AWS 2014- 2015 Houston Section

Executive Board of Directors



Barney Burks

1st Vice Chairman

Grant Peltier

2nd Vice Chair

Dennis Eck


Justin Kirby


Ronnie Mercer

Past Chairman

Derek Stelly

Barney Burks, Jr.




Barney Burks currently serves customers as a Sales Engineer for Sowesco who is a supplier of welding filler metals with offices in Houston, TX and Phoenix, AZ. Barney received a BS in Welding Engineering Technology from Letourneau University in 1984 and is also an AWS CWI/CWE. Barney currently serves AWS Houston Section as their  Chairman. During his 32 years in the welding supply business Barney has worked for Oerlikon Welding Industries, Hobart Brothers Company, Red Ball Oxygen Company and since 2003 with Sowesco. Barney and his wife Renella live in Oil City, LA on Caddo Lake.

Grant Peltier




Bachelor of Science, Texas A&M University



Grant has 22 years of experience in outside sales in the welding supply industry. The last 17 years have been with TWSCO/ PRAXAIR, evaluating manufacturing companies welding practices and implement cost reduction improvements. Develop welding procedures and conduct welder training on new processes. Designed and installed filler metal calculator for customer use on TWSCO website.


Dennis K. Eck has serviced the welding supply industry for nearly 34-years within the Texas market.  He has been involved in Sales Management, Operations Management, and General Sales Management during his tenure.  Dennis is currently General Sales Manager for Praxair and has supplied the South & Central Texas market for the past 4½ -years.  Dennis has an extensive history spanning 26-years with the AWS-Houston Section. He has been involved with several committees, including Secretary, Treasurer, 2nd Vice Chair, 1st-Vice Chair & Section Chairman for 3 terms.  He also sits on the AWS Board in Miami with the Membership Committee.

Justin Kirby

Bio to Follow

Currently Employed by ESAB Welding and Cutting as an Account Devolepment Manager, Ronnie Mercer has worked in all facets of the welding supply industry over the last 20 years.  While studying at LSU in Shreveport, LA, Ronnie worked in a fill plant for Red Ball Oxygen.  Beginning in 1994 at age 20 loading and unloading trucks, Ronnie  became the Operations Manager at age 21.  In 2001 he was moved into a sales and management roll as Branch Manager in Texarkana, AR.  In 2005 Ronnie took a job with Thermadyne as a Plasma Sales Specialist before becoming a District Sales Manager and eventually a Technical Sales Manager before leaving in 2011.

Ronnie Mercer


Accound Development Manager

Derek Stelly is currently employed by Powertherm Co., Inc. located in North West Houston performing a Fabrication / Quality Control Management position.  Serving the Houston welding industry for 8 years, Derek has experience in Pipe Fitting & Welding, General Fabrication as well as Quality Control Inspection.  His involvement in the Quality Control department throughout his career has exposed him to the major welding codes such as ASME, AWS & API.  His roles consist of weld inspection, development & procurement of welding procedures, qualification of welder and weld operators.  Throughout his career Welding Inspection also included Non Destructive Testing such as PT, MT, VT, UT & Radiographic Interpretation.  He also received an education in both Specialization in Welding Technology and Specialization in Inspection Technology. Since 2006 his  involvement with American Welding Society Houston Section consists of serving and Chairing Program & Publicity Committee and Hospitality Committee.  He is  currently serving as Chairman in his 5th term on the AWS Houston Section Executive Board.


Derek Stelly                            Powertherm Inc.                            832-435-5701             


  • Educational Committee


    Chairman- Dan Jones

    Committe Members

  • Hospitality Committee

  • Membership and Sponsorship Committee

    Chairman-Cody Morgan

     Justin Kirby

    Ronnie Mercer

    Grant Peltier

    Jay Jones

    Justin Kirby







    Eric Carlson

    CDC-Evans Automatic Welding

    281-658-1935 (Mobile)


    Eric Vann

    Victor Technology



  • Publicity and Program Committee


    Grant Peltier

    John Husfeld

    Mike Young

    Ronnie Mercer



  • Section Certification Committee

    Chairman - Justin Gordy

  • Student Chapter Committee

    Chairman - Justin Kirby

    Bio to Follow





  • Technical Representative

    Chairman - Justin Gordy

  • Past Chairmen - Thank you for your service