Jan. 15, 2018 Member News

Mitchell Becomes Regional Sales Manager for IWDC

Barry Mitchell has joined the Independent Welding Distributors Cooperative (IWDC), as regional sales manager.
Reporting to Keith Werkley, Mitchell is responsible for promoting IWDC’s value proposition to the membership as well as helping drive profitable growth for vendor partner brands and the Weldmark brand.
Mitchell’s career began in Ireland as general manager of his family’s industrial supply business. When his family sold the business, he continued on to an affiliate of OKI Bering in Warrington, England, then transferred to OKI Bering’s headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. He served there for the next 15 years as district sales manager for Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Southeast Indiana; and as supply chain project manager; director, product management; and vice president, product management. In 2011, he became vice president, national accounts, a position he held until OKI Bering was sold in 2012. He then formed his own consulting company until joining IWDC in 2016.
Mitchell lives with his wife, Linda, and two sons, Patrick and Liam, in Lawrenceburg, Ind.

Butler Gas Promotes Two on Executive Team

Butler Gas Products, of Pittsburgh, announces the promotion of two members of the company’s executive team.
The company has promoted Abydee Butler Moore (left photo)  to the position of chief operating officer and Jesse Pitell (right photo) to the position of vice president of finance.
In her role as executive vice president and chief operating officer, Butler Moore oversees the company’s strategic plan, internal and external marketing efforts and sales, customer service and business operations. She functions as the integrator in the company’s operating system, leading vice presidents Sandy Gobrish, Heather Ferrand, and Bob Urie. Butler Moore acquired 20 percent of Butler Gas Products in 2015.
Pitell, in his promotion to vice president of finance, is responsible for upgrading financial capabilities and performance throughout the company. He leads the management-by-fact process as he collects and models data for sustainable continuous improvement in all business units throughout the company
The business is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year and 2018 marks the company’s succession through three generations of family ownership.

Chart Acquires Skaff Cryogenics

Chart Industries, Inc., has acquired Skaff Cryogenics & Cryo-Lease, LLC (together “Skaff”).

Founded in 1979, Skaff provides quality repair service and remanufacturing of cryogenic and liquefied natural gas storage tanks and trailers. Headquartered in Brentwood, N.H., Skaff provides services and equipment to customers in North America and maintains a portfolio of cryogenic storage equipment that is leased to customers for temporary and permanent needs. Its customers include major gas suppliers, a variety of smaller distributors and end users.

“The acquisition of Skaff expands Chart’s direct regional presence for service and aftermarket support in the Northeast United States,” says Bill Johnson, Chart’s president and CEO. “This is a very strategic expansion for us as we drive to bring more value to our customers. The former owners, Bob Prefontaine and Steve Prefontaine, have built a business focused on the customer, quality and commitment.”

Skaff reports through Chart’s Distributon and Storage segment.

“I am very excited about the opportunities ahead,” commented Steven Prefontaine. “Chart’s philosophies, customer commitment and attention to quality makes this a great fit. We are very proud of the growth we’ve achieved over the years and are ready to take Skaff to the next level as part of Chart.”

Chart is a leading independent global manufacturer of highly engineered equipment for the industrial gas, energy and biomedical industries. The majority of Chart’s products are used throughout the liquid gas supply chain for purification, liquefaction, distribution, storage and end-use applications, a large portion of which are energy-related. Chart has domestic operations located across the United States and an international presence in Asia, Australia, Europe and South America.


Control Devices, LLC Acquires Harrison Valve

Harrison Valve, a GAWDA supplier located in Santa Ana, Calif., has been acquired by Control Devices, LLC, the company announced.

Control Devices, of Fenton, Mo., is a leading designer and manufacturer of engineered flow control solutions. It offers customized and standard valves, nozzles, condensate traps, refrigerant distributors and other products that serve as critical components in end-product applications. These include air compressors, fire suppression systems, special gas systems, HVACR, pressure washers and heavy truck braking systems

Harrison Valve is a global supplier of precision valve products serving a broad range of applications, industries and markets, engineering products to provide innovative solutions to today’s compressed gas applications.

Control Devices Chief Executive Officer Jamie Reuter notes, “The combined capabilities of Control Devices and Harrison Valve significantly improve our ability to serve customers in the compressed gas markets. The acquisition gives us complementary products that will be immediately available to existing customers, and the enhanced engineering and manufacturing capabilities will help us accelerate development and bring new products to market faster.”


In Memoriam

William H. Hobart

Former Chairman and CEO of the Hobart Brothers Company, William Harrison Hobart died peacefully at age 93 in Troy, Ohio.

