March 15, 2017
This Issue
Featured Articles

Safety & Compliance

Member News

News from GAWDA

This Newsletter
Brought to You by:

Popular Content
Getting excited about Spring Management Conference? Check on the report on last year's event. You can see it here.
Share Your News
Send us your news! Held an open house? Hired a new employee? Share your events, employee promotions, new or renovated facilities and other company news with GAWDA members. Submit your news here.
Share the Connection
Know someone in your organization who should be receiving the GAWDA Connection? You can have the GAWDA Connection sent to someone in your member organization. Simply send us an email with their name, title and email address. Click here to add someone now.
Featured Articles

Spring Management Conference Hotel Filling Quickly

Registration is off to a strong start for the Spring Management Conference, May 11-13 at the Boca Raton Resort and Club in Boca Raton, Fla. According to the current count, more than half of the expected number of distributors and suppliers have already signed up.

GAWDA officials are urging those who have decided to take part in the SMC to register and reserve their room now in order to avoid possible disappointment.

The Boca Raton Resort and Club has an "Old Florida" feel, says GAWDA President Mark Raimy, who notes that this year's SMC will finish on the day before Mother's Day, creating an opportunity to spoil mom with one of the specials the hotel is offering GAWDA members.

To register for the SMC, click here. To see Raimy discuss the hotel, Contact Booth Program and other reasons to attend the SMC, click here.

Early Bird SMC Discounts End in Two Weeks

GAWDA members who sign up for the Spring Management Conference by the end of March qualify for a $100 discount on the $565 full registration fee.

The $100 discount can also apply to spouse registration, regularly $400, and even to registrations for children between the ages of 13-17, whose registration is only $200.

The $100 savings is also available for Contact Booth Program booths and table top displays.

For more information, click here.

Prize Program Available for Contact Booth Program Exhibitors

The SMC Contact Booth Program will include a Prize Program giving distributor members a chance to win prizes from supplier members. 

Any supplier member who is exhibiting at the Contact Booth Program can participate. To take part, contact Tim Hudson at to get your prize listed in the brochure. Deadline is April 12th.

We're Getting the Band Back Together (for the First Time)

If you (or someone you know) is planning to attend the Spring Management Conference in Boca Raton and have some skills as a musician or vocalist, we may have a spot for you in the GAWDA Band!

We will be assembling a small group to take the stage during the President's Welcome Reception and Dinner to fill in while the "paid performers" are on break. This should be a fun way to keep the party going while showcasing the talents of some of our members.

Since we will all be coming from different directions, there probably won't be any opportunity to rehearse this act. Given that fact, we are looking for reasonably accomplished musicians who currently play or sing, may have some stage experience and could sit in to perform four or five standard danceable rock 'n' roll songs.

If you have an interest in participating, contact Jim Appledorn by e-mail, at, or by phone, at 216-406-4587.

Safety and Compliance
President Issues New Executive Order on Regulatory Reform

President Trump has issued yet another Executive Order on February 24 addressing regulatory reform in his administration. The newest order directs federal agencies to take additional actions as part of an effort to lower regulatory burdens on U.S. businesses. This order follows previous directives freezing the issuance of new regulations for 60 days and ordering agencies to eliminate two regulations for every new regulation proposed.

Under the new EO each federal agency will have 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 EOs, 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) and make recommendations on whether they should be repealed, replaced, or modified. At a minimum each task force must attempt to identify regulations 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.
PHMSA Issues Guidance on Use of International Standards

In light of the final rule in HM-215N being withdrawn due to the regulatory freeze, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published guidance on the use of certain international standards of the transportation of hazardous materials. The guidance states that PHMSA will not take enforcement action against any offeror or carrier who is using the 2017-18 versions of the International Civil Aviation Organization Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air or Amendment 38-16 of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code. In addition, PHMSA will not take any enforcement action against any offeror or carrier who offers or accepts for domestic or international shipments by any mode packages marked or labeled in accordance with the 2017-18 standards. PHMSA will permit use of either the 2015-16 standards or the newer standards until this guidance is modified or rescinded. It is expected that the agency will adopt the 2017-18 standards into the Hazardous Materials Regulations within the next few months.

