New Online Educational Resource Database for Fleets, Service Technicians

WASHINGTON (June 30, 2020) – The Propane Education & Research Council created online learning resources with educational information about propane autogas for fleets and service technicians that are starting to return to work after recent shutdowns while navigating through new challenges.
Bimbo Bakery Autogas Delivery

“The pandemic has been a wakeup call and it has many fleets reevaluating their best practices and operational efficiencies, including their fuel choices,” said Steve Whaley, director of autogas business development at PERC. “For fleets that aren’t familiar with propane autogas, these resources are a great place to start to learn how the energy source can help reduce their costs and emissions. For fleets that already operate with propane autogas, these resources will help them smoothly get back to business.”

The pages feature several items with information about owning, maintaining, and operating propane autogas vehicles and the benefits of the fuel – including that propane autogas provides fleets with the most cost-effective solution to reducing harmful emissions.

The fleet-specific page includes information on refueling, emissions studies, customer testimonials, and educational videos. Fleet owners can even use PERC’s cost savings calculator to determine how much propane autogas could save them over time.

The maintenance page includes important information about garaging and maintenance facilities, how propane autogas maintenance compares to other fuels, and converting an existing gasoline vehicle to propane autogas.

More information on propane autogas vehicles is available at Propane.com/Fleet-Vehicles.

About PERC: The Propane Education & Research Council is a nonprofit that provides leading propane safety and training programs and invests in research and development of new propane-powered technologies. PERC is operated and funded by the propane industry. For more information, visit Propane.com.

10 Factors That Affect The Value Of Your Propane Business

By Tamera Kovacs and Cooper Wilburn… There are many factors that go into a retail propane marketer’s decision to sell their business but typically there is one key factor that propels them to act. That one deciding factor is unique to each marketer as to when the time is right. Today, retailers have another factor to consider, COVID-19. Should they proceed with their plans to sell or should they wait? That answer is not as straightforward as one might hope—the COVID-19 impact is just another factor that must be weighed into the decision-making process. Propane Acquisition Expert Tamera Kovacs discusses Tips to Selling A Propane Business with BPN leading source of LPG industry news

When considering the impact COVID-19 will have on the sale of propane businesses, most buyers will look at how it has impacted their business specifically. They will look at how it has impacted the factors that drive the exit multiple as well as the earnings of the company.

We recently surveyed retail propane marketers asking them to rank, in order of importance, 10 drivers that impact exit multiples. The survey results show the percentage of respondents who ranked each of the items within the top five. How do the retailers’ rankings compare to what we consider to be the most important? Read on.

Tank Ownership—At fifty-three percent (53%), tank ownership received the majority of votes as being one of the top factors impacting exit multiples. Let’s face it, it’s about control. You want to control the gallons delivered to the customer and the profitability gained. It’s also about controlling the safety of the tank and installation. Part two of tank ownership is having proper documentation to prove you own the tank. Make sure you have signed tank leases on file and in a system for easy access. Remember, buyers don’t buy what they can’t see. For customer-owned tanks, try to get a longer-term contract to maintain control of the tank.
Cooper wilburn of Propane Resources points out Keys to Selling a Propane Business with BPN
Margin & Profitability Trends—Thirty-nine percent (39%) of responding retailers ranked margin and profitability trends as one of the top five factors. It is important to break down the gross margin by customer class so you and a potential buyer understand the margin trends by category. What do the trends look like? Have they trended up, down, or fluctuated year to year? Why? Understand the story behind the trends. Look at not only the total dollar amount but also the trends on a cents-per-gallon basis. The big question: Is it sustainable? Buyers buy sustainability over time, not on one great year. Margin and profitability trends are key to building value in your business.

Safety—Thirty-nine percent (39%) also ranked safety within the top five. Again, it’s about control, consistency, and documentation. It is very important to regularly schedule (monthly) meetings to review and reinforce safety, policies for performing GAS Checks, and the proper documentation and filing of each. For underground tanks, documentation on cathodic protection is also important. In the event of an accident, if a GAS Check isn’t documented and signed, the eyes of the courts will say it didn’t happen. Again, buyers don’t buy what they can’t see; we have seen buyers walk on deals because of a lack of safety documentation.

