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300 PROPANE INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS CONVENE IN SOUTH CAROLINA

Written on: June 15, 2024

The Southeast Propane Alliance hosted its Annual Convention in Isle of Palms, South Carolina, where nearly 300 industry members gathered to receive industry updates, peer awards, and honors.

ISLE OF PALMS, SC– The Southeast Propane Alliance (SEPA) held its Annual Convention in Isle of Palms, SC, from June 9 to 11, 2024. Almost 300 members attended the event to receive industry updates from dignitaries like Tucker Perkins, president and CEO of the Propane Education & Research Council and Tom Van Buren, Chairman of the National Propane Gas Association. The attendees also participated in various committee meetings related to propane and recognized several peers for their outstanding contributions. During the convention, Tyler Misel, Director of Operations and Safety at Georgia Gas Distributors, Inc., passed the gavel and SEPA chairman role to Angi Harris, Chief Executive Officer at Gardner Marsh Gas Equipment Co., Inc., who will lead SEPA’s board for the upcoming year.

Tucker Perkins, president and CEO of the Propane Education & Research Council had this to say about the event, “This is what our industry is all about. Manufacturers, retailers, all the partners coming together to talk about how to move this industry forward. It has been a wonderful week in South Carolina.”

The following annual awards were given at the culmination of the event:

Dealer of The Year: Reagan Bonnette, President, Stringer Oil & LP Gas Company
The Dealer of The Year is recognized by their peers for their body of work throughout the year that promotes and supports the advancement of our association, its members, and our industry.

Supplier of The Year: Cody Reeves, LPG & NH3 Product Manager, RegO
The Supplier of The Year is recognized by their peers for their body of work throughout the year. This work is Soften done behind the scenes in order to benefit and support our association and its members.

Women’s Leadership Award: Cyndi Kibler, Owner, Professional Compliance Services
The Women’s Leadership Award honors a successful female industry member for her business success, career achievements, and contributions to the community. This annual award helps inspire the continued growth of women in our industry.

Finest Under Forty Award: Peyton Moody, Regional Manager, Meritum Energy
The Finest Under Forty Award honors and recognizes a rising professional in our industry.

Social Media Wizard Award: Kirsten McAlpin, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Conger LP Gas
The Social Media Wizard Award is a new award has been established this year to acknowledge the individual or organization that excels in using social media to craft effective strategies and captivating content which drive exceptional results. This award celebrates those who promote the positive attributes and benefits of propane, benefiting everyone in the industry.

Chairman’s Award: Lenny Hall, EVP of Fuel & Propane Operations, Berico Fuels, Inc., and Kim Folger, Co-Owner, Folger Gas

Tom Van Buren, Chairman of the National Propane Gas Association said, “As a marketer in SEPA and for my first Association visit as NPGA Chairman, what a fantastic event! The passion and commitment from those attending was evident in the meetings discussing and taking action to address critical needs in our industry. Hearing the latest in the development and training enhancements at SEPATEC working with PERC and NPGA ACE program was forward thinking and impressive. Industry collaboration at its finest!

Also, the strategic thought and purposeful changes made from their Propane Education Research Board to increase targeted Rebates for Gallon Growth was very smart. It embodied the saying “just because it’s the way it’s been done doesn’t mean it’s the way it has to be done”. Now the ball is in our court as marketers to get involved as we work to share the information and use the resources here.

Lastly, it’s all about the people and our messaging to advocate and share our, your story locally in our communities to elected officials and regulators working together to promote and protect our industry! And the stories here from the award winners were motivating especially as most were next generation leaders. Thank you SEPA team for hosting a great event!”

John Jessup, the president and CEO of Southeast Propane Alliance, expressed his excitement about this year’s event, “The 2024 SEPA Annual Convention was an absolute triumph! With an overwhelming turnout of over 300 attendees and glowing feedback, it’s evident that the meticulous planning and dedication of the convention committee truly paid off. The seamless integration of both professional and leisure activities ensured that every participant had a fulfilling experience. From the insightful committee meetings to the engaging board sessions and invaluable networking opportunities, every aspect of the event contributed to its success.

The choice of the Wild Dunes Resort as the venue was inspired, providing a picturesque backdrop and world-class hospitality that enhanced the overall ambiance of the convention. The array of activities offered, from rounds of golf to lively games of bingo, tranquil beach excursions, and the culinary delights of Charleston, catered to the diverse interests of all attendees.

The highlight of the convention was undoubtedly the captivating speech delivered by guest speaker Jamie Valvano, whose words left the entire room spellbound for 45 minutes. It was truly a can’t-miss event of the year, leaving a lasting impression on all who were present.

Looking ahead to the future, plans are already underway to elevate the experience even further for the next convention in 2025 at the Wild Dunes Resort. With this year’s success as a benchmark, there’s no doubt that the next gathering will be nothing short of extraordinary. Cheers to a remarkable convention and the anticipation of what’s to come!”

SEPA will hold its 2025 Annual Convention at Wild Dunes Resort in Isles of Palms, SC, June 15-18, 2025.

About Southeast Propane Alliance (SEPA): The Southeast Propane Alliance was established in 2021 to promote, protect, and encourage the growth of the LP-Gas industry in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Over the years, these non-profit associations have worked to safeguard the interests of our industry, our members, and our consumers. The propane industry is rapidly becoming one of the nation’s most widely used fuels in residential, commercial, recreational, and industrial settings. The propane industry plays a significant role in the economies of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia combined, with an estimated economic impact of over $4 billion. Collectively, these three states account for a combined total of 687 million gallons of propane.

Photography by SEPA Staff