With presentations designed to provide tactical, take-home solutions and process-oriented business education, and a keenly attended Contact Booth Program to match, the annual GAWDA Spring Management Conference is in full swing in St. Louis, Missouri.
Taking place at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel with the theme this year of Gateway to Progress: People, Process, Plan, the event brings together Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) company management and operations decision-makers to addresses everyday issues and questions.
All of which is being presided over by GAWDA 2017-2018 President Ned Lane (pictured), President of Cee Kay Supply Co., of St. Louis.
Much of the programme reflects President Lane’s ‘People, Process, Plan’ philosophy. He helped select speakers to address the realities that member businesses deal with every day, including achieving operating excellence, maximising retail space, quarterly planning, and hiring and retaining an excellent workforce.
GAWDA Executive Director John Ospina had previously enthused, “The speakers selected and the programme format are intended as an idea platform for tactical networking, process-oriented business education and the presentation of actionable, take-home solutions.”
Those speakers include Mitch Milstein, Ph.D., of the University of Missouri/St. Louis College of Business’s Center for Business and Industrial Studies – also principal of Supply Velocity, Inc. – with the topic of Lean/Operational Excellence, as well as Andy Stawski, Commercial Market Manager at Miller ITW discussing Maximising Your Retail Space and Jeanet Wade, a certified EOS implementer, speaking on, Getting a Grip on Your Business; Gaining Traction.
A panel composed of GAWDA distributors and suppliers are also assessing best practices in people and planning aspects of business operations during the business session.
gasworld US is in attendance at the event, with a full review to follow online and in print, providing a rundown on the key talking points and takeaways from the conference.
This year’s gathering builds on a series of successful SMC’s. Last year, more than 600 GAWDA members and their guests attended the annual SMC at the posh Boca Raton Resort & Club, where the theme was Leveraging Technology to Improve Your Business and then President Mark Raimy talked about the role technology played in helping to organise and promote the conference – and the way in which it was changing the approach in the industry.
This year’s SMC also follows a record-breaking attendance of around 900 delegates at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square, New York for October’s 72nd annual GAWDA Convention.