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October 15, 2016
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Featured Articles

Raimy Takes Helm at Annual Meeting in Maui

Mark Raimy, CEO of Welders Supply Company of Erie, Penn., was installed as president of GAWDA Sept. 28, at the Annual Convention in Maui, Hawaii.

The Maui convention drew 190 distributors, 280 suppliers and 360 family members for a total attendance of 830. 

Raimy was introduced by his family, including his oldest daughter, Lauren, and his father, Bruce. During his inaugural address, Raimy praised the organization, its members and the way it helped him find his place in the industry when he returned to Pennsylvania to take leadership of his family business.

To see the introduction of Raimy's family by his father, click here. To see his family introduce him, click here. To see Raimy's inaugural address, click here.

Raimy talked of a year focused on technology and shared with the more than 800 members and guests convened at the Grand Wailea plans to create an electronic directory to supplement the printed directory as well as plans to further refine the recently introduced electronic registration system.

Huckabee Shares Insights on Politics, Priorities

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who twice ran unsuccessful campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination, shared his view of the political process in 2016. He said voters are not just angry, but "seething." As proof, he cited Donald Trump's successful primary campaign and Sen. Bernie Sanders' nearly successful campaign for the Democratic nomination.

Huckabee mixed tales of his upbringing and political struggles with his policy views. Following his remarks, Huckabee took questions from members of the audience. Asked what advice he would give Donald Trump, Huckabee said he did give advice to Trump during a controversy over a Gold Star family. Huckabee said he told Trump that a campaign was like a boxing match and he ought to save all his blows for his opponent, Hillary Clinton, and not go after anyone else.

In response to another question, Huckabee predicted Trump would win come November.

GAWDA Gives Back Donates to Two Hawaiian Charities

As one his final acts in office, 2015-2016 GAWDA President Bill Visintainer, along with his wife Debbie, presented checks to representatives of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Maui (for $93,882.66) and to The Neighborhood Place of Wailuku (for $93,882.66). The check presentations took place on stage at the opening session of GAWDA’s annual business session in Maui.

The Neighborhood Place of Wailuku provides basic supplies for families in need in Maui. It is one of five walk-in Family Centers operated by Child & Family Service in Hawaii.

The GAWDA Gives Back donation will go to Child & Family Service's Stronger Families Funds to address pressing needs as they arise during the next four years. "One hundred percent of the donation will be allocated to Maui programs," says Anne Marie Rizzo, the organization's chief development officer.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Maui serves some 8,000 youngsters between the ages of 9 and 17, providing access to programs and opportunities that might otherwise be beyond their reach. 

The GAWDA Gives Back donation will be used to implement Youth for Unity, a program focused on cultural diversity. The program is designed to combat prejudice, bigotry and discrimination, said Development Specialist Linda Gilbertson.

GAWDA Gives Back is a charitable-giving program that dates back to 2000. GAWDA Members contribute funds each year, in the spirit of leaving behind gifts of goodwill and tangible resources to be put to use in communities that are host to the group’s annual business meeting. Each year, GAWDA’s leadership selects community organizations whose good works can benefit from receiving “found resources.” Fundraising occurs throughout the year, culminating in a presentation at the annual convention. In the 16 years since the program began, including 2016, two dozen organizations in 13 different communities across the United States have received funding.
 

CGA Recognizes CTR and Spectrum Gas Products

Compressed Gas Association President and CEO Michael Tiller presented the CGA and GAWDA Distributor Safety Awards during the Annual Convention.

The awards went to CTR, Inc., of Rock Hill, S.C., in the category for companies with more than 100,000 employee exposure hours.

Spectrum Gas Products, Inc., of Anaheim, Calif., received the award in the category for companies with fewer than 100,000 employee exposure hours.

Before presenting the awards, Tiller urged GAWDA members to make use of the organization's safety programs that it offers in concert with GAWDA. The programs include free use of CGA's electronic publications.

