A Propane Personality: NPGA’s Rick Roldan

April 11, 2018 By    

Rick Roldan

President & CEO, National Propane Gas Association (NPGA)


Pueblo South High School
Pueblo, Colorado
Class of 1977

“When I was 16, my parents paid for me to attend a program (Washington Workshops) where high school students learn about government. I sat in the Senate cloakroom, and I was going to get every senator’s signature. I knew this is where I was going to end up. I knew I loved government. We were of modest means, and [my parents] put up the money that allowed me to do that.”

University of Colorado, Boulder
Bachelor’s in political science & history

In 1983, Roldan and Stuart Rothenberg, an editor and political analyst, wrote a paper about how political action committees give money. Two years later, Roldan penned another paper, this one focusing on “Lessons for Congressional Challengers.”

Colorado School of Mines, Golden Energy and Minerals Field Institute

Work experience

Republican National Committee
National Republican
Congressional Committee
• Director of party development
• Director of coalition development

Newt Gingrich (former House speaker) and Vin Weber (former Republican congressman from Minnesota) are political leaders who have influenced Roldan most during his career. “They did more to shape my outlook on life and on issues and strategy.”

U.S. Department of the Interior
• Deputy assistant secretary, Land & Minerals Management
• White House Conference on Global Climate Change
• Chief of external affairs, Minerals Management Service

• President & CEO
• Vice president, government relations
• Executive director, Propane Vehicle Council

“I’m proud of what I do. It’s an industry that is genuine and authentic, and every one of our members has deep roots in the communities where they live. They are the real deal. They are real people, very welcoming. In this industry, you work for the people. You accomplish things because you like the people you’re working with.”

Roldan is motivated by the propane industry to serve its members. Photo courtesy of Westmor

Roldan on…

Government today

“Everything has changed. Everything is so polarized. It makes the job harder because people make decisions not on the basis of rational thought. It started years ago, and each year it gets worse.”


Roldan’s dad was a steel worker and his mom a teacher who became a school administrator and elementary school principal. He has two sisters.


Cooking. “My favorite foods are the ones that bring people together. Real crowd pleasers: lasagna and other large pasta dishes. I love to smoke all kinds of things, like ribs and pulled pork. I cook a lot of old French favorites (cassoulet and duck confit).”

About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at brichesson@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3748.

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