The Power Of History And The Direction Of Your Future

History is a tricky thing, especially when it relates to business. We all feel the need to preserve our past, as we plan for our future. Marcus Garvey said, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” This rings true for most of us, and so we keep records and mementos from our past to display at milestones in our future. We use our individual cultural origins as a moral compass as we move our business forward. This helps to keep us centered as we face the challenges of the day.

On the flip side, there are past business decisions and practices that should never be repeated. These are equally important to remember as we plot the direction of our business. George Santayana said, “Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.” This is a reminder that we need to stay vigilant and constantly monitor the impact our decisions have on our business and customers.

Every day brings us new opportunities to improve. The difficulty is determining what needs to change and when to make these changes. Sure, you know where the challenges are; they make themselves known throughout your day. Some can be handled with a single email, conversation or call. Others are a little more difficult and require more thought and planning.

So how do we find the right solution for these challenges? For the most part, we draw from our own knowledge and experience. But what happens when we have challenges that are relatively new to us and we have no personal “history” to draw on? We need to utilize available resources, such as individuals within our organizations, vendors and sometimes family members. We look to peers within organizations such as GAWDA for insight on how others have navigated through similar challenges.

In the end, the final decision is ours on which path we take, but if we take advantage of all our resources, that decision is based on a richer array of information and history.

Join us in Orlando as we celebrate part of our history and our country’s veterans. President Wood will welcome attendees during our outdoor Welcome Reception. Attendees can look forward to a great lineup of speakers, beginning with retired United States Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and retired United States Air Force Captain Scott O’Grady. Veterans will be given a commemorative lapel pin and preferred seating during the Opening Session, so please make sure you check off the veteran’s box on the registration form. Jason Jennings and David Mahoney will be featured during our Closing Session with useful and entertaining business presentations. Our Contact Booth Program will continue to bring you all the latest products and services offered by our supplier members. Darlene Wood has planned a fantastic Spouse Program, and we’ll wrap things up with a memorable President’s Gala. There are plenty of local theme parks and activities, so bring the whole family.

I look forward to seeing all of you in Orlando.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association
John Ospina Meet the Author
John Ospina is executive director of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association, headquartered in Miami, Florida, and at He can be reached at 877-382-6440 or