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AWS Announces New Executive Director and CEO

Gary Konarska

The American Welding Society's (AWS) Board of Directors has announced that Gary Konarska II is named the organization's new Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Konarska succeeds Ray Shook, who held the position for 15 years and has agreed to remain as Executive Director Emeritus for an interim period to ensure a seamless transition.

"We are very excited to welcome Gary to AWS in the role of Executive Director and CEO. He brings an exceptional combination of industry knowledge, energy and proven leadership that make him the ideal leader for AWS. We are confident that Gary will continue to advance the AWS mission and strive to connect welding communities around the world," said AWS President Robert W. Roth.

"I am truly honored and excited to serve as AWS's Executive Director and CEO," said Konarska. "I look forward to working closely with the AWS Board of Directors, staff and Ray Shook to ensure a seamless transition in order to continue to serve our society and industry at large."

Konarska brings 20 years of experience in the welding and cutting equipment industry, where he worked with Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc., of Cleveland, OH. Most recently, Konarska served as vice president, global automation, where he was responsible for 13 automation sites around the world and created business systems to drive metrics and continuous improvement. Throughout his tenure at Lincoln, he focused on international business and sales, strategic planning and fostered collaboration and relationships among teams.

Konarska spent time living and working in Singapore with The Lincoln Electric Company (Asia Pacific) PTE Ltd. as managing director for Southeast Asia, South Korea and Taiwan. He was responsible for all commercial activities in the region, as well as a welding consumable manufacturing plant in Indonesia. Prior to this role, he was based in Shanghai, China, as director of business development where he led core business functions including export and import sales, a robotic automation P&L, product management, marketing communications, service and a welding technology center. He started his career as a technical sales representative in Seattle, WA, and then Tampa, FL.

Konarska earned a bachelor's degree in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of South Florida. He is a graduate of the inaugural Lincoln Electric Global Leadership Program.

For more information contact:

American Welding Society

8669 NW 36 Street, #130

Miami, FL 33166


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