas equipment rental services (20ft ISOS, 40ft, ISOS, 45ft ISOS) vaporizers, isotubes and also is very active in finding customized solutions for gas exploration. The company only works with gas companies and distributors.


Morelos #281 Irapuato, Guanajuato Mexico 36500 52 (462) 6271091 Luis Arian Bringas, main contact The company is an international distributor of welding and gas equipment based in Guanajuato, Mexico.


2902 North Sheridan Rd. Chicago, Il 60657 312-547-9253 Gerald Obritzberger, managing partner/owner Inmotion serves as a distribution partner for technology companies from German-speaking countries focused on welding-related products. The company says it brings tech products to North America, promoting them with distributors in the welding industry.


800 Westchester Ave., Suite S-604 Rye Brook, N.Y. 10573 914-250-3794 Joseph Armentano, CEO Paraco Gas Corp. is a supplier of propane to New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Southern New England.

118 • Spring 2017


5650 Breckenridge Parkway, Suite 102 Tampa, Fla., 33610 813-435-5161 Karla Gorsky, Vice President of Operations Global Safety Management provides safety data sheet translation services and software designed to keep companies compliant.


8711 West Port Ave. Milwaukee, Wisc. 53224 414-973-3364 Dick Wilkinson, managing director Phoenix International is the manufacturer of DryRod and DryWire welding electrode ovens. The range of products, including the Safetube electrode canisters, provides durability and longevity for use.


3501 C St. NE Auburn, Wash. 98002 253-854-5820 Mike Myer, vice president sales and marketing CK Worldwide is a manufacturer of welding equipment and accessories with primary emphasis on TIG.


Omega Drive Suite 1180 Pittsburgh, Pa. 15205 412-922-8886 Joshua Chiprich, metal and product manager The company represents Fein Power Tools and Jancy Engineering. Fein U.S. is the oldest power tool manufacturer in the world, with manufacturing located in Germany. Jancy is a U.S. manufacturer of mag drills and angular cutters.


17314 State Highway 249 #108 Houston, Texas  77064 281-719-9340 Brent West, CEO Fives Cryo provides cryogenic pump, cryogenic brazed heat exchanges and cold box manufacturing.


527 Michigan St. South Houston, Texas 77587 713-747-8502 Andrew Bush, Sales Department B&B Pipe and Industrial Tools is an OEM and manufactures a complete line of pipe fabrication tools and machines within five product categories. They are: pipe jacks and stands, beveling and cutting machines, clamping and fit-up tools, purge equipment and pipe-rigging equipment.


13035 East 59th St. Tulsa, Okla. 74134 918-550-4515 Larry Davis, CEO and chairman AgoNow is an industrial master wholesaler and channel solutions provider that partners with distributors and manufacturers to grow their businesses profitably through inventory, logistics, analytics, marketing and e-commerce services. AgoNow will only sell to distributors and not to end-users.


4620 Henry St. Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213 412-779-9998 Eric Wise, founder and CEO Breathewise provides technology to allow distributors to see cylinder fill levels in real time.

MANUFACTURER’S REPRESENTATIVE Greg Leumas 8480 Athens Ave. Baton Rouge, La. 70814 225-330-6590 Spring 2017 • 119

INDUSTRY NEWS Mathey Dearman Restructures Sales Organization

Mike Brace

Al Smith

Josh Wilson

Sevy Jezek

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Mathey Dearman has restructured its sales organization, says Brandon Boyd, director of sales. The new team is made up of Boyd; Josh Wilson, area sales manager for the Western United States and Western Canada; Mike Brace, area sales manager for the Eastern United States and Eastern Canada; Svatopluk “Sevy” Jezek, European sales manager and  Al Smith, training and product support coordinator. Wilson joined the company in 2012 as a sales application engineer; in 2015 he was named technical sales application manager. His primary duties included organizing and heading up all aspects of training for the company. A graduate of the Ohio State University, with a degree in mechanical engineering, Wilson has a business degree from the University of Phoenix. He has also spent time as a project manager, project engineer and field engineer. Brace brings more than 20 years of sales and operational experience. Formerly the welding specialist for the construction products/industrial engine drive group at Miller Electric, he is an AWS certified welding inspector and an AWS certified welding sales representative. Jezek previously worked for a group that produced steel construction for trucks and has experience related to steel construction and heavy industry and working with welders all over Europe. He has been with Mathey since 2009. Smith started with Mathey Dearman in 1980, as a machinist building equipment on the floor. In the late 1990s he moved to production manager. More recently he began working in quality control and documentation of procedures.

Simon Retires, Diekow Now Leading Oxygen Service Company

Ryan Diekow has been named president and CEO of Oxygen Service Company with the retirement of Ward Simon. Diekow, the fourth CEO in the history of the St. Paul, Minn., company, previously served as president. Prior to that he served as vice president and general manager. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, Diekow holds an MBA from the University of St. Thomas. In addition to Diekow, the Oxygen Service leadership team will consist of Dan Kipka as chief operating officer and Ryan Mielke as chief financial officer. Kipka had been the vice president of operations. He has been with Oxygen Service for 20 years. Mielke was the vice president of finance and has been with Oxygen Service since 2014. Mike Nelson, vice president of sales, and Nicole Hoverson, director of human resources, continue in their previously held positions. “We thank Ward Simon for all he did for this company, wish him all the best in retirement and look forward to continuing the company’s 50-plus year tradition of service to the Upper Midwest and being 100-percent employee owned,” Diekow says.

