Chris Ebeling, of Messer Americas, and Francesco Maione, of Air Products, were unanimously elected 2021 Chair and Vice-Chair respectively of the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) Board of Directors during the CGA’s Annual Meeting.
Ebeling, Executive Vice-President of Sales and Marketing for US bulk at Messer Americas, is responsible for three sales channels – order-to-cash, product management and strategy, applications and R&D – as well as Messer’s helium business in the Americas.
Ebeling, who has over 30 years of experience in the industrial gases business, said, “This past year has posed significant challenges. And yet, the Association has arguably never had a more impactful year. I’ve been very proud of CGA’s and our industry’s collective response to the Covid-19 pandemic. CGA membership drew attention to several challenges across the industry, including the CO2 shortage in the Spring of 2020, mitigating concerns around dry ice availability for vaccines in the Fall of 2020, and our industry’s ongoing efforts to ensure sufficient supplies of medical oxygen in the US and Canada. The timeliness and quality of the information we shared with government agencies, as well as the data and science behind the statements we made, has been very impactful. Truly, we would not be where we are today if not for the collaborative efforts of all the CGA member companies.”
Ebeling says a particular focus for the CGA will be trying to engage with the industry’s younger generation.
Ebeling added, “As an association, we learned we were able to do even better than in the past in managing safety standards development, while at the same time, launching initiatives to engage more of our membership – by offering more online meetings and training events not only for our more tenured member employees, but also for emerging young professionals. Moving forward, I’d like to see us find the right balance between continuing to offer ways for more members to engage virtually, while also beginning to weave back in face to face meetings and collaboration, as the latter becomes possible again.In particular, it’s extremely important that we’ve begun to engage our industry’s younger generation, as they’re the ones we’ll need to pass the baton to, in the not too distant future.”
Maione is President, Americas, at Air Products and is responsible for the growth and profitability of the company’s atmospheric gases and HyCO product lines, as well as operations, across North and South America.
Maione, who joined Air Products in 1998, said, “During this coming year, my first focus will be on safety – as CGA continues its essential work to help keep our industry operations, employees, customers, contractors, and communities safe. Another high priority for me will be fostering the participation of young professionals in our industry. Serving on CGA working committees provides an invaluable experience for younger employees. It gives them an opportunity to deepen their knowledge of safety, governance, and other technical topics, while enhancing personal skills development. I’d like to see the Association continue to foster a culture where young professionals feel they can grow, are given visibility, and have an opportunity to make an impact. Because an engaged organisation delivers better results. And these young professionals are our future.”