New LP Gas Hall of Fame inductees share devotion to associations, marketing, research

November 19, 2015 By    

Four propane industry leaders with strong ties to state and national associations and organizations highlight the fifth class of the LP Gas Hall of Fame. Bill Byrne (Warren Petroleum Co.), Robert Y. Love Sr. (Lampton-Love Inc.), Daryl McClendon (DFM Enterprises) and Thomas Nunan Jr. (Suburban Propane) comprise the 2016 class. The magazine will honor them and recognize their contributions to the propane industry during a black-tie induction dinner and ceremony April 7 at the Omni in Nashville, Tenn., prior to the NPGA Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo. Tickets will go on sale in December.

LP Gas launched the hall of fame in propane’s centennial year of 2012 as a way to honor past and present leaders who helped establish, advance and grow the industry. This year’s class brings the total number of inductees to 28.

Suburban Propane, Ferrellgas, AmeriGas, Blossman Gas and Eastern Propane Corp. serve as event sponsors of the LP Gas Hall of Fame.
Meet the 2016 class:

Bill Byrne

Bill Byrne

Bill Byrne – Warren Petroleum Co.
Byrne’s leadership pertaining to supply and pricing issues and his connections with governmental agencies were crucial to the strength and growth of the propane industry. The former vice president of marketing for Warren Petroleum, a propane supplier, also played a part in seeing that an industry check-off program was revived and reorganized in a way that would help marketers with their promotional efforts. As board president of the National LP-Gas Association, in 1986-87, Byrne promoted cooperative relations between marketers and refiners. Propane companies also relied on his knowledge and expertise. Heritage Propane tabbed Byrne for its board of directors, using his leadership background with the national association and his knowledge of supply and logistics processes to help the new retailer gain traction in a crowded group of competitors. He also sat on the boards of the Energy Transfer companies. Byrne became principal of Byrne & Associates LLC in 1992 after retiring from Tulsa, Okla.-based Warren Petroleum and completing a 40-year career. Byrne was also the Bill Hill Award recipient in 1992. The National Propane Gas Association honor recognizes a propane industry member who has contributed in public affairs at the national, state or local level. Byrne resides in Tulsa.

Robert Love

Robert Love

Robert Y. Love Sr. – Lampton-Love Inc.
The co-founder of Lampton-Love Inc., a propane retailer servicing five southeastern states, often carried a jar of honey with him to sweeten his drinks. Those who know Love say his cautious nature and determination made the industry better. The Mississippi native devoted much of his energy to state and national propane industry associations, ascending to board president at both levels and earning accolades along the way. Love served in every capacity with the Mississippi Propane Gas Association and received special recognition for 25 years of dedicated service to the association. Love’s work in Mississippi was noticed by the National LP-Gas Association, which named him the State Director of the Year in the mid-1980s. The award recognized Love’s achievement in supporting the national association’s market promotion program for member companies. He served on the national association’s board dating back to 1977, had chaired its executive committee and was elected president in 1990. Believing that propane marketers needed an alternative source of liability insurance, Love helped form the LPG Risk Retention Group. It became a successful underwriter of liability insurance for its stockholders. Love was also active in community affairs. He died in 1993 at age 62.

Daryl McClendon

Daryl McClendon

Daryl McClendon – DFM Enterprises
McClendon helped facilitate the establishment of the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) – arguably his most significant contribution to the industry. He was one of the charter councilors and served as PERC’s second chairman from 1999 to 2001, helping to set up the organization for success. During McClendon’s chairmanship, the council launched many firsts, according to PERC President and CEO Roy Willis. This included the first market research initiative, the propane branding effort that led to the “Propane Exceptional Energy” theme, the first consumer education advertising program and the Partnership with States program that expanded the reach and frequency of the council’s advertising campaign to bring the propane message to end users. He also played a key role on the council’s consumer education advisory committee. In addition, McClendon was heavily involved in the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA), serving as committee chairs and in the officer roles. He was president of the board for the 1995-96 term. He also directed a task force that led to the creation of the Gas Check program. Over the 20 years McClendon worked with NPGA, “not much happened where Daryl was not a key player,” says Dan Myers, former CEO of the association. Those close to McClendon say he also made a difference behind the scenes on behalf of the industry. NPGA honored him this year with its Distinguished Service Award. He resides in Willowbrook, Ill.

Thomas Nunan Jr.

Thomas Nunan Jr.

Thomas Nunan Jr. – Suburban Propane
How fitting that the late vice president of sales for Suburban Propane was, well, always selling. In fact, he built a 50-year career in the energy industry. But it wasn’t just his sales role with the major propane marketer – and Petrolane before it – that drew attention. It was what he did for the industry as a whole that earned him a place in the LP Gas Hall of Fame. Those who knew Nunan say he exuded leadership and was a respected representative of the propane industry as he traveled to events around the country. Nunan helped take Suburban Propane public in 1996, mentoring its CEO before retiring from the company in 1999. “Tom was a critical part of the camaraderie and success of our industry,” says Mark Alexander, former Suburban Propane CEO. Nunan was also a founding member of the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), serving on the council from 1997 to 2005 and helping to develop PERC’s original grant review process. He was PERC’s vice chairman of marketers from 2000 to 2002. “He was one of the greatest propane boosters I’ve run across,” says Roy Willis, PERC president and CEO. “He was a prince of a man.” Nunan was a longtime member of the National Propane Gas Association board and a president of the Young Gassers. He died in 2013 at age 79.

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