Meet GAWDA President Bryan Keen

Bryan Keen, 44, is president of Keen Compressed Gas Company in Wilmington, Delaware, with locations throughout four states. A third-generation leader of the 92-year-old  family business, Keen was inaugurated as GAWDA’s 66th President at the Annual Convention in October 2011.

GAWDA President Bryan KeenMy first paying job was in high school when I worked at our family’s business. I did jobs in the warehouse and around the plant at Keen and realized early on that I had a lot to learn. It takes time to learn how to understand what you are doing and how you can make a difference in your job, instead of just putting in the time.

My grandfather would be amazed at where Keen Compressed Gas and this industry are today, compared to the grassroots NWSA members of the 1940s and 1950s. My dad’s advice to me is to take care of the “Golden Goose.” Whether it’s Keen or GAWDA, he advises me to make sure I value the customer or employee or member every day. The rest will take care of itself.

I’m a relative newcomer to GAWDA. I attended a few Regional Meetings in the early 2000s and attended my first Spring Management Conference in New York City in 2005. It was there that Wally Brant asked me to get involved by joining the Board.

The most surprising thing about being a member of GAWDA are the friends I’ve made from around the country. We all have so much in common and help each other improve
our businesses.

Issues and opportunities come at us from all angles. GAWDA provides a forum to know people who can help us address opportunities and resolve issues quickly. GAWDA truly acts as the conduit for information. Chances are you won’t run into an issue that a GAWDA member or consultant can’t help you address.

My advice to anyone who has just joined GAWDA is to use the website, read the publications, join a committee, get out to a Regional Meeting or the Spring Management Conference or the Annual Convention. In order to get value, you have to participate.

My wife, Meg, and I have been married since 1994. We have three boys: Peyton, 15, Brad, 13, and Matthew, 7. I help with math homework, study for spelling and vocabulary tests, play whatever sport is in season with the boys and watch ESPN or whatever game is on.

Nothing starts a fight in our house like me getting involved in the laundry process. My wife is always amazed that I somehow I remember everything that is going on at work and nothing that is going on at home.

My number one priority as GAWDA President is to put together some great meetings. With networking opportunities and educational content mixed together with some fun events, there is a lot of value in these meetings. We need to make sure people have good reasons to attend and that we continue to deliver value to all. The SMC in Baltimore is taking shape, the Annual Convention in Colorado Springs will be a great event, and we are well into the planning process for the 2012 Regional Meetings.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association