Ryan Diekow

Nicole Hoverson

Ryan Mielke

Mike Nelson

Dan Kipka

INDUSTRY NEWS Hwang Named President at Revco Industries

Steve Hwang has been named president of Revco Industries, Inc. of Santa Fe Springs, Calif. Hwang has spent 16 years at Revco Industries, most recently as executive vice president. Prior to that, he held positions as vice president of business Steve Hwang development and operations, operations manager and IT manager. His experience with Revco Industries covers the spectrum of operational and business development duties, including supply chain management, strategic partnerships, analytics, quality, and production. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in electrical engineering and computer science. “I am excited to take on this role and look forward to not only continuing, but expanding upon, Revco Industries’ core value of providing our customers with innovative gloves and flame-resistant garments that represent the highest standards in quality and value,” Hwang says. C. Edward Chu, formerly president, will be CEO and chairman of the board. Chu joined Revco Industries more than 38 years ago. With a Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Minnesota, Chu spent four years with a consulting firm before joining the family business as vice president. After the death of his brother, Revco Industries Edward Chu founder Mitchell Chu in 1981, Ed Chu became president of the company. In addition to Steve Hwang and Ed Chu, Revco Industries’ executive management includes Charles Hwang, vice president of sales, who has been with the company 22 years; Jimmy Wu, vice presdient of research and development, 22 years with Revco; Thomas Han, vice president of accounting, 16 years; Joanne Chu, vice president of human resources, 32 years; and Randal Fisher, new vice president of marketing.

Hudson Named Vice President of Sales for GAWDA Media Tim Hudson has been promoted to the position of vice president of sales for GAWDA Media, William Brod, publisher, has announced. In his new role, Hudson assumes overall responsibility

for sales strategy, publications marketing and sales-team initiatives. He is in charge of advertising sales for Welding & Gases Today, the official magazine of GAWDA; the GAWDA Connection, the organization’s twice-monthly electronic newsletter; and two special publications, GAWDA’s Membership Directory and its Members Only Buyers Guide. He Tim Hudson also manages the organization’s spring and fall Contact Booth Program advertising guides and is responsible for digital and technical innovation research and other special projects. Hudson earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Alfred University. He began his role with GAWDA Media as relationship manager/sales in November of 2015. “Tim has been essential to the successful continuation of GAWDA Media’s publication sales and advertising efforts over the past year-plus as we have assumed publication operations serving the members of GAWDA,” Brod says. “His ability to strategize and to present innovative promotional venues, coupled with his client-benefit approach to advertising has been effective and instrumental. We congratulate him on his success for Data Key and GAWDA Media and look forward to both continued excellent service and new ideas as he adds responsibilities,” Brod adds.

Luxfer-GTM Names Snyder Sales DirectorIndustrial Gas Sector Russell Snyder has joined Luxfer-GTM as sales director-industrial gas sector. Snyder’s 30 years of sales and product management with Rotarex-North America “make him extremely knowledgeable of the industry, the players, and the needs of the market. Russ’s appointment is a sign of our commitment to becoming a leading gas transport manufacturer in the industry,” San Francisco, Calif.-based Luxfer-GTM says in a release. “I am excited and motivated to represent the Luxfer-GTM line of products which, in my opinion, are the future for bulk, high pressure gas transportation,” Snyder says.

Central Welding Supply Expands into Alaska Central Welding Supply, of Marysville, Wash., has expanded into Alaska, opening a location in Wasilla. Spring 2017 • 121

INDUSTRY NEWS The business is Central Welding Supply’s 22nd retail outlet and its first location in the state of Alaska. “We’ve served customers in Alaska for many years, through regular shipments to Central Alaska, Southeast Alaska, Kodiak and the Aleutian Island chain. Our new Wasilla location will provide more immediate access to needed equipment and supplies for customers in Alaska. The addition will also offer enhancements to customer service, since we’ll be positioned as a local business provider,” says Dale Wilton, Central Welding’s CEO. The new location opened in February and supports retail sales for walk-in customers and as a central point for distribution throughout the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. Central Welding Supply provides direct delivery to customers in Wasilla, Anchorage and Palmer, with some limited deliveries to Seward and the Kenai Peninsula. “Though our primary focus is local service, our close proximity to Anchorage shipping lines and air freight from both Wasilla and Anchorage will allow for the delivery of needed equipment and supplies throughout the interior of Alaska, and Alaskan port towns we don’t reach from Seattle,” Wilton says.

Nelson Named President as Oxarc’s Gregory Walmsley Retires Gregory Walmsley has retired from Oxarc, the Spokane, Wash., distributor, where he served as president. He started at the company while still a student, and worked at numerous positions before becoming president in the 1980s. He took retirement to travel and enjoy more time with his family. His sister, Jana Nelson, has been appointed to succeed him as president. Nelson formerly served as executive vice president, secretary and treasurer at the family-owned company. She has worked at the firm since 1975, first as credit manager, then as office manager before being promoted in the late 1980s when the firm took on its current form. Also, Mike Sutley has taken the title executive vice president and Jason Kirby has come aboard as vice president and general manager.

