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Propane Personality: Marci Ballard

November 30, 2021 By    
Marci Ballard

Ballard

EDUCATION

Capella University (Minneapolis)
Master of Science, Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Class of 2013

Washington State University
Bachelor of Arts, Business Administration, Management and Operations
Class of 2006

WORK EXPERIENCE

2019-Present
Christensen Inc.
⦁ General Manager

2015-19
⦁ Director of Employee Development

2012-15
⦁ Territory Manager


Career path

“My career path has been interesting, going from fuel sales to a director of HR role to general manager. But I think it’s all built on each other, and I’m so glad for the order in which things have occurred, because I don’t think that I’d be the general manager I am today if I didn’t have that desire to have people come to work and be happy at work. It’s been a fun ride, and the ride isn’t over yet.”


How would you introduce yourself to industry members who haven’t met you yet?

“I’m a lifelong learner, and I love that there’s so much versatility with propane. With all its applications, propane has really been my avenue for continued learning. I grew up in a community that’s surrounded by agriculture. But it really wasn’t until I entered this industry that I truly understood the role that our community plays in, quite frankly, the world’s food chain. So, I really relate to the [Propane Education & Research Council’s] ‘Energy for Everyone’ campaign. When you start seeing all the applications, propane really does touch us all in one way, shape or form.”

Responsibilities at Christensen

“As a general manager, I oversee the sales and distribution of fuels, lubricants and propane throughout eastern Washington. To me, this means constantly looking for opportunities to drive home our Christensen culture. It is my responsibility to ensure our delivery, operations and sales team members feel engaged and part of a team. When employees go home knowing they are valued, and when their loved ones can feel their sense of pride in what they do, our jobs are done.”


‘Making the trade fun’

At Christensen, Ballard has helped to organize “Field Trip Fridays,” when she and team members get out into the field, whether that is with a salesperson visiting customers and prospects or in a delivery truck pulling a hose.

Ballard helps to coordinate “Field Trip Fridays” at Christensen to meet with community members and customers. (Photo courtesy of Marci Ballard)

Ballard helps to coordinate “Field Trip Fridays” at Christensen to meet with community members and customers. (Photo courtesy of Marci Ballard)

“We’re really trying to push for making the trade fun, looking at the pipeline of kids that are going to be entering the workforce. We want what we do to feel very exciting. We want what our customers do to feel very exciting. And so I [want to] paint that picture and do that in my day-to-day where I’m getting out and about and learning new things and bringing that to others.”


Propane’s future

“I believe the future of the industry is strong. There are so many untapped areas where propane will be a part of the ‘net zero’ conversation. Propane is a clean source of energy and should be celebrated for the role it plays in reducing emissions.”

Ballard helps her daughter put together “Poppy’s Safety Shares,” inspired by the safety programs at Christensen. (Photo courtesy of Marci Ballard)

Ballard helps her daughter put together “Poppy’s Safety Shares,” inspired by the safety programs at Christensen. (Photo courtesy of Marci Ballard)

Hobbies

“I spend a lot of time with my family; we’re an active family. Everybody is always running from one sports event to the next. At home, I try to instill some of the behaviors that we have here at Christensen and in the industry around safety. [At Christensen], we always start meetings with a safety share when there are four or more people in attendance. To keep ‘safety shares’ exciting, I had my daughter start recording them for our teams. ‘Poppy’s Safety Shares’ have become a fan favorite, and now she comes to me with ideas of her own, and with aspirations of her own YouTube channel. While her ladder safety share won her a contest, she is most excited about playground safety.”

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