NPGA confirms 2018-19 officers at mid-year board meeting

July 11, 2018 By    
Photo courtesy of the National Propane Gas Association

NPGA officers confirmed in Washington, D.C., were, from left, Bob Barry of Bergquist, treasurer; Randy Thompson of ThompsonGas, chairman elect; Chris Earhart of Dixie Gas & Oil, chairman; and Denis Gagne of Eastern Propane Gas, vice chairman. Photo courtesy of the National Propane Gas Association

Chris Earhart’s chairmanship of the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) comes amid a host of changes, challenges and opportunities in the U.S. propane industry.

In his first address to the membership after being sworn in at the mid-year board of directors meeting in Washington, D.C., the president of Dixie Gas & Oil in Verona, Virginia, spoke about the stable supply of American-produced propane and an increased global awareness and involvement in the industry. The United States, he says, has much to offer and gain from world markets.

Closer to home, in the U.S. domestic market, challenges exist in the areas of propane demand, Earhart says, as appliances become more efficient, energy competitors rise up and governmental regulations take hold.

“What are the next steps? We must become marketers again. We can’t just be the gas delivery person,” he says.

Though recognizing the propane user as a stable customer, Earhart warns the industry about the dangers of complacency. He relates his years of experience in the convenience store and food businesses, where customers made daily buying decisions.

“To survive and grow, we had to react effectively each day,” he says. “That helps us in our propane business.”

Increased technology, safer installations and more plentiful uses of propane give the industry success stories to share as it educates employees, customers, and government and elected officials about its overall value, Earhart says.

“Because,” he says, “if they truly understand about propane, it’s a no-brainer. It sells itself. It makes lives better safely.”

In recent years, NPGA leadership has pushed for stronger partnerships with the Propane Education & Research Council and the states. Earhart echoed the importance of tapping these synergies so the industry can react more quickly and effectively to issues at the state level.

Other 2018-19 officers confirmed in Washington were Randy Thompson of ThompsonGas, chairman elect; Denis Gagne of Eastern Propane Gas, vice chairman; and Bob Barry of Bergquist, treasurer.

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About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at or 216-706-3748.

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