Reflections On A Year

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During the past year I’ve had the honor and privilege to serve as President of this Great Association. It has been an eye-opening experience, and I’ve enjoyed sharing it with the GAWDA membership. This year, I made it a point to attend as many of the Regional Meetings as possible. Each meeting I attended was put together extremely well, and the passion our Regional Chairs have as they coordinated the activities could be sensed.

The member support has been remarkable as well. We reached a record number of attendees at each meeting. This is a testament to the dedicated support from our membership.

The Spring Management Conference in New Orleans was also a rousing success. Again, we had a record number of attendees. Our Annual Convention in Scottsdale, Arizona, is also shaping up to have another record-breaking attendance. Once again, I have no one to thank but GAWDA’s entire membership.

Stepping down as your President is going to be difficult, and I will have to endure. Working with, meeting and networking with the membership and GAWDA’s headquarters staff has become one of the highlights of my life. Once removed as President, though, I am not left completely out in the cold. I will have the privilege of serving as the First Past President. In that position, I maintain a seat on the Executive Committee and the GAWDA Board, which allows me to assist the incoming administration with solid support and advice.

The First Past President serves as chairman of the Leadership Development Committee with the privilege of developing the slate of incoming officers, i.e., “Mr. or Ms. X,” better known as the First Vice President, along with vacant seats on the GAWDA Board, all in accordance with the By-Laws of our association.

Also as First Past President, I have the opportunity to be part of the GAWDA Scholarship Selection Committee. Since its inception in 2011, GAWDA has awarded 36 scholarships to deserving employees and family members of our membership.

In addition to my duties as First Past President, I remain a member of GAWDA’s Insurance Trustees, the group that supervises and directs the Group Life Insurance program established to offer our membership comprehensive life insurance coverage at the lowest possible cost.

As I look beyond my administration as your President, my goal is to continue my involvement in GAWDA. Throughout my 28 years of service to our association, I cannot have anything but heartfelt appreciation for our volunteers, membership and our sister associations. The relationships, both business and personal, have given me a sense of pride for being a part of this “Great Industry.”

I want to thank our Industry for all my blessings.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association
Meet the Author
GAWDA President Thomas A. Biedermann is vice president of Airweld, Inc. and can be reached by email at or by phone at 631-227-3219.