LP Gas unveils Hall of Fame Class of 2018

December 21, 2017 By    

Two share California roots. Two others grew up in the South. They are bound by strong leadership qualities and a personal mission to make the propane industry better in their own unique ways.

Bill Clark (Butane-Propane News) and Al Linder (Coast Gas) – with their West Coast roots – and Stuart Weidie (Blossman Gas) and Roy Willis (Propane Education & Research Council) – both raised in the South – comprise the 2018 class of the LP Gas Hall of Fame.

The four inductees were chosen by an LP Gas selection committee composed of magazine staff members, as well as representatives from the propane industry.

LP Gas will honor its seventh class of the Hall of Fame during a black-tie induction dinner and ceremony on April 5, 2018, at The Ritz-Carlton in downtown Atlanta. The event precedes the National Propane Gas Association’s (NPGA) Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo, April 6-8 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

For more information about the LP Gas Hall of Fame and to purchase tickets for the April induction event, visit lpgashalloffame.com.

Here’s a closer look at the 2018 class:

Clark

Bill Clark

Butane-Propane News (BPN)
The late Clark used the power of the pen to share propane’s good word, serving as an energy industry voice for over 60 years. As publisher of BPN, Clark kept industry members informed with his writing by taking a marketer-simple approach to complex issues. His advice and counsel were widely sought by propane industry leaders, and he often provided ideas and strategies for facing industry challenges and capitalizing on opportunities. He rallied the industry to be proactive in processes that allowed it to control its destiny. Clark also played a key role in advocating for congressional legislation that led to the formation of the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). While Milford Therrell and Glenn Miller – also LP Gas Hall of Famers – were traveling the country convincing the industry to support the legislation, Clark’s columns were promoting the effort through logical arguments, position papers and intelligent perspectives. Clark also defended the industry during President Nixon’s price controls of the 1970s. Schooled in journalism at the University of Southern California, Clark worked as an editor following his duty in World War II – first at Gas Magazine and later BPN before assuming ownership of BPN in 1969. He became a passionate, articulate and devoted advocate for the propane industry. Clark died in 2005 at the age of 88.

Linder

Al Linder

Coast Gas
During his 40-plus years in the industry, Linder’s contributions impacted propane safety in significant ways. Linder was influential on the technical side of the industry and his work is responsible for many of the fire protection standards in place today. He served as chairman of NPGA’s Technology and Standards Committee, as well as of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committee on LP gas (NFPA 58) – a rare feat for a propane industry representative. Linder was the primary force behind the concept of redundant fail-safe product control measures in bulk storage facilities, which he introduced to the Technology and Standards Committee and which was later adopted into NFPA 58. The concept behind product control became the basis for the Fire Safety Analysis Manual. Linder has been honored for his efforts to make the industry safer. The Western Propane Gas Association awarded him with its Distinguished Service Award in 2008. A year later, NPGA presented him with its Safety Award. Linder spent the latter part of his career with Coast Gas in Watsonville, California, before retiring as director of technical services in 1996. He began his career in 1953 with Suburban Cos. Inc., which later became Williams Energy Co. and Buckeye Gas Products, holding a number of leadership positions. After Linder’s work in the propane industry, he founded Energy Control Equipment, which offers solutions for refrigeration systems. A native Californian, Linder, 86, resides in Watsonville.

Weidie

Stuart Weidie

Blossman Gas
Over the course of Weidie’s 26 years in propane, the president and CEO of Blossman Gas has become one of the most forward-thinking retailers in the industry. He is a vocal advocate for industry advancement who is committed to promoting the overall benefits of propane. He was an outspoken leader in the industry’s adoption of autogas in the early 2000s and has aided in the development of new technology for the industry. In 2009, Weidie founded Alliance AutoGas, a nationwide network composed of over 120 propane marketers and conversion centers. Alliance AutoGas is now the largest autogas entity in the United States. Weidie also established Autogas for America, an organization dedicated to giving a unified voice to the autogas industry. Under Weidie’s leadership, Blossman Services, a subsidiary of Mississippi-based Blossman Gas, became a distributor for autogas products and conversion systems. Additionally, Weidie has made significant contributions to NPGA and PERC. He served as NPGA chairman in 2016 and has also held other officer positions, including treasurer, for the association. He has been a part of many NPGA task forces, including autogas, energy policy, and regulation and compliance, and has been an advocate for enhanced legislative efforts through NPGA. He also chaired the Research and Development Advisory Committee at PERC for 10 years and led the funding and development of new technologies. Weidie has also contributed to a number of state associations. Weidie, 52, was raised in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina.

Willis

Roy Willis

Propane Education & Research Council (PERC)
Until July of 2017, PERC had only one president and CEO: Roy Willis. In 1998, Willis assumed the leadership of the nascent organization. Under his guidance, the council produced public education campaigns; safety and training programs; and a research and development portfolio that has helped incubate and commercialize a wide array of clean, efficient propane-powered vehicles, appliances and equipment. Many of PERC’s safety and training programs are used by fire departments and propane marketers around the country. Willis’ leadership also brought about strong PERC partnerships with leading manufacturers, fueling new propane technology for the industry. Willis saw the organization through the restriction on its consumer education activities, which lasted from 2009-15, as well as a pair of reviews by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. He advised on consumer education campaigns, including the Energy Guys and Blue the Dog programs, and became a consistent spokesman for propane in the media, with energy officials and at conferences and other gatherings. Willis was the founding chairman of the Global Technology Network in the World LPG Association (WLPGA) and a longstanding member of the WLPGA Industry Council. His commitment to collaborating with global, national and state propane associations shaped PERC’s direction from the beginning – and still today. A Texas native who grew up in Louisiana, Willis, 67, retired earlier this year and now resides in St. Augustine, Florida.

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