Brad Peterson was introduced as new Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) President on the final business day of the 2018 Annual Convention here in Seattle, WA.

Abydee Butler Moore (Butler Gas Products), the First VP elect, welcomed all the delegates and said the two main benefits of being a GAWDA member were the access distributors get to consultants, experts and safety advice as well as the great networking opportunities the GAWDA events provide through the year.

GAWDA-Abydee Butler Moore

GAWDA-Abydee Butler Moore

Abydee Butler Moore

She revealed that 200 delegates from 79 distributor companies attended the event at the at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel from 9th to 12th September – accounting for 40% of the delegates. Whereas 394 delegates from 175 suppliers attended – 143 of which exhibited at the booth programme on Tuesday.

Moore stressed it was important to continue to get more distributors engaged with GAWDA events and to keep up the efforts of increasing membership.

She also disclosed the venues and dates for the 2020 Annual and Spring Management Conferences (SMC) – the SMC being on the 5th to 7th April 2020 in Austin, TX, and the Annual Convention to be held in Phoenix, AZ, from 25th to 28th of September 2020.

GAWDA-Ned-Lane

GAWDA-Ned-Lane

Ned Lane

Ned Lane was then presented with his past president jacket before the official hand over as Gaby Peterson introduced the new President of GAWDA – her husband Brad.

Peterson, of Mississippi Welders Supply (MWS), thanked Lane for all his hard work over the past year as well as his parents Don and Donna. Peterson’s father Don, a former Airco manager, gave him the opportunity to work in the industry after Don bought MWS with two partners in 1973. After an eight-year spell in the US Navy, Brad joined MWS in 1991.

Peterson, who plans to assess where GAWDA stands and where it is heading, reminded delegates that GAWDA as an independent organisation was 72 years old but has only had true independence, running it own affairs, for three years.

He amusingly used a nautical term – “steady as she goes” – when referring to his plans for his 12-month term and particularly wants to work on the value proposition that GAWDA provides to its members.

Peterson finished by saying: “Thank you for the opportunity and the trust you have shown in me to steer GAWDA over the next year.”

GAWDA’s SMC in Minneapolis, MN on 4th to 6th May and the Annual Convention in Washington, DC, on 28th September to 1st October.