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MURRAY HILL & NEW PROVIDENCE, N.J.-- Signs of recovery in the manufacturing and fabrication segments fueled optimism among the more than 40 industrial gas distributors who attended the 15th annual meeting of the Airco Distributor Association (ADA) held in Miami, Florida, in late October. The annual meeting provides the opportunity for ADA members to share ideas for business improvement and to network with preferred vendors.

“This year’s ADA meeting was a genuine success with a renewed sense of optimism among both the distributors and the vendors as we recover from the economic crisis of the past couple of years”
Since its inception in 1993, ADA has enabled independent distributors to leverage the purchasing power of an association to achieve volume discounts and earn rebates. Linde North America, a member of the Linde Group, a leading global gases and engineering company, provides marketing and administrative support to the ADA.

Throughout the two-day event, 21 vendors participated in breakout sessions to discuss product lines, promote rebate programs and introduce special sales available only to meeting attendees.

“We had a very good meeting with open dialogue at all times,” said Mark Falconer, ADA co-chairman and president of Minneapolis Oxygen Company, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. “Throughout the meeting, I got a real sense that both vendors and distributors are very happy with the partnership that has grown through the years, with both groups expressing a positive outlook for the future. Our group has grown this year and we’re looking forward to adding more members in the future.”

Based on service, delivery and sales communication, two vendors were chosen as co-vendors of the year: Direct Wire and Cable, Inc., Denver, Pennsylvania, manufacturer of welding cable, custom welding cable assemblies with connectors and power products, and John Tillman, of Compton, California, a producer of personal protective welding gear, welding gloves, welding jackets, leather sleeves, leather aprons and leather gloves.

This year’s ADA meeting was sponsored by ADA preferred vendors Bernard, Cryovation, Direct Wire and Cable, Flame Technologies, Hypertherm, Label Solutions, Metabo, Norton Abrasives, ORS Nasco, Ratermann Manufacturing, Smith Equipment Company, Taylor Wharton, Thermal Dynamics, John Tillman Company, Tweco/Arcair, Victor Equipment Company, Washington Alloys, Weldcote Metals, Weldcraft, Worthington Industries and 3M Hornell.

Bob VanKirk, head of key customers and distributors for Linde North America, spoke to the group about Linde’s business and the industrial gas industry in general. His presentation covered industrial gas supply and demand, Linde’s bulk and packaged gas network and integrated supply offerings for industries, including food and beverage, chemicals, electronics, manufacturing, construction and energy.

“This year’s ADA meeting was a genuine success with a renewed sense of optimism among both the distributors and the vendors as we recover from the economic crisis of the past couple of years,” said VanKirk. “Linde is proud to support and be a growing part of a strong and vibrant group like the ADA. Linde will continue to work with the ADA membership to further strengthen our group and find ways for all involved -- vendors, distributors and Linde -- to prosper in the coming years.”

During the meeting, Falconer introduced the leaders of the ADA executive board. They include: Gary Lichtenheld, president, Terrace Supply Company of Villa Park, Illinois; Kelly Root, vice president of sales for Capitol Welders Supply, based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Craig Wood, executive vice president, O.E. Meyer Company of Sandusky, Ohio; Emmett Aldredge III, vice president of planning and finance for Machine and Welding Supply of Dunn, North Carolina; Bob Iverson, president of Springfield, Massachusetts-based Ivey Industries, Inc.; Lloyd Robinson, president of AWISCO, New York Corp., based in Maspeth, New York; Terry Hall, ADA co-chairman; Scott Latta, head of markets region south, Linde North America; Jim Lisiecki, distributor program manager, Linde North America and Bob VanKirk, head of key customers and distributors, Linde North America.

Terry Hall, Co-Chairman of ADA, closed the meeting by reminding the members about their commitment to the preferred vendors’ programs and to generating new ideas.

The ADA has 78 independent members who have over 400 retail locations throughout the U.S. Today the members represent approximately $1 billion in annual purchases and have earned about $28 million in rebates since inception achieved through compliance with their vendors.

The Linde Group is a world leading gases and engineering company with almost 48,000 employees working in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2009 financial year it achieved sales of EUR 11.2 billion (USD 15.3 billion). The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards sustainable earnings-based growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services.

Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. Linde is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.

For more information, visit Linde North America online at http://www.lindeus.com

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