March 1 Member News

IWDC Makes Staff Appointments

The Independent Welding Distributors Cooperative (IWDC) has announced several organizational changes and staff appointments in alignment with its strategic direction.

The organization announced that Keith Werkley has assumed new responsibilities as director, sales and vendor management. His area includes regional sales management, Weldmark hardgoods product management and vendor program support. Werkley will continue to lead IWDC’s Purchasing Committee, which is chaired by Buz Edwards of Arc3 Gases.

Erica Jones has assumed new responsibilities as director of marketing. She retains her current responsibilities for IWDC’s PurityPlus specialty gas program and adds oversight of graphics and website support, digital marketing and meeting and event planning. In addition, Erica will lead IWDC’s Marketing Committee and IWDC Next Generation Group (INGG) Committee. They are chaired by Troy Elmer, Mississippi Welders Supply; and Rodney Huber, Huber Supply Company, Inc., respectively.

Tina Estes, previously director of information systems, has been named chief information officer, a move that aligns with her management of outsourced I.T. vendors and IWDC’s growing internal development and focus on business analytics.

In addition, IWDC’s Operations Department, led by Eric Schwamberger, distribution center operations manager, has been expanded with additional customer service representatives to support growth.

Weldcoa Celebrates 50th with 50/50 Fundraisers

Weldcoa is celebrating its 50th business anniversary this year, the company has announced.

As part of its fiftieth-year celebration, the company will conduct special 50/50 fundraisers at GAWDA Regional Meeting events as a way of “giving back to the industry that made our success possible,” the firm says.

According to Melissa Heard, marketing manager, the Weldcoa 50th Anniversary 50/50 Fundraiser will be different from the typical 50/50 raffle. “During the GAWDA Regional Meetings the 50/50 raffle winner will win the entire pot (not half) and Weldcoa will match the pot total (up to $1,000) and donate that money to GAWDA Gives Back,” she says “In addition, if we sell more than our fundraising goal of $1,000, the overflow will also go to GAWDA Gives Back. If enough tickets are sold to reach the fundraising goal of $1,000, not only will one winner receive the entire 50/50 pot, we will also pull a second ticket. That lucky winner will win a prize provided by Weldcoa. During the GAWDA Annual Meeting in Seattle, we will announce how much in total was raised for the GAWDA Gives Back charity.”

“Fifty years ago, Weldcoa was born within Benster Welding Supply,” Heard says. “Founder Richard Bennett created the company as a manufacturing firm that supported his distributorship. Eventually, Benster Welding was purchased by Airgas, but by then, Weldcoa had been spun off and was doing what it was born to do, with one significant difference. Instead of supporting one distributor, it was supporting the needs of hundreds of distributors across the U.S.A. today.” There are Weldcoa automated industrial and specialty gas filling systems uniformly filling cylinders all over the world, while Weldcoa’s pallet systems and gas packs are safely transporting cylinders throughout North America. Our ongoing success will depend on us continuing to employ top technical people, investing within and retaining the trust of our clients. Weldcoa doesn’t want to be the vendor of the day. We partner with our clients in order to provide real long term value. Our founder Dick Bennett said it best: ‘Weldcoa only succeeds when our client does,’” notes Heard.

In Memoriam

Thomas L. Dyal, Jr.

Thomas L. Dyal, Jr., retired owner of Cryo Weld Corp., of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., passed away in December 2017. “Tommy,” as he was known to all, was passionately involved in the industrial, specialty and medical gas and equipment business for more than 47 years.

Dyal started his career at the age of 15, working at CryoDyne Corp., where his father, Tom Dyal, Sr., was a partner. Tommy and his wife, Deborah (Debbie), started Cryo Weld Corp. in 1993. A pick-up truck and Tommy’s vast experience in all facets of the industry were all that was required at the start to drive Cryo Weld Corp.’s growth and success for the next 24 years.

Under Tommy’s management, Cryo Weld received recognition from industry organizations and vendors. BOC recognized Cryo Weld Corp with the President’s Award plaque in 2006 in the $200K – $500K category. That recognition ranked Cryo Weld in the Top 10 distributors in North America. In 2013, Cryo Weld also received the CGA and GAWDA Annual Distributor Safety Award in the category of “100,000 or Fewer Employee Exposure Hours” for safety improvement.

Tommy was a firm believer in the independent distributor, as well as making their business success a legacy for the next generation. That goal was achieved, and Cryo Weld Corp., an active member of the IWDC buying group, is now under the management his of daughter, Michele, and son-in-law, Nick Centorani. Over the years, Tommy forged hundreds of industry relationships with vendors, customers and fellow distributors who will miss his professionalism and friendship.

Tommy is survived by his wife of 42 years, Debbie; their daughters, Rebecca and Michelle; and three granddaughters. Tommy was predeceased by his son, Tommy III, in late 2013. Tommy also is missed by his parents, Tom and Jane Dyal, Sr., and seven siblings: Lisa, Gary, Sandra, Catherine, David, Christopher and Andrew.