Quality of Staff—Twenty-five percent (25%) of the survey respondents felt quality of staff was one of the top five. A key differentiator from one business to another is people! Is the staff micromanaged or can they take on leadership roles? Can they help build a strong business? For a typical retail propane marketer, personnel expenses range between 40% and 60%. The staff’s efficiency, customer compassion and relatability, and ability to make decisions are all critical. Employees can make or break your business.
Propane Resources Acquisition experts share Tips to Selling Your Propane Business with BPN the LPG industry's leading source for news since 1939

Gallons Trends—
Twenty-four percent (24%) ranked gallons trends in the top five. When looking at your gallons trends it is important to break out gallons-by-customer classification. What’s happening and why? Gallons trends are a driver of gross margins, profitability, and an indicator of growth or decline. It is important to understand what is driving the trends.

Quality of Assets—Twenty-four percent (24%) ranked quality of assets in the top five. Quality of assets can be broken into three categories: rolling stock, bulk storage, and consumer tanks. The rolling stock is the category of assets that has a high churn rate in a company. The age of the fleet becomes important if the majority of the fleet is over 10 years old and will need to be replaced in short order. It’s also a question of expense dollars-versus-capital dollars plus opportunity costs. Companies with an older fleet tend to have higher repair and maintenance costs. This can lead to a risk of a truck being out of service during peak season, resulting in the loss of an opportunity. Companies with a newer fleet have higher capital expense outlay but often see lower repair and maintenance costs. What is the timing for investing in new rolling stock? A continuous update of rolling stock is suggested to avoid becoming over-burdened within a short amount of time (one or two years). Currently there are tax incentives available for capital purchases. These incentives won’t last forever, so take advantage of them while they are still available.

All tanks, whether bulk storage or consumer tanks, must have a legible data plate to be in service. For bulk storage tanks, it is also important to have the U1A Certificate. Buyers will look at your tanks; they do not want to buy a bunch of pitted tanks or tanks in violation of codes. Consumer tanks generally are the most valuable asset a retailer has. It is important to continuously keep them cleaned, painted, and within code.

Customer Growth—Twenty-one percent (21%) ranked customer growth within the top five. Customer growth can be thought of in two ways: net customer growth and burner tip growth. Track gain and loss numbers for both company-owned and customer-owned tanks. While customer-owned tank growth is good, the value placed on customer-owned growth isn’t as high as company-owned growth. An increase in burner tips within existing customers’ homes will help increase gallons growth trends and can lead to increased profitability.

Market Segment—Fifteen percent (15%) ranked market segment in the top five. Understanding the market segments you serve as in number of customers, percentage of gallons sold to each segment, and impact of the gross margin trends, are all key components to impacting the exit multiple and earnings of the company. We tend to see buyers pay higher multiples for bulk residential businesses versus large agricultural or commercial businesses.

Percent of Gallons with Top Accounts—Fifteen percent (15%) ranked percentage of gallons with top accounts in the top five. This driver of exit multiples typically doesn’t get much attention unless a company sells a large percentage of their gallons to a few accounts. If the majority of your gallons are sold to residential accounts, losing one or two won’t be a material impact to your business. However, losing one or two accounts that contribute to a significant number of gallons sold by your business could be very detrimental.

Operational Efficiencies—Twelve percent (12%) ranked operational efficiencies in the top five. Operational efficiencies are one of the most difficult to track and see direct impact, yet, is very important. Most changes to operational efficiencies take time to see the financial benefit to the business. While operational efficiencies are important, they fall more to the earnings side of the business versus the multiples side. If you have better operational efficiencies, you will have increased earnings and will get paid for these efficiencies, as your earnings are higher.

The above factors (among others) play a key role when assessing the value of your business. Adding to this is COVID-19’s impace on your business. The shutdown this spring could pose a significant impact on a company’s value and marketability through lost volumes and lost customers. The shutdown can also possibly affect the ability of customers to pay. As industrial, commercial, and residential customers come back online and return to work post-COVID-19, it will be critical to understand the long-term economic impact to the propane business serving those accounts.

