Feb. 1, 2017
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Featured Articles

Registration Open for Spring Management Conference 

Registration is open for the Spring Management Conference, May 11-13 at the Boca Raton Resort and Club in Boca Raton, Fla.

This year's SMC features dynamic speakers including corporate leadership, an expert on millennials and a test pilot for Virgin Galactic, a company developing commercial spacecraft.

Also look for an improved Contact Booth Program and the chance to meet hundreds of fellow GAWDA members at one of the great Florida resorts.

To register, click here. To see more about the Boca Raton Resort, click here.

Reserve Your SMC Contact Booth Program Booth Today

Signups for Contact Booth Program booths are available now. Registration is available online, here.

The Contact Booth Program Committee has been meeting, coming up with ways to improve the program for exhibitors and those attending the show.

Booths for the SMC Contact Booth Program will be assigned as applications are received. Those who register early will get top choices.

For more information, contact Stephen Hill at

Calling All GAWDA Musicians and Vocalists
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.

GAWDA's Welding & Gases Today Gets Updated Look

When the first-quarter issue of Welding & Gases Today magazine arrives at your business this month, it may take you a few minutes to recognize the magazine. The official publication of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association has undergone a design makeover.

Upgrades have been underway since late 2015, when the company that produces GAWDA’s publications came under the new ownership of publisher William Brod. With this issue, the quarterly magazine has undergone a full-scale rebranding and redesign. The initiative reflects industry best practices and responds to GAWDA members’ requests for Improvements in GAWDA publications, Brod said.

Design changes increase readability, organization and ease of finding regular features, and now better reflect contemporary business publication style and the forward-looking, ever-evolving organization that is GAWDA today, Brod added. The redesign features:  

  • A bolder, more modern and business-style look to the covers
  • A Welding & Gases Today logo that is more prominent and no longer obscures the GAWDA logo
  • Cover subtitles that are standardized and streamlined
  • A Table of Contents that is easier to reference
  • Regular features highlighted by color-coded header tabs
  • Easier to read headline typefaces and added white space
  • And advertising packages that have been updated with bundled offerings and tie-ins to GAWDA’s electronic news counterparts.

This year, GAWDA Media also has been more integrated into GAWDA Headquarters staff operations. This hand-in-glove alignment was done to provide the membership with more comprehensive news coverage, extra staffing and support at Association events and more promotional efforts furthering GAWDA’s mission.

ITR's Monthly Update Available to GAWDA Members Now

In addition to the GAWDA Industry Analysis Report Provided by ITR Economics, premiering in the first quarter Welding & Gases Today, ITR Economics provides GAWDA members with a monthly newsletter sharing insights on economic developments between the quarters.

The newsletter is available through the GAWDA member portal.

Wanted: Multi-generation Family Business Stories
Is yours a multi-generation family company? We want to hear from you!
GAWDA’s many multi-generation family businesses are the topic of an upcoming story for Welding & Gases Today magazine.
Are you the older generation chief who turned over the reins?
A youngest-generation worker trying to find your niche?
The VP or COO who’s sandwiched in the middle?
We want to hear your “family stories” -- the strengths, advantages and special considerations involved -- and how families make it all work -- when being on the job means rubbing elbows with family members.
Please connect with us using the form below; via email; or call editorial staff at 315 445 2347 x 120 or 101.

Safety and Compliance

FMCSA Suspends Revisions to URS

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has released a notice that further delays the revisions to the agency’s online Unified Registration System (URS).

Read more here.

FMCSA Issues Guidance on Onboard Safety Monitoring Systems

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has released a document offering guidance for industry and fleet managers on safety culture concepts, improving safety culture and the use of onboard safety monitoring (OSM) systems.

Read more here.
FMCSA Intends to Issue Supplemental NPRM on Safety Fitness

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has indicated it will issue a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the agency’s proceeding on Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) methodology.

Read more here.

