M. Douglas Dagan
Suburban Propane VP of strategic initiatives shares about tough business decisions, workplace collaboration & ensuring a propane company's long-term success

Describe your current role at your company.

I am one of the leaders of our activities under our ‘Go Green with Suburban Propane’ core corporate pillar. In addition to advocating for the low carbon and clean air benefits of traditional propane, I am responsible for supporting our long-term strategic growth and diversification initiatives through the identification, analysis and execution of transformative acquisitions, strategic partnerships and investments in renewable energy opportunities.

Since the 2020 investment in Oberon Fuels, a renewable dimethyl ether producer, we have been actively exploring opportunities for future investment in renewable energy companies and technologies.

What’s one of the toughest decisions you’ve made in your current role?

I don’t know that there is any one decision I can identify. I spend a lot of time exploring novel and emerging renewable energy technologies and, in that role, I get to know the startup founders and key investors well. If we determine a technology is not a good fit for us, it is always difficult letting those people know we will not be moving forward with them.


I try to be clear about why it is not a good fit for Suburban Propane and try to make introductions to people who may be more interested in that technology, but it is still difficult to let people know that we will not be moving forward with them.

What’s your favorite part of the workday?

The opportunity to collaborate with smart and passionate people who are dedicated to making Suburban Propane the best company it can be for our customers, employees and the communities we serve. I am energized by my friends and colleagues, and their commitment to delivering the best possible outcome for our customers and unitholders motivates me to do the same.

Name some of your greatest personal or professional successes.

I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to do interesting things in both my personal and professional life, and my greatest success has been my ability to merge my personal and professional passions.

The unifying theme throughout my personal and professional life has been working to ensure a better tomorrow through focused engagement on environmental and social improvements.

What is the most important core value a company can have?

Integrity and a commitment to service. Companies are becoming more and more influential in our world and knowing that the people who make up a company are honest and guided by a desire to do the right thing is critical for the company’s long-term success.

An equally important value is a commitment to serving the company’s customers, employees, the communities where it operates and its investors. At Suburban Propane, these values are captured in our other two core corporate pillars: Suburban Commitment and SuburbanCares.

What phone app do you use the most?

Like most people, I think my email and text message apps are the most used on my phone. A close second is my podcast app. I listen to a lot of podcasts; I currently subscribe to more than 300. I particularly like “The Future of Everything” from the Wall Street Journal, “The Daily” from the New York Times, “The Indicator” from Planet Money, “Freakonomics,” “Revisionist History,” and “The Inquiry” from BBC World Service.

How would you spend an unexpected day off?

It depends on the time of year. In the winter, I would be skiing. In the summer, I would likely be relaxing by the pool.



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