The big question: If you were considering selling, is now a good time? Buyers are continuing to acquire companies. And in the past several years multiples have trended up. In the last few years, buyers have been more aggressive with multiples on good quality companies and weaker companies benefitted from those stronger multiples. For strong companies, multiples will likely remain high. Where we may see a decline in multiples is with companies that have problem areas—they may not benefit from the stronger multiples as they have in the past.

COVID-19 caused a shock to markets and many experts say this will send us into a recession. The retail propane industry is a fairly recession-resistant industry; people still need to heat their homes, cook their food, and heat their water. This should cause new buyers to continue to come into the market and help keep multiples elevated.

Depending on your situation, now is definitely a good time to sell. Buyers continue to have access to cheap money and look to continue growing. Historically, factors causing multiples to weaken have been an increase in interest rates, inflation, and availability of investment dollars. We don’t know the timing of this impact but at some point, we will have to pay back the money that is being printed. The kind of debt that is being added will generally cause an inflationary period that is stopped or slowed with rising interest rates. We have helped numerous companies buy and sell businesses over the years; each company has their own unique situation and reasons for buying or selling. Most people only get one shot at selling their business; make sure you get the deal that makes the most sense for your specific situation.

Tamera Kovacs and Cooper Wilburn of Propane Resources assist retail propane marketers with valuations, business reviews focusing on increasing value and helping companies buy and/or sell businesses. PropaneResources,com

Three Key Propane Safety Factors To Keep Top Of Mind

Although propane professionals are well trained to know what to do regarding safety, they sometimes can become distracted, Stuart Flatow warned participants in recent webinar. Flatow served as the Propane Education & Research Council’s (PERC) vice president, safety and training, from 2000 to 2019, and is currently offering cost-effective safety management and consulting services to the propane industry. In his session presented during the first Virtual Propane Expo (VPE), “Listening to Idiots Can be Hazardous to Your Health,” Flatow identified three crucial areas that propane marketers must be mindful of in order to guard against an undesirable safety situation: giving in to peer pressure; listening to those in authority; and caught “in the moment.”
Stuart Flatow Propane Safety Consultants speaks with leading trade publication BPN about the top three safety tips LPG employees should ALWAYS remember
PEER PRESSURE
Don’t ever give in to peer pressure when it comes to taking safety shortcuts. Citing the quote of Rear Adm. Grace Murray, naval officer and one of the early computer pioneers, “‘The most dangerous phrase in the English language is, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’”

Indeed. So why do it differently? Flatow used the example of checking for gas leaks. It’s been known to happen that a technician just smelled for gas. Or, checked for leaks with a lit match. They do so because someone senior to them showed them that shortcut. Most do not do this, but there are still some that do because of poor mentoring. Note: No shortcuts.

AUTHORITY
He stressed that propane technicians will listen to those in authority. Flatow emphasized a warning from Paula Laney, director of safety and training at Energy Distribution Partners (EDP), and former safety director for the Oklahoma Propane Gas Association, that has always stuck with him: “Doing things the old way isn’t always the safe way. We have to change our thinking about how adults work, and be cautious about whom we let help with on the job training.” You do not want to teach bad habits or have them continue.

CAUGHT UP IN THE MOMENT
“Being in the moment” refers to becoming so focused on the situation at hand that one forgets obvious safety rules. Getting lost in a daydream, performing services under stress or while ill, a family situation, there are a million ways people get lost in thought or act automatically without thinking because they’re “lost in the moment.”

Flatow referenced a 2007 propane explosion in Ghent, W.V., at the Little General convenience store. A senior service tech had decided it was appropriate to have a junior technician perform a tank-to-tank transfer, one of the riskiest operations in propane. This resulted in an uncontrolled release of gas that filled the convenience store and the area around the tanks.

However, the technician did not evacuate the store. Instead, four employees remained inside the convenience store and even hung a sign in the window that read, “Store Closed Due to Gas Leak.” Eventually, the senior propane technician and the fire department responded to the leak. But no one in authority ordered the store closed or the area evacuated.