Sutley has been with the company since 1972. He has served in inside and outside sales as well as sales manager and general manager before his recent promotion. Kirby served in the Marines and has worked in the gases and welding industry for 15 years in the Southwest and West in both production and sales. Jerry Walmsley, “the founding father of Oxarc,” according to a company release, will continue to have an active role as a consultant, “sharing his 60 years of experience in this business.”

Techniweld USA Adds Barry as Marketing Coordinator Meagan Barry has joined Techniweld USA as a marketing coordinator. Barry previously worked for five years with Chick-fil-A franchises, where she served as a marketing director and store manager. She also served Meagan Barry as an event coordinator for Wireless Technology Forum. She has a degree in marketing with a minor in graphic design from Georgia Southern University.

Industry Veteran Braatz Joins Kaplan Industries Richard Braatz has joined Kaplan Industries as regional sales manager for the Southeast area. Braatz has been in the gases and welding industry for 37 years with BOC Gases/Airgas and, most recently, with Richard Braatz Matheson Tri Gas Southeast Region. Braatz will be serving customers in the states of Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Oklahoma. A native of Chicago, Braatz lives in Naples, Fla.

O.E. Meyer Wins Homecare Award, Adds New Store

Jana Nelson 122 • Spring 2017

Mike Sutley

Jason Kirby

O.E. Meyer Co., of Sandusky, Ohio, has received the first ever Van Miller Homecare Champion Award from the American Association for Homecare. The award recognizes those who have made exceptional contributions to the homecare community in their careers by embodying the spirit of service and caring. The award was presented to Melissa Cross, vice president,

INDUSTRY NEWS O.E. Meyer Co. Homecare Division last fall in Atlanta. “This award is for all of those at O.E. Meyer Co. who work so very hard every day and are passionate about helping and improving the lives of our customers,” says Cross. “Without them, this award would not be possible.” O.E. Meyer Co., an employee-owned business founded in 1918, also announced it is opening a new Homecare Store in the Walbridge, Ohio.

AWISCO locations. He is in charge of vendor relations, inventory control and managing the day-to-day technological needs of AWISCO. Annie Varma has joined AWISCO, taking on a variety of different roles. She will be managing the day-to-day office tasks as the new office team leader.

Rushin Now Manager, Sales and Service Process at ORS Nasco Susan Rushin has joined ORS Nasco as manager, sales and service process. She brings more than 15 years of welding industry experience and expertise to the organization. In her new role, Rushin will act as Susan Rushin a sales support subject matter expert for ORS Nasco, while collaborating with senior leaders in merchandising, pricing and sales to drive cross-functional alignment on key initiatives within the business. In addition, she will support conversion opportunities by facilitating a quicker pre- and post-sales process along with developing and implementing a welding training program for distributors. Prior to joining ORS Nasco, Rushin spent four years in corporate finance and 11-plus years as the head of sales operations for Victor Technologies/ESAB. Her previous responsibilities included oversight of sales and pricing administration, training and customer service. During her professional tenure, she has led many key projects, including business integration, sales reporting, best practice design and web site enhancement. Additionally, she served as a Distributor Advisory Council member for more than 10 years.

AWISCO Announces Promotions, New Hire AWISCO, the Maspeth, N.Y., distributor, announces two promotions and a new hire. Nicole Torres is the new director of client solutions. She is responsible for building and maintaining positive customer relationships at all seven AWISCO locations in the New York City-Tri-State area. Torres has been with AWISCO for more than two years. After 13 years with AWISCO, Adam Lacku has taken on the new role of vice president of innovation. In this function, Lacku will continue to lead the purchasing department while also taking charge of the IT department covering all eight

Nicole Torres

Adam Lacku

Annie Varma

Brown Joins AgoNow as VP of Sales

Dennis Brown has joined AgoNow LLC, a pure master industrial wholesaler and channel solutions provider based in Tulsa, Okla., as vice president of sales. Brown’s primary focus will be managing the welding distribution business, while playing a supporting role in industrial and commercial construction distribution. Before joining AgoNow, Dennis Brown Brown spent more than 30 years in the welding, industrial and construction supplies market. Most of his career was with Weiler Corporation, most recently serving as director of strategic business. Previous roles included vice president of distribution and channel management and national sales manager. “With more than 30 years of working with local, regional and national welding and industrial distributors, Dennis brings tremendous insight, relationships and process knowledge to the AgoNow team,” says Larry Davis, CEO of AgoNow. “He has a well-established track record of working with and understanding the needs of the market, and ensuring that business solutions evolve with an ever-changing market.” Brown has been an active member of the Welding Equipment Manufacturers Committee (WEMCO) and served for more than 10 years on the executive committee, including a stint as chairman. He currently serves on the Marketing Action Committee of the American Welding Society (AWS). In 2010, he received a WEMCO/AWS achievement award in recognition of his career contributions to WEMCO and the welding industry. Spring 2017 • 123

INDUSTRY NEWS Barnhart Joins Norris Cylinder as Regional Sales Manager

Tom Barnhart

Tom Barnhart has joined Norris Cylinder as the Southeastern regional sales manager. Barnhart comes to Norris with 18 years of experience in the sales of cylinders, valves and gas plant supplies. He most recently worked in a similar sales position.

