Learning Center Coordinator, Propane Education & Research Council
Describe your current role at your company.
I am the first point of contact at the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) for all matters relating to the Learning Center. Many BPN readers have probably communicated with me in the past two years as the industry navigates the evolution of the Learning Center and online training. Along with Vice President of Safety Eric Kuster and the PERC Safety team, we work to maintain and improve our online training and resources to the benefit of the industry.
What is the biggest challenge the industry is facing right now, and what are you doing in your company to overcome it?
There is no bigger challenge to our industry than that of environmental messaging. We live in a rapidly changing political, technological and cultural time, where attitudes toward climate and energy are not what they were even when I was a child (and I’m only 26). We in the industry know that propane has a positive and vital role to play in the current energy conversation, and PERC staff takes the responsibility of promoting propane’s environmental benefits seriously.
Is there a tool or technology that you rely on to do your job?
I rely most on the Learning Management System itself. It is my duty to know the system as intimately as possible so that I can continue to provide excellent customer service and make important improvements to the user experience.
What’s the most popular course offered by PERC?
Our most popular course by far is Basic Principles and Practices of Propane, which is the foundation (and sole prerequisite) of our Certified Employee Training Program (CETP). I have taken the course myself, and as someone who had no propane experience when I started at PERC, it was invaluable. I believe the same is true for thousands of propane professionals entering the industry for the first time.
What is the most challenging part of working behind the scenes on the learning platform? What aspect do you enjoy most?
The answer to both is the same: facilitating the rapid evolution of our programming and the even faster growth in the number of Learning Center users. We are always working to improve the system and it is very fulfilling to look back at how far we at PERC and those in the industry have come in the past few years. I’m proud of what my team has accomplished so far and I’m even more excited for where we’re headed.
Can you discuss PERC’s role with the National Propane Gas Association in regard to the ELDT mandate and why it’s important for PERC to be involved?
PERC’s focus is on building curriculum and educational programs and the National Propane Gas Association’s focus is on regulatory and compliance issues. One piece of this program involves training, and the other involves regulatory compliance by being a training provider. It was important for our respective organizations to leverage our expertise to build a complete program that the industry could use to most effectively bring new drivers into the propane workforce.
How do you keep your skills up to date and continually focus on personal career growth?
PERC heavily prioritizes professional growth and development. I have never been denied a professional development opportunity, whether it be workshops online or in person; blocked time to learn the Learning Management System more intimately; or one-on-one time with those at PERC with advanced knowledge and experience in the industry. I would not have learned so much so quickly in my two years here had PERC not so heavily emphasized professional development.
What lesson did you learn when you were younger that still influences your actions today?
I prioritize treating others with respect. Perhaps nothing has gotten me further in my professional and personal life than this lesson, for which I have my family and my small-town Georgia upbringing to thank.
How would you spend an unexpected day off?
I love exploring Washington, D.C., on my bike on a nice day. It’s a great way to discover places in the city, on top of being a great workout.