Verbatim Column

What is your big bold goal in 2021?

Every month our responders are asked to be bold in their replies. Appropriate for the start of a new year and during a peculiar time when making plans can be a gamble, this month we seek to learn what their personal or business goals are that they truly want to tackle head on…even during a pandemic. You won’t find the same answer from any two people.

The VERBATIM column poses open-ended questions to a variety of colleagues. Adopted from a familiar “Heard on the Street” format, we offer our responders a chance to reply via e-mail. Their personal thoughts below are in response to the question posed above. These are their replies taken verbatim.



Increase employee base by 25%, maintain all benefits, increase profit sharing by 5%, and become a paperless company by December 2021.

Laurie Irish-Jones

Irish Propane

Buffalo, N.Y.


Two Georgia senate seats to assure the balance of power in our federal government.  “Electrify Everything” cannot succeed.

Jenni McKeen

Georgia Propane Gas Association

Marietta, Ga.


On a personal note I plan to give up smoking and drinking!! OK, full disclosure, this is my New Year’s resolution every year, but hey, I’ve had a pretty good run at it so far so why mess with success😊

On the business side, I plan to continue my fight against the Global-warming solutions Act and all the horrible implications involved with it. Wish me luck and say a prayer if you are of that mindset. We have a huge fight on our hands not only in Vermont but across the country!

Judy Taranovich

Proctor Gas

Proctor, Vt.


I want to become more receptive to new ideas in 2021 and beyond. While not exactly bold, I feel it’s important to do so. I’d like to learn from people’s experiences to help shape my worldview. Too often I dismiss what others say because it runs counter to my beliefs. I find the older I get, the more ingrained these beliefs become. That’s a path I’d like to alter.

This isn’t to suggest I need to change my values. Those will, and probably should, stay the same. I simply wish to be more open to persuasion when confronted with well-reasoned, fact-based arguments. This effort will only help me to grow both personally and professionally.

To assist me in this endeavor, I plan to seek out people with differing opinions than mine on a variety of issues (e.g., solutions to climate change, addressing social issues, the future of our industry, etc.). To gain better understanding, I must ask substantive questions of these people to get insights I’ve previously overlooked or have yet to consider.

Don Montroy

Bergquist, Inc.

Rockford, Mich.


My Big Bold Goal in 2021 is to step up.  That’s it – forget about riding this pandemic out, fearful of making a change because I want to wait and see how it unfolds.  It’s so easy to accept the obstacles and roadblocks that this past year delivered and succumb to defeat by accepting the notion that, “next year will be better.”  I no longer want to live in that world where my safe zone is to “wait and see.”   In every facet of my life; professionally, personally, physically, financially and spiritually, I’m going to be bold.  I know all too well that hope is not a strategy.  I’m going to dig in, break down barriers, change course and rise above.  Step up and be bold!  I’m sharing one of my favorite quotes that resonates so true this year: “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” (Quote by Albert Camus, Nobel Prize-winning philosopher.)

Hayley Karicofe


Churchville, Va.


Since the pandemic has impacted virtually every aspect of our lives, I find it difficult to set many long-term goals.  From a business perspective, we hope to get through the winter with everyone staying healthy.  On a personal note, my goal for 2021 is to do some traveling so we can reconnect with friends and family and get back to doing all those things we have enjoyed in the past and now miss so much.  We had planned a trip to Holland In April 2021 with some propane friends that was cancelled.  We are hoping that will happen in 2022!!

Rosie Buschur

McMahan’s Bottle Gas

Dayton, Ohio


I am in the habit of yearly adjusting long-term goals and setting new goals, however in 2021, I am switching my strategy to “one day at a time.”

Julie Johnson

Ted Johnson Propane

Baldwin Park, Ca.


Our personal goal for 2021 is to see our youngest child graduate high school and start college. When she starts school in the fall, we will have three kids in college, so our other big goal is to pay all of those tuition and housing bills!

Jason Soulon

Westmor Industries

Shawnee, Kan.


In all honesty, my big, bold goal is the same as it has been for many years, now:  Clean the clutter in my office space.  Since NPGA moved to D.C. in 2002, I’ve been working in a converted room in my house and have been accumulating “stuff,” including all sorts of valves and other propane hardware, (no longer) new codes and standards and other “tools of the trade.”  But now that my travel has been cut back due to COVID-19, my motto is: “I will get it done in 2021!”

Bruce Swiecicki

NPGA (National Propane Gas Association)

Tinley Park, Ill.


In 2021, my goal is to make progress on the 10-year vision we have developed with input from our entire team. No matter what happens with COVID or other external factors we have an inspiring vision for the future, and we plan to make great progress in the coming year.

“A dream without a plan is just a wish” (unknown author), so we will start 2021 with creating a plan and a timeline to achieve all of the targets in our vision, then we will start the work that we determine needs to be completed in 2021.

Lauren Clark

Bergquist, Inc.

Toledo, Ohio


My Big Bold Goal for 2021 is expressing more gratitude for what is important in my life. We usually appreciate the value of something or someone more if it is lost, and once found make a conscious effort to protect and work hard not to lose it again. The New Year is a good time to reflect on what is really important in my life and what would I do without them — more importantly, do I respect and appreciate these people and privileges. Family, friends, employees, clergy, abundant propane supply, the ability to monitor government legislation and regulations, religious freedom, NPGA, and PERC, all come to mind. I must be more grateful and do my best to protect them. By the way, I am writing this on Thanksgiving Day 2020, and I am grateful our government saw it fit to take a day and Thank God for all our blessings!

Gary France

France Propane Service

Schofield, Wis.



Some of my friends achieved impressive goals in 2020. Their discipline to make progress in their businesses, in their personal relationships, in their productivity and creativity, and in their dedication to improving their health have inspired me and those around them. Perhaps this is the year to consider one big, bold goal you can make happen in the twelve months ahead. What is it? What are the steps needed? I wish you success on your goal quest.


Nancy Coop, Cetane Associates


This column was first published in the January 2021 issue of Butane-Propane News.

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— Steve Lombardi, Brodeur’s Oil, Moosup, CT