Inside GAWDA Archive

About GAWDA

  • New Mission For Young Professionals

    GAWDA’s next generation of leaders spent the last year soul-searching and came up with a new mission, focus and drive to be the best. When we took over the Young Professionals Committee in 2013, neither of us were aware of the mission of the group. We had a general idea of what the group did (socialized [...]

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  • Meet the GAWDA Board of Directors

    The 2014-15 Board of Directors is the first leadership in GAWDA’s 70-year history to be self-managed. We are STRONG. We are PROUD. And now we are INDEPENDENT. Reflecting on the association’s theme for this New Year, each member of the board describes what the words mean to them. And to celebrate GAWDA’s move to self-management, [...]

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  • The First Purpose Of GAWDA

    Five Spring Management Conference goers come away with best practices for business.

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  • Inside GAWDA’s Committees

    120 volunteers take part in GAWDA committees, developing Best Practices and making improvements for our membership

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  • The Role Of Association Boards

    Gases and Welding Distributors Association examines nonprofit board leadership. By Nancy R. Axelrod

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President’s Perspective

  • Technology, Changes Helping to Make GAWDA Even Better

    New Communications, Technologies Creating Added Value for Members By Mark Raimy When the year began, we talked about making changes and utilizing technology to make GAWDA membership even better. A fair amount of what we discussed was on display leading up to and during the Spring Management Conference in Boca Raton, Fla. We tried out new channels of [...]

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  • An Exciting SMC and Other Special Treats Are Now Just Around The Corner

    By Mark Raimy GAWDA’s meeting season is in full swing. This is the most exciting time of the year, as we offer many ways for you to engage, receive valuable content and get some quality networking time with industry members. The regional meetings are underway and the schedule this year is as great as it has ever [...]

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  • 2017: New Look, New Ideas and an Energized Team

    An Energetic Start to 2017 By Mark Raimy The New Year often brings change and for our industry, this year is no exception. As we prepare to absorb the potential transformational changes in store for our industry, we at GAWDA have been working to deliver some exciting changes to enhance the GAWDA experience for our members this [...]

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  • Reflections on My Fast, Enjoyable Year as GAWDA President

    by William Visintainer The last 12 months have gone by very quickly and very enjoyably, just as other past presidents advised me that they would. As I look back at the year’s accomplishments and what lies ahead for our association and its members, I remain very positive regarding our long-term prospects. Though this has been a period [...]

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  • GAWDA is Listening to and Acting on Member Feedback

    Surveys, One-to-One Interface Yielding Important Ideas and Changes The GAWDA online survey, taken right after the Spring Management Conference, measured the views of distributor and supplier members regarding that event. The explicit, candid feedback we received has been very informative and in many ways, quite gratifying. The Association is pleased with the high rate of participation and [...]

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  • At the Halfway Mark, Lots Done, Lots Still to Do!

    It is hard to believe that it has been six months since we met at the Annual Convention in Phoenix, Arizona. Over these months, the Board, Committees and GAWDA staff have been hard at work putting together and implementing Objectives, Goals and Meetings for 2016. In December, the Executive Committee met at Association Headquarters to [...]

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  • Reflections On A Year

    There are many ways to serve our association. The rewards are many. Join us to help make our industry better. During the past year I’ve had the honor and privilege to serve as President of this Great Association. It has been an eye-opening experience, and I’ve enjoyed sharing it with the GAWDA membership. This year, I [...]

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  • The Backstory

    A view of the Annual Convention from GAWDA’s President and First Lady Believe it or not, one of the biggest criticisms we receive every year about the Annual Convention is that we didn’t tell people what to wear! There even has been discussion in the board room over this conundrum. So this year, I am setting the [...]

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  • First Times

    It comes as no surprise that membership in GAWDA is dwindling a bit, mainly due to the large amount of consolidation among member companies. Our Membership Committee is working hard to find and attract new members, and since March 2014 through March 2015, 31 businesses have joined our association. The predominant reason these companies have joined [...]

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  • 70 Years Strong, Proud, and Now Independent

    GAWDA was founded in 1945 when a group of independent distributors banded together for a variety of reasons: to strategize about ways to stay independent, to knock back challenges with their suppliers, and to learn from each other how better to serve customers. That history is storied and sweet, and you can read it in [...]

