The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) selected industry veteran Thomas “Tucker” Perkins as its next president and chief executive officer, PERC Chairman Thomas Van Buren announced in a statement issued by the Council.
“We received interest from highly qualified individuals both within and outside our industry, which speaks volumes about the respect and recognition that PERC has earned in our industry and the broader energy world,” Van Buren, executive vice president, Ferrell North America & Midstream, said. Van Buren led the executive search team. “The selection team interviewed many truly extraordinary candidates, and we unanimously agreed that Tucker is the right person to build on our recent success and take us to new heights.”
“I’m grateful to the Council for the opportunity to lead this exceptional organization of dedicated and talented professionals,” Perkins said. “We will work to produce innovative, relevant, and insightful programs and services, every day, because we know our performance affects the lives of so many businesses, families, and consumers. My professional life has been dedicated to the propane industry, and this is an exciting and challenging capstone in my career.”
Perkins, 60, joined PERC in 2012 as chief business development officer and most recently served as chief operations officer. He previously was a member of the PERC Advisory Committee and chaired the panel on engine fuel. He has extensive experience in the propane industry, including operating his own retail propane company in Virginia, Premier Propane, as well as holding executive positions at Inergy Propane and Columbia Propane.
The selection of Perkins follows an announcement by current president and CEO Roy Willis, 67, who has led the PERC staff since operations began nearly 20 years ago, that he will retire on July 31, 2017. Willis will serve in a supporting role for a limited time to help with the transition.
The transition to a new leader comes at a pivotal moment for the industry and PERC, the Council noted on May 25 in announcing the appointment of Perkins. “The surge in domestic propane supply has transformed the United States into a leading exporter and connected the country to the global propane market as never before. At home, expanding competition and warmer than normal winters put greater emphasis on diversifying demand and educating the public about the benefits and uses of propane,” the Council said.
“PERC is a collaborative organization with a culture of service to the industry and to propane consumers,” Perkins said. “The challenges we face as an industry are no match for the determination and ingenuity we have within us or the opportunities before us.”
Perkins holds a B.S. in civil engineering from Virginia Tech and an MBA from the University of Richmond. He and his wife Liz reside in Richmond, Virginia.
The Council, based in Washington, D.C., was authorized by the U.S. Congress with passage of the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA), signed into law on October 11, 1996. The mission of the Council is to promote safe, efficient use of odorized propane gas.
Photo of Thomas Perkins courtesy of PERC.