Smith Joins Leadership of Women of Gases and Welding

Linda Smith

Linda Smith, president of Chemweld, Inc., has joined GAWDA’s Women of Gases and Welding Committee Leadership Team. Smith has worked as the WGW Committee’s communication chair for the past two years and will be succeeding Jenny McCall in her new capacity.

Wilkinson Named Managing Director at Phoenix International

Phoenix International, a division of The Phoenix Company, has named Dick Wilkinson its new managing director. Wilkinson will oversee all operations Dick Wilkinson and sales activity for the Milwaukee, Wisc.-based company. Prior to this appointment, Wilkinson spent more than 25 years working for OKI Bering/ORS Nasco. During his tenure, he held several positions, including vice president of marketing, director of merchandising, customer service manager and roles in purchasing. He has been heavily involved with industry associations, including four years on the WEMCO committee of welding equipment manufacturers and decades of involvement with GAWDA and Fabtech. As part of OKI Bering and ORS Nasco, Wilkinson has been working with Phoenix International for many years. He is originally from Peoria, Ill., where he attended Illinois Central College and studied business management and international marketing. He resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he’s lived for nearly 15 years with his wife and two children. 124 • Spring 2017

Chart Announces Management Changes

Chart Industries, Inc. has announced a series of management changes as part of its succession plan and the move of its corporate headquarters to its existing Canton, Ga., facility from Garfield Heights, Ohio. Samuel F. Thomas, current chairman and CEO, will move to the position of executive chairman May 25 and retire from the company in May 2018. William “Bill” C. Johnson, the company’s current president and COO, will become the company’s CEO and president at that time. Johnson joined Chart in 2016 having previously held multiple executive positions at Dover Refrigeration & Food Equipment, Inc. a subsidiary of Dover Corporation, most recently as president and CEO. Kenneth J. Webster, Chart’s former vice president and CFO, will not relocate to the Canton, Ga., facility and stepped down as CFO March 1. He plans to leave the company in May to pursue other interests. Jillian C. Evanko was appointed CFO effective March 1. She joined the company in February after most recently serving as the vice president and CFO of Truck-Lite Co., LLC. Prior to her role with Truck-Lite, she held multiple executive positions at Dover Corporation and its subsidiaries, including the role of vice president and CFO of Dover Fluids. “Now is the right time for the leadership change to execute an effective transition,” Thomas says. “As we are coming through a downturn and preparing the company for a significant lift in business, there is enormous benefit to be able to respond quickly and ramp up our capacity with a lift in orders. We wanted to have a new team in place to accomplish that effectively.”

Samuel F. Thomas

William Johnson

Jillian Evanko

Final Beam Tops Lincoln Electric’s New Welding Tech Center Crews placed the final beam on Lincoln Electric’s new $30 million welding technology center in Cleveland, Ohio in February.


In Memoriam DONALD HASTINGS Donald Hastings, retired president and chairman of Lincoln Electric, passed away Dec. 27, 2016 at his home in Colorado. Hastings worked for Lincoln Electric for more than four decades, rising to president, CEO and chairman of the board. He received the GAWDA Award of Excellence in 2004. The award recognized Hastings for his dedication to distributors and GAWDA. Hastings attended regional, zone and national meetings and was an advocate for the independent distributor. He was instrumental in changing Lincoln Electric from a direct sales manufacturing

company into a pro-distributor organization. “Don became one of us, and he was our trusted friend,” Jack Butler, of Butler Gas Products, said when presenting the award. In a letter informing employees of Hastings’ passing, Lincoln Electric Chairman and CEO Christopher Mapes wrote, “We are indebted to Don and have lost a good friend, who will be fondly remembered with great honor. We extend heartfelt condolences to his family.” Hastings was a graduate of Harvard Business School who worked his way up at Lincoln Electric. With his daughter Leslie Hastings he wrote a book about his experiences, “Behind the Mask: Embrace Risk and Dare to be Better.” He is survived by his wife, Shirley, three daughters and two granddaughters.

MIKE PYATT Mike Pyatt, who served as repair service technician at Cee Kay Supply’s Hil Bax Tech Center for more than 31 years, passed away January 16th. Pyatt was 65. Pyatt’s primary specialty was servicing and repairing automated cutting and welding systems. He held multiple factory repair certifications such as:

“Construction is progressing rapidly,” says John Mueller, director of facility planning and development for Lincoln. “We look forward to opening the facility later this year.” Before crews hoisted and placed the beam into position, representatives from Lincoln Electric and other companies working on the project participated in a beam-signing ceremony. On hand to sign the beam were Christopher Mapes, George Blankenship and Doug Lance from Lincoln Electric’s senior management team. Members of the Lincoln Electric facilities

Miller Electric, Lincoln Electric, Thermal Dynamics, ESAB, Koike Aronson and others. “Mike will be missed by everyone at Cee Kay Supply and we extend our sympathies to the Pyatt family at this time,” says Tom Dunn, Cee Kay CEO and owner. To submit In Memoriam remembrances or other industry news, contact: or call 315-445-2347.

team and representatives from Panzica Construction Company, Structura Architects Ltd. and Ironworker Local Union No. 17 also added signatures. When the new welding technology center opens, it will mark the centennial anniversary of the company’s legacy welding school, the longest-operating one in the United States. The new 130,000-square-foot center will double Lincoln’s welding education capacity to 180 welding booths and will include high-tech classrooms and seminar spaces. Spring 2017 • 125

