Leadership Team

Seasoned leadership team with deep propane industry experience

Energy Distribution Partners (EDP) has created a leadership team of propane industry veterans with a deep understanding of retail and commercial propane sales, operations and finance.

Thomas E. Knauff, chief executive officer, brings 30-plus years of executive, operations and financial experience in the propane industry. At Ferrellgas, where Tom served as a wholesale division manager and retail marketing director, he helped to integrate the $400 million leveraged buyout of Buckeye Gas Products Company. Tom later co-founded Propane Continental, which acquired 34 retail propane operations. He then affiliated with a Chicago middle-market investment bank – and continued his entrepreneurial focus in the energy industry. In 2003 Tom co-founded Liberty Propane, ran its operations during the start-up period and served on its board until 2009.

In 2012, Tom launched EDP. As of mid-2017, EDP’s operations include 12 top notch local and regional distributors from California to Pennsylvania. Tom is committed to working with propane operators who are seeking to transition their businesses in a way that benefits their employees and their local communities, in addition to the owners themselves.

Tom regularly contributes articles on entrepreneurship and the energy industry to outlets such as Entrepreneur, BPN, and the Chicago Tribune.

Marlo Young, chief operating officer, downstream, brings more than 25 years of corporate and operating experience in retail propane distribution and similar industries.

Marlo joined Ferrellgas in 1991 where he quickly rose to an area manager position. He later joined Cornerstone Propane Partners where he was responsible for operations that served more than 30,000 customers. Following his tenure at Cornerstone, Marlo joined Inergy Propane where he ultimately served as executive vice president for Midwest operations and had direct operational and executive responsibility for more than 250,000 customers, 100 service centers and $350 million in revenue.

Over the course of his career, Marlo has overseen $788 million in acquisitions.

Marlo later served in senior operations management positions with two other companies with national distribution businesses. He returned to the propane industry in 2012 with EDP.

Mark A. Janek, chief financial officer, brings over 25 years of executive and financial experience to the company. A CPA from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, Mark began his career at a Big Four public accounting firm. He joined EDP in 2014 from Standard Parking/SP Plus Corp, where he was SVP Finance and assisted the company in integrating the acquisition of its largest competitor. Prior to that, for ten years, he served as divisional CFO for Matson Logistics, Inc., assisting the company in substantially growing revenue both organically and through several acquisitions. He also served as Assistant Vice President and Corporate Controller for Hub Group, Inc. and has held managerial financial roles at ServiceMaster, Clintec International and Czarnowski Exhibit Services. Over his career, Mark has had a diverse industry background assisting companies in acquiring and integrating nearly $1.0 billion in revenue that employed over 10.000 employees.

Michael M. (Mark) Zimora serves as EDP’s Vice President of Operations. He brings more than 25 years of executive and operational leadership experience spanning the public and family-owned propane business sectors. Mark started his career with AmeriGas and later joined Blue Rhino where he worked closely with its founder to grow the company into one of the most recognized brand names in the propane industry today. During his span, Blue Rhino performed an initial public offering (RINO), expanded internationally, made 22 acquisitions, and eventually exercised a strategic sale to Ferrellgas (FGP) for $340 million.

Later, as Executive Vice President of Operations for Paraco Gas, Mark helped Paraco top $100 million in annual sales as a result of several years of significant expansion. More recently, Mark served as a Division President for Inergy Propane, where he managed more than 350 dedicated employees and generated more than $35 million in annual EBITDA.

Mark holds an MBA from Sage Graduate School, a BS in Business Management from Hiram College, and an AS in Business Management from Kent State University.

David R. Stroupe, Vice President of Corporate Development, brings more than 29 years of propane industry experience in in a variety of senior level management, operations and business development positions. David began his career in the propane industry with Green Mountain Propane where he served as vice president and chief operating officer. He aggressively expanded Green Mountain through both multiple acquisitions and an organic growth strategy. David later worked in business development and operations positions for major marketers including Heritage Propane and AmeriGas Partners.

In his career, David successfully closed over 65 transactions through a comprehensive turnkey approach including identifying target opportunities, performing the valuation analysis, negotiating purchase price and terms, managing due diligence and negotiating the various legal agreements.

David most recently served as president of Yankee Propane, managing operations in New York, New Jersey and Virginia, for approximately five years until he successfully negotiated a sale transaction with Superior Plus Energy Services.

David graduated from Northeastern University in Boston, MA with a Bachelor of Science degree.

Are you a propane marketer or company owner looking to transition your business in a way
that will benefit you, your employees and your community?
If so, contact Mark Zimora today at (312) 254-5954 or for a confidential conversation.
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Human Resources/Accounting: (312) 254-5950   |   Customer Service: (312) 254-5965 or CustomerService@edplp.net