The Thought Cloud Podcast Celebrates Gaw Technology’s Success
President Kathy Gaw-Betz shares 30 years of history with listeners
Storage in the cloud is a wonderful thing, something consumers and businesses have become reliant on to ensure the safety and ready accessibility of their important — and not so important — data and files. But the cloud still needs to be housed in physical form somewhere, and Gaw Technology has been providing the infrastructure for that storage for 30 years — long before the cloud even existed.
This year, Gaw Technology, located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, marks three decades of providing physical cabinets and racks for the data centers that aggregate everything that makes modern life tick — from medical records to bank accounts and investment portfolios to photos, websites, and the most popular shows on Netflix. If it resides on a corporate computer, then it’s being supported on a shelf somewhere, and there’s a good chance that shelf was manufactured and provided by Gaw.
The company that ships its products worldwide today began life as a means to keep up-to-date on the bills for a tech-savvy South Jersey mom whose employer migrated to Florida — a move she was unwilling to follow. Plagued by slow-paying clients of her outside sales operation, Kathy Gaw-Betz opted to take control of her life and create her own distribution business in a field that was largely dominated by men … and engineers at that.
“Here I was, the lone woman in the room, following the jargon my prospective customers bandied around in meetings,” Gaw-Betz said. “I think that made a positive impression.”
The business was far from an instant success. Both she and her son, Chuck Gaw, who came on board as vice president in 1993, initially worked other jobs while they ran the company. It wasn’t until 1995, when GAW Technology landed a leading telecommunications provider and a titan in financial services as clients, that the company became self-sustaining. The following year, GAW moved to a facility in Pennsauken and hired its first non-family employee: a bookkeeper. It purchased its current facility in Cherry Hill in 2012.
The company is marking its 30-year anniversary by giving away a variety of pop culture touchstones from 1990.
The contest, “Gaw Goes Back,” will award one lucky winner from the industry an assortment of prizes that’s sure to conjure memories of big hair, preppy style, TV about “nothing,” and 16-bit video games that couldn’t be played with anyone who wasn’t sitting in the same room.
“Anytime you reach a major milestone, it’s a good time to look back at where you came from and where you are headed as a company,” Gaw-Betz said. “When I started Gaw Technology, orders and invoices were mostly on paper, and Bryant Gumble and Katie Couric were four years away from asking Allison what Internet is. But we thought it would be especially fun to travel back to 1990 to see what the pop culture zeitgeist looked like at the time we went into business.”
The prize package, valued at over $1,000 includes:
- His and Hers motorcycle jackets
- Blu-ray copies of Goodfellas (top movie) and Dances with Wolves (best picture winner)
- The complete Seinfeld series on DVD
- Swag from the championship teams in all four major sports (San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Pistons, Cinciannati Reds, and Edmonton Oilers)
- Replica Nintendo Super NES Video Game System
- Gaw Technology 8U Soho Server Cabinet with perforated front/rear doors
To enter and view official rules, visit www.gawtechnology.com.
Made in the U.S.
Gaw Technology bought out an equipment manufacturer in 2005 and has been building its own products in the U.S. ever since. Aside from equipment cabinetry, such as server racks and shelving, Gaw provides:
- Desktop and wall-mount server racks
- Heavy-duty training desks
- LAN furniture and tech benches
- Air containment and airflow equipment
- Accessories, including cable management systems
It also manufactures seismic- and UL-certified cabinetry that exceeds industry-standard requirements, safeguarding equipment from earthquakes and other sources of high vibration, such as railroads, airports, and power plants.
A certified woman-owned business, Gaw is also approved to do business with federal and state government agencies and U.S. defense contractors.
A Culture of Giving Back
During its 30 years in business, giving back to the community has been a corporate priority for GAW. Its staff meets for lunch regularly to brainstorm activities and organizations that they can support. Recent outreach efforts have included volunteering at local soup kitchens, mounting a walk team to raise funds for cancer research, making blankets for a transitional housing facility for single mothers, and contributing to organizations that support the military and sick children.
“We are very fortunate that we can support causes that are close to our heart, like the Make-a-Wish Foundation,” says Gaw-Betz. “It is ingrained in what we do here.”
That sense of gratitude pervades Gaw in its everyday dealings with customers as well. Both she and her son are directly involved in the sales process, creating a seamless customer experience as they build custom solutions for clients.
“I love coming in to work every day,” Gaw-Betz said. “I look forward to seeing our employees and talking with our customers, many of whom became good friends too.”
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