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Airgas Announces Reorganization of its North Central Distribution Region

Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), one of the nation’s leading suppliers of industrial, medical, and specialty gases, and related products, today announced the reorganization of its North Central distribution region, effective immediately, into two separate regions within the Company’s North Division – a redefined North Central region, headquartered in Appleton, WI, and a new Midwest region, headquartered in the Chicagoland area.

“We are optimistic about the long-term prospects for the U.S. manufacturing industry, as structural drivers like the abundant supply of low-cost energy and higher shipping costs from overseas should favor the U.S. for years to come. U.S. manufacturing should also benefit from future growth in the non-residential construction and energy industries,” said Michael L. Molinini, Airgas President and Chief Executive Officer. “We’re positioning our resources in this area of the country to enhance our competitive position and assure that we fully capitalize on these long-term growth prospects in what is already one of the largest industrial gas markets in the U.S.”

“Through both solid organic growth and acquisitions, particularly the recent acquisition of The Encompass Gas Group, the North Central region’s annual revenues have nearly quadrupled over the past ten years, making it one of Airgas’ largest regions by revenue,” said Shaun Powers, President of Airgas’ North Division. “Covering eight states and roughly 352,000 square miles, it is also one of our most geographically expansive regions. This reorganization reinforces Airgas’ commitment to an operating model where decisions are made as close to our customers as possible.”

Pamela Swanson, who has successfully led the North Central region’s growth as President since 2009, has been named President of the redefined North Central region, which will cover northern Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska. Under Swanson’s leadership, the legacy North Central region has consistently earned recognition as one of Airgas’ strongest performing distribution regions.

Rick Keefer, who has served as President – The Encompass Gas Group since its acquisition by Airgas in November 2013, has been named President – Midwest Region. Since being acquired by Airgas, Encompass has largely operated as a standalone distribution business. During his 30 years with Encompass, Keefer served in numerous roles of increasing responsibility in both sales and operations before ultimately joining Encompass' executive management team. He spent the last five years as Encompass' Executive Vice President with responsibility for all aspects of the business, including its 11 locations and more than 130 associates. The Midwest region will cover northwestern Indiana, northern Illinois, and southern Wisconsin, including the Madison and Milwaukee metropolitan areas.

About Airgas, Inc.

Airgas, Inc. (NYSE: ARG), through its subsidiaries, is one of the nation’s leading suppliers of industrial, medical and specialty gases, and hardgoods, such as welding equipment and related products. Airgas is a leading U.S. producer of atmospheric gases with 16 air separation plants, a leading producer of carbon dioxide, dry ice, and nitrous oxide, one of the largest U.S. suppliers of safety products, and a leading U.S. supplier of refrigerants, ammonia products, and process chemicals. More than 15,000 employees work in approximately 1,100 locations, including branches, retail stores, gas fill plants, specialty gas labs, production facilities and distribution centers. Airgas also markets its products and services through e-Business, 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


Airgas, Inc.
Investor & Media Contact:
Barry Strzelec, 610-902-6256
Investor Contact:
Joseph Marczely, 610-263-8277

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