Feb 1. Member News


IWDC Sets All-Time Annual Spend Record

The annual spend of Independent Welding Distributors Cooperative, Inc., (IWDC) member companies through their co-op exceeded $216 million in 2017, smashing a prior record established in 2014 by more than $12 million, the co-op reports.

Frank Kasnick, president and CEO, says the IWDC also set six separate all-time monthly records in 2017 and ended strong with a record December. Kasnick adds, “This is a testament to the strength and resilience of the independents in our welding and gas industry, and reflects the strong support from our vendor partners.”

When combined with direct spend on IWDC programs not invoiced through the co-op, the total of IWDC member companies’ spend in 2017 approached $350 million, according to Keith Werkley, director of sales and vendor management. He says the IWDC expects “a very robust 2018.”

The cooperative leverages the strengths of its independent welding distributor members across North America, and its members collectively represent more than $2.2 billion in sales, serving a wide range of industries.

AWG Opens Chambersburg, Pa. Branch

AWG (American Welding & Gas, Inc.) opened a new branch at 602 North Fifth Ave. in Chambersburg, Pa., in December 2017.

Positioned on a heavily traveled road and through positive word of mouth, Chambersburg developed a loyal repeat customer base within days of opening, according to Paul Scott, senior vice present/COO -South Division.

Knowing that its success relies on a knowledgeable, experienced and talented staff, AWG assembled a branch team with more than 60 years of local industry experience, “knowledge of gases and products [that are] invaluable to our growth strategy in this marketplace,” Scott says.

Abicor Binzel Hires Territory Sales Manager

Abicor Binzel has hired Philip Montez to take over its territory covering Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Northern Louisiana and the Texarkana area.

Based in Houston, Montez comes to Binzel from Professional Welding Supply, where he spent nearly four years as an outside sales representative. Prior to that, he was an account development manager for Test, Train, Place Company, where he performed weld testing on major welding processes with prospective employees.

“Philip fits well with our culture of a customer-centric focus and we are very happy to have him as a key element of our team. I look forward to his success in growing our business in the Houston market and surrounding areas,“ says Larry Cassesa, Binzel USA director of sales and marketing.

Lincoln Expands Education Offerings

Lincoln Electric has initiated a new, multi-tiered educational program that supports welding instructors at every level, from junior high school to technical college and beyond.

Called the Lincoln Electric Education Partner Schools (LEEPS) program, it permits participating instructors to obtain Lincoln Electric qualifications and other benefits by meeting specific program requirements. Schools that meet key requirements also may become Lincoln-authorized training facilities, allowed to run Lincoln Electric seminars.

Divided into multiple segments, Track 1 is for welding instructors whose students are primarily in the exploratory phase of learning how to weld, Track 2 goes into career development and advancement and Track 3 continues with career development and focuses on advanced manufacturing and processes. It is typically tailored to the needs of community colleges and technical colleges.

LEEPS keeps instructors current and relevant within the welding industry by integrating a professional development system into the program, an element that provides value to both instructors and administrators at participating schools, says Jason Scales, Lincoln Electric’s business manager, education.


Joseph F. Mammarelli, Sr.

Joseph F. Mammarelli Sr., of Pittsburgh, passed away in December 2017 at the age of 83. He was the founder and served as chairman of the board of Alloy Oxygen & Welding Supply Company.

Proud of his Italian heritage, he also founded and chaired the board of the Pittsburgh Italian Scholarship Fund since 1985. He will fondly be remembered by family and friends for many things, including a devotion to SS. Simon and Jude School and Parish, a love of golf, coaching basketball, fondness for all Pittsburgh sports teams and his beloved cigars. He offered loyal and fun-loving friendship, a joviality and generosity of spirit and an unyielding devotion and love for his family. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict.

His survivors include his wife, Joanne; children Joseph (Martha) Mammarelli Jr., Mimi (Domenic) DiPaolo and Angela Mammarelli; grandchildren Charles, Victor and Eva Simone and Joseph III and Anthony Mammarelli; and a brother, Harry Mammarelli.

Memorial donations are being accepted to the Pittsburgh Italian Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 3038, Munhall, Pa., 15120.

Michael Jay Nelson

Michael Jay (Mike) Nelson, a dedicated employee of Oxygen Service Company, of St. Paul, Minn., passed away in December 2017, due to glioblastoma. He worked for the company for 16 years as a sales representative and most recently as vice president of sales and marketing.

He is survived by his wife, Natalie Ann; three sons, Gavin Michael from birth and Sabatino “Sam” and Giovanni “Jack” from the moment he met them; his mother, Sharon Larsen Nelson; and siblings Bill, Steve, Sheryl and Jim. He also leaves many loving nieces, nephews and cousins, in-laws, friends and his second family at Oxygen Service Company.