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Propane Personality: Aaron Huizenga

March 25, 2022 By    
Aaron Huizenga

Huizenga

Aaron Huizenga
East Division Manager, Lakes Gas

Education

University of Michigan
Bachelor of Arts in Communications
Class of 1997

Work Experience

2020-Present
Lakes Gas
⦁ East Division Manager

2015-20
Ferrellgas
⦁ Vice President of Operations,
Great Lakes Region
⦁ Director of Operations, West Branch Michigan Service Center

2015
Airgas National Carbonation
⦁ Regional Sales Representative, Michigan

2014-15
Airgas LLC
⦁ Branch Manager, Traverse City, Michigan

2002-14
Wimsatt Building Materials
⦁ Branch and Operations Manager, Traverse City Facility

Working in the propane industry

“I like this industry because even though it’s large, it’s very personalized. On the residential side, it’s an intimate relationship with your customers. You’re providing something that’s very necessary for their quality of life. You’re providing heat. You’re providing warm water. You’re providing fuel for cooking. That, to me, has a deeper purpose than selling widgets or whatever. It’s not transactional. They didn’t walk into the store just to buy something off the shelf. They need you, and we need them. That relationship is something that really speaks to me.”

The industry’s future

“I think that the industry will expand in the next 10 to 20 years as the propane industry as a whole becomes a little more technologically advanced. I think we were a little bit behind a lot of other industries in adopting technology and other things that we can do with the fuel. I think we have a pretty bright future. I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon, that’s for sure, especially if you’re in rural America.”

(Photo by Aaron Huizenga)

Huizenga enjoys skiing with his daughter Megan, left. (Photo by Aaron Huizenga)

Michigan Propane Commission

In 2021, Michigan propane marketers voted to implement a check-off program, where they pay one-tenth of each cent for every retail gallon they sell in Michigan into a separate account not associated with the Michigan Propane Gas Association or the National Propane Gas Association. As a result, the Michigan Propane Commission was formed.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appointed Huizenga to the commission as one of its five inaugural members. The goal of the commission, Huizenga says, is to decide how that check-off money is spent to “foster the organic growth of propane gallons, not for one specific company but for the [state] industry as a whole.”

He adds: “On the commission side, as silly as this may sound, I would love to see us spend every dime that the marketers have bestowed upon us. The five of us look at it and say we are the stewards of their money. Now, obviously, everybody who sits on that board pays money into this, as well. So to be a steward of that money, to have it go toward the right things and to have it be successful, is really the ultimate goal that I have.”

How do you hope to impact the propane industry during your career?

“Because the industry has been so good to me, what I would ultimately like to do with my career is give back to the industry as much as I’m physically able to, whether that means getting involved in political action committees, getting involved in education through PERC (the Propane Education & Research Council) or wherever my individual skill set can be utilized.

“[I’d like to] raise awareness for everyone, to say [propane] is here. It’s safe. It’s clean. You don’t smell it. It’s domestically produced. We control our own supply. What I would really like to do is, at the end of my career, be able to look back and go: ‘You know, I helped more people understand all the benefits that propane has in everybody’s lives.’”

Hobbies

“I love to camp – absolutely love it. I enjoy hiking. And even though we’re crazy busy in the wintertime, I love to downhill ski and have enjoyed that most of my life. By and large, I love being outdoors and whatever that entails – whether it’s hiking or camping or riding a bike or going to the beach.”

This article is tagged with , , and posted in Current Issue, Featured, From the Magazine

About the Author:

Carly Bemer (McFadden) is the managing editor at LP Gas magazine. She can be reached at 216-363-3930 or cbemer@northcoastmedia.net.

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