Your GAWDA Connection | Feb. 1, 2018
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Spring Conference Registration Now Open
Registration now is open for GAWDA’s 2018 Spring Management Conference. This year, the meeting takes a different approach, featuring a “takin’ care of business” focus with presenters known for achieving success in the nitty-gritty parts of the industry’s business operations.

“This year, the Spring Management Conference, with a theme of, ‘Gateway to Progress: People, Process, Plan,’ focuses more intently on the mission of offering GAWDA members a conference targeted to the needs of management and operations decision-makers,” says John Ospina, GAWDA executive director.

“The speakers selected this year and the format of the program is intended as an idea platform for tactical network, process-oriented business education and actionable, take-home solutions,” he adds.
Much of the program reflects 2017 - 2018 GAWDA President Ned Lane ’s “People, Process, Plan” philosophy, Ospina says. Lane helped select speakers who can address the realities member businesses deal with every day, including achieving operating excellence, maximizing retail space, quarterly planning and hiring and retaining an excellent workforce.

The conference takes place in St. Louis, Mo., May 6 – 8. Register now on the GAWDA Events App or via the association’s website portal.  GAWDA is offering a special registration deal: for any company registering three full delegates, the cost of the third delegate is free.
Speakers Announced for SMC Business Sessions
Business session speakers for this year’s Spring Management Conference have been announced. 
On Monday, May 7, on the theme of ‘Process Topics,’ speakers are: 

  • Mitch Milstein, Ph.D., of the University of Missouri/St. Louis College of Business’s Center for Business and Industrial Studies. He also is principal of Supply Velocity, Inc., and his topic is “Lean/Operational Excellence.”
  • Andy Stawski, commercial market manager at Miller ITW. He will discuss, “Maximizing Your Retail Space.”

On Tuesday, May 8, sessions address “People and Planning” topics. Speakers are: 
  • Jeanet Wade, a certified EOS implementer, speaking on, “Getting a Grip on Your Business; Gaining Traction” 
  • Jim DelCarmen, a partner at Collaborative Strategies, Inc., discussing “Hiring and Retaining Great People.” 

The talks will be followed by a panel of distributors and suppliers assessing best practices in people and planning aspects of business operations.
New UCR Website Now Online
A new website for the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Plan, , is now online. 

The website contains information and links on the UCR fees and filing requirements, carrier resources, FAQs, and UCR Board of Directors activities.

FMCSA Publishes Additional
ELD/HOS Exemption, Waiver Notices
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published several additional notices relating to exemptions or waivers from the Electronic Logging Device and Driver Hours of Service requirements.

TRALA Short-Term Rental Waiver
The FMCSA has published its grant to the Truck Renting and Leasing Association of a 90-day waiver from the ELD requirements for drivers of property-carrying vehicles rented for 30 days or less.  83 Fed. Reg. 2868 (Jan. 19, 2018). The exemption is valid until  April 19, 2018 .  
TRALA had previously petitioned for a five-year exemption from the ELD rule for vehicles rented for 30 days, or less, but the FMCSA granted the exemption only for vehicles rented for eight days or less, regardless of the reason (repair, breakdown, seasonal demand, etc.).  82 Fed. Reg. 47306 (Oct. 11, 2017). TRALA then requested a 90-day waiver of the rule to allow its members additional time to develop compliance strategies to address unique issues relating to the use of ELDs in short-term rental vehicles, including the lack of interoperability between systems, and allow time for TRALA to consider whether to petition for reconsideration of FMCSA's action on its exemption.
The FMCSA has now granted TRALA’s request for a 90-day waiver from the ELD rule. TRALA has also filed a further request for an exemption from the ELD rule through Dec. 31, 2018 to allow additional time for adopting implementation strategies.

Waiver for Carriers Using PeopleNet ELD Software
The FMCSA has published its grant to Old Dominion Freight Lines and other motor carriers in similar situations of a 90-day waiver from the ELD rule due to issues concerning the integration of PeopleNet's ELD software into fleet management systems. 83 Fed. Reg. 2744 (Jan. 19, 2018).  
Old Dominion asked for relief from the grandfather provision of the ELD regulations, allowing them to add vehicles to their fleet using software that is not fully compliant with the ELD rule, provided the conditions specified in the waiver are met. Old Dominion explained that PeopleNet's AOBRD and ELD hardware currently installed in its vehicles, and the systems that will be installed in the near future, will satisfy the ELD mandate after the company implements the transition to PeopleNet's Dec. 15, 2017, software release. However, the new PeopleNet release does not include the necessary means to integrate into Old Dominion's fleet management and safety software.
FMCSA granted the users of PeopleNet software a waiver until March 18 of this year to complete the compliance transition.

