Propane Personality: John Jessup

November 22, 2021 By    
John Jessup


John Jessup
President & CEO
North Carolina Propane Gas Association


University of Arizona
Institute for Organization Management
Class of 2020
University of Phoenix
Master of Business Administration
Class of 2005
Lewis-Clark State College
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice
Class of 1993

Work Experience

North Carolina Propane Gas Association
⦁ President & CEO
Virginia Automobile Dealers
Association – Richmond, Virginia
Ferrellgas – Richmond, Virginia
⦁ District Manager
U.S. Army
⦁ Quartermaster Officer

When did you get your start in the propane industry, and why did you choose to stay?

“I got out of the Army in 1998, and I was hired by Ferrellgas to be a district manager at their Richmond, Virginia, location. After six years, I left Ferrellgas and took a staff position with the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association, where I learned about non-profit association work. I was contacted by my old boss from Ferrellgas, Donnie Bullock, in 2010 about the open executive director position at NCPGA (the North Carolina Propane Gas Association) in Raleigh, [North Carolina]. I interviewed for the position and, just like that, I was back in the propane industry.”

Industry involvement and initiatives

“For the past 11 years, I have been the president and CEO of NCPGA. I am very involved with anything that makes this a better industry for my members. We have pressing issues on many fronts, and I try to tackle the ones I can make a difference on. Workforce development has been a pressing issue for many years, and we created NC-TEC to help address that issue.”

Photo courtesy of John Jessup

John Jessup has four kids, ages 18 to 23. Photo courtesy of John Jessup

NC-TEC training facility

This year, NCPGA opened NC-TEC, a training and education center aimed at bringing more young professionals into the propane industry.

“It took a lot of hard work, money, industry support, industry volunteers and supportive board members. It took about four years from concept and planning to holding our first class with students in January of this year.

“NC-TEC will be a regional school for North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, but it will be beneficial to every state in the country. Since our CETP program is universally accepted, the students could end up literally anywhere in the country after they graduate.

“We recruit heavily from the military. When the school is at full capacity, we will graduate 98 technicians per year. We are currently adding a two-week CDL Class B with tanker endorsement class to our program. This will help provide more drivers, and that is the most critical need according to my members.”

Growing up on a farm

“I grew up in a small town in northern Idaho on a dairy farm. If you learn anything about farming life – other than there are no days off – you learn it’s all about long-term thinking in a short-term world.”

Where do your sports loyalties lie?

“Duke basketball and Seattle Seahawks. I grew up in the Northwest, so I have always been a Seahawks fan. My wife went to Duke, so there was a short – but intense – conversation about who we would root for.”


“We have four children, ages 18 to 23. The youngest one just graduated high school and left for college in August. My wife and I have been kid-centric for so long that we are trying to figure out what to do with our ‘free time.’ I might just try to relax by sitting on the back deck with a cup of coffee watching the carpenter bees drill holes in the pinewood deck and listening to the woodpeckers drill into my cedar planking. Ah, nature.”

About the Author:

Carly Bemer (McFadden) was the managing editor at LP Gas magazine.

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