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Director's Desk

  • Evaluating and Innovating To Improve Member Experience

    By John Ospina Over the past few years technology has played a large part in how GAWDA, as an association, communicates with its members and how our members communicate and network with each other. Not long ago, social media was new to many of our members. Now, it’s fairly common to see members tweeting, [...]

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  • Membership Renewal Ensures Continuing GAWDA Benefits

    by John Ospina The Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) is constantly evaluating and improving member services to provide the best and most useful advice, assistance and information available. Members’ valuable input last year has resulted in GAWDA’s expanded range of member benefits. Since membership is the only way to access these, please make sure [...]

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  • Goals Set, Met: More Useful Assistance Provided for Members

    by John Ospina Welcome back to the Grand Wailea. The last time we held our annual convention here was in 2010. A lot has changed since then, but the drive to improve the offerings of the Association remains strong. GAWDA continues to have a vibrant and active leadership and volunteer base. Their involvement and dedication continues to [...]

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  • Introducing CVENT: GAWDA’s New Registration System

    Here’s How to Get Utmost Benefit from this Online Program As you may already know, GAWDA has launched a new registration system for this year’s Annual Convention. Having a new, streamlined system was identified by President Bill Visintainer as one of his main goals for his year as GAWDA president. GAWDA staff researched a number of software [...]

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  • 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. [...]

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  • GAWDA Sponsored Group Health Program

    On July 1, the Gases and Welding Distributors Association began offering a national association-sponsored group health purchasing program offered through United Healthcare and sponsored through The Horton Group, an association insurance program sponsor based in Chicago. This program is open to any current GAWDA member firm, and can be joined on the first of any [...]

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  • GAWDA Provides Free Vital Access To CGA Electronic Safety Standards

    The agreement between GAWDA and CGA continues to provide GAWDA distributor members with access to CGA’s electronic safety standards. This member benefit was announced back in 2011 in New York during the GAWDA Annual Convention by Bryan Keen, 2012 GAWDA president, and Michael Tiller, Compressed Gas Association’s president and CEO. “This is a big deal” [...]

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  • Gearing Up For The SMC

    Things are shaping up for the upcoming Spring Management Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. Our conference over the dates of May 3 to May 5 comes right on the heels of Jazz Fest. SMC attendees who get to the city a little early are sure to enjoy the kind of festival that made New Orleans [...]

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  • Celebrating A Successful Transition

    2014 was a busy year for GAWDA staff. The new Headquarters build-out is complete, and the results are highlighted on page 102. The end result is nearly 2,000 square feet of space redesigned for the successful operation of GAWDA. The eight-month-long process concluded in December, and following is a quick synopsis of activities resulting in [...]

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  • Continuing Efforts To Stay Relevant And Strong

    In the spirit of this year’s theme of staying relevant, GAWDA counts down to the end of the year as we move to self-management. In the last four years, GAWDA has experienced a huge amount of change. First, the move to Florida where the Association was managed by AWS, and now the move to self-management. [...]

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  • GAWDA Is Heating Up This Summer

    Summer is finally here after a long cold winter. If you attended the Spring Management Conference, then you know from Alan Beaulieu’s (ITR Economics) presentation that this should be a good year for our industry. If you were not able to attend the Spring Management Conference, then you missed a number of insightful presentations with [...]

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  • Keeping Up With Change

    We all know change is constant and nothing stays the same, but merely acknowledging this fact is not enough to keep us ahead of the game. Each changing day brings us new opportunities to reinvent ourselves and our organizations. We’re constantly exposed to new ideas of how to improve the way we do things. They [...]

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  • Avoiding Information Overload

    Not too long ago, information was hard to come by. Before online search engines, social networks, blogs, tweets, chat rooms, YouTube, instant messaging, text messaging and email, people relied on only a handful of resources for their news and information, including newspapers, magazines, a few network TV stations and radio programs. Business communications were also painfully [...]

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  • The Power Of History And The Direction Of Your Future

    History is a tricky thing, especially when it relates to business. We all feel the need to preserve our past, as we plan for our future. Marcus Garvey said, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” This rings true for most of us, and [...]

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  • The Power Of History And The Direction Of Your Future

    DIRECTOR’S DESK History is a tricky thing, especially when it relates to business. We all feel the need to preserve our past, as we plan for our future. Marcus Garvey said, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” This rings true for most of us, [...]

