Propane Council Announces New Officers, Begins Work on 2014 Budget

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) recently announced the election of a new Executive Committee, including the first woman to lead the organization, and authorized the staff to publish a 2014 budget plan for public review and comment.  

Paula Wilson, director of marketing at AmeriGas Propane in Valley Forge, Pa., presided over her first meeting as chairwoman. Four other newly elected officers also began one-year terms: 

Vice Chairman–Marketers: Eric Benson, J.S. West & Co. (Modesto, Calif.)

Vice Chairman–Producers: Michael E. Barnes, BP Energy Co. (Houston)

Treasurer: Robert Barry, Bergquist Inc. (Toledo, Ohio)

Secretary: Thomas Van Buren, Ferrell North America (Overland Park, Kan.)

“This Executive Committee really reflects the makeup of the propane industry, with marketers, producers, and equipment suppliers from companies large and small and from across the country,” PERC President and CEO Roy Willis said. “Paula Wilson is a leader who can rally propane industry members around our work to grow demand for our product, a widely available American-made fuel that helps Americans save money and shrink their carbon footprints,” he added.

At the top of the Council’s to-do list every year is the review of a budget proposal developed in collaboration with the PERC Advisory Committee.

The proposed 2014 budget of $39.6 million includes $24.2 million for program activities, an increase of $4.5 million from program funding expected in 2013. The program budget would allocate 57 percent to research and development, 26 percent to training, and 17 percent to safety efforts. The current assessment rate of four-tenths of a cent per gallon of odorized propane is expected to generate revenues of $33.2 million. The proposed budget will be posted for industry and public comment before August 1, as required by law.

“The budget proposal reflects the Council’s plan to continue creating new markets and strengthening our core markets through investments in R&D, safety, and training,” Wilson said. She noted that one of her top priorities will be getting more propane marketers involved in the promotion of newly developed products that run on propane.

The Council traditionally adopts the budget for the following year at its December meeting, after consulting with the Advisory Committee and taking into account any industry and public comments.