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2024 LP Gas Rising Leader: Jessica Johnson

February 9, 2024 By    

Logo: incomible/musri/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Company: National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) / Washington, D.C.

Job title: Manager, political action committee

Years in the propane industry: 9

How did you get your start in the propane industry?

My start was unconventional, in that I learned about autogas first. I started with Alliance AutoGas, and I learned everything I could about autogas technology and the autogas industry. I was the liaison to the national refueling network, so my first day on the job was spent calling all the marketers and introducing myself. I dove in headfirst. Within the first six months in my position, I found Women in Propane, and I joined the Knowledge Exchange. I found a mentor pretty quickly, and I think that was important to the trajectory of my career.

How do you help lead your company in your current role?

My current role is probably the most interesting and important yet because not only am I advocating for propane, but I’m advocating for all the members of NPGA. Continuing to educate across the board, that’s never going to change. In this role, I’ll be facilitating PropanePAC activities and fundraising, as well as engaging industry members in continued support of NPGA’s mission. I’ve always enjoyed educating legislators and advocating on behalf of members. The playing field is just a bit larger now. The good thing is that propane’s story never really changes, but the audience continues to be different. I’m looking forward to working with the members, to benefit them and the industry overall.

What change would you like to see to the propane industry to ensure its success?

Propane is dynamic. We can do so much with it, and we’re still discovering what it is capable of. I would love to see the industry be “more like propane” and strive to become more dynamic. A major theme I’ve noticed from the last nine years is that we’re pretty resistant to change. As an industry, we must move past that, and I am beginning to see it. The more open and innovative we can be as a whole, the better.

What does your generation offer to the propane industry that previous generations did not?

I’m noticing a perspective shift – more young leadership that didn’t necessarily come from the industry and embracing more from outside the industry. I’m glad to see an embrace of people with different backgrounds and an excitement to learn from them.

What specific technologies are you using (or plan to use) to support business operations?

I’m an autogas girl, so I’m always going to be excited by autogas technologies and development. Personally, I am 100 percent remote, and being able to work remotely has been life-changing for me, for my family. I worked for a company that embraced it and supported me, and now I’m with a second organization that’s doing that. Nine years ago – unheard of. In 2024, the shift to trusting your remote employees is night and day to what it used to be. It’s so important to a lot of people who want to work in this industry. Needing flexibility is not bad, and meeting your employees where they are is so valuable. Technology is making all of this possible.

What propane industry associations are you involved with at the state and/or national level?

The first association I interacted with was NPGA’s Women in Propane Council. I found endless resources there. I’ve been a Women in Propane ambassador to my state association, the Southeast Propane Alliance, and volunteered for committees. I can’t emphasize enough how easy it is to become involved and how rewarding it is.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself, your company and/or the propane industry?

Having the opportunity to create and produce the “Through the Leadership Lens” podcast with the full support of Women in Propane and NPGA has been the thing I’m most proud of in my career to date. We’ve set in motion something much larger than us and that allows listeners to access leadership development. You can listen at womeninpropane.org/podcast.

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