Extension of Comments on Use of Personal Conveyance
The FMCSA has granted an extension of time in which to comment on the agency’s Dec. 19, 2017, notice announcing the proposed regulatory guidance concerning the use of a commercial motor vehicle for personal conveyance. 83 Fed. Reg. 2873 (Jan. 19, 2018). Comments are now due Feb. 20, 2018. 
The proposed revision to the guidance focused on the reason the driver is operating a CMV while off duty, without regard to whether the CMV is or is not laden. The previous guidance, which required the CMV to be unladen, was written for combination vehicles, where the driver could readily detach the trailer and use the unladen tractor for personal conveyance.
This interpretation had the inadvertent effect of not allowing drivers of single-unit work trucks that carry loads, as well as tools of trade and related materials, on the power unit to document this off duty time on the RODS. In the absence of a trailer, these loads, tools, and other equipment cannot reasonably be offloaded, left unattended, and reloaded after the power unit has been used for personal conveyance.
This proposed revision to the guidance eliminates the requirement that the CMV be unladen and thus the disparate impact created by the previous guidance.
Next Professional Compliance Seminar March 20-22
GAWDA is hosting another multi-day professional compliance seminar in March, and registration is now open to attend to receive certified training. 

The seminar is scheduled Tuesday, March 20 through Thursday, March 22. Host company is Chart, Inc., and the seminar takes place at the firm’s Ball Ground, Ga., facility. Tours of the Chart manufacturing facility and CO 2 safety specialty processes and presentations are highlights.

Seminar presenters are safety experts Thomas Badstubner, of AsteRisk, LLC, GAWDA’s FDA and medical gases consultant, and Michael Dodd, of MLD Safety Associates, LLC, GAWDA’s DOT, OSHA, EPA, and security consultant.

The certified DOT and FDA Food/Bev Gas PCQI training, as well as medical gas CGMP training, will cover a number of topics. They include: 
  • DOT: HP cylinder/liquid container/carbon dioxide cylinder filling and DOT compliance updates and discussion.
  • FDA:  PCQI - Preventive controls for human food course overview (several topics will be covered); plus hazard analysis and risk-based preventive food controls (HARPC), Food Safety Plan (FSP), Medical gas current good manufacturing training.
  • CO2 Safety: “Using the Right Equipment,” a presentation by Chart’s Jeff Patelczyk and Gary Degenhardt, addressing special effects, botanical application, waste water treatment, safe handling and hazards. 
For more details on topic specifics, information on accommodations, or other questions, contact Badstubner at 508-883-0927 or reference the GAWDA website. You can register for the event here
Young Professionals: Join this Focus Group!
What do the Young Professionals want from GAWDA, and what does GAWDA want from the Young Professionals? Discovering the answers to those questions is the impetus behind a special facilitated session during GAWDA’s Spring Management Conference (SMC) in May.

To that end, Young Professionals in GAWDA are invited to participate in a specially planned focus group scheduled on Saturday, May 6, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel. Young Professionals who will be in St. Louis for the SMC that afternoon, who would like to take part in the session, are asked to sign up at this Doodle poll to help determine the number planning to attend.

Abydee Butler Moore , first vice-president of GAWDA, will facilitate the session, which she says is designed to get feedback from the up-and-coming generation on several topics: (1) What should GAWDA be doing to better engage and support young talent? (2) How should YP Events be structured (social or content driven?) (3) What GAWDA member services are most valuable to you? (4) What services/resources should GAWDA offer to stay current? 

All GAWDA members are welcome to extend the invitation to their GAWDA Young Professionals contact and to contact Butler Moore with any questions. She’s at Butler Gas Products at 800-860-2427 or 412-771-7660 x316 and

AC Regional Set for March 20-22
The first of nine regional meetings scheduled for 2018 is just a little more than six weeks away, and registration is now open.

The Atlantic City Regional is March 20 – 22. Coordinator Michael Trueba has organized three days of activity near Atlantic City at the Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club in Galloway, N.J. The schedule includes:

Tuesday, March 20
Pizza-making and cooking class: presented by the culinary staff of the Stockton Seaview Hotel. 

Kart racing: New Jersey Motorsports Park, Millville, N.J., is a 500-acre premier motorsports entertainment center hosting NASCAR, IMSA and SCCA road racing events as well as motorcycle racing. Experience kart racing with professional instruction on one of the best tracks in the U.S. Racing suit, helmet and safety equipment are provided.

Clay shooting : Participants will enjoy time in the New Jersey Pinelands with 50+ clays per person over more than 20 stations and three courses. Gun and ammunition are provided.

Evening reception and dinner: In the elegant Oval Room at the Stockton Seaview Hotel.

Wednesday, March 21
Early morning: Breakfast and business meeting with GAWDA Government Affairs and Human Resources Law Consultant Rick Schweitzer and GAWDA FDA & Medical Gases Consultant Tom Badstubner . In addition to an update on FDA regulations and medical gases, Badstubner will present on the topic, “Maximize Profits with Deeper Specialty Gas Market Penetration.”

