LP Gas

2017 LP Gas Rising Leader: Luke Fitzpatrick

Vitals: Age 37; district manager at MFA Oil Co. in Wardsville, Missouri

Years in the propane industry: 8

Please describe your role and responsibility, as well as your vision, in growing your company and connecting with propane customers of today: I am the district manager for MFA Oil Co.’s West Central District, which includes portions of western Missouri and southeast Kansas. I am responsible for oversight of day-to-day operations of 15 offices, 92 employees and annual sales volume totaling more than 21 million gallons of propane and 45 million gallons of refined fuel. My goal is to ensure we provide the best service and customer experience at all times while we work to grow our business. … I have been involved in the Missouri Propane Gas Association as a district director and was recently appointed governmental affairs officer.

Propane industry opportunities and threats: The propane industry has an opportunity to supply customers looking for alternatives in the motor fuel arena. There are additional opportunities to serve growing demand from crop drying, irrigation and livestock heating. … The primary threats I see are related to bottlenecks in the propane industry’s supply infrastructure, as well as competition from other energy sources like wood, natural gas, electric and geothermal. Governmental regulations could also play a role.

How then can the propane industry prosper in the coming years? Improvements to propane supply infrastructure and routing efficiency will be crucial to propane’s success. Additionally, we need to ensure we have the right-sized tanks and equipment to best serve our customers.

What does your generation offer to the propane industry that previous generations did not? My generation embraces technology. As advancements are made in propane and business technology, we will be the early adopters who are ready to incorporate cutting-edge tools to help us move the industry forward.

What technologies are you using (or plan to use) to support business operations? Route optimization and tank monitoring software to enhance our efficiencies.