The President of St. Louis, Missouri-based Cee Kay Co. has been installed as President of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA).

Ned Lane, GAWDA 2017-2018 President

Ned Lane, GAWDA 2017-2018 President

Ned Lane will serve as the head of GAWDA for the rest of 2017 and through the annual convention in September of 2018, according to GAWDA Executive Director John Ospina. Lane was installed as president during the association’s annual meeting in New York October from the 1st to the 4th.

Lane has served on the GAWDA Board of Directors for the past several years and on the association’s Executive Committee for the past three years. He has been with Cee Kay Supply for 22 years, originally joining the company in 1995 as manager of gases. In 2000, he was named president of the company, a position he has held for the past 17 years.

Owner and CEO of Cee Kay Supply, Tom Dunn, introduced Lane at the annual meeting. Dunn told the assembly that just as Lane has been a great leader for the Cee Kay business, he will be a great leader for GAWDA. Dunn described Lane as “a man of faith, who’s loyal, organised, and intelligent. He has exemplified class and professionalism in everything he has done at Cee Kay the past 22 years.”

Cee Kay Supply opened for business in 1948 as a gas distributor. The company has a 120,000- square-foot main facility in St. Louis and operates seven branches throughout Missouri and Illinois. Its operations include a specialty gas division, repair and service centre, technical service centre, carbon dioxide (CO2) division and a re-test division. The company also hosts an extensive training facility.

Ned Lane becomes the newly elected GAWDA President in the presence of his wife and three children

Ned Lane becomes the newly elected GAWDA President in the presence of his wife and three children

In his inaugural address to the audience of more than 900 GAWDA distributor and supplier members and their guests, Lane spoke of his plans leading GAWDA in the coming year, noting that his experience in both the distributor and supplier domains of the industry would be helpful in that role. He also said he intends to focus on three elements he believes are essential to successful operations: “people, process and plan.” His efforts as president will have a “back to basics” focus, he added. They will include ensuring that GAWDA staff members have the resources, tools and supportive environment that permits them to provide exemplary service to members; that the organisation undertakes a process of continuous improvement; and that time is taken away from the daily grind of business to look at the big picture and plan for the future.

Also named as 2017-2018 officers for three newly open seats as Vice-Presidents are: Evan Bennear, Sales Manager at Dale Oxygen Co. of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.; Melissa Perkins, Director of Marketing and Finance at Electronic Fluorocarbons, of Hatfield, Pennsylvania.; and Bill Proctor, President of nexAir LLC, of Memphis, Tenancy.

Abydee Butler Moore, Executive Vice-President of Butler Gas Products, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania., was named as the association’s first Vice-President. She is slated to assume the organisation’s presidency in 2019-2020. Brad Peterson, Chairman and Chief Acquisition Officer of Mississippi Welders Supply Co., Inc., of Winona, Minn., as President-elect, is in line to become GAWDA’s president for the 2018-2019 year.

The remaining members of the current Board of Directors are: Kelly Bladow, of Oxarc Inc., of Spokane, Wash.; Jay Brant, Indiana Oxygen Co., of Indianapolis, Ind.; Bob Ewing, of Red Ball Oxygen Co., of Shreveport, La.; Jeff Johnson, of Arc3 Gases, of Dunn, NC; and Jim O’Connor, of Norton Abrasives - St. Gobain, of Johns Creek, Ga.

Mark Raimy, of Welders Supply Corporation – A Raimy Corporation, of Erie, Pa., serves as First Past President; and Bill Visintainer, of Atlas Welders Supply of Tuscaloosa,Ala., serves as Second Past President.