Here’s the Good News: GAWDA is Healthy and Growing

Membership Committee and Staff efforts have boosted our numbers

Our association continues to remain healthy and is growing. In 2015, we closed the year at 548 members. This is an eight percent increase in our total membership numbers over the past year. For several years our total membership numbers have stayed right around 500. As companies have continued to be consolidated, we’ve been able to offset the loss of prior members by adding new member companies, however getting ahead of this curve has proven difficult.

In 2015 we were able to step up our efforts and stay ahead of the consolidation curve. The Membership Services Committee, which was chaired by Abydee Butler of Butler Gas, played a key role in identifying prospect opportunities that directly impacted the Association’s overall membership growth. Abydee has since taken a position on the GAWDA Board of Directors, and has passed the Membership Committee torch to Melissa Perkins, of Electronic Fluorocarbons, LLC, and Steve Dodge, of Flame Technologies.

This year, we started the first quarter with 11 new members and a renewal retention rate in the mid 90 percent. Our goal is to grow our membership and continue the trend that was started last year. To realize this, several initiatives have been put into place.

President Visintainer has rallied several key volunteer members and put together a Social Media Advisory Board. This advisory board is chaired by Melissa Perkins, who has shown great skill in organizing our various social media platforms. Melissa, along with her fellow advisory volunteers and GAWDA Media, have opened the flow of communication. You can join in and follow the various conversations by clicking on the social media icons at the bottom of the web pages.

The Member Services Committee and GAWDA staff continue to hone in member prospects through industry publications, buying groups, sister associations and exhibit opportunities. Many prospects also come directly from our association members, who see the value of being part of GAWDA and refer their friends to GAWDA. To continue to foster this behavior and recognize such members, GAWDA will be establishing a member referral program. Referring members will be tracked and recognized at our SMC and annual meetings. With your help, we can continue to grow our association, increase our networking group and strengthen our industry.

Getting ready for this year’s directories

We also are finalizing the annual membership directory data for this year’s book. Stephen Hill has been reaching out to all of our Member Directory contacts to get their listing updates. If you missed this process, please take a look at your listing in last year’s directory and send any updates you have to Stephen as soon as possible at

GAWDA Media also will be reaching out to our supplier members to get their updates for this year’s Buyer’s Guide, which will be published right after the Member Directory.

As always, thank you for your continued support of GAWDA and our industry.

John Ospina John Ospina
John Ospina is GAWDA’s executive director. He can be reached at GAWDA Headquarters in Hollywood, Florida, via telephone at 844-251-3219 or via email at