Volunteer Welding Supply, Inc. was founded in 1973 by Harold and Evelyn McMurtry. Harold had previously been working for National Cylinder Gas since 1950 and had steadily climbed the ranks, even having been offered the position of National Sales Manager. However, due to his career advancement, the family had moved 7-8 times already and McMurtry wanted to settle down. He asked National Cylinder Gas if he could buy the original location that he started his career at in Nashville in 1950 and the company agreed, and thus, Volunteer Welding was born.
Harold and Evelyn had three sons, David McMurtry, Jack McMurtry, and John Mark McMurtry, who grew up in the business and eventually went on to manage the company’s Sales, Operations, and Accounting.
“Dad had a very simple approach to business that many might consider to be Old Fashioned. Take care of your customers and they will take care of you,” says John Mark McMurtry. “Dad knew the value of customer service and investing yourself in relationships with your customers would be the difference in having a customer for the long term. This has been a very successful model for us to follow and we still work to instill these values into our employees today.”
Today, Volunteer has five locations in Tennessee (Nashville, Knoxville, Tullahoma, Baxter, and Jackson) and 81 employees.
“The culture at Volunteer is probably best described as a work family,” says McMurtry. “We love our people. I think some might view this as a weakness, but we believe it has been a strength of ours over the years that has helped us retain our people. As we have grown it has been more important to get this message out to all branch locations.”
Recently, the company joined the Meritus Gas Partners federation, which has the company feeling bullish about its future, as it enters its next 50 years.
Concludes McMurtry, “The increased opportunity for our employees to grow inside a larger organization is much more than what we could have ever imagined.”
Congratulations to all GAWDA members celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2023.
GAWDA members represent the best-of-the-best companies in the gases and welding industries. Each year in the Summer issue, we recognize those GAWDA Members celebrating milestone anniversaries. In the Q3 issue’s President’s Column, GAWDA President Robert Anders explored the three C’s of longevity. We want to add a fourth C for this column: Congratulations to all those GAWDA members celebrating anniversaries this year! And if you have a milestone anniversary coming up in 2024 and would like to be featured in this column next year, please reach out today at [email protected]