OSHA Issues Guidance on Anti-Retaliation Workplace Measures

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has published Recommended Practices for Anti-Retaliation Programs, designed to help employers create workplaces in which workers feel comfortable voicing their concerns without fear of retaliation. The recommendations are intended to apply to all public and private sector employers covered by the 22 whistleblower protection laws that OSHA enforces.
The recommendations are adaptable to most workplaces, although employers may adjust them for such variables as number of employees, the makeup of the workforce, and the type of work performed. The concepts can be used to create a new program or enhance an existing one.
The document outlines five key elements of an effective anti-retaliation program:
  1.  Management leadership, commitment, and accountability
  2.  System for listening to and resolving employees' safety and compliance concerns
  3.  System for receiving and responding to reports of retaliation
  4.  Anti-retaliation training for employees and managers
  5.  Program oversight
New rule affects timeframes for the requalification of LPG cylinders
The National Propane Gas Association has sent out the following announcement and it applies to any of our members that fill LPG cylinders. This new rule takes effect January 23:
The changes were part of a broader PHMSA rulemaking (HM-233F) that was published as a final rule on January 21, 2016, which incorporated nearly 100 special permits into the federal hazardous materials regulations (HMR). The changes modify 49 CFR 180.209(e) of the HMR and appear to reduce the initial requalification period for DOT cylinders following volumetric expansion testing from 12 years to 10 years and to increase the timeframe for requalification following a proof pressure test from 7 years to 10 years.

Nowhere, in either the proposed rule or final rule, did PHMSA provide any rationale or substantiation for the changes or address them in any form. The compliance date for these changes was scheduled for January 23, 2017. NPGA anticipates that a reduction of time for requalification following volumetric expansion testing from 12 years to 10 years will have a significantly negative impact on the propane industry as it essentially accelerates the timeframe for requalification by two years and increases the total number of cylinders that must be requalified in order to be in compliance with the regulation as now promulgated.

On multiple occasions and over several months NPGA has requested that PHMSA issue a correction or clarification reverting back to the regulatory language in effect prior to the rulemaking. We have yet to receive a formal response to our requests. NPGA will continue to pursue a favorable response from PHMSA. At the same time, NPGA will make a further formal request for a stay of the implementation and enforcement of these provisions until the matter can be resolved. Nevertheless, at present, the compliance date for these changes remains January 23, 2017. NPGA will continue to keep you apprised of developments.
If or until this gets changed, please inform your LPG filling personnel that the first requalification date due is now 10 years after the manufactured date and not the 12 years we have been using for all these years. If any questions, please contact Michael Dodd at or 573-718-2887.

Member News

Diekow Named President at Oxygen Services Company

Hwang Named President at Revco Industries 

Tech Air Acquires Gasco Affiliates

Luxfer GTM Names Snyder Sales Director-Industrial Gas Sector

Hudson Named Vice President of Sales for GAWDA Media

Welcome, New Members!

Welcome international distributor member Inmotion Technology Distribution, of Chicago, Ill.


Only 15 Days Left to Apply for GAWDA Scholarships

The clock is ticking for students and their families to make applications for the 2017 GAWDA Foundation scholarships. Applications are available online and must be completed by the Feb. 15 deadline.

GAWDA has provided nearly $100,000 in scholarship assistance to members of the welding and gases community since the program was launched in 2011. Scholarships worth $2,000 will be awarded.

Still Time to Support the GAWDA Scholarship Program

For five years, GAWDA members have supported improving the gases and welding industry by supporting the GAWDA Foundation scholarship fund. 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. Donations can be made online .

GAWDA Membership Renewal Time is Here

GAWDA members are reminded that renewals are due. Any member not renewed by March 1 will no longer receive GAWDA member benefits.

You can renew online by going here. For questions, contact GAWDA's Member Service Manager Stephen HIll at or at 954-367-7728.

The 2017 GAWDA Membership Directory is Being Updated

Key contacts at GAWDA member companies should have received Member Directory information for correcting or confirming their entry. Please return the updated information promptly.

If your company has not received this information for use in the 2017 GAWDA Membership Directory, contact Stephen HIll at or at 954-367-7728.

Companies that have not renewed memberships will not be included in the directory.

Upcoming Events
March 5-8 • Indianapolis, Ind.
University of Innovative Distribution

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 March in Georgia

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.


University of Innovative Distribution Registration is Open

Registration for the University of Innovative Distribution is open. This year's session will run March 5-8 in Indianapolis, Ind. GAWDA members qualify for a significant discount on registration.

This is the 24th year of the UID program which, for 2017, includes choices among 43 courses.

To learn more, visit GAWDA's UID page here. To register, go here.

Regional Meetings

Registration Opens for First Regional Meetings of 2017 

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.

The two 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
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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.

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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 © 2017 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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