November 23 Member News


Jackson Changes Name, Acquires Irish
Rochester, NY — Jackson Welding Supply is now doing business as Jackson Welding and Gas Products in order to better represent the company’s offerings. Robert Jackson, president and CEO, says, “I believe this minor change in names is a great representation of who we are and what we provide.” The company’s website has been changed to www.jacksongases.com to reflect the new identity.

Jackson Welding and Gas Products entered into a strategic alliance with the Irish Companies in Buffalo, NY, which includes the transfer of the industrial, medical and specialty gas assets of Irish Welding Supply to Jackson. In turn, Irish Propane acquired propane and carbon dioxide assets from Jackson Welding to facilitate its propane and carbonic business growth in the Rochester market. “Taking these proactive steps now will help us focus on core business,” says Jackson. “Teaming up with the Irish Companies is the perfect move for us, and will provide significant opportunities for both of us in the future.”
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Liberty Celebrates 25 Years
Leominster, MA — Nearly 200 people attended an open house celebrating Liberty Welding Supply’s 25th anniversary. Vendors set up alongside a 10-ft propane-powered fire-breathing dragon set up to draw in customers, which was welded by Liberty customer Flagg Welding. Liberty hosted a cutting contest at the open house, in which competitors vied to cut through a piece of heavy railroad track in the fastest time. John Flagg of Flagg Welding came in first with a time of 38 seconds. Thanks to the celebration, Liberty has continued to see a boost in walk-in sales. “We host an event about every 5 years,” says President Pete Materese, “and this was by far the best we’ve had.”
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propane-powered welded dragon sculpture Liberty family celebrate 25 years

At left, a 10-ft propane-powered welded dragon sculpture welcomed customers to Liberty’s open house. At right, Pete Matarese (left) and the Liberty family celebrate 25 years in business.


American Gas Group Acquired by Praxair
Danbury, CT — Praxair Distribution Inc. acquired American Gas Group (AGG), a supplier of specialty gases, including EPA Protocols, hydrocarbons, VOC mixtures, reactive mixtures, high-purity chemicals and research-grade gases, in addition to industrial and medical gas products. AGG is comprised of Specialty Gases of America, Inc., American Specialty Gases Inc., Semiconductor Resources, Inc. and Specialty Gases of America, LLC. The business includes facilities in Toledo, OH, and Wheeling, IL, with 56 employees and annual sales of $28 million. “The addition of AGG to the Praxair network strengthens our Midwest specialty gas production capabilities and provides an important channel to support our distributor network,” says John Panikar, president of Praxair Distribution Inc.
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CGW’s U.S. headquarters

CGW’s U.S. headquarters in Niles, IL.


CGW Expands U.S. Headquarters
Niles, IL — CGW-Camel Grinding Wheels added 10,000 sq. ft. to its U.S. headquarters. The 100,000 sq. ft. facility includes warehouse and manufacturing. The expansion enhances CGW’s flap disc manufacturing capabilities, which is the company’s fastest growing abrasives category. CGW’s facility also includes customer service, sales and marketing departments.
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Air Liquide Adds Fleet Safety Measures
Houston, TX — Air Liquide is adding 133 new delivery trucks equipped with advanced safety technology. These features are intended to promote safe driving habits and help drivers better react to unexpected road conditions. Each of the new trucks, which transport products like oxygen, nitrogen and argon, is equipped with a video event recorder to allow the company to see how drivers respond during unusual or unexpected events; a collision safety system, which monitors the distance of the moving vehicle ahead of the truck; and a lane departure warning system, which alerts the driver if the truck drifts across the lane divider strips.
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nexAir Earns Hypertherm Award

nexAir’s Bill Proctor (center) and Hypertherm’s Randy McMurtry (right) present a check to Vincent Borello, CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis.


nexAir Earns Hypertherm Award
Hanover, NH — Hypertherm named nexAir (Memphis, TN) as the recipient of the 2011 Richard W. Couch Jr. Award. Named for Hypertherm Founder and President Dick Couch, the award recognizes the top independent distributor in Hypertherm’s North American region. The winner is selected by Hypertherm’s management team, North American sales team, and customer and technical service teams. Nominees must have independent status, employ a well trained and knowledgeable sales staff and support all of Hypertherm’s core product lines. “nexAir’s continuous investment in training and strong desire to provide outstanding service to its customers makes the company an ideal distribution partner, and one we are honored to work with,” says Couch. The award includes a $500 donation to a nonprofit organization of the winner’s choice. nexAir selected the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis, which serves more than 7,300 kids and operates the only Boys & Girls Clubs Technical Training Center in the country. The center offers students hands-on training in culinary, automotive and logistics programs. Upon graduation, every student is placed in a paying job in their field.
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William Kroll

William Kroll


Kroll Named IOMA President
Basking Ridge, NJ — The Board of Directors of the International Oxygen Manufacturers Association elected Matheson Chairman and CEO William J. Kroll as IOMA President for 2012. “I have a great deal of respect for IOMA and its role in the global compressed gas business,” says Kroll. “IOMA has a positive influence worldwide, and its work has impact. To be elected its President is truly an honor, and serving will be a privilege.” Kroll’s elected term as President begins in January 2012.
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Baker’s Gas Unveils Website
Lincoln Park, MI — Baker’s Gas and Welding Supplies unveiled a redesigned website with added features to help customers. “The newly designed website has taken Baker’s Gas and Welding beyond offering just products,” says Gary Klemz, president of Baker’s Gas and Welding Supplies. The new website design features a resource page that gives updates on hot topics in the welding industry. Customers will also benefit from a frequently asked questions section, which directs visitors to customer service if they require additional assistance.
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John W. Marsland

John W. Marsland


Air Products Names Merchant Gases VP
Allentown, PA — Air Products appointed John W. Marsland as senior vice president and general manager, Global Merchant Gases. He succeeds Robert D. Dixon, who is retiring from the company in early 2012. Marsland joined Air Products in 2002 and currently serves as senior vice president and general manager, Electronics, Performance Materials and Supply Chain. He graduated from Babson College in 1988 with a B.S. degree in finance and investments.
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GAWDA Remembers Hil Bax
Hilary “Hil” Bax, 72, former sales manager at Cee Kay Supply in St. Louis, MO, passed away on October 15. During his 46 years at Cee Kay Supply, Mr. Bax helped to shape the welding industry and community in St. Louis. He joined the company in 1960, serving as fill plant operator, torch/regulator technician, truck driver, sales representative and director of contractor/technical sales before becoming St. Louis sales manager. Following his retirement, Cee Kay Supply renamed its Technical Service Center to the Hil Bax Tech Center in 2007, in honor of Mr. Bax’s tremendous knowledge of welding technology and his technical sales approach.

Hilary “Hil” Bax

Hilary “Hil” Bax

Mr. Bax was a valued member of the American Welding Society for many years, and a scholarship fund has been set up in his honor. The AWS St. Louis section will present an annual $500 scholarship to a student pursuing a career in the field of welding and welding technologies. Donations can be made payable to American Welding Society St. Louis section and sent to Cee Kay Supply, 5835 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, MO., 63110.

Mr. Bax was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend to many.
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Gases and Welding Distributors Association