GAWDA awards $30,000 in 2020 Scholarships

Since 2013, GAWDA has awarded $196,000 in scholarships

HOLLYWOOD, Florida ‒ The Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) awarded $30,000 in college scholarships to 15 students from across the U.S. who are planning to study programs applicable to careers in the industry. The announcement of the awards was made at the Association’s virtual Annual Convention, held September 25th.

“GAWDA annually awards scholarships to help educate, attract, and keep quality individuals in the welding and gases distribution industry,” said John Ospina, GAWDA Executive Director. “Since the program’s inception in 2013, we are proud to have awarded a total of 98 scholarships, representing $196,000 in educational assistance funds.”

“My hope is at some point to find some of these recipients as employees at our GAWDA member companies,” was GAWDA Past President, Ned Lane of Cee Kay Supply’s heartfelt statement after he presented the scholarships.  The recipients acknowledged their awards during a short video presentation. The video can be viewed on the GAWDA website at

The 2020 scholarship recipients, and the schools at which they will be using their scholarships, are:

  • Cody J. Absher, Central Piedmont Community College
  • Kaecy Barba, Northwest Vista College
  • John Austin Brewer, Mississippi State University
  • Kurt Lance Fielder, Mississippi State University
  • Jonathan Gardner, Winona State University
  • Andres Marquez, Northeastern University
  • Patrick Mitchell, Ivy Tech Community College
  • Clayton Mong, Ohio State University
  • Gabrielle Olsen, Drake University
  • Eoin O’Malley, University of Tennessee
  • Kyle Lee Plant, Tennessee Technological University
  • Abby N. Poser, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
  • David L. Rimes III, Kutztown University of Life University
  • Everett Samstag, Bowling Green University
  • Memphis Stonesifer, Widener University

The GAWDA members who contributed to this year’s scholarship fund are: Airweld, ARC3 Gases, Atlas Welding Supply, Carbide Industries, Craig Wood, EXOCOR, Holston Gases, Keen Compressed Gas, Mississippi Welders Supply, O.E. Meyer Company, Oxygen Service Company, and Red Ball Oxygen Company.

Applicants for the scholarship program must be an employee of a GAWDA member organization or the child of an employee of an active GAWDA member company and meet other eligibility requirements.

For more information about how to contribute to the scholarship fund, or for details about program eligibility, visit



Celebrating our 75th year, the Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) is dedicated to promoting the safe operation and economic vitality of distributors of industrial gases and related welding equipment supplies. Through its GAWDA Gives Back campaign, association members have donated almost $2 million over the last 16 years to 22 different charitable organizations in 13 communities across the U.S. Since 2013, GAWDA and its members also have provided scholarships totaling $196,000 to 98 young people interested in studies leading to careers in the industry. For more information, visit the association’s website at