Women In Propane: A Leader Who Always Says Yes to New Opportunities

Megan Sharp, general manager at Ferrellgas and Blue Rhino in Northern California, describes herself as a “Type A” personality with good time management skills — even on the weekends. She is actually a superwoman of time management with a growing list of accomplishments earned in a relatively short time span.
WIP Sharp

Since joining Ferrellgas as a logistics and routing analyst immediately after graduating from Iowa State University in 2006, she has been promoted four times, transferred to Reno where she earned a masters of business administration from the University of Nevada, and has become active in the local Women in Propane Council (WIP), all while simultaneously climbing the ladder of the Air National Guard. An impressive list of accomplishments for anyone, but especially for a woman; across the propane industry, similar leadership positions are occupied by women less than 10% of the time.

Responsible for the region from the Bay Area to Yosemite National Park in Ferrellgas’ Northern California division, Sharp manages 87 employees in nine different service units. “I immediately knew that Ferrellgas was something I wanted to be a part of. It’s such an interesting company, and after I was hired, I never looked back,” she said. “They have given me so many opportunities.”

Although Ferrellgas’ segments remain consistent over time, it is the company’s commitment to technology and drive to improve systems that excite her. “Ferrellgas has been so supportive — guiding me and challenging me to try new things, and they’ve supported me with the resources and tools along the way. Looking forward, I’d love to continue growing my skills and work my way up to impact a broader group of employees,” she said.

Equally impressive as her professional career is her military career. Capt. Megan Sharp is a personnel officer acting as the equal opportunity director, 152nd Airlift Wing, Nevada Air National Guard. Again, another leadership position few women hold in the military. She is also the president of the Nevada Air National Guard CGO Council. Sharp has been promoted seven times (next year, she will become a major), has earned multiple awards and decorations, and has been deployed twice: first, to Ali Al Sale Air Base, Kuwait in 2007, and then to Manas Transient Center, Kyrgyzstan in 2009.  

She spends a minimum of approximately one weekend a month and two weeks a year with the National Guard. “Ferrellgas is a very military-friendly company. They’ve been supportive of both my careers.”  

Multi-tasking is how Sharp said she is able to manage the challenges of her professional and military careers — plus her discipline and time management skills. This summer, while attending a six-week training course with the National Guard, where she obtained Distinguished Graduate, she was able to stay engaged and connected with her employees.  

As with any job, there are challenges that she is faced with each day, but Sharp said she enjoys solving problems in the field and working alongside her teammates to come up with solutions. “Every day is different; you never know what you’re going to get, but I like the challenge and look forward to coming up with new ways to do things.”

Her people and leadership skills are also a big part of her success in her current role as an equal opportunity officer for the National Guard. She manages any type of dispute, complaint, and human relations issue, including sexual harassment, for approximately 1300 members. In this role as neutral party, she travels to different units to meet with members so they will feel comfortable reaching out to her. “It’s a lot of listening and communications. It’s a challenging position, but rewarding as well.”

Outside of her work and military career, she spends time with her husband, Charlie; dog, Bowdy; and two cats, Cleveland and Roxy. She enjoys scrapbooking, running and hiking, and traveling back to Iowa visiting her nine older siblings and 30 nieces and nephews.    — Karen Massman VanAsdale