Describe your current role at your company.
What I love about my role at Energy Distribution Partners (EDP) is that every day is different. I split my time between business development and financial analysis, which gives me the opportunity to work with different teams, sellers and companies in various capacities. I evaluate financial reports, study company operations and decide how a company will fit within the EDP family.
I get to partner with independent, family-owned companies to help them create the best possible transition scenario, ensuring the seller’s expectations are met while the company continues to exceed the high standards customers have become accustomed to. My goal is to ensure that the legacy these companies have built is not only maintained but continues to thrive.
What do you hope to achieve in your career over the next five years?
My focus is to become more involved with the national and state propane organizations and take on a more direct leadership role. It’s important for all generations to collaborate so we can collectively continue to educate consumers about propane and its many benefits.
I also hope to continue expanding my network to better align individuals and companies alike with processes, equipment or people that can enhance their business. And, of course, I plan to stay active at EDP, searching for the next propane operation that can be adopted into our family of companies.
What changes in the industry do you hope to see happen in the next few years?
Leaders in the propane industry have stepped up in driving the discussion around being a clean fuel source, and I hope that continues at an even faster pace. While many consumers only think of propane as a fuel for their barbecue grills, it has endless capabilities and can play a key role in the future of our nation’s clean energy plans.
Describe some of the biggest professional challenges you’ve experienced over your career.
I joined an oil and gas exploration and production company right out of college, at a critical time in the energy sector. In less than a year, the oil market had crashed, with crude dropping from more than $100 to $20. That caused me to pivot my career plan from being directly involved in the oil and gas industry to looking at roles that would allow me to stay close to it. The plan paid off — I’ve been able to remain in the energy sector and have transitioned to a career in the propane industry with tremendous opportunity.
Who do you admire in the industry and why?
Thomas Knauff, CEO at EDP, has been involved in this industry for several decades, and there are very few things he has not accomplished. He flipped the acquisition model upside down and provides independent propane marketers the opportunity to feel at peace with selling their companies, knowing their legacy — and ongoing involvement in their local community — will continue to grow thanks to the way our EDP team manages the acquisition process.
That said, the main reason I admire Tom is the way he impacts people. I’ve had numerous individuals come up to me with a “Tom” story. Industry folks who have met Tom often share how he impacted their lives in a positive way.
Most recently at a convention, someone who previously had worked under Tom spoke of his compassion for his employees and his hands-on leadership style. If you can positively impact that many people in a competitive industry, you must be doing something right.
What are you reading?
“Greenlights” by Matthew McConaughey; “Out of the Pocket” by Kirk Herbstreit; and, of course, BPN.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love watching professional and college sports, especially football and hockey. Taking the boat out on the lake, golfing or fishing are also always great ways to spend my free time.