Tech Air began in 1935 as County Welding Products in New Rochelle, NY and was a distributor for the Linde Division of Union Carbide. County Welding Products relocated to its present location in White Plains in 1955. The company was owned by the Grondike family until 1977.
In that year, Myles P. Dempsey, Sr., the founder of Tech Air, was employed as an acquisitions specialist by the Linde Division. The acquisitions team was focused on buying independently-owned distributors that lacked adequate succession. He was working on the purchase of County Welding Products but the company was near bankruptcy and badly in need of a turnaround, so he said to then Linde President Jack McLean, “I don't have any money, but I think I can turn this business around.” McLean agreed to convert $200,000 in past-due trade receivables into a 10-year note and also threw in cash for the down payment. Along with seller financing, the purchase was made with zero dollars down – 100 percent debt.
"Turn it around" is exactly what Mr. Dempsey did. He had a vision, and through hard work and determination, he turned his vision into reality. Locations were added north into the Hudson Valley and east into Connecticut. After nearly twenty years of expansion, in 1995, the company consolidated the various identities of County Welding Products of White Plains, Connecticut Specialty Gas of Danbury, CT and Peterson Welding Supply of Wappingers Falls, NY into one overarching identity: Tech Air was born.
Tech Air continued to grow, expanding to five locations serving New York and Connecticut. The business also remained family-owned and operated so that the family values and principles upon which it was founded remained intact. To that end, Myles P. Dempsey, Jr. became President of Tech Air in 2001. Then, in 2007, Mr. Dempsey, Jr. succeeded his father as CEO, where he remains today.
Also in 2007, the company purchased the outstanding shares of Mr. Dempsey, Sr. and established the Tech Air Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) through which employees beneficially owned more than 50% of the company stock.
But more growth was possible. So in 2011, Tech Air management partnered with outside investors to purchase the shares owned by the ESOP and embarked on a strategy of growth by acquisition and integration called “buy-and-build”. Since 2011, Tech Air has completed 19 "add-on" acquisitions and now has operations from New England to California.
During the last twenty-four months Tech Air has acquired Liquid Technology Corporation with branches in Apopka, FL and Pasadena, TX, JW Goodliffe and Son, Inc. in Linden, NJ, Hereford Welding Supply in Hereford, TX, Ravena Welding Supply in Ravena, NY, Gas & Alloy Supply in Dallas, TX, L&M Welding Supply in Mobile, AL, Geneva Gas & Supply in North Hollywood, CA, Prest-O-Sales in Long Island City, NY, Prest-O-Peconic in Riverhead, NY, McGinnis Welding Supply in Wichita Falls, TX, Specialty Air Technologies in Long Beach, CA, US Oxygen and Supply in Arlington, TX, East Coast Hydro Testing and Gases in Augusta, GA, Compressed Gases of Augusta, Inc. with locations in Augusta and Gainesville, GA, and Endweld Supply Corporation in Binghamton, NY.
The high standards originally put into place by the Dempsey family are maintained and strengthened today. The company lives up to the Tech Air name by investing heavily in technology, while specializing in distribution of industrial, medical and specialty gases, welding equipment and supplies, gas handling equipment, and cryogenic equipment.
Today, the Tech Air companies operate 35 locations across the Continental U.S. And one of those locations is still located in White Plains, NY, where Tech Air traces its roots back 80 years to the small, one-store operation known as County Welding Products.