June 8 Member News

AWISCO Sets New Attendance Record
Maspeth, NY — A record-breaking 1,054 customers attended AWISCO’s Trade Show 2011. The annual two-day event at the company’s headquarters included displays, demonstrations and clinics by more than 45 of AWISCO’s vendor partners. “This was the best show for selling that we’ve seen in several years,” says President Lloyd Robinson. “It points toward a revival in economic optimism in our marketplace.” Among the attendees were 52 future welders from New York City’s School of Cooperative Technical Education. “This is our third year attending the AWISCO Trade Show, and each year our students are thrilled,” remarks welding teacher Frank Gorglione. “They are made to feel like welcomed professionals and encouraged to complete their studies and enter the welding industry.”

AWISCO Trade Show 2011 AWISCO Coop Tech TS2011

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Ray Yanagimoto

Ray Yanagimoto

Kobelco Appoints Marketing Manager
Stafford, TX — Ray Yanagimoto was named national marketing manager of Kobelco Welding of America. He has worked for Kobelco for 13 years and brings a background in accounting and marketing. He succeeds Yuji Wakayama who, after 4 years as national marketing manager, will return to Kobe Steel Ltd.’s head office to take on a new role in human resources.
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ABCO Acquired by Airgas
Radnor, PA — Airgas completed the acquisition of ABCO Gases, Welding and Industrial Supply Company, based in Waterford, CT. With 12 locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire and more than 100 employees, ABCO generated annual revenues of about $35 million in 2010. ABCO locations and employees are now part of Airgas East operations. “ABCO and its employees have worked hard for the past 90 years to steadily grow this business and earn the respect of customers,” says Mike Ross, former ABCO president, who joins the Airgas East management team. “Our values of focusing on and serving the customer and our culture match those of Airgas.” David McCourt, former ABCO owner says, “I am quite certain my late father and brother would be pleased, as I am, knowing that the ABCO legacy will continue with Airgas.”
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Macro Technologies

A new Macro Technologies Division facility offers room to grow.

Superior Products Relocates Division
Cleveland, OH — Superior Products relocated its Macro Technologies Division into a new manufacturing, assembly and distribution facility in Kirkland, WA. President and CEO Don Mottinger says, “This new facility allows us to expand our footprint in the Western states with our current product lines while providing space for continued growth.” The new warehousing space allows for better and faster service to customers in the Western states, including new customer service offices. 
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Roberts Oxygen Moves Johnstown Store
Rockville, MD — Roberts Oxygen Company relocated its Johnstown, PA, retail and filling location. At the new Johnstown location, a 10,000 sq. ft. building is divided into 2,000 sq. ft. of showroom and office space and 8,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space. A separate 2,500 sq. ft. building houses cylinder filling and cylinder storage. “Along with a larger and improved showroom, the additional space allowed us to implement a more efficient layout,” says Bob Roberts, president and chairman.
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Vic Pratt

Vic Pratt

Weldship’s Pratt Named Senior Advisor
Bethlehem, PA — Weldship Industries announced that Vice President of Marketing Vic Pratt will transition into retirement by taking on a new role as senior advisor for the company. Pratt has served as vice president of marketing since joining the company in 1991. In his 20 years at Weldship, Pratt has represented the company at numerous trade shows while visiting with customers at their locations throughout the U.S. and Mexico. “Vic has been a major contributor to the ongoing success that Weldship has experienced for many years,” says Weldship President Bob Arcieri. “We are honored and grateful that Vic has chosen to continue his relationship with Weldship in a senior advisory role.”
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Welding Rodeo

Central Welding Supply Sales Manager Marshall Judy (right), and salesmen (l to r) Bodie Gossard, Josh Veals and Rob Harris.

Central Welding Supply Supports Rodeo
North Lakewood, WA — Central Welding Supply sponsored Bellingham Technical College’s 10th Annual Welding Rodeo, held on May 20 and 21. The event pits welders in professional and amateur categories against one another to create welded sculptures from scrap metal in 8 hours. Marshall Judy, sales manager at Central Welding Supply, worked with instructors at the college to create the event that has doubled the college’s enrollment. “It’s exciting to be involved in BTC’s efforts to provide such opportunities to a new generation of welders,” says Judy. See how the event came together in “Welding Rodeo Round-Up.”
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Quimby Acquired by Matheson
Basking Ridge, NJ — Matheson acquired the assets and business of Quimby Welding Supplies, based in Portland, OR. The purchase adds four new locations to the Matheson network, and the acquired business will become a part of the Matheson Packaged Division. “The acquisition positions our company to offer an expanded portfolio of products and services, provide greater opportunities for our employees and strengthen our overall position within the markets we serve,” says Joe Smith, former vice president & general manager of Quimby Welding Supplies.
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Joseph Brancato

Joseph Brancato

AGL Leader Brancato Dies
Joseph J. Brancato, 84, was executive vice president of AGL Welding Supply Company in Clifton, NJ. Following World War II, Mr. Brancato and his brother-in-law, Bud Fenelon, ran a fabrication business, Guaranteed Welding, along with Fenelon’s two brothers. In 1959, Fenelon purchased their welding supplier, Rudolph Welding Supply, and Mr. Brancato oversaw that company’s operations. In the years that followed, 4 more gases and welding distributorships were acquired, including AGL Welding Supply. In 1966, the stores were consolidated into 2 locations, Clifton, NJ, and Newburgh, NY, which remain in operation today.

From his days as a welder to executive vice president of AGL, Mr. Brancato believed in doing whatever was needed to get the job done. His business philosophy of never borrowing money continues to serve the company today. An early supporter of NWSA, Mr. Brancato enjoyed the networking and support he received from his industry colleagues. He retired from AGL in 1986.

Mr. Brancato is survived by 9 children, including three who work in the family business: Kevin, vice president and general manager; James, operations manager, and William, manager of sales and purchasing.
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Gases and Welding Distributors Association