FMCSA Driver Hours of Service Rules Will Remain Unchanged. 
The U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General has submitted a letter to Congress concurring with the conclusions reached by DOT that a study of the Obama Administration changes to the driver hours of service rules did not result in any net benefit relating to driver fatigue, health longevity or safety. Thus, the current hours of service rules, and the 34-hour restart of weekly on duty periods, will remain unchanged.

Under the driver hours of service regulations in 49 CFR Part 395, for fleets that operate 6 or fewer days a week, a driver may not drive a commercial motor vehicle after being on duty more than 60 hours in the previous 7 days. For fleets that operate 7 days a week, a driver may not drive after bring on duty more than 70 hours in the previous eight days.

In 2004, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) amended this requirement to include a “restart” provision in the weekly on duty limits. The restart allows the driver to reset that weekly on duty limit after having 34 consecutive hours off duty. The idea behind the restart is that the 34 consecutive hours off duty, which generally includes two sleeping periods, will overcome the effect of cumulative fatigue from the long weekly duty periods.

This restart provision was welcomed by drivers and management alike, as it gave fleets additional flexibility in scheduling without jeopardizing safety. Drivers were no longer forced to sit for up to three days at a truck stop or other location on the road to wait for their hours to catch up so they could drive again. 
In 2013, the FMCSA amended the hours of service rules again to add two conditions to the restart provision. First, the 34-hour restart could be used only once every 168 hours (one week). This was to prevent drivers from maximizing their potential hours on duty by taking frequent restarts. 
Second, the FMCSA required that the 34 consecutive hours must include two periods of 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. in order to restart the weekly on duty limits. This was intended to ensure that drivers were getting maximum rest from the time off.  Instead, carriers disliked these additional requirements because they reduced the scheduling flexibility afforded by the restart. For fleets that operated early morning deliveries, such as in the food service industry, waiting until 5:00 a.m. to dispatch a driver meant that many trucks would be on the road during peak rush hours and their delivery schedules would be disrupted.
In the 2015 DOT appropriations legislation, Congress told the FMCSA that the agency could not enforce the two new restart provisions until the agency conducted a study and reported back to Congress on the safety effects of the restart rules on drivers in real world applications. The FMCSA conducted the study on over 220 drivers during 2015.
In the FY 2016 DOT appropriations bill, Congress added new language saying that the FMCSA could not enforce the restart provisions unless the report to Congress demonstrated “statistically significant improvement in all outcomes related to safety, operator fatigue, driver health and longevity, and work schedules,” in comparison to commercial motor vehicle drivers who operated under the restart provisions with the additional two provisions.
The FMCSA report has now been submitted to Congress, and its conclusions were certified by the DOT Inspector General. 
As a result, the 34-hour restart remains in effect for drivers and carriers without the requirements that you may use it only once every 168 hours or that it must include two periods of 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. 
Member News

Chart Makes Management Changes

Wilkinson Named Managing Director at Phoenix International

Lincoln Electric Welding Tech Center Get Final Beam

Acme Cryogenics Names Thielen National Sales Manager

McManus Joins Techniweld USA as IT Director

Got Questions for Your Customers of the Future?

Dear GAWDA Suppliers and Distributors:

What kind of questions do you have about your company’s future customers?
Before long, buying decisions will be in the hands of people who today may be the entry-level folks in our industry. 

We’re learning that millennial customers – and their younger counterparts, “Generation Next” consumers – have different ways of looking at life, work, communication, and consumer behavior.

  • Their interests, needs and styles are not what we’re used to.
  • Their perspectives on preferred sales approaches aren’t those that have stood the test of time as standard business practice for decades.
  • The ways we’ve done sales and communicated with customers for so long probably won't cut it with the newest generations of consumers and buyers.
What does that mean for you as a product or service supplier or a retail distributor?

It might mean many changes in the way you conduct business. Millennial and GenNext customers like different approaches, use many technologies, and prefer specific ways of communicating other than what our industry is used to doing. You may have to changes your processes and approaches in order to keep these customers and market share.

