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.