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GAWDA Pittsburgh Regional Meeting - Seven Springs

Jun. 27, 2016

 

The GAWDA Annual Regional Pittsburgh, PA Meeting was held at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort during 20-22 June. Abydee Butler-Moore VP for Butler Gas (in Butler, PA) is the GAWDA Regional Chairperson and she does a wonderful job each year of managing and hosting this event. This year’s meeting was no exception. As Abydee announced at her opening speech, it was a record attendance this year with 276 persons attending the three day event.  

 

The Seven Spring Mountain Resort is a great place to hold this event as it basically starts when everyone gets together for the cocktail hour on Monday evening for a mingle and greet with colleagues, old friends and new clients alike. That is immediately followed by a BBQ that is good enough to rival the best anywhere, which is held outside at the foot-hills of the main ski area and lifts, thus providing a great casual atmosphere to discuss business in general. Abydee has done such a wonderful job of attracting powerful speakers to this event that it has drawn attendees from as far away as Virginia and Western Ohio which accounts for the record attendance. Congratulations again Abydee for a job well done.  

   

 

The Key note speaker was Jim Kissler, the current CEO of Norco. This is one of the strongest independent gas and welding distributors in the U.S. Jim’s father started the business in 1948 and Jim is now planning for his daughter to carry on the legacy of Norco as she is being personally groomed by Jim to be the third generation to command at the helm of Norco. Jim spoke strongly about the current economy and that “the sky is NOT falling.” Jim also told the audience to focus on a market “need and fill it.” He used the example that in addition to Norco's current offers of industrial gases, products and welding consumables, many of their clients said, “as long as you are visiting and delivering most of our other needs, can you also provide us with our basic janitorial needs?” So Jim saw an opportunity and he took it. Norco wants to be their client’s one source for all the needs and I believe they are delivering upon that goal.
   

Also speaking was Austin Romesberg, VP of Operations at WestAir who spoke on how you can “Kick GAS” in your market through recruiting and developing the right people to grow your organization so as to demonstrate your competitive advantages.

 

Additionally, Myles Dempsey addressed the group with the ever popular question, “which is more profitable, gases or hard-goods?” Of course most everyone knows the answer to that question, but Myles did discuss and focus on how you need to leverage the hard-goods to deepen your gas relationships and provide greater value for your clients.    

 

 

The afternoon and last day were followed up with breakout sessions and social events that allowed everyone to get further involved in groups and topics that they are passionate about within the industry and would like to offer their experience. The social activities such as golf, is a time used to network and relax with old friends and colleagues.

 

We look forward to next year’s GAWDA Pittsburgh Regional!  We hope to see you there 19-21 June 2017.