A Semi-Monthly Newsletter for Gases and Welding Distributors Association Members October 8, 2010 
Breaking News   •   Safety & Compliance
Industry Beat   •   GAWDA News   •   Education & Training

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Breaking News

Convention Highlights Association Strengths

Jenny McCall
Jenny McCall delivers her final address.

Almost 800 people attended GAWDA’s 66th Annual Convention held this past week in Maui, HI. The theme “Riding the Wave of the Future” set the tone for distributors and suppliers to learn best practices and network with industry colleagues from the United States, Canada and Mexico. A record number of young professionals were on hand.

In her opening speech, 2009-2010 GAWDA President Jenny McCall graciously thanked her family and the executive committee for providing support over the past year, and credited all of GAWDA’s volunteers for making 2010 a successful year. “I would like to thank our membership, our distributor and supplier members, for giving me the privilege to be your President this past year. It’s been an exciting and challenging year.” At the conclusion of her speech, McCall surprised convention goers with images of the past year in GAWDA. Watch the slideshow.

2010-2011 Executive Committee
2010-2011 Executive Committee members (l-r) Bryan Keen, Lloyd Robinson and Craig Wood

Keeping with tradition, the 2010-2011 Board of Directors was elected. Joining the Executive Committee is Craig “Woody” Wood, weld division president at O.E. Meyer Company, located in Sandusky, OH. Wood joins the Board as First Vice President.


Lloyd Robinson, president of AWISCO in Maspeth, NY, stepped into his new role as GAWDA President in fitting fashion as he entertained the audience with his good-natured humor. He recounted the journey that led him to his current position within the association and recognized the people who helped him along the way, many of whom were in attendance. He concluded on a sincere note, with a promise to make his term as president a reflection of himself. “The support and friendship you have offered me over the last few years have inspired me to make my turn as your president productive, dynamic and exciting!”

2010-2011 Executive Committee
GAWDA Gives Back donations surpassed 2009 totals by more than $30,000.

GAWDA members donated $193,826 to GAWDA Gives Back. Sheri Daniels, administrator of Child and Family Service’s Maui office, was overwhelmed with the donation, and in tears thanked the audience. “This type of generosity is not something that often happens,” she said. “You are amazing, and you are making a difference here. Thank you.”

Probably the hottest band ever to play at a GAWDA Closing Party, Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster, rocked the house till the wee hours of the morning. Attendees left making plans for 2011’s gathering in New York City.

Suppliers and distributors connect at the Contact Booth Program.
Attendees gather for Sundayís opening business session.
Members enjoy the Presidentís Gala.
2010-2011 Executive Committee
Joe Theismann inspires convention goers.


Texting Ban Affects All GAWDA Members

On September 21, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced final rulemaking to ban texting by commercial motor vehicle drivers while operating in interstate commerce, regardless of individual state regulations. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood also announced that the ban on texting would be extended to include those hauling hazardous materials in-state. Both rules are expected to go into effect at the end of October. “When finalized, the ban will apply to all GAWDA members, whether their delivery operations cross state lines or not,” says Government Affairs, Human Resources & General Counsel Consultant Rick Schweitzer.

Find out how to protect your company from penalties and share your opinion in Welding & Gases Today’s On The Edge feature.


Overheard on the Blogs:

From the GAWDA Media Blog:
“Small business advocates want customers before they will justify spending. Just as customers have tightened their belts, companies have worked to operate leaner and leaner. Who will take the leap and start spending again? We are faced with a chicken-egg situation between customer spending and business spending, and neither side wants to go first.”


Safety & Compliance News

Revised Date for Hazmat Review The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration revised the date used to calculate the threshold crash and out-of-service rates. The cycle was changed from the calendar year to a fiscal year cycle, which runs October 1 of a given year to September 30 of the following year. 75 Federal Register 57696 (September 22, 2010).

Under 49 CFR 385.407 the agency may not issue a hazardous materials safety permit to a motor carrier having a crash rate or driver, vehicle, or hazardous materials out-of-service rate in the top 30 percent of the national average. This revision is intended to provide motor carriers and the industry a 3-month preview of the rates used to determine safety permit eligibility, before the motor carrier hazardous materials safety permit registration cycle begins on January 1 of each year.

Procedure for Hazmat Approvals Finalized The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a final version of its Standard Operating Procedures for obtaining approvals under the Hazardous Materials Regulations. The draft version of this document was issued in December 2009. The final version includes procedures and standards for determination of an applicant’s fitness. These fitness procedures and standards were the subject of a public meeting held by the agency on August 19, 2010. A copy of the final document is available from GAWDA Government Affairs and Human Resources Consultant Rick Schweitzer at rpschweitzer@rpslegal.com.


GAWDA Gridiron Greats

Can you name this
GAWDA member?

Here’s a hint: This supplier learned to be innovative when he played offensive line for the University of Georgia in 1977. He says his o-line days may have gone the way of his hairline, but he can hold his own in the gas industry.

Find clues for all 17 of GAWDA’s Gridiron Greats at Welding & Gases Today Online. Guess correctly and you could win $100 to the NFL Shop.


