Verbatim Column

Over the next six months, what does victory look like?

Six months is a time frame that used to seem within our reasonable grasp. Is it in today’s world? This month’s question was asked of our participants at the end of April when “shelter-in-place” orders and other restrictions were widely implemented, while in some states being extended and in other states being lifted or considering how to phase into a re-opening of aspects of daily life. There is a common enemy in the coronavirus pandemic yet our colleagues state the nature of the enemy and a depiction of victory in different terms.

Our VERBATIM column continues to ask provocative questions of our colleagues. Taken from a familiar “Heard on the Street” format, we offer our responders a chance to reply via e-mail allowing them to be thoughtful and direct. What is offered below are their personal opinions.



Over the next six months business we will see a dip in business, but it will come back strong as the economy opens back up and people can get back to work. I feel that our customers will become more thoughtful about where and how they spend their money. Since propane is a necessity I believe that it will come back as strong as ever. Crude prices may put a different twist on how and where we purchase propane. Overall I feel good about the recovery of the economy.

Brad Duncan

Allaround Propane, Inc.

Fruitland, New Mexico


Over the next six months victory comes with reduced Covid-19 cases and the economy bouncing back to become stronger than ever. Victory is the small things we take for granted; eating out, traveling for work or vacation, staying in hotels, watching a movie at a theater, going to a game. What you make of the time you have today, will be fruitful six months from now. Stay connected to your friends, family, colleagues and customers, help out where you can, it will go a long way when this is over!

Hayley Karicofe


Churchville, Virginia


Right now, the entire world is focused on COVID-19 and it takes some real conviction to think past it today. With respect to this virus, victory in six months may come in one of many forms. The most basic victory might be mitigating the spread, continuing to maintain all the CDC guidelines in our everyday lives to minimize loss of life and the impact on our economy. A more optimistic victory would be to either find an effective therapeutic or vaccine within 6 months.

By any measure, minimizing the loss of life while not destroying our economy by putting people out of work and shuttering otherwise viable businesses will have to be part of any calculus in measuring victory.

Irrespective of what victory may look like in 6 months, it may be that we have yet to fully understand this virus and the things in our lives it will change forever. America will absolutely adapt and overcome in the long run.

Beyond COVID-19 our industry must continue to focus on the de-carbonization/electrification of everything efforts by people and government entities that don’t understand the value of propane. Our industry is under attack on many fronts; achieving some inclusion in green thinking would certainly be a victory for our industry.

Boyd H. McGathey

Energy Distribution Partners

Parkville, Missouri


Victory over the next six months will look like families preparing to travel and share a Thanksgiving dinner together, scientists and Doctors confident they can control the COVID-19 virus and people are not living in fear of a new silent enemy ready to attack. A presidential and congressional election that is conducted with respect and solid ideas, our propane industry ready and prepared with a solid supply strategy, and finally a new appreciation for life and good health.

Gary France

France Propane Service

Schofield, Wisconsin


I think victory will be achieved in the next six months if we can get people back to work and get our economy rolling once again.  For that to happen, though, everyone will need to buy in and accept a new normal way of doing things with restrictions and changes from how daily life has been previously.  We must keep COVID19 under control so that we do not go backward.  We cannot afford to see this virus affect our country like we are currently experiencing.

Rosie Buschur

McMahan’s Bottle Gas

Dayton, Ohio


Six months from now I hope we emerge out the other side healthy and stronger then when we went in. Casting off all the negative, there is a lesson to be learned every day in life. What did we miss most as time went on? That is where our heart lies and we should take care of it. If it’s good things, let’s value them more when we are set free! If not, move forward and be betterJ

Judy Taranovich

Proctor Gas

Proctor, Vermont


Success is when everyone is allowed to go back to work/school & that we learn a few lessons from this experience. 1) Keep at least 3 months savings for emergency (business & personal). 2) If you are sick, stay home. 3) Live within your means – debt free.

Julie Johnson

Ted Johnson Propane

Baldwin Park, California





Victory will be surviving COVID-19. Victory will be to maintain service to our customers throughout the ever changing operating conditions. Victory will be continuing to employ our team and keep them all safe.

Lauren Clark

Bergquist, Inc.

Toledo, Ohio


Victory looks like furloughed and terminated employees getting meaningful employment.  It looks like being able to freely associate and travel as guaranteed in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  It looks like being free of the fear of getting terminally ill from performing everyday activities.  It means that now that we will have learned how to wash our hands, perhaps the use of turn signals is not hopeless!

Dan Binning

Colorado and New Mexico Propane Gas Associations

Arvada, Colorado


Certainty beyond COVID 19.  Getting back on a schedule.

Jennifer McKeen

Georgia Propane Gas Association

Marietta, Georgia


Victory over the next 6 months to me means a return to ‘normal’; normal business, normal family gatherings, normal social outings, being able to see the kids and grandkids in person.  Victory means keeping our families and employees safe in this environment.

Tracy Timmerman


Salem, Illinois


“Victory” in the most important sense would be survival; not only of myself, but of those I love and all who are dear to me. Next, victory would be achieved when we are once again able to interact with each other in the manner we have become accustomed to. Thirdly, victory will have been achieved when each of us is free and able to continue pursuing the lifestyle of our choice.

Bruce Swiecicki

NPGA (National Propane Gas Association)

Tinley Park, Illinois


What does victory look like? The assumption is that there must be an enemy to vanquish for there to be a victory.  I am going to say that we win the war on stress in six months. People are secure in their jobs, and there are victories in a cure or vaccine against viruses that are bringing the world to its knees.

John Jessup

North Carolina Propane Gas Association

Raleigh, North Carolina


I believe that the propane market will come back strong after the Covid restrictions are lifted. New installations for bulk storage and customer demand will be high. Quick response and follow up to specific customer needs is critical.

Ed Varney

Rego Products

McKinney, Texas



Keeping everyone safe, healthy and employed. Minimizing risk of exposure to Covid-19, but not living in fear of it either.

Jason Soulon

Westmor Industries

Shawnee, Kansas





Fifteen colleagues sharing their vision for a better world over the next six months seems more than aspirational. It seems squarely in the realm of possibility. Yet the unknown aspects of achieving a victory we can embrace keep us alert. What will be our parts to play in the victory? How do we carry with us the lessons learned through a global pandemic? I’m thankful to our colleagues for sharing their insights and giving us various perspectives in a time when we can use them.



Nancy Coop, Cetane Associates

This column was first published in the June 2020 issue of Butane-Propane News.

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