Over 400 delegates from across North America attended the CGA’s 100th Anniversary and AGM in Phoenix, Arizona – reports John Raquet.

Companies and delegates (and their wives) from Canada, the US and even the Caribbean attended a lavish dinner in which president and CEO, Mike Tiller, gave a brief historic overview of the formation and development over those first 100 years.  Current and past Chairmen and special guests were also in attendance including Pat Dyer (former CEO of Air Products and BOC), Bob Daniels (ex CEO of Liquid Carbonic) and Bob Cieslukowski (ex CEO of MVE) and Carl Johnson.

The Compressed Gas Association (CGA), was formed in 1913 and has been responsible for developing safety standards in the industrial gases industry ever since.  Back then there were some 76 recognised companies in the US that operated in the gases business. Over 40 gathered in New York that formed the first meeting and quorum to officially sanction a committee of 14 to begin addressing and formulating safety standards.  Interestingly, the first committee was formed of a majority of companies operating in acetylene, carbon dioxide and dentistry! 

Only two such companies are vaguely recognisable today – Liquid Carbonic and Liquide Air Products – both very much absorbed into the continent’s largest gases company Praxair. 

How fitting is it that the new incoming Chairman for CGA is Eduardo Menezes who is Executive VP of Praxair Inc. and responsible for the North American Gases Business.  Both he and outgoing Chairman Bill Kroll (Chairman of Matheson Gas) were there to give out awards to those that have dedicated their endless time (some 40+ years) in committees to progress safety standards in our industry.

It was left to Mike Tiller who personally wanted to recognise the team behind the CGA – 15 in all – that are responsible for overseeing 300+ standards that are in place within our industry and liaising with government bodies such as the US Department of Transport (DOT), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).

He thanked them all for their commitment and stated, “I hope that in 100 years time when the CGA celebrates its 200th anniversary, the industry can look back at us in the same way as we look at those 40 companies that formed the CGA and say we made a difference to safety and technology standards.”

The evening was topped off when the side of the ballroom was cast aside to reveal the entertainment for the evening and a large 100th birthday cake provided by Taylor Wharton and presented (and eaten) by the CGA committee and delegates.

Today, work continues on the various technical committees that are gathering this week to discuss further advancements and changes to various standards.  The Standards Committee has announced before the celebrations last night that it was drawing up plans to form a separate committee to address LNG transport and storage as this sector is accelerating at pace and needs to be self regulated like the industrial gases business.