“They got caught up in the moment and were not thinking clearly,” said Flatow. When the propane cloud inside the store exploded, the two technicians and two first responders who were all standing next to the propane tank were killed. The four employees who remained inside the store were all seriously injured, and the building was completely leveled.

He warned against letting one’s guard down when it comes to safety just because everything seems to be going fine. “Just because the number of safety incidents or accidents might be down, don’t assume the attitude that it’s unnecessary to invest in safety anymore, a refrain commonly heard from propane professionals during safety meetings; and words that are often later said with regret.” — Andrea Young

Workers' Compensation Dilemmas For Propane Marketers

worker compensation tips for LPG marketers and retailers to know reported in BPN the propane industry's leading source for news since 1939(July 8, 2020) — An article in the June 2020 issue of BPN, “Workers’ Compensation Dilemmas” by Frank Thompson, provided an example of an employee doing clerical or outside salesperson’s duties along with filling propane bottles.

It stated that if the propane marketer kept Verifiable Time Records, an independent workers’ compensation (WC) auditor would be allowed to utilize a lower WC code for the majority of the employee’s payroll.

The National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) reports that this would not be allowed:

“Whether or not separate verifiable records for time spent in the office vs. time filling propane tanks were kept, a division of payroll would still not be allowed per NCCI Basic Manual Rule 2-G. The employee would be assigned to the appropriate basic classification for the duties associated with propane bottle filling.” For any questions, contact
NCCI's Customer Service Department.


(Photo courtesy: Anamul Rezwan)

Part II: The Propane Industry's 30 Under 30 Leaders

Thirty young propane professionals, who were nominated by others in the industry, have been selected as Charter Members of the Young Gassers’ 30 Under 30 Program. Each of these young adults will receive a variety of assignments, perks, and recognition within the propane industry for their participation.

This is the inaugural year of the 30 Under 30 Program. Created by the International Association of Young Gassers in conjunction with the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) and the Canadian Propane Association (CPA), the program is meant in invest in, engage, and encourage young professionals working for companies directly involved in the propane gas industry.

Following is a brief description, as provided to BPN, of 15 inaugural members of 30 Under 30. The previous 15 young leaders were introduced in the April issue of BPN.

Propane Industry Announces 30 Under 30 leaders HostlerKendall HostlerCentral Valley Ag
Beloit, Kan.
Kendall Hostler was raised on a central Nebraska farm and graduated from Fort Hays State University. After graduation, she moved to Beloit, Kan., where she worked as an energy customer service specialist at Farmway Co-op. Her duties included, but were not limited to, propane contract development and implementation, wholesale and commercial refined fuels and propane bidding, customer service, and receiving and invoicing of all energy-related products and services.

Today she is the business support specialist for the energy division at Central Valley Ag (CVA). In her new role, she is crucial in development and data services for the energy operating system. Kendall trains location personnel in three states and is a member of the CVA Energy Leadership Team. She has a two-year-old daughter, Landri.

Travis Hagen Propane 30 Under30 Hagen
Emergency Response Assistance Canada
Calgary, Alta.
Travis Hagen had his start in the field as a tank truck repair technician at the age of 18, at National Energy Equipment. He recounts, I conducted inspections under the B620 regulation. I performed repairs, modifications, and fabrication of tank trucks. From National Energy, I was picked up by Euroway Industrial Services at the age of 22. At Euroway, I was an apprentice welder, as well as a fabricator and tank truck technician. When I joined the Euroway team, I was asked if I would like to work on the dangerous goods response team. After three months I was promoted to team lead of the response team. I spent five years as a welder/fabricator and tank truck tech with Euroway, as well as a dangerous goods response team leader. From Euroway I moved on to CN Rail as a dangerous goods officer, first for Alberta, Canada, then to Saskatchewan, Canada. From CN Rail I have moved to Emergency Response Assistance Canada as a home base coordinator and technical advisor.

He has responded to more than 50 LPG rail incidents, over 80 LPG tank truck incidents, and more than 30 stationary tank incidents involving transfers, repairs, leak mitigation, and fire suppression.


