First Propane Hall of Fame will allow legacies to endure

August 5, 2011 By    

Throughout 2012 the propane industry will celebrate 100 years of growth from its meager Pennsylvania roots to the promising role in solving America’s pressing need for a clean, reliable energy alternative.

The history of that dynamic evolution is a tale of the countless men and women who molded the industry over the past century. It was their insight, bold initiative and unbending commitment that transformed an impractical waste byproduct into a vital energy source that improves the quality of life for millions of Americans each and every day. And it’s on their shoulders that today’s generation of propane professionals stand and steer the industry into its next 100 years.

As part of this historic celebration, the staff at LP Gas Magazine is launching the propane industry’s first-ever Propane Hall of Fame. It’s our way to recognize the pioneers, icons and leaders – past and present – and create a permanent legacy for their contributions to the industry. It is our intention to make this a yearly tradition that honors stalwarts of our industry (retailers, wholesalers, as well as providers of related equipment and services) for their outstanding contributions.

A special black-tie recognition dinner and awards ceremony will bring together industry colleagues to salute the inaugural class of inductees. The event will take place Friday, April 13 in Atlanta, immediately preceding the 2012 NPGA Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo.

I must admit the project is more than a bit daunting. Where do you start in choosing among the many giants going all the way back to industry pioneers Walter Snelling, Emerson Thomas and Mark Anton?

There are dozens of guys who were at the table during the first developments of oil and gas production methods, appliances and delivery systems; the creation of industry standards; the evolution of trend-setting business models; and the formation of the industry association and the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).

LP Gas Magazine has been serving the propane industry since 1941, and I’ve been with them for the last 14 years. But there is no way we could pull this off ourselves. So we are reaching out to the industry for your help.

First, we’d like you to tell us who you think the worthy candidates are. Nominations are open to all current or former propane industry individuals. Our website ( has a form with a few basic questions about the nominee. All who get nominated will be permanently retained for future consideration.

Second, we are putting together a Selection Committee that represents all facets of the industry. The committee will review all submissions, and each member will vote for that year’s most deserving inductee. The names of committee members will be held confidential to avoid undue influence. Committee members will change every three years.

Nominations are open now through Oct. 31. Final selections will be made in December and announced in January. Detailed biographies of each inductee will be included in the April issue of LP Gas Magazine and on our website.

We hope you share our enthusiasm for this new venture and help us get these special individuals the overdue recognition they have earned. Feel free to contact me with any questions, or to let me know your thoughts on the plan.

Man on the move
President Roy Willis had a distinctively pained look on his face as he announced that Brian Feehan will be leaving PERC in September.

Feehan, PERC’s vice president in charge of developing the motor fuel market, is leaving to become president of the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) in Washington, D.C. ITA represents the manufacturers of forklifts and their suppliers who do business in Canada, the United States and Mexico. He’s been with PERC since 2005.

Brian has worked extensively with that group over the years to rescue propane’s market share losses to electric models. Let’s hope his efforts continue from the other side of the table.

You’re going to be missed, Irish.

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