Marketers from Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts convened recently for the first Southern New England Energy Conference.
Held at the Mohegan Sun hotel and casino in Uncasville, Conn., the two-day event was a joint production of the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association (CEMA), the Massachusetts Energy Marketers Association (MEMA) and the Oil Heat Institute of Rhode Island (OHIRI).
The conference had a strong focus on education, with more than 30 seminars and breakout sessions on four professional tracks for Biofuels, Propane, Motor Fuels and Service Management. Topics covered included biofuel laws, underground storage for gas stations, competition with natural gas utilities, Obamacare, business diversification, financial planning and business valuation. Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), delivered the conference’s Keynote Address during lunch on the conference’s first day.
In conjunction with the multi-state event, CEMA held its Annual Meeting and Awards Night. The Association presented three awards to members for their outstanding work: Steve Rosentel of Leahy’s Fuels, as Marketer of the Year; Alan White of C. White & Son, as Associate of the Year; and a special Lifetime Achievement Award to Donald B. Craft. Presenting the award to Craft were CEMA Board Chair Sharon Bloomer, Apple Oil; former Executive Director of Independent Connecticut Petroleum Association Charles Isenberg; Ray Gincavage, Global Companies; and Rick Bologna, Westmore Fuel.
CEMA presented its highest industry award to Rosentel, CEO of Leahy’s Fuels, of Danbury, Conn. The association honored him for his service on legislative issues, including representing heating oil and propane dealers at hearings at Connecticut’s General Assembly; helping to block a proposed tax on heating oil that would have hurt consumers; and raising public awareness on energy issues. In addition to running Leahy’s Fuels, Rosentel is a board member of CEMA, and is the president of the Propane Gas Association of New England.
CEMA presented its outstanding vendor service award to White, Director of Northeast Marketing for Petrochemical Transport, Rocky Hill, Conn., a division of the Kenan Advantage Group. Better known as one of the co-owners of C. White & Son, a trucking company founded by his grandfather some 60 years ago that was sold to the Kenan Advantage Group last year, White has been instrumental in providing critical information on bottlenecks in the supply chain for the transportation of petroleum products.
“When the lines got long at gas stations due to Hurricane Irene, Storm Sandy or the Halloween snowstorm of 2011, the industry knew in advance because of information provided by White on closures or slowdowns at terminals throughout the region that supply gasoline and diesel,” CEMA wrote. “This allowed government to prepare and make the necessary decisions to facilitate the flow of these products.”
CEMA presented its first Lifetime Achievement Award to Craft, of Madison, Conn., for 53 years of service to his industry. Craft has served as a leader, mentor and inspiration to generations of oilheat marketers since he first started with Wyatt Energy in 1960. Since then he has worked for Petroleum Heat and Power, Global Petroleum, Citizens Bank, and most recently until his retirement earlier this year, with Gulf Oil, L.P.Craft served as the president of the Connecticut Petroleum Association in 1970-71, and received the industry’s highest award, Marketer of the Year, in 1972. He was a director of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America from 1974-2013, and a director of the New England Fuel Institute from 1965-2013, as well as its past president. He continues to serve as an Emeritus Director of CEMA and chairs its Nominating Committee.
In addition to the CEMA awards, MEMA presented a special award to Paul Nazzaro of Advanced Fuel Solutions; and OHIRI presented a special award to Global Petroleum, Inland Fuel Terminals, and Sprague Energy.