Meet A Young Leader: Martin Ruiz

A funny thing happened on my way to school one day. I was a college student on my way to class when Bernie Robinson, father of AWISCO President Lloyd Robinson, stopped his car and asked me if I knew anyone looking for a job as an apprentice in a repair shop? I told him “Yes, me!” and applied for the job on the spot. He invited me to come in for an interview, and I was hired.

I thought the grass might be greener on the other side, so I left AWISCO in 1997, only to return in 2001. AWISCO is a growing force in the industry, and I wanted to work for the company committed to being the best in the industry. I made the right decision to come back. My proudest moment was last year, when I hit the $2 million mark in sales. Persistence was the key to that achievement. It’s also important to make sure that the customer is aware of all you have to offer. When a project comes together, I want to be the one they think of first.

While breaking sales records is something to celebrate, I’m most proud of the role my company was privileged to play during the cleanup of 9/11. I walked into what is today called “the hole,” where the towers once stood. I worked with the iron workers and saw some ugly stuff, but also was able to share some pretty memorable moments with them. That is something that will be with me for the rest of my life.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association