GAWDA Members Talk Back

The Spring Management Conference provides great educational and networking opportunities for GAWDA members. How did this year’s meeting measure up to the challenge? Here’s what attendees had to say.

Guy Marlin “I’ve never been at a GAWDA meeting where I didn’t walk away with valuable information. Economist Andy Bauer reminded me that unemployment in my area is much slimmer than some other areas. I learned that I should start looking for people outside of my region.”

Guy Marlin, President, Lampton Welding Supply (Wichita, KS)

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“We have employees who have worked in a lot of different settings and have a lot of different experiences. I like Karl Meinhardt’s suggestion of setting up an internal social network to tap into those experiences. I go to different stores to do training, and having a way to share information would make it much more efficient.”

Erich Haun, Branch Manager, Haun Welding Supply (Syracuse, NY)

Erich Haun

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Mark Naglee “This was my first SMC.  I’m new to the industry, and I learned a lot from the many conversations I had with attendees. One little tip can save thousands of dollars. I found people optimistic about the future, and there’s joy in the room because of that.”

Mark Naglee, Northeast Regional Sales Representative, Kaplan Industries

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“As a family business, we pride ourselves in personal relationships. We need to embrace Social Media in order to maintain that image in a way that is relevant. We also need to look at how we can use mobile technology in the field to eliminate extra steps that tie up inside representatives and create opportunities for errors.”

Jay Brant, Southern Territories Manager, Indiana Oxygen (Indianapolis, IN)

Jay Brant

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Jim and Allii Earlbeck “Watching my daughter grow in experience over the course of a few days, meeting industry leaders and other young people, was great. The SMC is always about people and networking and learning. Plus, it’s great to have GAWDA friends in my hometown.”

Jim Earlbeck, SMC Planning Committee member and President, Earlbeck Gases & Technologies (Baltimore, MD)
Allii Earlbeck, Webmaster, Earlbeck Gases & Technologies

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“Our company uses multiple internal systems. To have everyone on the same system would go a long way toward improving internal communications, whether it’s through Social Media or the technologies discussed by the panel.”

Josh Haun, Credit Manager, Haun Welding Supply (Syracuse, NY)

Josh Haun

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Jim Appledorn “As a supplier, the Contact Booth Program provides a complete cross-section of distribution. It allows me to see a lot of the distributors that I don’t have the opportunity to see throughout the year.”

Jim Appledorn, U.S. Distributor Sales Manager, Lincoln Electric

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“I connected with Juan Williams’ point about leadership. We have young people in our company who are trying to work their way up. I need to provide that leadership and direction to help them grow within the organization.”

Doug Nyhuis, Vice President, Purity Cylinder Gases (Grand Rapids, MI)

Doug Nyhuis

Gases and Welding Distributors Association