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GAWDA Connection
Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) February 1, 2014
GAWDA Home Executive Dialogue Links Comments Contact Us Welding & Gases Today
A Semi-Monthly Newsletter for Gases and Welding Distributors Association Members
In This Issue
Business Projections
Safety Deadline
Member News
GAWDA Updates
The Butler Gas Specialty
Butler Gas

The success of Butler Gas Products, a 65-year-old, third-generation family business, can be credited directly to their ability to think and plan for the long-term. Read more...

Most Viewed Content

Reinvestment drives growth at nation's largest independent distributor. GAWDA President Ned Pontius, also president of Norco, Inc., explains the growth strategy in this Member Profile.

Send Us Your News

Held an open house? Hired a new employee? Share your events, employee promotions, new or renovated facilities and other company news with GAWDA members. Submit your news here.

Featured Articles
Distributors and Suppliers Expect Slow Growth

By all accounts, the economy is beginning a slow crawl upward. Distributors interviewed for GAWDA's 2014 Annual Business Forecast anticipate sales to increase at a rate of 9.4%. Some, 16%, indicate that their sales will neither increase nor decrease. Distributors located in the South project the lowest rate of increase at 4.4%, while those in the East anticipate the highest, 8.8%. Regardless of where a Distributor is located, there are some consistent responses in this year's survey: new markets being pursued, new products introduced, new ways to fend off challengers, and yes... independence has its rewards!

Supplier projections are similarly conservative. The average rate of increase among all Suppliers is 8%. They are working hard to remove labor costs from their (or their distributor-customer's) business operations, creating industry alliances, developing new products, hiring staff and opening warehouses, and focusing on new products, i.e., LNG.

Forget the Snow and Cold. Think SPRING! Stay Relevant in Changing Times

GAWDA's Spring Management Conference will be held in Chicago. The weather report will be warm and sunny on March 30-April 1 as GAWDA members learn to Stay Relevant in Changing Times. Make your plans today to attend this important conference. More information about speakers, registration and hotel accommodations can be found here.

Safety & Compliance
January 30 Deadline for Interstate Drivers

By January 30, 2014, all interstate drivers who hold a CDL and are required to hold a medical card are to provide their medical cards to their state driver licensing agency, as well as letting the agency know what type of driver they are. States determine how and when the cards are to be delivered (e.g., in person, mail, fax, email), whether copies will be allowed, and whether a fee will be charged for medical card processing.

If a driver's medical card or medical variance expires, the licensing state must notify the driver within 10 days that his/her license will be downgraded, and then must remove the driver's interstate CMV driving privileges within 60 days. The states are not required to notify drivers prior to the expiration of their medical cards.

The rule will not affect the frequency with which medical cards must be obtained or the frequency with which CDLs must be renewed. For more details, contact GAWDA Consultant Mike Dodd at or 573-718-2887.

Member News
Jarrod Lipsey

Red Ball Oxygen Reorganizes Leadership Team

Jerry Wessels Named President of Superior Welding Supply Company

Norco, Inc. Expands with Acquisition in Southeastern Washington

Craig Wells

Craig Wells Named Norco Safety Product Manager

Acme Expands Sales Team

Tech Air Makes Two Acquisitions

Jenne Schwartz

IWDC Hires Event & Meeting Planner

Keen Compressed Gas Co. Hires New Sales Manager

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News from GAWDA

GAWDA Scholarship Deadline is extended through February 7. Act quickly if you want to be included in this year's scholarship program. Application is available online.

SMC Sponsorships are almost sold out. Please contact Cecilia Barbier at 877-382-6440 to secure your sponsorship today.

SMC "Bar Row" booths are now sold out. There are a few standard booths still available. Please contact Cecilia Barbier at 877-382-6440 to secure your booth today.

Upcoming Events
February 12-13

Regional Meeting, Palm Springs, CA

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The GAWDA Connection is distributed on the 1st and 15th of each month to all GAWDA members as a membership service of GAWDA, the Gases and Welding Distributors Association, 8669 Doral Boulevard, Suite 130, Doral, FL 33166. Neither GAWDA nor Data Key Communications, their Data Key Communications officers, directors, members and staff are responsible for contents or opinions other than those concerning Association activities. Copyright © 2014 Data Key Communications. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this newsletter may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher.