Young Professionals Council set to launch

March 7, 2024 By    

The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) board of directors approved the formation of a Young Professionals Council (YPC), an official business council for individuals 40 and under working for an NPGA-member company. NPGA calls it a professional development arm for emerging leaders.

Stephanie Hennen of Lakes Gas was a driving force behind YPC’s formation. 

Steph Hennen


Hennen says it can be intimidating for young professionals to join a new industry and attend its national board and committee meetings. Having such a council, she adds, will give young individuals the support they need from the association as well as from one another.

“For someone wanting to get into the propane industry, we have a council like this where they can be a part of something and can work personally and professionally to develop themselves,” says Hennen, recalling how the support she received from the industry motivated her to help develop the council.

The YPC will facilitate educational sessions and webinars for members. It also will serve as a resource for NPGA committees and leadership working to understand the younger workforce’s needs.

NPGA says the YPC will align with its Women in Propane Council and the International Association of Young Gassers. The Young Gassers is a professional networking, social and service organization of the propane industry.

NPGA, the Young Gassers and the Canadian Propane Association launched a 30-under-30 program in 2020. The 30-under-30 program, which recognizes top young professionals in the industry, will be housed within the YPC.

The YPC will launch at the Southeastern Convention & International Propane Expo in Charlotte, North Carolina, exhibiting in booth 1839. It also will host an educational session about the council, from 9-10 a.m. April 6, detailing benefits of membership and including a panel discussion about why companies should invest in their young employees.

Other news and notes from NPGA winter meetings in Monterey, California:

  • NPGA Chairman Jeff Stewart of Blue Star Gas called the marketers section meeting possibly the best he’s ever attended. The meeting featured two robust discussions – emanating from an update on Propane Education & Research Council activities (e.g., projects related to micro-CHP, the Cummins propane engine, and LPG and renewable blends) as well as a forklift panel. The latter discussion featured Brian Feehan, president of the Industrial Truck Association, who provided a forklift market update. Colin Sueyres, head of the Western Propane Gas Association, exuded his passion for protecting the industry from regulatory threats. The internal combustion engine forklift is under attack in California.
  • NPGA is adopting a more targeted use of its PLAN app, which tracks wait times at more than 400 supply points across the country. The association says use of the app has decreased since its launch in 2019. Instead of stressing PLAN as an everyday tool, NPGA says it will activate PLAN during periods of peak demand, supply stress or weather-related emergencies.
  • The legal side of the gas ban issue was front and center as NPGA President and CEO Steve Kaminski chatted with Sarah Jorgensen, managing partner of Reichman Jorgensen Lehman & Feldberg LLP. NPGA hailed a decision early this year in which the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a petition by the city of Berkeley to rehear a 2023 case that overturned Berkeley’s gas ban. In 2020, Berkeley became the first city in the U.S. to ban natural gas hookups in new construction.
  • A presentation about artificial intelligence (AI) initiated a lively response from attendees. Dylan Hoffman, executive director of TechNet, explained some different aspects of AI – including automated decision-making technology, machine learning and generative AI. “AI, at the end of the day, is a tool, not a silver bullet,” he says. “It will not come in and completely transform your business overnight. What it can do is create those efficiencies and enhance what you and your teams are able to do.”

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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