To help GAWDA members understand these social/business differences, supplier member George Ratermann is leading a panel discussion at the 2017 Spring Management Conference. It focuses on  interests, needs and styles of “Generation Next.” Several real-life GenNext industry customers will be on the panel.

Ratermann wants to incorporate your questions and is asking for your input. Send questions directly to Ratermann at; or submit them to: for forwarding.

Want an extra incentive? The first 20 members to provide a question will receive a GAWDA shirt and a copy of the GAWDA history, "The Road from Dayton."

New Food and Beverage Gas Training Video Available

GAWDA 's FDA and Medical Gases Consultant Tom Badstubner has just completed a 60-minute training video on How to Implement a Food Safety Program in compliance with 21 CFR 117.

The video also covers the essential forms available in the sample standard operating procedures as well as details about how to complete the fill logs. This video is free to GAWDA distributor members and can be found in the Food and Beverage Compliance Dropbox. The presentation may be viewed as a PowerPoint slideshow or as a streaming video.

Contact for a link to the video.

Support the Future, Support the  GAWDA Scholarship Program

GAWDA members can support improving the gases and welding industry by supporting the GAWDA Foundation scholarship fund. In the past five years, that support has helped nearly 50 students move toward their dreams of bringing to our industry a valuable level of education.

This year, GAWDA leadership has committed to matching donations up to $25,000, effectively doubling the value of gifts to the scholarship fund. Donate now to help ensure our industry's tomorrow.

Donations can be made online.

Upcoming Events
March 21-23 • Ball Ground, Ga.
GAWDA Professional Compliance Seminars

May 11-13 • Boca Raton, Florida
Spring Management Conference
GAWDA Professional Compliance Seminar Set For Next Week

GAWDA Consultants Michael Dodd and Tom Badstubner will be hosting a three-day professional compliance seminar March 21-23 in Ball Ground, Ga. The seminar will cover new material in certified training and sample procedures.

More information is available here and you can register here.

Regional Meetings

Ready for Regional Meetings? Registration Open for Atlantic City 

The first Regional Meeting of 2017 will take place April 2-3 in Birmingham, Ala., and registration has opened. Click here for more information or to register.

The second meeting, in Houston, Texas, will take place April 17-18. For more information, or to register, click here.

And now, registration has opened for the Atlantic City Regional Meeting, to be held May 31 and  June 1. Click here to register.

The three events kick off a year with nine Regional Meetings planned from the East Coast to the West Coast and Michigan to Texas.

Keep up with schedule additions and changes right here in the GAWDA Connection or at the Regional Meeting web page.

April 2 - 3 • Birmingham, Ala.
Regional Meeting

April 17 - 18 • Houston, Texas
Regional Meeting

May 31 - June 1 • Atlantic City, N.J.
Regional Meeting

June 12 - 14 • Seven Springs, Pa.
Regional Meeting

July 12 - 13 • Lansing, Mich.
Regional Meeting

July 19 - 21
 • Sun River, Ore.
Regional Meeting

August 14 - 15 • North Stonington, Conn.
Regional Meeting

Sept. 6-7 • Gettysburg, Pa.
Regional Meeting

Sept. 11 - 12 • Tulsa, Okla.
Regional Meeting
Follow Us on Social Media
Contact Us
Welding & Gases Today is the official publication of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association. 

We welcome your questions and comments. Please fill out our form.

For information on advertising in GAWDA Connection, click here.
1 Oakwood Blvd., Suite 195
Hollywood, FL 33020

Toll-free 844-251-3219 
Local 954-367-7728 
Fax 954-367-7790   

The GAWDA Connection is distributed on the 1st and 15th of each month to all GAWDA members as a membership service of GAWDA, the Gases and Welding Distributors Association, One Oakwood Blvd, Ste 195, Hollywood, FL 33020. Neither GAWDA nor GAWDA Media, their officers, directors, members and staff are responsible for contents or opinions other than those concerning Association activities. Copyright © 2017 GAWDA Media. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this newsletter may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher.
Our mailing address is: GAWDA Media, 1415 West Genesee Street, Syracuse, NY 13204

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list