Afternoon : Golf at the renowned Stockton Seaview Golf Club, a challenging 18-hole course overlooking Atlantic City that has hosted the PGA, LPGA and former U.S. President Warren G. Harding. 
Dinner : A fantastic barbeque dinner, awards and prizes.

For more information, reach Trueba at MPT Industries, ; 973-989-9220. You can register online at GAWDA’s website
GAWDA Scholarship Applications Due Feb. 16
For the fourth consecutive year, GAWDA is continuing its GAWDA Foundation scholarship program.
Applications for scholarships are due by Friday, Feb. 16. The GAWDA Foundation scholarships are available to employees and immediate family members of current GAWDA member companies. Students who have received a scholarship in the past are welcome to reapply for assistance for another year with their schooling tuition costs.
In 2018, the program is offering 12 $2,000 scholarships to worthy students who plan to pursue welding and gases industry-related careers. Since the program began in 2013, GAWDA has awarded 58 scholarships.
Obtain more program information here, and access an application form here. Or for more information, contact GAWDA Accounting Associate Bruce Ellenbogen at 954-367-7728 or
CGA Seeking Applicants for President/CEO Role
The Compressed Gas Association is seeking applicants for the position of president and chief executive officer of the 104-year-old nonprofit ANSI accredited standards development organization. CGA is located in Chantilly, Va., a Washington, D.C. suburb. 

Interested candidates are required to submit a cover letter with a statement of interest, resume, and professional references to Michael Tiller , CGA’s current president and CEO, at by Feb. 15 .  
Member News:
  • IWDC Sets All-Time Annual Spend Record 
  • AWG Opens Chambersburg, Pa. Branch
  • Abicor Binzel Hires Territory Sales Manager 
  • Lincoln Expands Education Offerings
In Memoriam:
GAWDA has received word of the
following obituary notices.
  • Joseph F. Mammarelli, Sr.
  • Michael Jay Nelson
Social Media ‘Points of Pride’:
  • A-OX Welding announced its hiring of Dr. Terran Elliot Bergdale to run its Specialty Gas Division via a Facebook post referencing a local article featuring her role there and her background. 
  • Supplier member Hypertherm, Inc., of Hanover, NH, was recognized by the American Red Cross for its donation to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. 
  • Air Liquide posted that it has inaugurated its first Oxygen House in Senegal.
  • Pearl Abrasive Company, based in Commerce, Ca. with a branch in Norcross, Ga., has announced it is celebrating the company’s 50th business anniversary in 2018. 
H ere are suggestions for new products and services that GAWDA member suppliers and manufacturers say can help you get a leg up on business.

What’s hot for 2018’s marketplace? What new things have suppliers and manufacturers got on hand to help gases and welding supplies distributors boost business in 2018? Why do they say their newest “hot stuff” is worth taking a look at? 

Check out these new products and services they say can help your New Year – and your entire 2018. Check back here each Connection issue for the next few weeks as additional suppliers and manufacturers offer their ideas for helping distributors make money or save money this year.
Distributor Member:
P.O. Box 275 
Middlesex, N.J. 08846
FAX: 908-654-7957

Richard Long , president

James Madison , treasurer

The company represents manufacturers Matheson Tri-Gas and is a distributor of research, laboratory, and specialty gases and equipment.

Supplier Members:
8989 Sheridan Drive 
Clarence, N.Y.  14031-1419

Mike Saraf , key account manager

Shane Davis , eastern regional manager

Fred Deer , central regional manager

Ken Zahlis , western regional manager

Founded in 1969, Dynabrade designs and manufactures innovative and unique portable abrasive power tools and related accessories. With more than 800 high-quality tools in our product line, the company can meet the specific needs of industrial and automotive markets for products and accessories. That includes those used in grinding, deburring, filing, sanding and polishing applications on materials such as metal, wood, plastic, glass, rubber, stone and composites. Products are supplied through a worldwide network of professional distributors/jobbers.

29 Julie Court
Somerset, N.J. 08873

David Adams, director of business development

Matt Patel, chief operating officer and co-founder

Malbek is a cutting-edge software solution that helps your organization maximize profitability and manage your product supply agreements with effective contract management. Sales and contracting teams have the ability to gauge profitability based on offer terms, negotiate legal and business terms with the customer, execute agreements and measure effectiveness of your active contracts.

1050 Penner Crest
Houston, Texas 77055
713-869-6000 (note: corrected phone number)

Larry Robinson , president

Ron Weldon , national sales manager

Unibraze Corporation provides filler metal solutions: Unibraze, Techniwear, Smoothror, Stellite, Special Metals, Haynes, Ampco, Stood, Tech-Rod.