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 transaction experience in the industry. After beginning his career at Ferrellgas – where he helped integrate the $400 million leveraged buyout of Buckeye Gas Products – Mr. Knauff co-founded Propane Continental, making 34 acquisitions before selling to Cornerstone Propane in 1998. He then affiliated with a Chicago middle-market investment bank and continued his entrepreneurial focus in the energy industry. In 2003 he co-founded Liberty Propane, ran its operations during the start-up period and served on its board until 2009. In 2012, Mr. Knauff launched Chicago-based Energy Distribution Partners.
Mr. Knauff has contributed articles on entrepreneurship and the energy industry to outlets such as Entrepreneur, BPN, and the Chicago Tribune.
Boyd H. McGathey, Chief Operating Officer, has nearly 30 years of experience in the propane industry. He has served in a variety of senior level positions where he managed retail operations, sales, safety, service quality, customer retention and profitability, among other responsibilities. Mr. McGathey most recently served as Chief Operating Officer for WESROC Monitoring Solutions, an Independent Technologies company that provides tank monitoring equipment for propane and refined products industries. Prior to that, he held executive positions with a number of multi-state marketers including Inergy Propane, Liberty Propane and Ferrellgas. Mr. McGathey is a Marine Corp. Veteran and Board Member of the International Young Gassers Association.
John Casper, Chief Financial Officer, brings over 20 years of financial leadership experience with a focus on building, scaling and leading finance and accounting operations in growth-oriented organizations. He began his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers in the audit practice, primarily serving middle-market private companies. Prior to joining EDP, Mr. Casper held several senior level finance positions within the infrastructure and real estate sectors. He has expertise in financial reporting, planning and analysis, treasury management, capital structure optimization, acquisition integration, technical accounting, and audit and tax compliance. Mr. Casper received his Masters of Accountancy and a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Miami University. He is a Certified Public Accountant.
Kathy Johnson, Vice President – Human Resources, has over 20 years of human resources leadership experience. Over her career, Kathy has provided senior level HR leadership to companies across a variety of industries and has provided leadership in over 75 acquisitions throughout her career. She continues to support growth through acquisitions at EDP and is a key member of the leadership team. Since joining EDP in 2018, Kathy has led the HR function to become a full-service HR department by implementing technology, introducing additional resources and leading an overhaul of company policies and procedures. She has a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University and is currently attending Tulane University School of Law.
David R. Stroupe, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development, has nearly 30 years of propane industry experience in a variety of senior level management, operations and business development positions. He began his propane career as vice president and chief operating officer with Green Mountain Propane and later worked in business development and operations positions for major marketers including Heritage Propane and AmeriGas Partners, successfully closing on more than 75 acquisitions. Mr. Stroupe most recently served as president of Yankee Propane.
Daniel V. Dixon, Vice President of Corporate Development, has 25 years of propane industry experience. He began his career with Propane Resources, working with companies needing valuation, estate planning and sell side representation. His most recent position was Group Director of Business Development with AmeriGas. During his time in the industry, he has completed more than 60 transactions. Mr. Dixon is very active in industry associations, currently serving on the NPGA Board of Directors and was a past Chairman of the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC).
Jim Rushing, Vice President – Sustainability Strategies, has over twenty-two years of industry experience with various Leadership positions that have involved acquisitions, large P&L operations management, lead staff support teams, project management, and effective implementation of safety training, policies, and procedures. Along with his extensive and impactful career, Jim is also a Veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and served in the first Gulf War as a Combat Engineer and is a graduate of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
Chris Daly, Region Vice President – Central, has over 30 years of experience in the propane, heating oil and HVAC industries. He is an experienced business professional with proven financial and operational success. Chris has experience with acquisitions, multi-million P&L management, multi-location operations management, and is a graduate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.
Bill Wiest, Region Vice President – East, has more than 28 years experience in the petroleum, liquid gas, and logistics industries. He is an executive with a proven ability to use technology and leadership to maximize profitability, reduce overall expenses, and delivers strong organizational growth for current operations and acquisitions. Bill honorably served 20 years in the United States Air Force specifically within the fuels and logistics sectors, taking part in various leadership roles to drive success during his tenure. Bill graduated from Trident University in Cypress, CA with a Bachelor and Masters degrees in Business Administration, and is actively pursuing his Doctorate in Business Administration.
Merle Edington, Region Vice President – Northwest, brings over 23 years of industry experience with various leadership positions that involved acquisitions, successful management of large P&L operations, as well as operations management and support. Merle’s focus has always been bringing teams together to achieve business growth, increased levels of customer service, and safety in all aspects of the propane industry. Along with his extensive and impactful career within the propane industry, Merle is also a Veteran of the U.S. Army, having served 20 years on active duty in a variety of roles including Special Forces Weapons Sergeant. He is originally from Medford, OR, and graduated from Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC.