Airgas, the largest US distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, and related supplies, announced the reorganisation of its largest distribution region, Airgas East into two separate regions.

The two new regions, now called the Northeast region and the East region, will be effective from September 1. Kent Carter, formerly an area vice president within the Airgas South region, has been named president of the Northeast region, which includes upstate New York and New England.

Tony Simonetta, president of Airgas East since March of 2011, has been named president of the newly defined East region, which encompasses the metropolitan New York City area, Long Island, New Jersey, the eastern half of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C., and northern Virginia.

“With large concentrations of business opportunities in specific areas of Airgas East we’re adding resources to more effectively meet the needs of the marketplace,” said Michael Molinini, Airgas President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re committed to our decentralised operating model where decisions are made close to the customer. This reorganisation will enable us to more fully serve customers and potential customers within two distinct geographies.”

According to Shaun Powers, Airgas Division President - North, Airgas East represents Airgas’ largest region with regard to the number of Airgas employees, revenues, and the number of production facilities and branches.

“Airgas East is also unique in that it has a very dense industrial concentration within the corridor from New York City to Washington, D.C. These customers and potential customers represent our core market focus for gases and welding and safety products,” Powers said.

Carter joins the Airgas Northeast region as president with more than 23 years of sales, marketing, and management experience within the industrial gases and welding equipment industry. He began his career at Airgas in 2002 as marketing manager for the South region and was promoted to area vice president in 2007. Prior to joining Airgas, Carter was director of operations for, one of the first collaborative eCommerce ventures in the industry. Carter also worked for his family’s business, Action Welding Supply, for more than 12 years and held a variety of positions, including vice president of operations and vice president of marketing.

“Kent grew up in this business,” Powers added. “Working in his family’s welding supply business, in a variety of roles from cylinder filler to driver, inside sales, and fill plant manager through top operations and marketing roles, gave him solid industry experience. With that experience he has excelled within the Airgas South region and is very well prepared for his new role as president of the new Northeast region.”

The new Airgas Northeast region will be headquartered in Waterford, Connecticut, while the East region will be headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania.