First Impressions

Getting to Know GAWDA – and a Great Industry

Among the “first-timers” at this year’s GAWDA Spring Management Conference are five new team members of GAWDA Media: Publisher Bill Brod, Relationship Manager Tim Hudson, Graphic Designer Robin Turk and Senior Editors Charles McChesney and me.

Top l-r: Tim Hudson, Bill Brod, Charles McChesney; Seated l-r: Robin Turk, Diane Stirling

We’ll be among the “fresh faces” at the welcome reception, in the seats at conference sessions, and walking the Contact Booth Program to get better acquainted with GAWDA Members.

One of the first things we were told about this industry is that this is a wonderful business filled with great people. It’s a truth we quickly discovered for ourselves. GAWDA members exhibit an earnest, welcoming and helpful nature. We’ve spoken with nearly 300 of them so far. We are delighted by their willingness to give us their time and attention, and have appreciated a cordial embrace and an outpouring of interest, patience and collegiality. Our onboarding period has been assisted by the staff at GAWDA Headquarters and by industry veterans, former publisher Judy Flanagan and former managing editor Carole Jesiolowski, as well as many member businesses. We’re grateful to everyone who has shown us the ropes, answered our questions and afforded us their expertise as we’ve undertaken GAWDA Media’s day-to-day operations.

On that note, we hope you enjoy the range of articles and authors in this issue. “What’s Working in Warehousing,” reports on how several GAWDA distributors and suppliers approached updating and building new spaces, and checks in on warehousing trends. There’s a new technology-focused feature (“Here’s What’s App-ening”) that we hope you’ll find fun and informative. And guest authors, Texas A & M’s Dr. Norm Clark and GAWDA Member George Ratermann, offer insights about young people in the workplace and how to attract them to and help them succeed in welding-and-gases careers.

We look forward to your feedback. We’re hoping to meet many of you in Savannah to learn about your company, gather your news, and hear your ideas for stories that will help you achieve your business and Association goals. We’re here to do all we can through GAWDA’s print and online publications to promote the Association and to help member businesses thrive.

So when you’re at the SMC, please look us up! When you see Bill, Tim, Charles, Robin and me, tap us on the shoulder, say hello, and start a conversation. Even if you’re not there this time, take a few minutes to give us a call. We’d love to hear from you.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association
Meet the Author
Diane Stirling is a senior editor at Welding and Gases Today. A career journalist, public relations practitioner, communications strategist and web/social media content creator, she is part of the GAWDA Media team. Get in touch with her at and 315-445-2347.