December 10, 1998

The Propane Education & Research Council held its seventh and final meeting of the year this week (December 8) in Atlanta, Georgia. "This meeting marked the end of our first calendar year since assessment collections started," said Council President Roy Willis. "In that year, the Council has put into place the systems and has begun to build the relationships it will need to better serve the propane industry next year and beyond," added Willis. "Like all systems and relationships, they will need attention and improvement over time."

"There is much work ahead of us to achieve the industry's ultimate goal -- a bigger, better propane market. Yet, I believe that the Council left Atlanta renewed in its dedication to that work and optimistic that, in time, the industry's goal will be met," added Willis. Among the Council's accomplishments in 1998:

  • Adopted a three-year Strategic Plan;
  • Adopted a comprehensive set of Policies, Rules and Procedures;
  • Opened an office in Washington, D.C.;
  • Hired a five-person staff; Set up a website on the Internet (;
  •  Held seven public meetings;
  • Sponsored a two-day, industry-wide Leadership Summit;
  • Created a Grant Review Committee and a detailed funding review process that includes industry notification and comment procedure;
  • Approved $3.4 million in general grants and nearly $600,000 in state rebates;
  • Adopted a budget for calendar year 1999;
  • Launched a nationwide strategic market survey;
  • Initiated phase one of a communications program to reach targeted consumer groups;
  • Authorized a comprehensive assessment of industry training needs; and
  • Authorized a request for proposals for collection of consumer and industry accident data.

Funding Requests
At the Dec. 8 meeting, the Council approved funding for three major projects and numerous state rebate requests. They include:


($309,368) This is a joint effort between the Texas Railroad Commission's Alternative Fuels Research and Education Division (AFRED) and the Universities of Florida and Mississippi for the first year of a three-year program to enhance flame cultivation technology using propane. The project is designed to improve the effectiveness of thermal control of weeds and nematodes under actual cropping conditions.


Safety and Training.
($411,102) Another major initiative to receive Council funding is the Emergency Response Training Curriculum; phase 2 of a program being developed under the leadership of the National Propane Gas Association. The program is designed to provide every fire department in the country with training curriculum on propane preparedness.


Consumer Education.
($298,000) The Council authorized the hiring of Calzone & Associates, a full service marketing, public relations and advertising firm to work with the Council and the industry on promoting a series of trade shows in early 1999. The trade shows are being managed by the National Propane Gas Association under a separate funding request.

"We are very pleased with the decision to hire Calzone & Associates," said Willis. "We have an excellent opportunity to reach key industries through the trade shows with a powerful story about the advantages of using propane and Calzone has the right kind of experience for this project."

The firm, with offices in Lafayette and New Orleans, Louisiana as well as Atlanta, is well known for its exceptional events planning and public relations work. Calzone is currently developing a multi-faceted trade show and public relations program for the Louisiana LP Gas Commission.

In addition to the general grants, the Council approved several state rebate requests (all that applied). States requesting funds include Alabama, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Oklahoma. For a complete list of approved funding requests contact Kate Caskin @ 202-261-2201 or via email.


New Treasurer
Walter Cressman, president, Cress Gas Co., Richlandtown, Pennsylvania, was elected Treasurer effective immediately. Mr. Cressman replaces Margaret Griffith, Charlotte, North Carolina, who was Treasurer from July 1997 through December 1998.