RADNOR, PA July 5, 2007 -- Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG) today announced the winners of its National Branch of the Year trophies, which honor the best of its more than 675 local branches nationwide. The winners, based on fiscal 2007 performance, were the Santa Rosa, CA, branch in Airgas Northern California & Nevada among the large branches and Ottumwa, IA, branch in Airgas North Central among the small branches.
"These two branches are the best of the best, since they were chosen from among the 26 Regional Branch of the Year winners selected in the past few weeks," said Mike Molinini, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Airgas, Inc. "I'm proud to name Santa Rosa and Ottumwa as this year's top branches."
This is the third year for the Airgas Branch of the Year awards, which recognize branches based on above-plan performance, safety performance, and customer service.
"The Santa Rosa branch reached 130.3 percent of its profit budget and surpassed its sales budget to top $7.4 million for the year. No small feat considering, due to space constraints and soaring real estate costs, they have to operate as one entity from two separate locations giving them unrivaled teamwork and organizational skills," added Molinini. He also noted that Santa Rosa won the region's Branch of the Year honors in fiscal 2005 as well.
"In the small branch category, the winner is Ottumwa, IA, in Airgas North Central. Branch Manager Keith Singleton leads his five-person branch with the motto, 'Say yes, and then get it done.' This has allowed Ottumwa to earn some high-profile customers because in North Central they all know that if Ottumwa takes the order, it will get done," Molinini noted.
As the National Branch of the Year winners, the two branches will soon display National Branch of the Year trophies, constructed from size 125 cylinders donated by Taylor-Wharton, which have been powder-coated platinum and mounted on a welded aluminum base. Like hockey's Stanley Cup, the trophies carry engraved bands with the winners' names and are passed along each year to the winners.
The winning branches will also fly a "2007 National Branch of the Year" banner for years to come, and associates will receive silver "Branch of the Year" rings, which they can wear as their personal badge of honor.
The 26 Regional Branch of the Year winners also fly a similar banner and display a size 80 cylinder, powder-coated gold trophy. Here is a full list of the small and large branch winners for each region:
Airgas East: Harrisonburg, VA; Salisbury, MD; Airgas Gaspro: Ewa Beach, HI; Honolulu, HI; Airgas Great Lakes: Midland, MI; Grove City, OH; Airgas Gulf States: Bayou La Batre, AL; New Iberia, LA; Airgas Intermountain: Roosevelt, UT; Cheyenne, WY; Airgas Mid America: Buckhannon, WV; Norton, VA; Airgas Mid South: Ardmore, OK; Tulsa, OK; Airgas Northern California & Nevada: Visalia, CA; Santa Rosa, CA; Airgas Nor Pac: Clackamas, OR; Seattle, WA; Airgas North Central: Ottumwa, IA; West Allis/Pewaukee, WI; Airgas South: Milledgeville, GA; Panama City, FL; Airgas Southwest: Sweetwater, TX; Corsicana, TX; Airgas West: Palmdale, CA; Burbank, CA.
About Airgas, Inc.
Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), through its subsidiaries, is the largest U.S. distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, and hardgoods, such as welding equipment and supplies. Airgas is also one of the largest U.S. distributors of safety products, the largest U.S. producer of nitrous oxide and dry ice, the largest liquid carbon dioxide producer in the Southeast, and a leading distributor of process chemicals, refrigerants, and ammonia products. More than 13,000 employees work in over 1,000 locations, including branches, retail stores, gas fill plants, specialty gas labs, production facilities and distribution centers. Airgas also distributes its products and services through eBusiness, catalog and telesales channels. Its national scale and strong local presence offer a competitive edge to its diversified customer base. For more information, please visit www.airgas.com.
Jay Worley (610) 902-6206
James Ely (610) 902-6010