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  • What Does Peak Performance Really Mean?

    Positioning yourself for peak performance can be applied to the GAWDA experience. By John Ospina

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  • Members Only!

    GAWDA website offers new resources exclusively for members. By John Ospina

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  • Looking At The Baltimore SMC And Beyond

    This year's SMC looks at how domestic and international factors shape the business landscape. By John Ospina

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  • What 2012 Has In Store For GAWDA

    Start the year off right with GAWDA programs that can save you time and money. By John Ospina

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  • Keeping Relationships Strong

    We have a lot to be proud of in the gases and welding industry. The men and women who make up our workforce are a dedicated, tough and resilient group. Many factors contribute to any one success, but a critical component in every success is maintaining a strong relationship. By John Ospina.

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  • Time To Renew

    Now is a great time to sharpen your skills and those of your employees. By John Ospina.

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  • Evaluating GAWDA Member Benefits

    Familiarize yourself with the array of GAWDA’s member benefits. By John Ospina

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  • Improving Our “Value Proposition”

    GAWDA looks to serve members through educational programs, networking opportunities and resource-based communication channels. By John Ospina.

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Editor’s Notes

  • What I Learned – and Didn’t – From New-Employee Orientation

    by Diane Sterling Three stories in this issue hit home with me, and I think you’ll find them impactful, too. The article about creating high-quality new-hire orientations and the piece where distributors describe their employee and customer training programs prompted vivid reminders of my own onboarding and training experiences. Many in this industry have built careers working [...]

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  • 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. We’ll be among the “fresh faces” at the welcome reception, in [...]

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  • Shakespeare, Scottsdale, and Social Media

    Every successful distributor says that customer relationships are at the heart of his or her business; in fact, relationships are the engine driving their success. Yet in this new age of digital communication, where customers spend more time looking down at a screen, often held in their hand, establishing relationships has become harder. The days [...]

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  • ‘Start your day off in a shipyard, end it in a winery.’

    These words from Bob Laing, president of Industrial Source, whose company is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, pretty much sum up the best thing about the gases and welding business. “The variety of customers in many different industries, everything from a sandwich shop to a fiber optic cable plant,” adds Shane Miles, whose company [...]

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  • It Is All About The Deeds

    On a very cold day in January 1981, I was sitting in Veterans Stadium watching the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Dallas Cowboys for the NFC Championship. It was so cold that the water pipes in the bathrooms froze! Eagles fans are a hardy group, so this event was barely noticed. What caused a stir was [...]

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  • All Is Changed, Changed Utterly

    Each year, Welding & Gases Today interviews by phone a random sampling of GAWDA members to find out expectations for the coming year. 2015 is shaping up to be a year of growth as both Distributors and Suppliers expect an upturn in sales activity, at rates higher than in previous years. No one is forecasting [...]

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  • ‘The opposite of love isn’t hate. It’s indifference.’

    I’ve been thinking a lot about these words from Nobel Prize winning author Elie Wiesel as this issue was being put together. When it comes to the relationship between distributors and suppliers, there are a lot of feelings, none of them indifference. According to the annals of the National Welding Supply Association (renamed Gases and Welding [...]

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  • If I Could Turn Back Time

    Cher no-introduction-needed-amazing Cher is on a comeback tour this summer. So are the Rolling Stones. So are Bruce Springsteen, Peter Frampton, Carlos Santana, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart (OK, he’s always on a comeback tour). Have you seen what these cats look like lately? And save for Cher, they do appear a bit saggy, don’t [...]

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  • 20 Steps From Stardom

    The secret is now out. I am a movie freak. I love watching movies:  Oscar contenders, independent ones, foreign ones, old ones that make me cry, scream and just laugh at the absurdity (I watched Jaws on a huge drive-in screen in the middle of a cornfield…Jaws! In the middle of a cornfield! Seriously?), animated [...]

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  • Five Important Truths About Our Industry

    GAWDA’s Annual Business Forecast is, hands down, the most favorite story for Welding & Gases Today’s editorial staff to work on. It involves talking to GAWDA members all over the country, hearing about the industry, the good and the bad, upcoming products, and what may happen during the next 12 months. Writing it involves a [...]

