warm thoughts


Written on: June 21, 2023

From the National Propane Gas Association Bobtail

From June 4 – 7, NPGA hosted its annual Board meeting and Propane Days Capitol Hill meetings. The week kicked off with State Propane Gas Association Presidents and Executive Directors from around the country meeting with NPGA leadership to discuss pressing policy issues, both federal and across the states, with the largest emphasis on combatting anti-gas laws, regulations, and codes. The PropanePAC hosted an evening reception at Tudor Place, an historic Washington, DC property once home to descendants of Martha Washington.

On June 5, at the Marketers’ meeting, NPGA hosted Dr. Paula Gant, President of GTI Energy. GTI Energy is a leading research organization that manages a tremendous collection of propane-related emissions data and is currently leading research in a renewable propane technology called Cool LPG. NPGA Board members and guests also heard from Tucker Perkins who provided an update on PERC’s activities and Mike Rush, head of safety and operations for the American Association of Railroads, who spoke about the policy aftermath of the East Palestine, Ohio incident and the threatened labor strikes from last fall. NPGA moderated a gas stoves policy panel with coalition partners representing the natural gas and appliance manufacturing industries. NPGA’s final pre-Board meeting speaker was a representative of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, who shared data on workforce trends.

Outgoing Board Chair Michelle Bimson Maggi presided over the Annual Meeting and summer Board Meeting. She gave remarks on her year in leadership and presented awards and citations. Steve Kaminski, NPGA’s President and CEO, spoke to the Board about NPGA’s increasing role in using litigation to combat laws that threaten propane usage and predicted the need for litigation to ramp up throughout the year.

The NPGA Board of Directors then selected its officers for the upcoming year: Mr. Jeff Stewart of Blue Star Gas as Chair, Mr. Tom Van Buren of Meritum Energy Holdings as Chair-Elect, Mr. Mike Hopsicker of Ray Murray as Vice Chair, and Ms. DD Alexander of Global Gas as Treasurer.

Newly appointed NPGA Board of Directors Chair Jeff Stewart presented a gavel to outgoing Chair Michelle Bimson Maggi. He then closed the meeting with a challenge to all members of the propane industry to lead by example by maximizing their own usage of the product that provides our livelihoods.

Propane Days

On June 6 and 7, members of the propane industry headed to Capitol Hill for Propane Days. NPGA’s legislative staff briefed the group on conducting successful meetings with Members of Congress and their staff. Association members also learned about the propane industry’s top policy initiatives on Capitol Hill, which range from protecting consumer energy choice to the Farm Bill reauthorization and annual appropriations. Attendees then held a series of individual Capitol Hill meetings with over 200 Members of Congress in both the House and Senate. Feedback was positive—Members of Congress and their staff were receptive to hearing our messages and learning more about the propane industry from companies operating in their districts. NPGA thanks everyone who participated in these advocacy efforts and the state executives who were instrumental in scheduling the meetings.

On the evening of June 6, NPGA hosted a barbeque reception in the Rayburn House Office Building. Hundreds of Congressional staff from across the country and approximately a dozen Members of Congress attended the reception, including representatives of districts in Arizona, California, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, and Virginia.

These Capitol Hill meetings were extremely timely as Congress was slated to vote on two distinct gas stove-related bills, one on June 6 and another on June 7. Having local boots on the ground was important and effective in communicating propane’s messages to a significant number of lawmakers.

Awards and Citations

At the NPGA Board Meeting, outgoing Chair Michelle Bimson Maggi awarded Chair’s citations to five individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the industry: Christina Armentano of Paraco Gas, Tom Clark of the Rocky Mountain Propane Association, Daniel Dixon of Energy Distribution Partners, Nash McMahan of Tri-Gas & Oil, and Warren Patterson, formerly of AmeriGas. She shared through personal, heartfelt, and funny remarks how each person exemplifies excellence in the propane industry.

NPGA awarded the State Director of the Year award to the late John W. Brooks III. John served in every capacity for the Missouri Propane Gas Association and Missouri’s PERC. At the time of his passing, he had recently accepted the nomination to serve his 17th year as Missouri’s State Director. Brian Brooks accepted the award on behalf of the Brooks family.

NPGA awarded the Bill Hill Award to Deb Grooms, recently retired Executive Director of the Iowa Propane Gas Association, in recognition of her years of dedicated service to the industry. An article on Deb Grooms receiving the Bill Hill Award can be found here.

John Cadenhead, outgoing Chair of the Technology, Safety, and Standards committee, and DD Alexander, outgoing Chair of NPGA’s Propane Supply & Logistics committee both received Committee Chair awards.

Photos by Choice Photography

NPGA Welcomes New Directors

Connor Alexander, Global Gas, Producer & Wholesaler Director
Jim Blake, Eastern Propane, Rhode Island Director
Angela Branchi, Grammer Logistics, Transportation & Storage Director
John Corallo, Home Gas, International Section Director
Frank Edwards, Coles Energy, Ohio Director
Amanda Gage, Intermountain Trucking, Utah Director
Heather Granzin, AmeriGas Propane LP, Chair, Propane Supply & Logistics
Mike Hayden, Co-Alliance, Indiana Director
Stephanie Hennen, Lakes Gas, District 3 Director
Ray Kazakewich, R.E. Michel Company, Distributor Director
Paul Ladner, AmeriGas Propane LP, Director-at-Large
Cinch Munson, Oberon Fuels, Producer & Wholesaler Director
Rita Pecilunas, Otodata, Manufacturers Director
Ryan Roper, NGL Energy Partners, Producer & Wholesaler Director
David Schmidt, Fisher LP Gas Equipment, Manufacturers Director
Jeff Stanton, Superior Plus Propane, Connecticut Director
Nicole Sullivan, Anderson Propane Services, Director-at-Large
Erich Wolf, Cavagna Group, Chair, Technology, Safety & Standards
Mark Zimora, Tankfarm LLC, Services Section Director