The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) chose Swanson Russell as its new lead communications agency, the council announced. The Lincoln, Neb.-based company was chosen from more than a dozen firms that submitted proposals last December. The council authorized PERC President and CEO Roy Willis to develop a working agreement with Swanson Russell and begin collaborating with the agency on a communications program that supports the research and development of new propane-fueled products and the council’s safety and training programs.
In other PERC news, the council named Pat Hyland and Mike Taylor to key roles. Hyland, formerly editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine, joined PERC as director of industry programs. He will be the “eyes and ears” of PERC with state associations, Willis said. Taylor is now PERC’s director of autogas business development after serving as director of fleet management at Heritage Propane for the last four years. Willis said PERC is filling vacancies and not adding new staff positions. Additional staff changes will be announced soon, he said, as PERC moves into the “implementation phase” of sweeping organizational changes announced last fall.
PERC approved the following funding requests at its March meeting, with the amount and principal contractor:
• $190,066 to API for the 2011 API Survey and Report. The survey is the only regularly published source of data on state-by-state sales of odorized propane and is used by propane marketers, investors and others with an interest in the propane industry.
• $140,000 to HiDesign Product Engineering LLC for a propane engine fuel delivery component investigation. The project aims to better understand the suitability and availability of the technology used worldwide for the fuel supply and injection of propane with modern engines.
• $101,425 to Logica3 for the Propane Autogas Emergency Responder Training Program. The program initiative seeks to provide effective training and outreach for emergency responders on the safety and engineering of propane-fueled vehicles.
• $44,125 to The Sales Network for light-duty autogas vehicle market research. The research fills a gap in PERC’s existing customer research portfolio.
• $15,000 to the New York Propane Education & Research Council for the 2012 Procedural Guide for Application and Approval of Permit (state rebate). A template describing the procedures for storage facility construction would aid industry and government officials in expediting the process.
PERC President and CEO Roy Willis also approved the following funding requests recently, with the amount and principal contractor:
• $65,100 to PERC for Propane MaRC security enhancements. This project will implement software security enhancements to the MaRC to support recovery from a malicious computer security intrusion.
• $30,000 to PERC for communications RFP professional support.
• $19,800 to PERC for the support and maintenance of the Propane MaRC website until the new MaRC is built.
• $15,000 to the Fire Protection Research Foundation for CSST installation to mitigate adverse lightning effects. This project will explore the effectiveness of bonding for CSST gas piping through a test program design to simulate indirect lightning energy impacts.
• $11,855 to California Clean Air Technologies LLC for demonstration and video of the Cat 3406 haul truck propane-diesel dual-fuel retrofit system.
• $5,000 to PERC to cover the expenses for Charles Olds, Ron Smith and Sam McTier to present on PERC’s behalf as subject-matter experts at two meetings with CSA Standards regarding the emergency use of portable propane heaters.
• A no-cost change order to PERC for Safety & Training industry outreach and engagement ($23,550 was approved previously) for an online CETP e-learning BETA test solution.
The council will next meet on April 13 in Atlanta.