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NPGA move a done deal

February 1, 2002 By    

The Fat Lady hasn’t yet sung, but the battle to retool and relocate the National Propane Gas Association in Washington, D.C. is over.

For the record, the NPGA’s board of directors meets Feb. 11 and 12 in California to vote on the consolidation of its two offices to new headquarters in the Beltway. But the final report of its Relocation Task Force clearly spells the end for business as usual in Lisle, Ill.

“It will pass, no question about it,” says Dan Myers, the association’s chief executive who becomes a lame duck once the final vote is tallied. “I support it and am encouraging directors to vote for it.”

When the divisive issue was brought to the table at the NPGA board meeting in Montreal last October, opponents feared a quick vote would seal the move. They managed to postpone the tally, however, insisting on a more detailed accounting of the costs and impact on operations.

Separate subcommittees have since completed their homework on staffing, financial projections and real estate concerns. Their conclusions: The move is a slam-dunk winner every way you slice it.

The decision means an overhaul of structure and staff. Myers, 60, will end his 24-year affiliation with the propane industry when he locks the Lisle office doors for the final time later this year. Rick Roldan, highly regarded for his direction of the NPGA’s Washington office, will inherit the title of president and CEO.

Current staff structure consists of 33 employees: 21 in Lisle, seven in Washington and five in assorted field staff positions. Based on staffing recommendations from Roldan, the revamped headquarters will have 16 full-time positions plus the field representatives.

Only two Lisle employees will remain with the NPGA – Bruce Swiecicki, vice president of technical services; and Sue Spear, recently promoted to vice president of education and training. Both are expected to remain in the Chicago area.

“Before seeing the plan, I wouldn’t have supported it. But I do now,” says Myers, noting that disheartened Lisle staff members are resigned to the inevitable.

“So much has happened since the executive committee recommended the move last August. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Besides, I think it will turn out for the good of the industry. It will be a smaller staff and more focused. I’ve got to tip my hat to Rick (Roldan) and Gene (Bissell) because they’ve formulated a vision that is beautiful. I really believe this is a good way to go.”

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