Article by T.J. Houpes published in November 2014 CryoGas International
During this year’s GAWDA Annual Convention WestAir Gases & Equipment (WestAir) (www.westairgases.com) opened its doors to attendees for a tour of its National City, California fill center on the afternoon of Sunday, September 21. The event, sponsored by Chart Inc. and Welding Company of America (Weldcoa), was an informal and informative demonstration of the fill center’s automated filling technology and related equipment. Members of the Cryo-Gas International staff were in attendance, and later spoke with Steve Byers, President and COO of WestAir, about the company’s current state and future plans.
WestAir was founded in 1970 by Andy and Sue Castiglione after Andy was unhappy with the low quality of customer service his former employee provided to its gas and hardgoods users. The company opened its first location in San Diego (which is still operational today), and since that time has grown to be one of the largest regional independent distributors of industrial, medical, and specialty gases on the West Coast, which it attributes to its highly customer- oriented business model. The company currently has eighteen retail locations (fifteen in California, two in Texas, and one in Arizona) as well as three cylinder filling centers in California, with a fourth fill center in Texas expected to be operational by December. The company has its own specialty gas facility in California as well. Today the company has 205 employees and plans to grow that number as business continues to excel.