INDUSTRY NEWS Thielen Named National Sales Manager at Acme Cryogenics

Acme Cryogenics has appointed Thomas R. Thielen to the position of national sales manager. He is based in Allentown, Pa. Thielen brings more than 30 years of industrial gas experience to Acme. Thomas Thielen He will be responsible for managing the company’s vacuum jacketed pipe business as well as the selling efforts for the entire line of Acme products into the industrial gas distributor market. Prior to joining Acme, Thielen was the director of North America business development for ABEC, Inc., a Bethlehem, Pa., manufacturer of bioreactors and related equipment for the biopharmaceutical industry. The vast majority of his career was spent with Air Products and Chemicals Inc., where he held various positions of increasing responsibility in sales, product management, logistics, strategic sourcing and sales management.

Techniweld USA Names McManus As IT Director James McManus has joined Techniweld USA as the director of information technology. He will serve as the company’s NetSuite administrator and network administrator. McManus has spent the past 17 years with Unified AV Systems, holding posiJames McManus tions as manager of IT services, director and for the past six years, chief information officer. He has also done consulting work for small businesses, individuals and community organizations. He is married with two children and resides in Atlanta.

McDougal Appointed CEO at Zephyr Solutions Zephyr Solutions LLC announced the appointment of Kevin McDougal as its new chief executive officer. McDougal brings nearly 30 years of relevant industry experience to his new role and will be responsible Kevin McDougal for the day-to-day management and operations of Zephyr, the company says. Most recently he served as general manager for Matheson Tri-Gas. Prior to this 126 • Spring 2017

role, he was the president of the Airgas Great Lakes Region. Zephyr founder Kathi Leiden says, “the board of directors and I reviewed Zephyr’s continued business momentum and we believe that Kevin is the correct person to lead the company through its next growth and investment stage. Kevin understands the critical customer and supplier partnerships Zephyr has created that are based on integrity, customer service and depth and breadth of capabilities. I look forward to working with Kevin as Zephyr looks to redefine the industrial gas industry.” McDougal added, “Zephyr’s unique business model is reinventing the industrial gas industry through its supplier network, which is the largest in the United States. Zephyr is giving its customers options and opportunities that have not existed. I couldn’t be more thrilled to lead Zephyr through its next stage of growth.” Christopher H. Thomas, partner at middle-market private equity firm Aterian says, “Kevin is an accomplished leader who has demonstrated growth and leadership capabilities throughout his career. Aterian looks forward to working alongside Kevin and investing in the organization, employees, customers and technology platform.”

Rice Joins Abicor Binzel as District Sales Manager Craig Rice, previously of Böhler Welding, has started at Abicor Binzel as district sales manager for the company’s West Coast territory. Rice’s career has included stints at Reis Robotics, Airgas, and ESAB, among other welding and fabrication companies, Abicor Binzel reports. Craig Rice Rice has a degree in welding engineering from Cal Poly and is a former serviceman in the Navy. He lives with his family in Southern California.

Chesterfield Special Cylinders Opens Facility in Pittsburgh High-pressure cylinder manufacturer Chesterfield Special Cylinders Inc. (CSC), which supplies trailer tubes used by gas transportation companies around the world, has opened its first U.S. operation in Pittsburgh, Pa. The company reports it has also been granted U.S. Department of Transportation UN ISO 11120 approval, enabling CSC to supply the U.S. market. The new operation offers the U.S. gas-trailer sector sta-

INDUSTRY NEWS bility of supply for safety-critical gas containment systems, the company says. CSC was established more than 100 years ago and is part of the Pressure Technologies Group, which is listed on the London AIM market. Deborah Schultz and Mark Semekoski have been recruited to manage CSC’s American operation. Schultz, company vice president, reports, “Chesterfield Special Cylinders is trusted by gas majors worldwide for safety-critical transportation tubes. The U.S. team knows and understands the needs of the U.S. trailer market and is already in talks with key players.”

Butler Adds 5,400-gallon Carbon Dioxide Tanker

Butler Gas Products has unveiled a new packaged-gas asset, a 2016 Westmor 5,400 gallon CO2 transport. Butler says the addition means the 69-year-old Pittsburghbased manufacturer and distributor is now poised to serve both liquid and gaseous bulk CO2 applications, filling tank sizes 2 tons and larger. “We made this investment to better secure supply and serve our customers,” says President/CEO Jack Butler. “Our new asset is picking up beverage-grade CO2 for our own production and distribution, and for our regional wholesale partners.”

AWISCO Luncheon Marks Women’s History Month

AWISCO held its first annual Women in Welding luncheon in March to celebrate Women’s History Month and the role of women in the industry. It featured a program with Kim Gates, of Direct Wire & Cable, as the guest speaker. The luncheon included an open conversation about women’s roles in what is regarded as a male-dominated industry. Gates, who has previously worked with 3M and York Wallcoverings, has been marketing director at Direct for a year. “It is with great pleasure that AWISCO held its first annual Women of AWISCO Luncheon,” AWISCO President Lloyd

Robinson says. “AWISCO has always been a place that welcomes and celebrates the accomplishments of our female employees and honoring all of them during International Women’s Month reflects our pride in their achievements.” AWISCO’s current staff includes nearly 20 percent women, filling roles such as controller, credit manager, marketing director, office manager, outside and inside sales and numerous accounting positions. “AWISCO prides itself in the diversity of its staff and that virtually all roles are open to talented women and minorities,” Robinson says.

