The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) is the national trade association representing the U.S. propane industry. Our membership includes small businesses and large corporations engaged in the retail marketing of propane gas and appliances; producers and wholesalers of propane equipment; manufacturers and distributors of propane gas appliances and equipment; fabricators of propane gas cylinders and tanks; and propane transporters.
With a membership of approximately 2,800 companies in all 50 states, 38 affiliated state or regional associations, and members in 19 foreign countries, NPGA represents every segment of the propane industry.
To advance safety and to increase the use of propane through sound public policy.
- Advance safety throughout the propane industry.
- Achieve public policies that favor production, distribution, and increased use of propane.
- Foster industry-wide cohesion, through communication, learning, networking, and collaboration.
NPGA was originally formed in 1931 as the National Bottled Gas Association. The founders were H. Emerson Thomas (Phillips Petroleum Co.), George Oberfell (Phillips Petroleum Co.), and Mark Anton (founder and president of Suburban Propane Gas Corp. Anton was named president of the association. The first meeting was held in the fall of 1931 during the American Gas Association’s yearly conference.
Beginning in 1935, efforts were taken to organize the membership according to geographic subdivisions. In 1937, the membership voted to change the name to the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (LPGA). The association’s first membership publication, LPGA Jet, was issued in March 1939, but was suspended in mid-1942 because of war paper rationing. Until 1946, the association was administered by staff of the Compressed Gas Association.
In 1946, LPGA opened its offices in Chicago, Illinois. In 1955, it restarted its membership magazine, now called LPGA Times. The association remained LPGA until a 1964 merger with the National LP-Gas Council (an organization formed in 1949 to conduct sales promotion and public relations activities) under the collective banner of the National LP-Gas Association (NLPGA). The final name change to the National Propane Gas Association, or NPGA, was ratified by the membership in April 1988.
In 2002, NPGA moved its headquarters from Lisle, Illinois to Washington, DC, where it had operated a small government affairs office since 1962. Today the association remains an active and vibrant organization serving its thousands of members with safety programs, legislative strength, and a continued tradition of excellence.
NPGA Business Councils
What Are They?
NPGA Business Councils provide a mechanism for companies that wish to conduct advocacy, research and other activities on specific topics or areas of interest to the public and the propane gas industry. Generally, councils are formed around issues which are of concern to only one segment of the membership but not to all. This allows pursuit of their activities under the NPGA umbrella without expenditure of NPGA general revenues. Councils are funded by voluntary subscription and operate under the auspices of NPGA with oversight by the Executive Committee. Participation is open to all NPGA members and may include non-members, if desired by the council organizers. Councils are established and permitted to operate under the auspices of NPGA according to terms agreed to by the participants of the council and the NPGA Executive Committee. The following principles govern all councils.
- A council may develop its own strategies and positions on issues, may engage in research, and may take actions without prior notice to or approval by NPGA, provided the activities are consistent with standing policies and procedures.
- NPGA offers full administrative services to any council including record keeping, file retention, mailing services, and financial services. If the council contracts with another source for these services, and is not separately incorporated, periodic reports on its activities and finances will be required to be made to the NPGA Executive Committee to satisfy their fiduciary obligations.
- The relationship between NPGA and a council may be dissolved by either party at any time, subject to notification. Upon dissolution, the council may elect to operate separate from NPGA, or may discontinue its activities.
How is a Council Created?
To establish a council, the organizers need to agree upon a mission and activities and how they will be funded. A proposal is then made to the Executive Committee to form a council. In deciding whether to authorize the establishment of the council, the Executive Committee will consider such factors as:
- the number of NPGA members involved,
- whether the council’s objectives should be budgeted as an NPGA activity
- whether the council’s proposed positions and policies are compatible with NPGA established positions, and the extent to which the council will focus on developing new markets or new industry activities.
NPGA Business Councils
NPGA makes every effort to honor its members who give unselfishly of their time and energy to further the principles of the association, the welfare of the industry, and the ideals of a democratic society. It does this in part through the awards detailed below. Nominations for these awards are welcomed and encouraged from any NPGA member. Nominating forms are available by clicking the links below. The deadline for all awards is December 1. All awards are presented at NPGA’s Nominating Luncheon or summer Board of Directors meeting, held in conjunction with Propane Days.
Distinguished Service Award
NPGA’s most prestigious honor is its Distinguished Service Award, which grants the recipient honorary lifetime membership in the Association. It is awarded only to individuals who, in the opinion of the Distinguished Service Award Committee (a panel composed of all active past presidents/Chairmen of NPGA), have made an outstanding contribution, either to NPGA or to the propane industry.
Distinguished Service Award Recipients
George G. Oberfell
M. G. Farrar
H. Emerson Thomas
Harry E. Newell
Harrison K. Strickler
E. Carl Sorby
A. N. Kerr
K. R. D. Wolfe
Lee A. Brand
Howard D. White
Walter A. Naumer
Rosswell W. Thomas
J. Woodward Martin
Charles O. Russell
Paul S. Endacott
Norman A. Evans
C. J. McAllister
Robert E. Poethig
W. A. Schuette
A. C. Kreutzer
William S. Brenckle
William C. Hill
Ross K. Albon
O. L. Garretson
Wilbur L. Walls
Fred H. Ramseur, Jr.
Walter H. Johnson
Bill L. Jellison
J. Charles Sawyer
William B. McHenry
J. D. Capps
William W. Clark
Sam McTier (2002)
Michael Gorham (2009)
Eugene V.N. Bissell (2011)
Charles Revere (2014)
Daryl F. McClendon (2015)
David Lugar (2017)
Bill Hill Award
The Bill Hill Memorial Award is presented to an NPGA member who has made significant contributions to the propane industry in the area public affairs at the national, state, or local level. The award honors the memory of the late William C. Hill, who from 1974 to 1979 chaired the National Committee on Propane Allocation and Price Regulations, and includes a grant to an educational institution of the recipient’s choice.
Recipients of Bill Hill Award Recipients
J. C. Sawyer (1980)
Milford Therrell (1996)
State Director of the Year
This award recognizes the NPGA state director deemed outstanding in three principal areas; communicating with members in his/her state, working with NPGA committees, and attending both national and state meetings. The winner is selected by a panel consisting of the current NPGA chairman, the immediate past chairman, and the NPGA district directors.
State Director of the Year
D. Frank Platz
Robert Y. Love
George Ed White
H. Emerson Thomas
NPGA Safety Awards are bestowed upon individuals, companies, or branches of larger firms that have made extraordinary contributions to industry safety, through public or community education, HAZMAT efforts or other methods. The past and present chairmen of the CETP Certification Committee select the award recipient.
Safety Award Recipients
Elbert A. Linder
Tim Spicer, Virginia PGA
Larry Wilson, University of Missouri Fire Rescue & Training Institute
Tim Ferns, Rumford Energy Group
Thermogas Company, Tulsa, OK
Star Gas Propane, LP, Stamford, CT