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Meet AmeriGas’ New VP and COO

Paul Grady

Paul Grady, AmeriGas Vice President & COO

AmeriGas has a new vice president and chief operating officer—R. Paul Grady, former president of Heritage Propane. Grady succeeds Jerry E. Sheridan, who became AmeriGas’ new president and chief executive officer upon the retirement of Eugene V.N. Bissell on March 2. Grady previously served as senior vice president and COO of Heritage Propane from 2006 to 2011, after he joined the company through its acquisition of Titan Propane. His propane industry career also includes previous executive posts at AmeriGas from 1995 to 2004, and five years in corporate development at UGI Corporation prior to that.

Having worked in leadership positions at AmeriGas and Heritage, Grady has a unique knowledge of the benefits that each entity brings to the new combined company. Here, Grady shares some of his thoughts on the path ahead.

What are you most excited about for 2012?

In 2012, we have the work of integrating the businesses ahead of us, and we’re excited.  2012 is truly when we bring everybody together. A lot of skeptics in the industry doubt our ability to make this a successful combination, but, so far, the execution is going well. People are working cooperatively and there is growing camaraderie.

What is the future of propane?

There are a multitude of challenges and opportunities for the propane industry. Propane in the space heating market is facing a long-term threat from alternative energy sources, primarily electricity, which has become more competitively priced at a time when the price of propane and other fuels has risen with the price of oil. However, other opportunities are emerging.  Propane competes well with gasoline or diesel fuel in over-the-road fuel applications.  AmeriGas is actively exploring propane autogas and commercial lawn mowing among the new growth opportunities.

Where do you see the new AmeriGas in five years?

Today, we have a significant influence in our industry. Five years from now, we’ll be at the next level.   AmeriGas has a real opportunity to lead our industry by delivering more sophisticated and effective marketing, selling and customer service solutions.

How will consumers benefit from the joining of the two companies?

Our company is capitalizing on the respective strengths of AmeriGas and Heritage. Consumers benefit from strong local businesses that recognize the importance of community, but bring national consumer programs and premier safety practices. In the end, consumers see a higher level of safety, service and overall value.

Who is your favorite superhero?

The Phillie Phanatic. He’s really not a superhero, but certainly a cultural icon.  Despite seven years in Cincinnati, the Bengals and Reds just don’t compare. I’m very excited to be coming back to Philadelphia sports!

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