Registration is open for the next national meeting of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA), which takes place on 1st-4th October in New York.

Also open for registration is the conference’s annual fall Contact Booth Programme. The half-day showcase of industry vendors, products and services takes place on Tuesday 3rd of October.

The event is being hosted at the New York Marriott Marquis at Times Square and Broadway, and its theme is “Bullish of GAWDA.”

Presenters

Three key conference presenters have been announced. College Football Hall of Farmer Coach, Lou Holtz, will address the gathering, according to Ospina. A head coach for 34 years at both the college and professional levels, Holtz is the only coach in National Collegiate Athletic Association history to lead six different programmes to bowl games.

In addition, Alan Beaulieu, GAWDA Chief Economist and President and Principal of noted economic forecasting firm ITR Economics, will offer his outlook for the US economy. Daniel Van Der Vilet, Executive Director of the Smith Family Business Centre at Cornell University, is scheduled to lead a panel discussion on family businesses.

GAWDA gives back $2m

GAWDA will also present checks to two New York City-based organisations as part of its continuing GAWDA Gives Back programme. Over the past 17 years since the initiative began, GAWDA members have contributed just over $2m to non-profit organisations, and that sum has been distributed to 22 groups in 13 different communities across the US. The programme was started as a way to leave gifts of goodwill and tangible resources with the communities that host the associations annul business meeting. In 2016, GAWDA presented $190,000 to two Maui, Hawaii organisations.

This year, the groups Candlelighters and Headstrong have been selected to benefit from GAWDA Gives Back. Candlelighters assists children who have cancer and their families. Headstrong offers free and confidential mental health treatment for military service veterans in what it says is an “evidence-based, cost-free, stigma-free and frictionless mental health treatment programme for post-9/11 combat veterans that work.”

Installation of new president

GAWDA 2017-2018 President Mark Raimy, of Welders Supply Company – A Raimy Corporation, based in Erie, Pennsylvania, will preside over the conference. His one-year term comes to an end at the meeting, and the association installs its next president. Ned Lane, of CeeKay Supply, of St. Louis, Missouri, will lead the organisation for the 2017-2018 year. Also on the schedule are the election of additional officers, board of directors and standing committee meetings and the presentation of funds from GAWDA’s year-long charitable contributions initiative.