Propane 30 Under 30 Garrett 0620 bpn
Raleigh Garrett
G&S Gas Service Inc.
Milledgeville, Ga.
Raleigh Garrett is the vice president of G&S Gas Service Inc. in Milledgeville, Ga. Upon graduating from the University of Georgia with a degree in finance, Raleigh joined G&S Gas after working as a traveling consultant for a year. He’s been with G&S Gas for seven years and is a third-generation member of the family business. He currently lives in Athens, Ga. with his wife, Anna Lynn.

Propane Industry 30 Under30 Leaders Boese reports BPN
Trae Boese
Global GasDenver, Colo.Trae Boese was first introduced to the propane industry as a teenager, when he worked in the yard painting and power-washing tanks during the summer at a retail location in Kansas. While he didn’t know it at the time, this would be the first stepping stone towards a career in the propane industry. During his senior year of college, he interned with Global Gas. These experiences would make a natural fit for Trae when he rejoined Global Gas shortly after finishing college.

Trae attended Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kan., where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in accounting and business administration. He has been with Global Gas for three years, starting in its accounting department and is now currently the Northeast sales representative. The opportunity to learn and build relationships is what he enjoys the most about being in the propane industry. In college, he worked at Applebee’s for two years, where he gained valuable customer relations experience.


propane industry announces 2020 new 30 Under 30 leaders including Brad Plissey reports BPN the LPG industry leading source for news since 1939Brad Plissey
JaySan Gas
East Freetown, Mass.
Brad Plissey started working at JaySan Gas at the age of 16 as an autogas fleet maintenance mechanic while enrolled in a local vocational technical high school. Upon graduation, Brad chose to enter the propane trade as an alternative to a college degree. He learned other roles within the industry, including tank maintenance, tank setting, gas fitting, appliance service, and propane delivery, becoming a versatile member of the JaySan team. Brad is currently an apprentice to a Master Gasfitter and received his intrastate Class A CDL with all endorsements at the age of 19. Most days he drives a bobtail delivering to residential, commercial, and agricultural locations and is transitioning to replace a retiring long-term Class A transport driver. Beyond work, Brad is an on-call member of his hometown fire department with his Firefighter 1 and 2 certifications, is in process for his EMT license, as well as having completed the propane emergency response training through PGANE and the Massachusetts Fire Academy. Brad is 19 years old and lives in his hometown of Freetown, Mass. with his dog, Jesse James, a Belgian Malinois.



Matt Silk
Propane Industry Announces 2020 30 Under 30 leaders Matt Silk of Jennings Oil & Propane reports bpn the industry's leading source for news since 1939
Jennings Oil & Propane

Danbury, Conn.
Matt Silk says, although brief, his experience in the propane industry has been rewarding. Following my graduation from the University of Connecticut in 2015 I began helping out the Jennings during busy winters to supplement my woodworking job and found that the trades were a better fit for me than office work. I’ve always been mechanically inclined and enjoy working with my hands. There’s always an ongoing project in my life, whether it’s a car or motorcycle. I love learning how things work. Appliance installation and maintenance, as well as piping installations, offer a satisfying challenge. Field work also drew me toward propane. Operating the crane or excavator to set tanks is enormously more exciting to me than sitting at a desk.

He began his career as an oil delivery driver for Jennings Oil and is currently working his way through the propane aspect of the industry, as both a delivery driver and technician. He explains, I’m eager to learn all I can about the fuel business and feel I am moving up steadily. There’s plenty of work to keep me busy and I’m excited to see how the industry evolves as time moves on.



