Editorial board shines light on 2022 expectations

January 13, 2022 By    

Listening to members of our editorial advisory board over several hours of telephone calls certainly gives us a sense of the work being done on multiple levels of the propane industry. It’s also a reminder of the changes that continue to take place on the front lines of the industry.

We rolled into the new year by connecting with our board members, who appear monthly in LP Gas and provide quick-hitting answers to our editors’ questions.

The 10-member board serves as a valuable resource on industry topics and provides honest feedback about the work we’re doing with the magazine. It’s also worth noting that our board, collectively, holds more than 300 years of industry experience. When they talk, we listen.

The idea of our most recent outreach was to get a better sense of the work board members are doing at their own companies and organizations, and to learn about industry issues, as we begin 2022. That they hold a variety of positions within the industry only helps in providing a well-rounded snapshot of what’s happening out there.

Across the board

Dan Richardson’s propane company, Conger LP Gas, has enjoyed much success and growth. He thanks tankless water heaters and other appliance sales for that. Richardson, though, is also quick to point out the challenges the southern Georgia company has faced.

“We’re growing, but I’ll tell you, it’s been a tough year with the price of tanks like it is,” he says of 2021. He later adds, “The challenge for 2022 is going to be to maintain growth while controlling expenses and developing employees.”

Workforce development has been high on the list for Pat Hyland and the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). PERC has funded different concepts – training programs, curriculum and equipment – with the goal of attracting more workers into the propane industry.

“Now we have something to monitor,” Hyland says. “The story is yet to be told about the impact.”

Greg Noll would like to help develop the propane school bus market by achieving better communication between bus providers and school districts. Marketers can’t take on this responsibility alone, says the executive vice president of the Propane Marketers Association of Kansas.

“We need to figure out a way to get people who need buses [together] with people who sell buses, and make sure the propane piece is not overlooked,” Noll says.

Mike Walters, meanwhile, is “having a ball.” The safety leader at Superior Energy Systems has been helping to reengineer education in the industry by working with PERC on new modularized, function-based training programs. Safety is truly (and thankfully) a passion for Walters.

Tom Jaenicke of Warm Thoughts Communications says the focus in 2022 will stay on “preserving and protecting energy choice” and on continuing to educate marketers about renewable propane.

Likewise, renewable fuels are a priority for consultant Larry Osgood, who also shares details about work being done in the areas of low-emission forklifts and power generation applications.

Navigating COVID regulations and a New York winter are keeping Jim Renaldo busy. His businesses run the gamut of retail propane, transportation and equipment manufacturing.

“In this day and age, you have to focus on everything,” he says, noting “the bottom line,” supply, growth and employees. “Anybody running a business is going through the same thing.”

Dale Delay at Cost Management Solutions always has an eye toward the future as his firm tracks supply and pricing trends. The big question in 2022 is whether propane production will continue to hold up.

The year is also big for AmeriGas’ Michelle Bimson Maggi, who will become chair of the National Propane Gas Association’s board of directors.

We’re also excited to welcome a 10th member to our board. Dennis Halverson has three decades of propane industry experience. His location in the Pacific Northwest as the propane product manager with Christensen Inc. diversifies the board even more geographically.

As much as we like to hear from our board, we also want to keep the lines of communication open with you. Please reach out anytime.

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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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