Profiles In Propane: Tyler Misel…Jack of All Trades

(August 2017) — Tyler Misel is the operations manager at Georgia Gas Distributors, a suburban Atlanta company started by his grandfather in 1957. The company was initially founded to cater to the forklift market and still focuses on commercial and industrial gas today, but also includes residential business, and a growing autogas clientele. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company including managing drivers, plant technicians, service, and dispatch, and he also handles IT operations.
PropaneProfile Misel

According to Misel, “Most days start early at the plant, getting the drivers on the road and liaising with dispatch and service techs to get their day going. I usually speak with the plant techs if there is something special going on that they need to be aware of. Some days I stay at the plant all day;  some days I go to the office if there are IT problems that need to be resolved.”

As is the case with many family-owned businesses, he spent summers in high school and college working at Georgia Gas learning various aspects of the operation. “I recertified and filled cylinders for one of our exchange trucks and I helped our mechanic and service technician so I could learn more about operating the trucks. I also ran a route with one of the newer drivers.” Getting this early hands-on experience gave him a head start so he could hit the ground running when he joined the company full-time, after spending seven years doing tech support and cloud computing following college graduation.

Georgia Gas is a third-generation family-run company — his dad, Gerry, is president, and sister Elizabeth is an administrative assistant — so there are unique challenges that come with working in a family company and being the ‘go-to’ for a variety of jobs. “It can be very difficult trying to manage the various tasks and duties I’m responsible for: having to shift gears from helping to figure out why a truck won’t pump, to routing some will-calls that come in, to fixing the email server, or answering questions for the sales folks,” Tyler Misel notes. “I’ve found that I can manage the chaos by compartmentalizing the various tasks mentally. When I move from one task to another, I try to focus solely on the work at hand.”

As busy as he is with day-to-day activities, he keeps goals for the company as the driving force behind everything he does. “My goal is to provide our customers with reliable deliveries and offer excellent service at the same time. It’s a bit of a different beast dealing with B2B, but we have the right staff in place to make it happen.” Looking ahead, he adds, “I think the next big segment for us to maximize is autogas. We have dedicated a good deal of resources to build that market.” One goal he can check off his list is helping Georgia Gas make the transition to a completely paperless ticketing solution over the last few years. “We’ve been making great strides and have drastically reduced our paper consumption with regard to tickets, work orders, and customer files.”

Misel also has goals for the industry that he calls “the friendliest I have ever encountered.” “If we truly want to sell autogas, we need to lead by example. I wish the industry would get together with the truck manufacturers and start using more propane bobtails. It would help the industry’s image if we didn’t pull up to a business to fill up their clean-burning fleet vehicles with a diesel behemoth spewing exhaust everywhere.”

If you’re wondering where his strong work ethic and discipline might come from, it’s telling to note that he attended military school from eighth grade through high school, became an Eagle Scout, and was certified as a peace officer, which resulted in a three-year stint as a reserve deputy sheriff. Even though his background suggests he’s ‘all toughness,’ he certainly has another side that softens him up — his family. He has three sisters, his wife Katie, and toddler son Henry — who all live within 30 minutes of each other. They enjoy getting together often for large family meals. He loves grilling — if you name it, he’ll grill it…so he is often the one helping prepare those meals.

There is one family member, however, that he has not seen — his paternal grandfather, the company’s founder. “I would love to have dinner with my grandfather. He was the one grandparent I never knew and I would like to have an opportunity to meet him,” he admits. Considering how Tyler Misel has contributed to the company, making its success his priority, we’re certain grandpa would love to have dinner with him as well — in order to say, ‘well done, thanks.’