Inside GAWDA’s Committees

120 volunteers are In The Game this year, developing Best Practices for our membership. Here’s what they’ve achieved, and what they have in store for the rest of the year.

Government Affairs Committee
What You May Not Know: The purpose of the Government Affairs Committee is to educate, guide and advise members about regulatory and legal issues that may impact their businesses. The committee serves as the voice between members and elected officials to advocate for and represent the interests of GAWDA members.

Latest Achievements: Based on feedback from a member survey, the committee has revised its purpose and mission to better reflect the needs of members.

2010 Projects: Maintain fume litigation communication; improve access to information by exploring the possibility of placing monthly committee minutes on the website; strengthen the GAWDA/CGA/FDA relationship; increase consultants’ exposure to membership; generate a GAWDA cylinder exchange policy.

Chair: Ned Lane, Cee Kay Supply
Bob Ames, Commonwealth Supply Co.
Charles Beal II, Scott-Gross Company
David Burnett, DJB Gas Services
John Cunningham, Wyandotte Welding Supply
Marilyn Dempsey, Tech Air
Jim Earlbeck, Earlbeck Gases & Technologies
Chris Holzworth, Sky Oxygen
Avery Seaman Jr., Corp Brothers
Walter Shields, Kiswel USA
Bob Thornton, South Jersey Welding Supply
Bruce Tozer, Industrial Source
Craig Wood, O.E. Meyer Co.
Tom Badstubner, AsteRisk
Michael S. Degan, Husch Blackwell Sanders
Richard P. Schweitzer, Esq., Richard P. Schweitzer, PLLC


Human Resources Committee
What You May Not Know: The Human Resources Committee includes a mix of five experienced HR professionals and four distributor owners. This diversity provides a unique perspective from which to explore issues.

Latest Achievements: The committee has updated the HR Compliance Manual; presented a seminar on wage and hour compliance and a webinar on card check.

Develop an employee handbook; provide webinar on disciplinary issues; create job description template for common distributor positions (cylinder filler, driver, counter, etc.) that includes ADA and essential functions language; examine ways to provide support re health insurance/cost containment; formulate written drug and alcohol policy; implement a performance-based compensation program.

Chair: Laurie Waller, Sky-Oxygen
Randy Anderson, Oxygen Service Company
Leslie Brown, The Lincoln Electric Company
Meredith Helm, Scott Gross Company
Robert A. Jackson, Jackson Welding Supply Co.
Wes Morris, TWSCO
Richelle Smith-Brecht, S. J. Smith Company
Robert Stoody, Stoody Industrial & Welding Supply
Anne Marie Swartz, Roberts Oxygen Company
Candice Swiger, WESCO Gas & Welding Supply
Richard P. Schweitzer, Esq., Richard P. Schweitzer, PLLC


Management Information Committee
What You May Not Know: The members of the Management Information Committee are not paid consultants. They are distributor and supplier volunteers from the GAWDA community, ranging from business owners to IT professionals.

Achievements: The committee is very proud of the new Electronic Price File Standard now being utilized by many members. The committee has succeeded in strengthening the relationship between GAWDA, WEMCO and IWDC, resulting in a united effort on IT initiatives. The committee writes technology articles for Welding & Gases Today.

2010 Goals: Offer more IT-related webinars and hold a technology forum at the convention. The committee urges members to use the Electronic Price File Standards.

Chair: Chris Dominiak, Norco, Inc.
Lynn Barnes, Thermadyne Industries
Jim Broughton, Dataweld
Douglas Dorn, Miller Electric
Tina Estes, Independent Welding
Distributors Cooperative
Tim Fusco, TrackAbout
Bryan Gentry, GTS-Welco: A Praxair Joint Venture
Iain Hodgekins, Superior Products
Robert Iverson, Ivey Industries
Jean-Francois Landry, TECSYS
Gary Manion, WELSCO
Jim McKenney, Computers Unlimited
Doug O’Dell, Linweld
Joe Rohs, OKI Bering
David Samson, Cryostar USA
Grahame Savage, Maxal
George Slogik, The Lincoln Electric Company


Marketing Communications Committee
What You May Not Know: The Marketing Communications Committee is committed to creating benefits available to all members regardless of size or whether they are distributors or suppliers.

Achievements: The committee’s clever marketing of the 3-for-2 deal for the Chicago SMC was a tremendous incentive that enabled 75 people to attend the meeting for free.

2010 Goals: Create programs and incentives to retain members and attract new members. Challenges being tackled include: supplier benefits; incentives for participation in all association meetings, including regional, SMC and Convention; and identifying benefits for the smaller distributor.

