1940 – Albany Welding Supply Company, Inc.
The company began in 1940 as Albany Welding Supply Company, Inc. It was founded during a time of vibrant light- and heavy-manufacturing in the area, which was particularly strong in proximity to the transportation hub of the Hudson River-Erie Canal. It served the diverse needs of many area foundries and steel works, including General Electric’s steam turbine facility and the US Army Watervliet Arsenal, until the 1960s when the Northeast witnessed a downturn in industrial manufacturing.
Founder Robert Mahony (no relation to J. David Mahoney, current President/CEO) guided the company through its initial years and led it to a position of prominence. Among the new sales reps hired in 1976 was then-21-year-old J. David Mahoney, who now goes by Dave.
Within two years of coming on board, Dave Mahoney was promoted to sales manager. By 1980 he was Vice President/General Manager, and in 1985 he was named President and became a partner in the business.
1986 – AWESCO
In 1986, after being with the company for 10 years, Dave Mahoney purchased the company and mapped out a new direction for the company. It was clear that the time had come for a change. Business shifted to capitalize on the area’s hidden strengths, creating opportunities with colleges and universities, research institutions, and governmental facilities. Dave Mahoney negotiated to purchase Albany Welding Supply Company from Dennis Mahony, and, signaling his intention to take the company in new directions, shortened its name to AWESCO. The acronym of the former name was less identity-limiting as the company shifted from welding supply to the specialty gas market. Above all else, AWESCO’s dual values of unmatched technical expertise and exemplary customer service served as the keystone to the new business strategy.
The company invested in numerous new systems, cylinder packages, delivery trucks, and capabilities in both gaseous and cryogenic liquid product packaging. By the mid-1990s, the “Tech Valley” initiative brought R&D facilities, semi-conductor manufacturing, nanotechnology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. AWESCO easily transitioned its existing ability to supply technical expertise to this high-tech sector. AWESCO was honored by the US Small Business Administration with its “Excellence in Small Business” award, which, said Dave Mahoney, “validates the efforts that both the management and our front-line people have put into making AWESCO successful.”
Since Dave Mahoney took over the company in 1986, AWESCO quadrupled in size. In 1996, AWESCO acquired a welding company in Kingston, NY to expand market reach and cover the region of New York’s upper Hudson Valley. The subsequent purchase of the local Praxair Distribution assets, which was finding it was unable to penetrate the local market due to AWESCO’s loyal customer base, both cemented AWESCO’s customer-focused strategy and strengthened the partnership with Praxair.
AWESCO began bar coding cylinders in 1997. It was an expensive investment for the company, but ultimately more than worth it in terms of the additional value it offered customers. The company also invested in distribution software to allow cylinder tracking “from cradle to grave“—that is, throughout every step of the process, from filling to inventory to shipment to return.
2010 – Noble Gas Solutions
In 2010, the company announced the launch of a new name: Noble Gas Solutions to better reflect the sophistication and capabilities the company offers. Noble Gas Solutions is dedicated to a forward-thinking mindset and to adapting the latest technologies in the industry, as was AWESCO. The time was right for an identity shift, as the company’s focus and priorities rest heavily on the specialty gas industry. The name has multiple significances, representing the strength and viability of the business and reflects the grouping of elements, the noble gases, which the company supplies.
2015 – 75th Anniversary
Noble Gas Solutions celebrated this exciting milestone in March 2015, after receiving the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Blue Ribbon Small Business Award” for being one of the top 100 small businesses in America. Previously, the U.S. Small Business Administration presented Noble with its “Excellence in Small Business Award.”
Noble Gas Solutions continues to grow its specialty gas business, while maintaining focus on its existing industrial base of customers. The company’s processes such as full-cycle cylinder tracking, e-commerce, vendor-managed inventory, GPS vehicle routing, and paperless invoicing continue to demonstrate its commitment to providing the best in operational efficiencies.