Weiler Names Dwyre Managing Director, Americas Weiler Abrasives Group announced it has appointed Bill Dwyre managing director of the newly formed Americas business. The promotion, Weiler says, is part of a larger restructuring and supports the Bill Dwyre integration of Swatycomet, which the company acquired in late 2015. Dwyre joined Weiler in 2013 as the vice president of strategic marketing after a 25-year career at Ingersoll Rand. Most recently Dwyre held the position of vice president, sales and marketing. As managing director, Americas Dwyre is responsible for executing the regional growth strategy. The company says he continues to report to the Chief Executive Officer Chris Weiler. “I am excited to have Bill lead our Americas business. He has been instrumental in our transformation strategy, redefining the Weiler brand and value proposition to our targeted segments of metal fabrication and industrial production,” Weiler says. Dwyre holds a bachelor of arts in engineering from Lafayette College and a master’s in business administration from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

Noble Gas Makes Move to New Facility, Has New Address

Attendees at the first Women of AWISCO Luncheon

Noble Gas Solutions has moved its headquarters, plant and Albany store to 10 Erie Blvd., Albany, N.Y. The company built the new headquarters, store and plant in a former millwork building saying its previous location had become too cramped. “We see this as a way to make the business grow,” David Mahoney, company president and CEO, told the Albany Business Review in 2016. Spring 2017 • 127


M&A SCORECARD Tech Air Purchases Gasco Affiliates and Denver Distributor

Tech Air, a Connecticut-based distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases and related equipment and supplies, completed the acquisition of Florida-based Gasco Affiliates LLC, a producer of specialty gases and Gases & Arc Supply, Inc., a distributor of welding and industrial supplies and industrial gases located in Denver, Colo. Tech Air is owned by CI Capital Partners and Tech Air management. Founded in 1999 by Tom Hanway, Gasco produces portable calibration gas mixtures used to verify the accuracy and operability of gas detection and analytical instrumentation that detect specific harmful gases across an array of environments. From its locations in Florida and Texas, Gasco services industrial safety distributors across the United States and internationally. The acquisition of Gasco complements Tech Air’s acquisition of specialty gas producer Liquid Technology, completed in September 2016, Tech Air says in a release. Gasco will be operated as a separate division, led by President Brad Hanway, who has served in various management roles with the company since 2002, Tech Air reports. Gases & Arc was founded in 1995 by Jim O’Connor and Bob Backowies, who have more than 50 years of combined experience in the industrial gas distribution industry. Gases & Arc primarily serves industrial companies in the construction, pipe and metal fabrication industries. Tech Air says both men will remain actively involved with the company moving forward. 128 • Spring 2017

Myles Dempsey, Jr., chief executive officer of Tech Air, says, “through this acquisition, we continue to build out Tech Air’s specialty gas production capabilities, an exciting area of growth for the company. We welcome Brad and the rest of the Gasco management team to Tech Air.” Regarding the Colorado acquisition, Dempsey says it creates a new region for Tech Air, “complementing Tech Air’s existing regions in the Northeastern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western United States.” Joost Thesseling, Managing Director at CI Capital, said, “Through 21 add-on acquisitions, Myles and the Tech Air management team have transformed the company into a multi-regional player. We remain committed to supporting the company and its acquisition strategy.”

Cavagna Group Purchases Assets of Turkish Valve, Regulator Maker The Cavagna Group, of Ponte San Marco, Italy, has acquired the business line of LPG valves and regulators by purchasing the assets of DVR, a privately held Turkish company based in Istanbul, part of the Altek Group. Established in 1971, the DVR Company has been delivering a range of LPG products including self-closing valves, hand-wheel operated valves, camping cylinder valves and regulators for LPG to customers, mainly in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Turkey. The assets will be transferred from Turkey and installed this year in some of Cavagna’s plants in order to take advantage of Cavagna’s industrial synergy, the company says in a release.

Praxair and Linde Announce Plans to Merge

Linde AG and Praxair, Inc. announced on Dec. 20, 2016 that the companies intend to combine in a merger of equals under a new holding company through an all-stock transaction. The companies have signed a non-binding term sheet and said upon the announcement that they expect to execute a definitive business combination agreement as soon as practicable. In a release, the companies say the “proposed merger would bring together two leading companies in the global industrial gas industry, leveraging the proven strengths of each. The transaction would unite Linde’s long-held leadership in technology with Praxair’s efficient operating model, creating a global leader,” the companies say. “The combined company would enjoy strong positions in all key geographies and end markets and create a more diverse and balanced global portfolio, and enable the development and delivery of more innovative products and services to customers,” according to the announcement. Based on 2015 reported results, the combination would create a company with pro forma revenues of approximately $30 billion, prior to any divestitures, and a current market value in excess of $65 billion. “The strategic combination between Linde and Praxair would leverage the complementary strengths of each across a larger global footprint and create a more resilient portfolio with increased exposure to long-term macro growth trends,” says Steve Angel, Praxair’s chairman and CEO.