William was born to Rachel and William Hobart Sr. on July 5, 1924, in Troy, enjoying childhood with his friends and siblings, Marcia, Lucia and Peter. He attended school in Troy and graduated from The Hotchkiss School. After serving in the Army Medical Corps during the Second World War, he attended Yale University and The Wharton School of Business. He returned to Troy to live a life committed to his family, Hobart Brothers Company and the surrounding community.

Mr. Hobart worked at the family welding business for more than 6o years, and under his guidance, it grew tenfold. He also dedicated many years of leadership to community organizations.

He is remembered as a man who was always honorable and fair, a person of remarkable grace and consistent kindness, someone who lived by the Golden Rule and who treated everyone with respect. He loved and was loved by the people around him. His joie de vivre was apparent in his attentive listening, a twinkle in his eye, a joyous whistle, a lovely sense of humor that prompted silent body-shaking laughter, a love of a variety of musical genres, and an inimitable ease and grace on the dance floor. William loved nature and the healthy life. For years he rode his bike to work and often afterwards jogged in his canvas sneakers.

Married to his wife, Julia, for nearly 63 years, the couple raised six children, Lydia (married to Duncan Mason), Rachel (married to Edward Toole), Helen (married to David Zorensky), Katharine (married to Jonathan Moore), Harrison (married to Janell Denler Hobart) and Surrie (married to Steven Frank). They also have 14 grandchildren: Will, Sam, Henry, Maggie, Walker, Emma, Frances, Max, Elsie, Harry, Peter, Charlie, Julia and Edward.

Memorial contributions are being accepted for Troy Park District’s Hobart Urban Preserve or The Overfield School.


Barney Burks Jr.

Funeral services for Barney Burks, Jr., 57, who passed away Dec. 31, 2017, were held recently in Shreveport, La.

Mr. Burks was born March 26, 1960 in Shreveport. He was awarded a scholarship from Red Ball Oxygen and attended LeTourneau University, where he graduated in 1982. Starting in 1982, he worked in district sales for Oerlikon and in 1987, became a sales manager with Hobart Brothers. He later worked at Red Ball Oxygen in 1989. He had been employed with SOWESCO in Houston since 2004.

Mr. Burks joined the American Welding Society in 1982 and became a life member after 35 years of service. During that time, he served many positions in the AWS Houston Section, including chairman, vice chairman, board of directors, treasurer, secretary, and education and scholarship committees.

A member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, his love for his ACTS brothers and sisters and his church were close to his heart. He was an avid duck and turkey hunter and thoroughly enjoyed hunting and spending time with his friends.

Mr. Burks was preceded in death by his parents, Barney Burks, Sr. and Dorothy Burks; and sister, Deborah Burks. He leaves his wife, Renella Abshire Burks; daughter, Alexandra Cora-Marie Deal; sister, Claire Leeftink; and nephews, David and Gerrit Leeftink as survivors.

Serving as pallbearers were Alex Kennedy, Jeff Jeter, Robert Jeter, Alan Jeter, Bill Borders, and Russell Stevens. Serving as honorary pallbearers were Gil Hartzo, Joe Rosalee, Raymond Liles, and Robert Shepherd.

Memorials may be made to the Bill Kielhorn Endowment, LeTourneau University, P.O. Box 7333, Longview, Texas, 75607.


Robert G. Jaite Jr.

Robert G. Jaite, Jr., age 77, of Brecksville, Ohio, passed away Dec. 14, 2017.

Jaite was the beloved husband of the late Nancy; father of Bob and Kevin; grandfather of Elizabeth, Jonathan, Evan, and Abigail; and son of the late Robert and Doris Jaite. A U.S. Navy veteran, he served as a City of Brecksville councilman for six years and was on the city’s civil service commission for 18 years.

Jaite was involved in the welding industry since 1957 and was a consultant to the industry at the time of his passing.

Memorial contributions are being directed to the St. Vincent Charity Development Foundation, 2351 East 22nd St., Cleveland, Ohio, 44115.


James Charles (Jim) Brown, Jr.

The founder and owner of U.S. Tank & Cryogenic Equipment, James Charles (“Jim”) Brown, Jr., passed away in November of 2017 after a courageous battle with brain cancer, the company reports.

He was born Nov. 16, 1948 in Maury County, Tenn. In addition to leading his company, Brown was a retired master chief in the U.S. Navy, in which he served for 23 years.

The company is based in Lewisburg, Tenn. Jonathan Brown, James’ son, remains as company president.