Industry Beat
(what people are talking about)

Thermadyne Accepts Acquisition Offer (St. Louis, MO) • Thermadyne Holdings Corporation entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by private equity firm Irving Place Capital. The transaction is subject to approval of Thermadyne shareholders, and is valued at approximately $422 million. Upon closing of the transaction, Razor Merger Sub Inc., an affiliate of Irving Place Capital, will merge with and into Thermadyne. Thermadyne will survive as a wholly owned subsidiary of Razor Holdco, Inc. The transaction is targeted to close in December 2010.

Students from Delaware Technical and Community College
Students from Delaware Technical and Community College picked up some tips about building racecars at G & E Welding Supply's open house.

G & E Celebrates 35 in Style (New Castle, DE) •  G & E Welding Supply hosted an open house to celebrate the company’s 35 years of operation on September 14. On display were racecars, custom hot rods and motorcycles built using G & E products. “We wanted to thank the customers and employees who have been with us for so many years,” says President Wayne Rapine. “You only turn 35 once.” 350 customers came out to take part in the events, which featured a DJ, product demos from 8 vendors and lots of food, including a 150-lb pig roast.

MAXAL Joins Up with ITW (Traverse City, MI) • MAXAL Inc. is now part of Illinois Tool Works Welding North America. “This is a strategic move for our business and ultimately enables us to deliver more value to our customers and the industry overall,” says Steve Anderson, one of the principal founders of MAXAL. Jim MacIntosh remains president of MAXAL, and the company will continue operating at its current location.

Gas and Supply Adds Propane Business (Baton Rouge, LA) • Gas and Supply acquired Tanner Propane Gas in Ellisvile, MS, located between Laurel and Hattiesburg. “This will increase our propane distribution significantly,” says Mark Shelton, Continuous Improvement Facilitator at Gas and Supply. “We are expecting a 45 to 50 percent increase.”

Batmobile BATMAN and all related characters, vehicles, props, symbols, and other BATMAN elements, are trademarks and copyrights of DC Comics.
Weldstar customer Mark Racop’s replica of the 1966 Batmobile™ vehicle was on display at the second annual Demo Day.

Weldstar Hosts Demo Day (Aurora, IL) • Weldstar hosted its second annual Demo Day at its Logansport, IN, branch. 200 customers stopped by for a BBQ lunch and product demonstrations from Weldstar technical representatives and several manufacturers. “Demo Day is a great way to build our customer relationships by inviting them in to discuss the products and to learn how we can further meet their needs through a relaxing event,” says Korey Witalka, sales & marketing coordinator.

Rexarc Tops Ohio Exporters (West Alexandria, OH) • Rexarc International received the Ohio 2010 Governor’s Excellence in Exporting Award for the small business category. According to the Ohio Department of Development, the award highlights those companies with superior performance in exporting and heightened awareness of exporting.

Linde Maxes Mixture Record (Murray Hill, NJ) • Linde Gases developed a 110-component calibration gas mixture, setting a new world record for the most separate chemical components in a single gas mixture. The specialty gas mixture will be used to detect volatile organic compounds in air samples to determine their level of safety. The record-breaking achievement was granted Guinness World Record status.

Bakerís Cooks Up Online Site (Lincoln Park, MI) • Baker’s Gas and Welding Supplies launched a new online retail store, looking to expand its customer base. “Our online store allows us to extend our top-quality products to customers nationwide as we continue to offer the latest welding and cutting equipment from the most respected brands,” says Thomas Klemz, co-owner of Baker’s Gas and Welding.

Five recently updated wiki terms
Alloy Flux
Cryogenic System
Thermite Reaction
Hydrostatic Test Head
To add your own term, go to www.GAWDAwiki.org.


Gettysburg Regional Gives Back • The Gettysburg Regional Meeting was held September 7-8 at the Country Inn and Suites and the Links at Gettysburg. The highlight of the event was a silent auction of equipment and services, sporting event tickets and more, all to raise funds for GAWDA Gives Back. Two fully rehabbed 6-ton CO2 horizontal foam insulated tanks donated by Titan Industries fetched $36,300, and a fully rehabbed 500g cryogenic bulk tank from Eleet Cryogenics went for $17,325. In all, the Gettysburg meeting raised $64,116 for Hawaii’s Community Closet charity.

Gettysburg Regional
Gettysburg Regional Gettysburg Regional

Workshops, Web Conferences & Seminars

GAWDA Fall Professional Compliance Seminar
October 12-14, Weldcoa’s Precision University, Aurora, IL.
Tuesday, October 12 - OSHA, Workers’ Comp, Operations Management
Wednesday, October 13 - DOT Compliance
Thursday, October 14 - FDA Compliance
For more information, click here.

“Dealing with Discipline Issues in the Workplace” Webinar
October 14, 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Presented by the GAWDA HR Committee.
The webinar will address disciplinary actions, policies, communication, and documentation and will present actual case studies of sensitive and complicated incidents from the industry. For more information, click here.

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