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Dewitt, NY - With more than 14,000 employees and approximately 1,100 locations, Peter McCausland oversees the largest distributor in the U.S. gases and welding market. The Airgas chairman and CEO spoke with the editor of Welding & Gases Today about the company and how he holds it all together. His interview, "What Consolidation, Sailing, Farming And Leadership All Have In Common," appears in the Fall 2011 issue of Welding & Gases Today, the leading magazine for the gases and weldingequipment industry.

In his conversation with Welding & Gases Today, McCausland addressed the issue of mergers and acquisitions in the gases and welding industry. "Consolidation will take place without Airgas. We're not driving it. Customers are the ones driving it," says McCausland. "There are other important factors, such as rising liability insurance costs, employee benefit costs, litigation and the regulatory environment. We're doing our best to take advantage of it."

Having survived a takeover attempt in 2011, Airgas reported record earnings in First Quarter 2012, which began on April 1, 2011. "I think the whole thing was unfortunate, but in the final analysis, the reason that Airgas survived this attempt was because of the 14,000 Airgas people on the front lines," says McCausland. "They did such an incredible job. They turned in four outstanding quarters in an economy that was still very weak and just beginning to recover. They did all the really heavy lifting and hardwork on the front lines, taking care of our customers, attracting new customers. That's why Airgas is around today."

Peter McCausland will present at the upcoming Annual Convention of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association. He will deliver a talk on the topic of "Lessons In Leadership" during the business meeting on Monday, October 10.

To find out more on Airgas, acquisitions and how the company is driving efficiencies through customer segmentation, read "What Consolidation, Sailing, Farming And Leadership All Have In Common" (http://www.weldingandgasestoday.org/index.php/2011/09/what-consolidation-sailing-farming-and-leadership-all-have-in-common/) at Welding & Gases Today Online. For more information, contact Devin O'Toole, content editor at Welding & Gases Today atdevin@weldingandgasestoday.org or 315-445-2347.

Founded in 1945, the Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking. Through its member journals (www.weldingandgasestoday.org), e-magazines, newsletters and industry wiki (www.gawdawiki.org), GAWDA connects suppliers of gases and manufacturers of related equipment as well as manufacturers of welding equipment and distribution leaders, for the purpose of safely delivering optimal solutions to the users of those products. GAWDA publications are the industry's voice for all matters related to the latest technology and the most up-to-date processes spanning welding equipment and products and services related to industrial, medical, specialty and cryogenic gases. A 501(c)3 organization, GAWDA members are located throughout North America.

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