M&A SCORECARD “Under the Linde brand, we want to combine our companies’ business and technology capabilities and form a global industrial gas leader. Beyond the strategic fit, the compelling, value-creating combination would achieve a robust balance sheet and cash flow and generate financial flexibility to invest in our future,” says Aldo Belloni, CEO of Linde.

The new holding company would be formed and domiciled in a neutral member state of the European Economic Area, the companies say, with the CEO based in Danbury, Conn. Corporate functions would be split between Danbury and Munich, Germany, the companies report. Under the plan, Praxair Chairman and CEO, Steve

Angel, would become CEO and a member of the combined firm’s single board of directors, while Linde’s supervisory board chairman, Wolfgang Reitzle, would become chairman of the board. The December announcement came after earlier talks between Germanheadquartered Linde and Connecticutbased Praxair failed to bear fruit.



GAWDA Spring Management Conference ▶ Boca Raton, Fla.


IWDC Sales & Purchasing Convention ▶ Las Vegas, Nev.

31- June 1 4-7

GAWDA Regional Meeting ▶ Atlantic City, N.J. LDA Annual Membership Meeting ▶ Nashville, Tenn.

JUNE 12-14

GAWDA Regional Meeting ▶ Seven Springs, Pa.


GAWDA Regional Meeting ▶ Lansing, Mich.


GAWDA Regional Meeting ▶ Sunriver, Ore.


GAWDA Regional Meeting ▶ North Stonington, Conn.




GAWDA Regional Meeting ▶ Gettysburg, Pa.


GAWDA Regional Meeting ▶ Tulsa, Okla.


Essen World Trade Fair for Welding ▶ Essen Germany


GAWDA Annual Convention ▶ New York, N.Y.

OCTOBER 31- Nov. 3



IWDC Owners Meeting ▶ Amelia Island, Fla. FABTECH ▶ Chicago, Ill.

Spring 2017 • 129



3 2


Lincoln Electric Adds CrossLinc to Flextec 650

Lincoln Electric says it has expanded the Flextec 650 line with the Flextec 650X adding Lincoln’s CrossLinc Technology, “giving operators full functionality and control at the arc without an added control cable.” Flextec 650X is rated at 650 amps, 44 volts at 100 percent duty cycle, according to Lincoln. It delivers up to 815 amps for heavy applications or a stable arc at low currents for MIG or TIG welding on thin materials. Using CrossLinc, the machine enables remote control of procedure settings at the arc. Lincoln says this leads to improved weld quality and increased productivity by reducing trips to the power source and improves safety by reducing jobsite cable clutter.


Witt Offers New Gas Analyzer

Witt has unveiled a new gas analyzer, the PA 7.0, that the company says enables reliable analysis in the parts per million range. “Even trace quantities of oxygen in gaseous media are now detected by the PA gas analyzer,” Witt says, explaining the process “is made possible by a highly sensitive zirconium cell, now available as an option.” While the classic PA with chemical sensor measures in increments of 0.1 percent, the new zirconium version detects in the parts-per-million range. All measured values are stored, and can be downloaded for further processing, Witt says. The PA weighs around 13 pounds and has stainless steel housing. 130 • Spring 2017


ALM Positioners Introduces Two Devices


Hardface Offers Wire for Shredding Knives

ALM Positioners has introduced a new 10,000-pound capacity Model MHL1P single column positioner. It features 68 and a half inches of vertical travel in 35 seconds, pendant controlled by a four-horsepower column-mounted hydraulic unit for lifting and lowering, solenoid controlled safety pawls, 360-degree rotation, a 48-inch base and a rotator with 267,200 inch-pounds of torque. Also available from ALM Positioners is the MHL1P 3 axis single column 6,000-pound capacity positioner. It requires no special foundation and is suited to situations when total product access is needed.

Hardface Technologies has introduced Postalloy UltraShred 580, a metal-cored hardfacing wire it says is ideal for tire shredding knives and knives used to shred other materials. “The alloy properties create a wear-resistant cutting edge even under high-heat conditions created by extreme friction,” the company says. “Postalloy Ultra-Shred 580 has proven to be an exceptional alloy to hardface tire shredding knives,” says John Postle, president. “But, beyond that application, the product has also seen great success with other recycled materials, such as PVC, HDPE and other plastics, wood, textiles, natural and synthetic fibers, leather and rubber.”


6 8


 ardface Technologies Says New Product Won’t H Mushroom

Hardface Technologies, a unit of Postle Industries, has introduced a new product it says is perfect for manganese steel railroad frogs and crossings. Postalloy FrogTuff is offered as a flux-cored wire as well as a flux-coated electrode. The company says that the material will not spall or mushroom and that under severe impact, such as hammering or pounding from continuous rail traffic, the fully austenitic weld deposit quickly becomes tougher and harder very quickly. The company has also introduced a self-shielded flux cored wire version of the product named Postalloy FrogTuff-FCO.


Digital Wave Rolls Out New Requalifying Device


 oestalpine Böhler Welding Offers New Strip/flux V Combination

Digital Wave has introduced a new cylinder requalifying device, the UE17 Machine. “It has been designed to operate with similar throughput volumes as our previous generation UE1, but with the same footprint as the smaller UE23,” the company says. By adding the five-head UE single pass bridge, the UE17 has the capacity to test 1,500 cylinders to more than 2,500 cylinders per month, Digital Wave says, adding the device can requalify everything “from small medicals to large industrial steels.”

