Stoops Freightliner leader put people, relationships first

April 13, 2020 By    

Jim Ham, vice president of operations at North American truck dealership Stoops Freightliner-Quality Trailer, died April 5 from complications of the COVID-19 coronavirus. He was 66.

Jim Ham photo


While Ham worked at the truck equipment distributor in Indiana for the past five years, he spent more than two decades at Navistar in the role of OEM sales account manager. It was during this time that Ham connected with the propane industry.

Though Ham’s role was serving the industry for its trucking needs, his genuine persona, gentle nature and lighthearted demeanor stood out most to many.

“He was just a genuinely kind and caring man,” says Joe Rose, goodwill ambassador at Lin’s Propane Trucks and the former president of the Propane Gas Association of New England. “He certainly cared so much about his family and the industry. He would go out of his way to help anybody.”

“If I was going to say anything about Jim Ham, I felt like he always put his relationships first, way before he put his business interests first,” adds Tucker Perkins, president and CEO of the Propane Education & Research Council.

Perkins had known Ham since Perkins’ time in the retail propane industry in the early 2000s and later as he led autogas solutions provider CleanFuel USA. Through Ham, Perkins says he gained valuable insight about how a truck OEM and dealership viewed the propane industry’s offerings.

“He stayed a really trusted adviser to me,” Perkins says.

Ham’s relationship with the industry strengthened through his affiliation with the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA). He served the propane industry and NPGA in many capacities, most recently as the services section director on the NPGA Executive Committee (2017-18). He was the chairman of the Member Services Committee (2016-18) and also volunteered his time and expertise as a member of the services section and manufacturers section, and on the Technology, Standards & Safety Committee.

“You can be sure he left in good spirits. I have never seen him not in good spirits,” Perkins says. “He was a neat guy, and we will really miss him.”

The family is planning a celebration of life in August in South Bend, Indiana, and says more details will follow.

*Featured image: arthobbit/iStock/Getty Images

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About the Author:

Brian Richesson is the editor in chief of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at or 216-706-3748.

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