Propane announces ignagural class of 30 Under 30 LPG leaders Daniel Guglielmo of Paraco reports BPN Daniel Guglielmo
Paraco
Mt. Vernon, N.Y.
Daniel Guglielmo started working at Paraco when he was 16, sorting BBQ tanks and conducting yard maintenance during summer breaks at our Mt. Vernon, N.Y. facility. He says, although it was physically demanding, I quickly fell in love with the fast-paced work environment, and my co-workers whom I now consider family. At 18, I started to work on the loading dock while attending college. As soon as I turned 21, the minimum legal age required to be a hazmat driver, I got my CDL and hazmat endorsement. For the next few years, I would deliver cylinders full-time Wednesday through Sunday, and attend full-time undergraduate classes Monday and Tuesday. Finally, after graduating from college, I was given the opportunity to take a new role as the workforce manager for our customer experience department. I get to work with the best team every day, and together we turned the customer experience department into an efficient, customer-centric operation that is always looking to improve. Right now, I am attending graduate courses at night with a concentration in information systems, so I can add more value to our team. At 26, I am very fortunate to have already put in 10 years with a great company like Paraco, and look forward to a long career.



Cody Reeves

RegO ProductsElon, N.C.Ppeople ReevesCody Reeves entered the propane industry more than 12 years ago as an apprentice with a propane marketer under a work-study program. He obtained his journeyman license to work on gas systems in the state of Connecticut at the Mitchell Oil Co. shortly thereafter. He continued to pursue and obtain his contractor’s license for the state of Connecticut at Durkin Propane. While at Durkin Propane he assisted the startup of a new propane retailer where they encouraged safety and training. It didn’t take long for Cody to discover his passion for creating a safety culture. After moving, Cody began working for a major marketer, Superior Plus Propane, where he encountered a team of safety professionals that had encouraged the need for training professionals in the industry. Cody, his wife and four children, have since relocated to North Carolina after he transitioned to the technical services specialist role at RegO in 2019.

He has since facilitated both regulator and distributor training for more than 400 people across the U.S. When not supporting RegO marketing and training efforts, you’ll find him playing at the park with his wife and kids.


Propane industry announces leaders 30 Under 30 Shaffer

Elliott Shaffer

Shaffer’s Bottles Gas
Hooversville, Pa.
Elliott Shaffer is proud to represent the fifth generation of a family business that began in Hooversville, Pa. in 1901. He attended the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and currently is employed as plant manager of Shaffer’s Bottled Gas. Elliott and his wife, Sally, live in Hooversville. He enjoys working with his dad, Jeff Shaffer, and intends to emulate his father’s leadership and compassion for others.

Propane industry 30 Under30 DeWitt
Tanner DeWitt
Ed Staub & Sons
Boise, Idaho

Tanner DeWitt has been around the propane business his whole life. I am 3rd generation in the industry. I started in grade school painting and refurbing tanks as a summer job, and helping count inventory. After college, I worked for Ed Staub & Sons Propane as a yard guy, before moving to the construction side of the business, building cardlocks in Oregon and California for gas and diesel with a man named Gene Alvis. He helped me through this industry. I then started bulking oil at our main office in Klamath Falls, Ore., before transferring to our Nampa, Idaho plant. I helped building storages, then I drove part time til I got my own route. I began driving through the winter, then went into service at the start of 2015. I was trained by my now leaders, Rod Taylor and Bryce Clark. I’ve been a technician ever since and now am training upcoming technicians in the company with Rod Taylor. I have a beautiful family with my wife Karen and our two daughters, Boston, who is 4, and Harley, who is 8 months old.


Scott Dougherty BPN reports the new Propane 30 Under 30 Leaders including Scott Dougherty with Superior Energy Systems june 2020Superior Energy SystemsElyria, OhioScott Dougherty has been with Superior Energy Systems (SES) for seven years, beginning his career with SES while still in high school. Initially, he was hired to sell 20- to 100-lb cylinders. As his industry knowledge and education base grew, he was promoted to draftsman and now works as a sales engineer. Scott takes the lead on multiple sales opportunities simultaneously, and works directly with customers to ensure success. He is currently working on his senior project, which includes new computer-based programming for midstream terminal operations. Scott enjoys working in various facets of the NGL industry, including midstream, industrial and autogas. Some of his accomplishments at SES include leading the CSA/UL, Measurement Canada, and NTEP processes for certifying SES’ full autogas dispenser line; coordinating large autogas infrastructure plans for fleets; and initiating 3D, CAD modeling techniques for more advanced design drawings for midstream and autogas installations.

