Celebrating a career based on serving and protecting industry members

December 29, 2014 By and    

Like the rising and setting sun, we all have people in our lives on whom we can count.

They lead by example and shed light on how to do what is right. That is how I feel about Bill Mahre of Propane Technical Services. He is a true gentleman who has been an industry journeyman, educator, mentor, safety leader and friend – not just to me, but also to the entire propane industry.

Bill Mahre

Headshot: Bill Mahre

I feel it’s appropriate to recognize Bill, as he appreciates his sunsets and reflects on a career of honor and peer respect.

Bill recently resigned from National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) activities, including his service as an NPGA liaison and member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 58 Committee. He has chosen to focus on work from his home office, current cases and spend more time with family.

As a from-the-ground-up propane employee who started out filling bottles, Bill has worked in every position a propane company could offer, up to and including safety director, manager and vice president.

Bill’s later work as an engineer, investigator and expert witness stands as a legacy to preventing bad-faith liability claims and unethical expert testimony from darkening the doorstep of many propane companies. Due to his background and commitment to honest testimony, hundreds of unjust accusations and baseless allegations have been properly rebuked, rejected and accurately exposed as liberal attempts at legal extortion.

When it comes to doing what is right, the buck stops with Bill Mahre.

Because he has performed every job and trained every position, Bill has the credibility of his convictions that the hard-working men and women of the propane industry should not be penalized for doing their jobs correctly. To this end, the propane industry has benefited greatly from this man, who has stood for the hard-working employees in the field while defending their efforts, actions and training.

His long-standing service to NPGA includes serving on and chairing the NPGA Safety Committee. He was also a long-time member of the NPGA Technology, Standards and Safety Committee and NPGA liaison member of the NFPA 58 Committee. In those roles, he tirelessly shared his knowledge, expertise and experience.

One example of Bill’s well-rounded expertise is his affiliation with the International Association of Arson Investigators. Bill’s experience and his instinctive understanding of fire origin and cause separate him from the crowd in terms of expertise, if not longevity.

In our fast-paced business world, there are times when many of us measure individual worth on economic accomplishments. In Bill’s case, accidents prevented and liability limits protected certainly have accomplished those ends.

However, the characteristics that make each of us unique and able to contribute in the business world are grounded in our day-to-day family and personal lives. Sometimes in business we forget the importance of family and commitment in the wake of fast-paced commerce. To that end, it is refreshing and inspirational that such qualities have been the foundation of a man who can finally see the sunset of his career.

Bill’s personal life sheds great light on his business success. Bill and Jeri Mahre were married in 1965. Their dedication to each other and family has been inspirational as they raised four children. They also have nine grandchildren and one great grandchild, with more on the way. When the Mahre clan recently celebrated the merits of a life well lived, as Bill turned 80, they gave him a jacket that read “29 years old plus 51 years of experience!”

When I think of all the industry members Bill has educated, protected and served, whether or not they appreciated his focus, I smile at the thought that we all are stakeholders in making sure safety is a present acumen in our business pursuits. His example reminds us that it’s possible to not only make money but also make a difference in the process.

So please raise your cup with me in recognition of Bill Mahre, his contributions to our industry and his example as a man who has dared to care about doing the right thing – a toast to sunsets and safety leaders.

Jay Johnston is an energy-focused insurance agent, business management consultant and safety advocate. He can be reached at jay@thesafetyleader.com or 952-935-5350.

Editor’s note: Bill Mahre died on Jan. 18, 2015.

1 Comment on "Celebrating a career based on serving and protecting industry members"

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  1. Bill and I worked together on code issues in the late 1990’s and his expertise was critical in achieving our objective of continuing to permit below grade installations of propane. I got to know him pretty well after that and he was a solid contributor to NPGA’s Technology, Standards and Safety Committee for many years. His vast experience and knowledge was a tremendous resource to us all, but perhaps more importantly, he knew how to discuss issues calmly and in a manner that resulted in progress being made. He was a true gentleman and will be missed by all who knew and worked with him.