Voestalpine Böhler Welding has introduced a patented strip/ flux combination that it says cuts down on cladding time and

on the use of cladding materials, while meeting all prevalent industry requirements for the deposited metal. With the new combination SOUDOTAPE 625 / RECORD EST 625-1 LD savings are obtained because a single layer can work where two layers might be otherwise required, the company says. The new combination successfully passed pitting corrosion testing according to ASTM G48-Method A and intergranular corrosion testing according to ASTM G28 Method-A, the company reports.


WITT Introduces New Dome-loaded Back-pressure Regulator 

German gas systems manufacturer WITT has introduced a new dome-loaded back-pressure regulator “BPR2.” This back-pressure regulator keeps the pressure of gases in processes, system components or tanks constant, the company says, adding that “in contrast to spring-loaded systems, the new development controls the gas pressure by means of a dome diaphragm.” WITT says the new device is suitable for almost all technical gases, including oxygen, in the range 7 to 290 psi. It says that installation can be in any orientation while the wide temperature range from 22 degrees below zero to 122 degrees ensures it can cover a variety of common applications. The company adds that it meets all relevant standards and can even be used in HAZLOC areas and food environments. Spring 2017 • 131

ADVERTISERS INDEX ABICOR Binzel USA......................................................... 95

Kaplan Industries............................................................ 35

Acme Cryogenics............................................................ 38

The Lincoln Electric Company............................................ 7

ALM Positioners............................................................ 110

McDantim..................................................................... 101

American Cap Company.................................................. 95

Mercer Abrasives.............................................................. 5

American Torch Tip.......................................................... 65

Metal Man Work Gear Co .............................................. 102

AmWINS Program Underwriters........................................ 61

Norlab............................................................................ 48

Anthony Welded Products.......................................... 51, 59

Norton Abrasives............................................................... 8

Arcos Industries............................................................. IBC

ORS Nasco................................................................... 103

ASM- American Standard Manufacturing.......................... 96

PFERD............................................................................ 26

Astaras........................................................................... 11

Prism Visual Software.................................................... 105

BTIC America Corporation................................................ 97

Ratermann Manufacturing............................................... 33

Bug-O Systems............................................................... 49

Ray Murray Inc.............................................................. 104

California Cylinder........................................................... 45

Reelcraft Industries......................................................... 63

Carborundum Abrasives.................................................. 89

RegO Cryo-Flow Products................................................ 76

Catalina Cylinders........................................................... 57

Revco – Black Stallion..................................................... 83

Cavagna North America................................................... 24

Rotarex North America..................................................... 81

CGW- Camel Grinding Wheels.......................................... 75

SafTCart......................................................................... 37

Chart Industries.............................................................. 25

Select-Arc, Inc................................................................BC

CK Worldwide................................................................. 44

Sherwood Valve.............................................................. 73

CPV Manufacturing......................................................... 91

Superior Products........................................................... 67

Cryofab.......................................................................... 50

Taylor Wharton............................................................ 9, 33

Cryoworks...................................................................... 45

Tech Air.................................................................... 20, 21

CTR................................................................................. 3

Thermacut...................................................................... 47

Cyl-Tec........................................................................... 13

Thermco Instrument Corp.............................................. 111

ELCo Enterprises............................................................. 60

Uniweld Products.......................................................... 105

Eleet Cryogenics............................................................... 9

Veite Cryogenic Equipment & Service Corp......................... 1

Exocor............................................................................ 60

voestalpine Böhler Welding.............................................. 27

FasTest.......................................................................... 53

Watson Coatings, Inc....................................................... 39

FIBA Technologies........................................................... 31

WEH Technologies........................................................... 56

Flange Wizard............................................................... 100

Weiler Corporation……… ............................................. 92

Gas Innovations/WWS..................................................... 50

Weldcoa......................................................................... 19

Generant Company......................................................... 52

Weldcote Metals............................................................. 72

Gullco International....................................................... 113

Weldship Corporation...................................................... 79

H & H Sales Company................................................... 100

Winton Products Co........................................................ 53

The Harris Products Group.............................................. IFC

Worthington Industries..................................................... 43

Hobart Institute of Welding Technology.............................. 52 132 • Spring 2017

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Discover for yourself how Arcos stainless steel alloy electrodes can help you solve your critical welding problems. Call us today at 800-233-8460 or visit our website at

“Hands down, Select 78 is the best wire I’ve used in 25 years.”

Marc Young

Advantage Steel and Construction Ironworkers Local 3

Select-Arc, Inc. has introduced Select 78, a new T-8 product that has shook up the self-shielded electrode market. Select 78 (E71T8-H8) provides superior arc stability and low spatter emission enabling high deposition rates whether in-position or out-ofposition. In contrast to other T-8 wires, Select 78 has a broad operating window that allows both experienced and apprentice welders to utilize it with ease. It offers exceptional weldability and

produces an excellent bead shape with easily removed slag. Select 78 is expertly designed for use in critical applications such as ship and barge construction, structural steel erection and bridge fabrication. Better yet, as Marc Young attested, “Being an ironworker means putting in long hours and laborious days under any known conditions to build North America. Select 78 allows you to put in an honest day’s work instead of a hard day’s work.”

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Welding & Gases Today - Q2 2017  

The offical publication of GAWDA.

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