After the presentation of the awards, Tiller offered a reminder about the importance of following CGA SB-26, which was created in 2000 in response to a number of incidents related to portable liquid containers, where the connections were changed resulting in many deaths.

“We thought this was being followed," he said, "but we recently learned that some companies or some containers within company assets are not compliant with SB-26.  Please review this short document and make sure every portable liquid container you have is compliant.” 

For more information on the safety programs available to GAWDA members, click here.  
 
GAWDA Thanks Outgoing Board Members for Their Service

GAWDA board members who completed their service were recognized during the Sept. 28 Closing Business Session of the Annual Convention. Former GAWDA President Tom Biedermann called each to the front of the hall and thanked them for their service, presenting each with a plaque.

The board members recognized were Robert Anders; Gary Halter; Ned Pontius, who served as a member of the board, a member of the executive committee as as GAWDA president, and Bill Visintainer, whose GAWDA presidency came to a close at the Annual Convention.

More than 20 First Timers Made the Trip to Maui

Each Annual Convention and Spring Management Conference attracts a new round of First Timers, GAWDA members who haven't attended one of the national meetings before.

The 2016 Annual Convention in Maui attracted 26 First Timers, all of whom braved a long flight, and some as many as three flights, to attend the Annual Convention.

To see a photo album of this year's First Timers, click here

Speakers, Panel Offer Ideas for Business Success

In a workshop, panel and separate presentations, GAWDA members heard ideas for adding value in an age of disintermediation, ideas for how suppliers and distributors could best help each other and some pointers on how to make the most of free social media.

Rick Wilson, of Chicago Strategy Associates, held a morning workshop during the Annual Convention and later that day participated in a panel discussion led by Jim Earlbeck (right). He warned that distributors and suppliers who fail to add value have put themselves on a "Cycle of Doom."

Participants on the panel reinforced the message, urging distributors and
suppliers to find ways to work together.

The discussion drew hundreds of GAWDA members who also heard from Lincoln Electric's Michael Mintun, Bob Van Kirk of Linde and Dave Sullivan of 3M.

Dave Nelson, a social media expert, offered GAWDA members broad insight and specific tips for making the most of social media during his presentation at the Annual Convention. PowerPoint slides of his presentation are available at here.

Air Products' Ghasemi Talks of Lessons He Has Learned

Air Products Chairman, President and CEO Seifi Ghasemi addressed the Annual Convention in Maui, discussing "Lessons Learned from Independent Distributors, Capturing Their Entrepeneurial Spirit."

Ghasemi talked about coming up in the industry and how independent distributors are always able to beat the majors by providing a higher and more consistent level of service.

Also during the Annual Convention, Air Products announced a $10,000 donation to GAWDA Gives Back to benefit organizations in Maui.

Looking for More from the Annual Convention?

There are photos and videos from the 2016 Annual Convention on the Welding & Gases Today Facebooks page. Click here to see them.

Watch for more coverage of the Annual Convention in the next issue of Welding & Gases Today.

Member News

Griffin Named General Manager at Rotarex North America

Rotarex North America Relocates to New Jersey

CGA Creating New Safety Committee

Auguste Cryogenics Acquires Taylor-Wharton's European Operations
Welcome, New Members!
Welcome Supplier Member Weldas Company of Franklin, Tenn.
 

GAWDA News

GAWDA Professional Compliance Seminar is Oct. 18-20

GAWDA consultants Michael Dodd and Thomas Badstubner will be presenting compliance information at Weldcoa in Aurora, Ill., Oct. 18-20.

GAWDA members can participate for one, two or all three days.

For more information, click here.

Upcoming Events
October 18-20 • Aurora, Illinois
GAWDA Professional Compliance Seminar
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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 Data Key Communications, their Data Key Communicationsofficers, directors, members and staff are responsible for contents or opinions other than those concerning Association activities. Copyright © 2016 Data Key Communications. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this newsletter may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher.
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