Chair: Lloyd Robinson, AWISCO
Abydee Butler, Butler Gas Products Company
James Cain, Atlas Welding Supply Co.
Tom Capalbo, Bosch Power Tool Corporation
David Day, American Standard Mfg.
Jeffrey Deckrow, Hypertherm
Dan Fallon, McDantim
David Hudson, Gullco International
Bob Kellogg, Lenox-American Saw
Jack McCulloch, American Torch Tip Company
David Melo, Melo’s Gas & Gear
John Miaskowski, Cryogas International
Amy Miller, Nordan Smith
Susan Reiter, Air Products & Chemicals
Kevin Shelly, Acme Cryogenics
Andrew Thornton, South Jersey Welding Supply
Steve Throckmorton, Arcet Equipment Company
Kenneth Tidwell, WDPG Business Insurance/The
Horton Group
Michael Trueba Jr., MPT Industries
Peter Ullman, Techniweld


Industry Partnering Committee
What You May Not Know: The Industry Partnering Committee is made up of suppliers and distributors who provide a framework to build stronger relationships to effectively serve end-user markets and ultimately add profit and value to our businesses.

Achievements: The committee is maintaining an organized industry calendar and has assisted in identifying several notable speakers for a number of meetings.

2010 Goals: Strengthen relationship between suppliers and distributors with respect to sharing knowledge through training, managing the distribution channels and maintaining end-user focus with marketing efforts; provide recommendations for association meetings re networking opportunities and technical knowledge re applications; review distribution channel conflicts and strengths; review industry websites; consider promoting partnerships with other associations; provide online technical forum to post questions; evaluate conference calls; promote GAWDA events on other calendars; interact with WEMCO/CGA to communicate industry trends; workforce development.

Chair: Doug Morton, Eleet Cryogenics
David Abe, ESAB Welding & Cutting
Jim Appledorn, The Lincoln Electric Company
Mark Blakely, Matheson Tri-Gas
Steven Byers, Praxair Distribution, Inc.
Gary Degenhardt, Chart, Inc.
Debbie Doench, Hobart Brothers Company
Tim Gage, FLOPOWER/Trafimet USA
Pete Gallagher, Independent Welding Distributors Cooperative
James Horvath, Thermadyne Industries
Tom Kairys, Butler Gas Products Company
Ralph Keller, Titan Industries
Jim Lisiecki, Linde
David London, CryoVation
N. Britt Lovin, Andy Oxy Company
Dave Mahoney, AWESCO
Bruce Nuttall, Mississippi Welders Supply Company
Felim O’Malley, AWISCO
Robert Ranc Sr., Superior Products
David Sullivan, 3M Speedglas
David Taylor, Hypertherm
Michael Tecklenburg, Select-Arc
Bill Visintainer, Atlas Welding Supply Co.
Dean Wilson, Wilson Industries


Safety Committee
What You May Not Know: Safety Committee members represent a diverse cross section of GAWDA membership to ensure that all members are represented. The committee’s priority is to provide Best Practices information and reinforce the importance of safety.

Achievements: Published Best Practices publications regarding load securement, backing and parking, and Driver Distractions: Personal Communications Devices which are available on the GAWDA website under the “Safety Committee” tab.

2010 Goals/Projects: The committee is working on Best Practices for the delivery of cylinders on stairs and ramps, cylinder handling, material handling and other training material. It is developing an “Incident Sharing – Lessons Learned” program so members can share challenging experiences that may help to prevent other members from having negative experiences or making costly mistakes.

Chair: Kelly Bladow, Oxarc
Chuck Britton, nexAir
Thomas Burns, Kimberly Clark Global Safety
Don Busch, Linweld
Ann Cornett, Wright Brothers
Geoff Delbridge, AWESCO
Chris Foster, ILMO Products Company
Rick Ginn, Wright Brothers
Jim Herring, SafTCart
Michael Higgins, Abbott Welding Supply Company
John F. Hill, Willard C. Starcher
Tony Hopkins, WDPG/The Horton Group
Mark Jenny, Ray Murray, Inc.
Lance Leister, Industrial Source
Ned Pontious, Norco, Inc.
Bonnie Stanage, Matheson Tri-Gas
Tom Badstubner, FDA/Medical Gases, AsteRisk
Michael Dodd, MLD Safety Associates
Richard P. Schweitzer, Esq., Richard P. Schweitzer, PLLC


Young Executives Committee
What You May Not Know: Although the members of the Young Executives Committee do like to have fun, they are seriously focused on the future of GAWDA. A part of the Committee’s mission is to help young members glean valuable wisdom from each other and learn from industry veterans so they can grow as they move forward in their career tracks.

Achievements: The committee has assembled a talented team of individuals. It has been conducting successful conference calls to enhance the development of GAWDA’s younger members.

2010 Goals: The Young Executives Committee is considering a name change to dispel the myth that Young Executives is just for “executives.” The committee is inviting all members under the age of 45, no matter their position, to join. The committee is also exploring the possibility of growing GAWDA’s social networking on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Chair: Richelle Smith-Brecht, S. J. Smith Company
Larry Cassesa, Superior Products
Brian DePaul, Welding Material Sales
Michael Ellis, Iwatani International Corporation of America
Pete Gallagher, Independent Welding
Distributors Cooperative
Iain Hodgekins, Superior Products
Ralph Keller, Titan Industries
Jean-Francois Landry, TECSYS
Eric Laubach, Direct Wire and Cable
David London, CryoVation
Brady Melo, Melo’s Gas & Gear
Chris Perella, Vern Lewis Welding Supply
Andrew Thornton, South Jersey Welding Supply

Gases and Welding Distributors Association