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  • The State of Independents

    Complacency leads to mediocrity, writes General Air Service and Supply’s Brad Armstrong, and mediocrity works as long as your competitor has agreed to the same level of performance. In his article starting on page 103, Brad gives specific examples of how to make sure the words “value added” really do add value to your customer [...]

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  • A Summer To Remember

    EDITOR’S NOTES The conversation about health care has heated up as businesses prepare for the full effect of the Affordable Care Act. On July 2, the White House announced that it is delaying implementation of the Employer Mandate until 2015. The reality is that most businesses are still not clear as to what the ACA will [...]

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  • New Ideas, Big Ideas

    Winter was especially rough this year. Where I live and work in upstate New York, the winter dragged on and on. In fact, as I write this, it is snowing outside, even though it is way past the first day of Spring. I know I didn’t have it as bad as some GAWDA members in [...]

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  • On Preparation And Adjustment

    What do fishing, floating, food shopping and asking forgiveness have in common? They’re activities that some of this year’s board of directors participate in when not working. Who knew that two board members wield their chef’s knives like mig torches in their kitchens? Who knew that playing in dirt and restoring classic wooden boats could [...]

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  • Summer Time, And The Livin’ Is Easy!…Not!

    The industry is heating up and business is getting hot again. By Carole Jesiolowski

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  • “An Awesome Business To Be In”

    The Business Forecast is “print networking,” and it’s the most highly anticipated story of the year. By Carole Jesiolowski

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  • Super Sales In A Super City

    GAWDA’s convention is being held in October, in a hotel literally in the very heart of Manhattan. This issue previews the speakers, the events and the details of what Exhibitors will be showing at the Contact Booth Program. By Carole Jesiolowski.

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  • The Customer Connection

    Ritz Carlton sets an example of exceptional customer service. By Carole Jesiolowski.

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  • Leaders For A New Economy

    GAWDA members are not rolling over and playing dead. Welding & Gases Today found out that distributors and suppliers are hitting the recession head-on. By Carole Jesiolowski.

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  • It’s All In The Family

    The Gases and Welding Distributors Association is launching a next generation Web presence. The site will feature all of the most pertinent gases and welding industry information. By Carole Jesiolowski

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Giving Back

  • GAWDA Gives Back 2015 Campaign

    GAWDA President Tom Biedermann and his wife Terri took their responsibility of finding two needy organizations to receive this year’s donations to GAWDA Gives Back very seriously. The Biedermann’s visited several non-profit groups in the Scottsdale area, looked at donation lists, government funding, and other paperwork. They wanted to find organizations with limited resources, [...]

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  • How GAWDA Gave Back

    A look at how GAWDA member’s generosity to local charities was put to use. Since the inception of GAWDA Gives Back in 2000, GAWDA members have donated almost $1.5 million to deserving charities in Convention host cities. The recipients have applied GAWDA’s contributions to further a variety of noble causes, helping thousands of individuals in need. [...]

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  • A Look Inside 2012’s GAWDA Gives Back Recipients

    Partners In Housing and Peak Parent Center share hopes, missions and financials.

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  • How GAWDA Gave Back

    A look at how GAWDA members' generosity to local charities was put to use.

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  • GAWDA Gives Back Beneficiaries Share Plans For Donations

    Nearly $1 million have been donated over the years, and this time GAWDA President Lloyd Robinson and his wife Barbara have chosen two local charities to share in the 2011 donations: the FDNY Fire Family Transport Foundation and the Pencil Fellows Program.

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  • Two NYC Organizations Get Funds

    Two organizations chosen for GAWDA Gives Back that help students and firefighters in need.

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  • GAWDA Gives Back To Community Closet

    GAWDA Give Back selects Maui’s Community Closet, a provider of basic needs for less-fortunate mothers in Hawaii, for annual charity donation.

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  • Everyone Deserves A Lifetime

    GAWDA Gives Back donates to WINGS (Women Involved in Nurturing, Giving and Sharing, Inc.), a charity program for women with breat cancer.

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  • Putting An End To Homelessness

    2007 GAWDA Gives Back recipient Hamilton Family Center fights homelessness in San Francisco.

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  • “GAWDA Made It Possible”

    GAWDA Gives Back has donated almost $300,000 to deserving recipients in convention cities since 2000.

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  • Distributors Having Fun

    Stories of GAWDA members giving back to their local communities through groups like the United Way, Make-A-Wish, Special Olympics and hundreds of other needy charities.

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