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Propane Personality: Jim Renaldo

May 23, 2022 By    
Jim Renaldo

Renaldo

Jim Renaldo

President, Renaldo Sales & Service

Work Experience

2022-Present
Buffalo Southern Railroad Hamburg Engine House
⦁ Principle, COO

2021-Present
Greater North Collins Chamber of Commerce
⦁ President

2020-Present
Renaldo Sales & Service
⦁ President
1993-2020
⦁ Director of Sales & Marketing

2020-Present
Norco Propane Energy Services
⦁ Vice President
1993-2020
⦁ Director of Sales & Marketing

2008-22
The International Association of Young Gassers
⦁ President

2002-Present
Niagara Energy
⦁ General Manager/Member

Education

Medaille College
Bachelor’s Degree in Media Communications
Class of 1981

(Photo courtesy of the Young Gassers)

Jim Renaldo poses with Dave Barrett of Barrett Propane, 2018 champion of the Young Gassers’ fantasy football league. (Photo courtesy of the Young Gassers)

Growing up in the propane industry

“We’ve been involved with propane since 1945 when my grandfather, John Renaldo, started North Collins Cylinder Gas (Norco). Honestly, I don’t think he knew what he was getting into and where this industry was headed, but as luck would have it, he happened to be in the right place at the right time, and it grew from there into a nice little business. I was born into it in 1958. It eventually passed to my mother and father, Jim and Joan Renaldo, in 1983. In 2020, we started the transition again, passing ownership to my brothers and me. We all grew up in the industry together, Mom and Dad included.

“When I left for college in 1976, it was never my intention to look back. But in 1994, my father asked me to give him a hand with the sales and marketing. The business was growing, and my mom and dad had their hands full running two companies: Norco and Renaldo Sales & Service. My younger brothers and other family members were working hard at it, with some success. They needed my help. So I signed on for $25K a year, and the rest, as they say, is history.”

Young Gassers

Renaldo became president of the International Association of Young Gassers in 2008. This year, he passed the torch to Nick Virchow, regional solutions manager at Anova, who now assumes the role.

“I’m proud of our involvement with the National Museum of Industrial History and the permanent exhibit we helped to create on the history of propane. I think we made an important contribution to the overall industry effort in terms of monetary contributions, fundraising, organization and content. I’m a little disappointed that since I stepped back on this a few years ago, the enthusiasm from the rest of the industry to keep this exhibit relevant has been languishing. I think most people underestimate the value of our heritage and history. That’s the reason I felt it was important to keep Young Gassers alive. Traditions and history are important to the culture. It bonds us, and we become more cohesive. That, I think, is our greatest accomplishment: keeping it all together and passing the torch.

(Photo courtesy of Jim Renaldo)

Pictured alongside Jim are two of his seven grandchildren: Roman (6), left, and Rosalind (3). (Photo courtesy of Jim Renaldo)

“When we took it over in 2009, everybody in the industry was a member. The previous leadership had a policy that if you paid your $20 dues once – and this policy goes back to the mid-’80s – you were a lifetime member. Nobody kept any records of who our members actually were, but it was everybody. I guess my biggest accomplishment was to create a real database of members, and it’s paid off. We’re better organized and know who our members are. It’s helped us raise money for scholarships, receptions, our fantasy football leagues, charity and technology. As of today, we have over 350 active paid members, 30 corporate sponsors and just over 400 associate members/colleagues.”

Family influence

“The one important constant in my life has been my family. The fact that I got to come to work every day and spend time with my mother and father, brothers, cousins, a sister-in-law, nephews and dedicated employees was never lost on me. It’s a big part of why we’ve been successful, and 30 years later we’re all still talking to each other, if you can believe that.

“A family shapes a personality. My family happened to grow up in the propane industry. So, I guess that does make me a ‘propane personality.’”

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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