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Jim Ferrell never really planned to make a career in the propane business. But 35 years after forsaking a career in the U.S. Army to rescue the foundering propane company his father started in Kansas, there are few industry veterans whose scope of activity and success can match his.
His leadership and commitment to growth made Ferrellgas one of the nation's fastest growing propane retailers, eventually claiming the crown as the nation's largest retailer last fall.
In 1998, Ferrellgas formed an employee stock ownership plan, which owns a 58 percent share of the publicly owned company. Ferrell passed on the mantle of president and chief executive officer to Dan Sheldon, but remains chairman of the board.
Rather than retire, Ferrell that same year was named president of the World LP Gas Association, the global organization representing all sectors of the LP gas industry across the globe. At the end of this year, his two-year term will be extended through 2002.
The association has 135 member organizations headquartered in 40 countries around the world. They consist of multinational and national organizations from both the public and private sectors that are involved in all aspects of propane production through distribution.
The association's mission is to promote the use of LP gas as a clean, all-purpose and efficient fuel. Since its inception in 1987, the association has significantly increased its global visibility with a range of promotion projects and actions. It seeks to become the authoritative voice of the global LP gas industry on key global issues, providing partnerships with international agencies as well as various services for its members.
The association also hosts an annual world forum. This year's event will be held Oct. 19-21 at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego.
Ferrell and LP/Gas Editor …