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Mahoney’s Goal: Add Members to HVOEC

Rob Mahoney, newly installed president of the Hudson Valley Oil & Energy Council, seeks to expand membership.

To those who deliver fuel oil or supply the fuel oil industry in New York’s Hudson Valley, Mahoney extends this invitation: Join the Hudson Valley Oil & Energy Council. “Your first meeting’s on us,” Mahoney said. (For information and to contact the Council, go to www.hvoec.org.)

Rob Mahoney, left, is the new president of the Hudson Valley Oil & Energy Council, succeeding Chris Scaturro (right). Photo by Stephen Bennett/Fuel Oil News

Mahoney became president of the Council on Jan. 1, and he and his fellow Council officers, including his predecessor, Chris Scaturro of Porco Energy Corp., are determined to grow the roster of fuel marketer members, as well as associate members—equipment manufacturers and others that serve fuel marketers in the Hudson Valley. Mahoney previously headed up the Council’s membership committee, so he has some experience in recruiting, and an appreciation for strength in numbers. Today’s Council has approximately 40 members on its rolls, roughly half being fuel marketers and half being suppliers and service providers to the industry.

“Through the past couple of years, be it through acquisition or other forms of attrition, we’ve lost quite a few members,” Mahoney said in a telephone interview with Fuel Oil News. “I want to get us back to a point where we are growing the message of deliverable fuels, and bring on more dealer members and then obviously through that bring on more associate members.”

Bigger companies have bought smaller companies, Mahoney noted. “I don’t really have a strong opinion on that either way, but when that happens that’s one less person paying dues and one less member company,” he said, adding that another factor that has dinged membership is that, “Over the years people have, for whatever reason, maybe lost interest, stopped attending” meetings and other Council events. “We’re stronger with a bigger membership,” he said.

Asked to define the “Hudson Valley” from which the Council draws its members, Mahoney noted that any fuel marketer or industry supplier in the Hudson Valley is welcome to join the group and attend its meetings, currently held in Newburgh.

“All of the things we try and do are to benefit the knowledge of deliverable fuels in the Hudson Valley,” Mahoney said. Larger markets to the north and south can overshadow the market that the Council’s members serve, Mahoney observed. “Albany and New York are such strong markets that they draw attention away from us,” he noted.

With more members, he said, “When we make a statement the more people pay attention. For me, all of this is about raising consumer awareness. Letting consumers know that fuel oil isn’t as dirty as everybody’s perceiving it to be.” 

Today’s equipment burns fuel cleaner than ever, Mahoney said, adding, “I hear guys talking about not having to vacuum the systems any more” when they service oil-fired equipment. “That wasn’t the case, say, twenty years ago.”

Mahoney started with Abbott & Mills in Newburgh in 2007. He is related to both the Abbott and the Mills families, one grandparent being an Abbott and another being a Mills; his mother, Nella Mahoney, was general manager of Abbott & Mills. “I worked side by side with my Mom for many years,” Mahoney said. Abbott & Mills was sold in 2012 to Mirabito Energy Products, Binghamton, N.Y.

Nella Mahoney now works for a division of Angus Energy, selling Gremlin tank monitors. One thing that Mahoney said did not change: “I still get described as ‘Nella’s son.’”After leaving the Abbott & Mills division of Mirabito in 2013, Rob Mahoney worked for F.W. Webb and R.E Michel Co. In January he joined Viessmann Manufacturing Co., Warwick, R.I., as its sales manager for New Jersey.

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