All Is Changed, Changed Utterly

Each year, Welding & Gases Today interviews by phone a random sampling of GAWDA members to find out expectations for the coming year. 2015 is shaping up to be a year of growth as both Distributors and Suppliers expect an upturn in sales activity, at rates higher than in previous years. No one is forecasting a decline. Is the ball now rolling again?

There are a lot of reasons for this optimism. And while the growth is measured and steady, there is a sense of excitement in the air…excitement that the economy may be on the mend, and if it isn’t, there are new and different ways to get through the quagmire. Those ways are on display in the cover story that begins on page 44.

2015 marks GAWDA’s 70th Anniversary. Every issue of Welding & Gases Today this year will go behind the scenes of our association. The first of this four-part series begins on page 38 and tells the story of GAWDA’s early years. If you have photos from the past and would like to share them with GAWDA members on the pages of this magazine, please contact me. We’d love to see them.

By now, you’ve seen the theme for GAWDA’s 70th Anniversary year: Strong. Proud. Independent. Those words remind me of a poem by the early 20th century Irish poet William Butler Yeats. In “Easter, 1916,” he wrote: “All changed, changed utterly. A terrible beauty is born.”

Blast from the Past
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The “change” Yeats referred to was brought about by the Easter Rebellion of 1916 when thousands of Irish Republicans revolted, seeking secession from Great Britain to establish an independent Ireland. The insurrection didn’t last long, and many of its leaders were executed before a firing squad. The ruthlessness of the British response shook the Irish people so much and brought about the actions that eventually led to a free and independent Ireland. You could say it was one of those moments when people got to change history.

On January 1, our association became a self-managed entity. We are now responsible for ourselves and each other. This is a big deal. It comes on the heels of much discussion about the strength of independent business owners who are looking very closely at how they can compete in a marketplace full of large corporations, online sellers and retailers down the street. All is changed, changed utterly.

We can’t predict the future, though GAWDA members interviewed for this issue have a lot to say about it. Sharing their tactics for a successful year, they are committed to growing their companies and to making our industry just a little bit better.

That is not changed.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association
Carole Jesiolowski Meet the Author
Carole Jesiolowski is senior editor of GAWDA Media and executive vice president of Data Key Communications located in Syracuse, New York. She can be reached at 315-445-2347 and