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Central McGowan



Our story began back in 1947 as a small welding shop in downtown St. Cloud, Minnesota-steadily growing to where we are today.  In 2011, we began a major transformation from a 55-person, 2-location welding supply company to the more than 100-person, 5-location, diversified company we are today.  Our business includes: Distribution (Industrial & Medical), CO2 Solutions (North & South), and Automation and Robotics.

  • 1947

    Central Welding Supply opens in downtown St. Cloud.  Owned by Carl Shuttan.

  • Oct 22, 2018


    Central Welding Supply moves to current 3,200-sq.ft. location. Leo Henkemeyer (grandfather of current CEO) joins Central Welding as a salesman. He and Leo Rahm purchase Central Welding.  Company has 6 employees.

  • May 12, 2010


    The business grows.  Leo Henkemeyer buys out Leo Rahm.

  • 1965

    Central McGowan is formed when Central Welding Supply merges with McGowan Welding of Little Falls.  The company is owned by Leo Henkemeyer and Frank McGowan.

  • Nov 2, 2018


    Frank McGowan retires. Leo Henkemeyer buys Frank's shares in the business.

  • Nov 2, 2018


    Ray Kosel becomes general manager of Central McGowan Inc. (CMI).  Major expansion (17,600 sq. ft.) including remodel that adds 14,600 sq. ft. and purchase of adjacent building for an additional 3,000 sq. ft.

  • Nov 2, 2018


    Ray Kosel retires. Pete Breer, Jeff Skumautz, and Al Prozinski become Vice President and Management Team. Company has 24 employees.

  • Nov 2, 2018


    CMI adds cryogenic pumping system, lab, and bulk storage, and ability to pump on-site.  Major major expansion and remodel in St. Cloud add 13,000 sq. ft. Two warehouse additions in Little Falls add another 10,000 sq. ft.

  • Nov 15, 2018


    Company has 49 employees, 15,000 sq. ft. in St. Cloud and 10,500 sq. ft. in Little Falls.  Joe Francis, the company's present CEO/President, joins the customer service team.

  • Nov 15, 2018


    CMI purchases and gets into the carbonated beverage (BevCarb) business.  Cindy Francis (daughter of Leo Henkemeyer) takes over as CEO, beginning second generation of family leadership.

  • Nov 15, 2018


    Pete and Al retire. Jeff Francis (Cindy's husband) becomes Vice President, then assumes CEO.

  • Nov 28, 2018


    After the sudden and unfortunate passing of Jeff, then CEO/CFO, Cindy returns as CEO, Joe accepts the position of VP and CFO.  He works with the management team to lead the company through succession planning and a new leadership/company structure.

  • Nov 15, 2018


    Complete warehouse expansion in St. Cloud. Purchase Countryside CO2, giving us our 3rd location in New Prague.

  • Nov 28, 2018



    Joe becomes President/CEO of company, and third generation of family leadership. Cindy assumes Chair role on newly created Board.  Company undergoes a rebrand, launches a new logo, the "WE WORK FOR YOU" tagline is born.

  • Nov 28, 2018


    Pro-Fect Automation in Little Falls is purchased and moved to a 12,000 sq. ft. building adjacent to the home office in St. Cloud.  The Little Falls Store is relocated to the former Pro-Fect building and remodeled.  A new site is purchased in Burnsville and the New Prague store moved to the new site.

  • Nov 28, 2018


    Purchase Pro-CO2.  Add a distribution hub in Fargo, ND. Company continues to grow.

  • Nov 28, 2018


    Company launches ColdZERO Dry Ice--further diversifying its portfolio of offerings.  The company's number of employees nears 100.

  • Apr 7, 2020


    Jasons Beverage Carbonation is purchased, more than doubling the company’s beverage carbonation and dry ice customer base.

    Company is reorganized into three business units to focus on specific markets and better serve our customers:

    • Automation
    • Distribution - Industrial & Medical
    • CO2 Solutions North (St. Cloud) & South (St. Paul) - Selling BevCarb Gases/Systems & Dry Ice
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