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Propane Personality: Darren Eckler

December 20, 2023 By    

Darren Eckler

Darren Eckler

Customer Service Center Manager, Suburban Propane

EDUCATION

State University of New York (SUNY) Cortland
Bachelor of Science, Management Science and Economics
Class of 1992

State University of New York Polytechnic Institute
Master of Science, Management Science and Economics
Class of 2002

WORK EXPERIENCE

Suburban Propane
1993-Present
Customer Service Center Manager in Albany and Saratoga County, New York

Eckler has never been far from home in the propane industry as an advocate, mentor, volunteer and public speaker.

Career path

Eckler volunteers with Habitat for Humanity in Albany, New York. (Photos courtesy of Brand-News-Team/Roger Rosenbaum)

Eckler volunteers with Habitat for Humanity in Albany, New York. (Photos courtesy of Brand-News-Team/Roger Rosenbaum)

Eckler has felt at home with propane ever since he graduated college with a degree in management science and economics and went to work as a customer service representative (CSR) at the Suburban Propane location close to where he lived in Richfield Springs, New York. He started as a CSR, answering phones and solving customer issues. Solving challenging delivery and service issues with good cheer became second nature for Eckler.

The power of teamwork

Eckler is passionate about supporting his team in order to serve the customers and the community. “I’m so blessed that no matter where I’ve been, I’ve been in the Catskill Mountains, I’ve been in the Capital Region. Now I’m up in the Adirondacks spread across 30 years. One common theme in all of this is surround yourself with good people, set a vision and a game plan for yourself that your team can execute on.”

Professional vision

Eckler supports his team with the guidance of a coach and the knowledge from two degrees in management and economics. “You can have the best game plan and vision, but if you don’t have people to carry that out and execute, you won’t be successful.”

Boiling it down

Eckler boils down his three decades of customer service success at Suburban Propane into one mindset and strategy. “Surround yourself with good people, instill a good work ethic, compliment your people, praise them up and down for the good things they’re doing, and they’ll pay you dividends,” he says.

Eckler donates blood in Albany, New York. (Photos courtesy of Brand-News-Team/Roger Rosenbaum)

Eckler donates blood in Albany, New York. (Photos courtesy of Brand-News-Team/Roger Rosenbaum)

Community commitment

Suburban Propane recognized Eckler’s drive and promoted him to customer service center manager in Albany. In 2012, he volunteered his team to participate in the first American Red Cross Blood Drive in Rotterdam, New York. Suburban partnered with WRGB-TV in a community engagement campaign called CBS6 Cares and added more blood drives in the region.

Despite admitting to being afraid of needles, the CSC manager donated blood several times. Eckler and company executives at Suburban’s headquarters in Whippany, New Jersey, grew that single blood drive into a national campaign that still continues a decade later under the SuburbanCares philanthropic program.

Eckler also helped grow company visibility and gallons in the market by volunteering in the community for groups like Habitat for Humanity, with visibility made possible with a media partnership with Time Warner Cable (Spectrum).

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