Prior to college, Scott achieved Eagle Scout status with the Boy Scouts of America. Scott will graduate from Cleveland State University in May with a degree in electronics engineering technology and continue his career with SES.




Denver VanderYacht 2020 Propane 30 under 30 Leaders including Denver VanderYacht reports bpn the industry's leading source for news since 1939
VanderYacht Propane
Lynden, Wash.
Denver VanderYacht grew up in the propane industry. His parents, Bryan and Mary VanderYacht, started VanderYacht Propane in 1989. Denver was born in 1994, and ever since he can remember he was helping his mom and dad around the office. Full-time employment started in 2016. Denver graduated from high school in 2012, then furthered his education at Washington State University. During college he still managed to work for VanderYacht Propane. When he was home in the summer, he would help out in the service department or drive a bobtail. After graduating in 2017 he hit the ground running. First starting in the bobtail delivering propane and not long after he was placed in a service truck. Now Denver is the sales and marketing manager for VanderYacht Propane. The first-hand contact with the customers and helping them out each day is what he loves. He enjoys building those relationships with customers, making sure they are better off each time he hangs up the phone, or when he leaves the customer’s location. In his spare time, you will see Denver spending time with his wife Miranda; his two sons, Calvin (2), and Kruze (5 months); and his Labrador, Stanley.

BPN reports new Propane 30 Under 30 leaders including Drake VanderYacht of VanderYacht Propane in Washington state 06-20
Drake VanderYacht
VanderYacht Propane
Lynden, Wash.
Drake VanderYacht was born in March of 1995. His parents, Bryan and Mary VanderYacht, started VanderYacht Propane in 1989. Since he can remember he has always been a part of the company, whether it was going up to the RV parks in the hills and reading tanks during Christmas break as a kid or driving around and pressure-washing propane tanks during the summer months. Drake always knew he wanted to work for his parents, but also wanted to venture out and work for someone besides his parents to get a different view on things. In 2014 he applied to work at Roche Harbor Resort on San Juan Island, Wash., where he was in charge of placing boats and yachts in slips as they came into the harbor. This job quickly grew into a management role, where it helped him develop great communication, organization, and management skills. Drake is currently driving a bobtail for his parents’ company, but is working into more of the dispatching, property mangement, and sales side of things. He is excited to start getting more involved and can’t wait to see what the future years have to bring. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with friends and family especially his nephews, Calvin (2), and Kruze (5 months).


Ryan Wine
E.P. Wine Inc.
Barre, Mass.
BPN reports the propane industry salutes new 30 Under 30 leaders incuding Ryan Wine EP Wine IncRyan Wine is the fourth generation involved in his family-owned and -operated propane business, E.P. Wine Inc. His journey in the industry began in high school during his summer breaks, when he would refurbish tanks the old-fashioned way, with a scraper and paint brush. While attending Merrimack College, Ryan juggled between helping out at E.P. Wine and playing college soccer at a high level.

After graduating from Merrimack College in 2017, Ryan started full time, driving bobtails and making deliveries. He was also a crucial part of getting his company online with a website and social media pages.

Today Ryan is much more involved with the service side of the business, learning more about propane equipment each day. He is a jack of all trades within the company, able to help out driving, servicing equipment, answering phones, and managing the company’s online presence.


Austin Dodge
Woodfin Propane Inc.
Richmond, Va.BPN introduces new Propane 30 Under 30 leaders featuring Austin Dodge Wabash Propane june 2020
Austin Dodge is the current operations manager for Woodfin Propane Inc. (Richmond, Va.). After graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2015 with a degree in Finance, he began his career at Woodfin Propane, a local petroleum company, where he assumed a number of job functions from bobtail driving, to overseeing operations at company-owned convenience stores, to maintenance on the company fleet of fueloil and propane delivery vehicles. In his three years in the propane industry, he has helped drive Woodfin from a start up to a solid player in the central Virginia LP market. Daily job functions include regulatory compliance, permitting, scheduling, inventory, and installing LP systems. His goal for the immediate future is to continue to foster growth within the propane market while maintaining outstanding customer relations and compliance within the industry.