Ray Murray, Inc. acquires Best & Langston, Inc. of Goldsboro, NC

Ray Murray, Inc. (RMI) announced on Oct. 1, 2015, the purchase of Best & Langston, Inc., a leading Hearth, Heating & Leisure Products Distributor based in Goldsboro, NC. The addition of Best & Langston makes RMI one of the largest Wholesale Distributors of Hearth, Grill, Propane and Compressed Gas Equipment in the U.S. RMI now has more than 80 employees, including 17 field sales professionals across 25 Eastern and Midwestern states including facilities in Mass., Penn., Mich., and now North Carolina.
Ray Murray Company team

According to RMI President & CEO, Mike Hopsicker (pictured in group photo, back right), “This acquisition combines two prominent and well respected equipment distributors. It will provide the ability to best serve specialty retailers, propane marketers and compressed gas customers from four strategic distribution centers across the Northeast, Midwest and now the Southeast.” (Also pictured in group photo are current RMI owners and partners Jim Murray (back left), Ray Murray Jr. (front left) and John Murray (front right) The company was founded in 1973 by Ray Murray Sr., photo, right, who retired in 1997.)

Best & Langston will operate as a division of RMI and will continue to do business as usual and service customers out of its existing Goldsboro, NC, facilities. All day-to-day customer interactions will remain the same. RMI has hired all Best & Langston employees. John Langston will remain with RMI as General Manager, Best & Langston Division. John will be responsible for all aspects of the acquired operations.

“The acquisition provides the opportunity to expand our product offerings and our inventory investments. It also enables us to share best practices across both companies that will enhance the ability of each company to provide exceptional service and achieve their respective success and growth plans," said John Langston, General Manager, Best & Langston Division.

Law Enforcement Fleets Receive Hands-on Training on Merits of Propane Autogas Conversion

The Alliance AutoGas Law Enforcement Alternative Fuel Training held recently at the AutoGas Research & Technology Center in Asheville, NC gave county and municipal fleet managers the opportunity to learn more about merits of propane autogas conversion.

The one day, hands-on training familiarized North Carolina sheriffs, law enforcement officers and municipal governments on how converting fleets to propane autogas as an alternative fuel will dramatically lower emissions and save costs without a costly infrastructure requirement.

Attendees heard remarks by Ed Hoffman, President of Blossman Services, Inc., Bill Eaker, Senior Environmental Planner & Coordinator at Land of Sky Clean Vehicles Coalition, Michael Philips, retired Captain of Criminal Enforcement at the Iredell County NC Sheriff’s Office and Steve Hightower, Fleet Manager for the City of Kingsport.

Three training sessions were led by Alliance AutoGas team members on the topics of Safety Training, Refueling Dispenser Training, and Installation and Maintenance Training, along with a Q & A session.  “Ride and Drives” were available in the Dodge Charger, Ford Explorer Interceptor, Ford Taurus, Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Impala and the Crown Victoria.  Onsite Fuel Analysis and ROI Calculations were available throughout the day to all attendees. Attendees were asked to bring their fleet’s vehicle miles, estimated fuel cost and mpg information for a free consultation with the Alliance AutoGas team.

Notes BSI President Ed Hoffman, “This event is yet another way that Alliance Autogas is demonstrating our commitment to law enforcement. Our EPA approved products and after-sales support enable agencies the ability to experience the benefits of Autogas.”

Hoffman added, “We currently offer for this market segment the Explorer and Taurus Interceptors from Ford, Dodge Charger Pursuit and Jeep Wrangler from FCA, and the Impala, Caprice, and Tahoe from GM."  Training session participants gained a deeper understanding of the benefits and implications of adopting the world’s third most popular automotive fuel. "We plan on hosting this event again, both here in North Carolina and through select markets throughout the U.S., Hoffman said.”

For more information about Alliance AutoGas, contact David Finder, National Energy Programs Manager of Alliance AutoGas at 228.215.0544, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or go to www.allianceautogas.com.

Propane Council Partners With Jenna Bush Hager And Donates $30,000 to Schools Driving Propane Buses

School buses already make up the largest share of mass transportation in the U.S. and are the safest mode of transportation to and from school. This year, however, the yellow bus is getting an upgrade. More than 500,000 students will ride a school bus powered by the alternative fuel propane this back-to-school season.
Jenna Bush Haeger rides propane school bus Boston“Diesel has long been the standard in school transportation, but for districts that want to reduce harmful emissions, save money and create a safer, healthier ride, propane is an excellent alternative,” said Roy Willis, Propane Education & Research Council president and CEO.

Recognizing these benefits, schools across 45 states – a total of more than 7,000 buses – have transitioned to propane. The trend prompted PERC to start a campaign to teach communities about the benefits of propane-powered transportation. The Council is partnering with journalist and former teacher Jenna Bush Hager and the nonprofit Adopt a Classroom to donate more than $30,000 to teachers at schools adopting propane buses.

“It’s clear when you talk to school administrators and transportation departments that they are saving more than just dollars and cents by going with propane buses,” said Hager. “The switch is improving their school as a whole and giving them the opportunity to invest in more teachers or school programs.”

The Propane Education & Research Council’s donation will benefit teachers at seven schools this fall, including Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School in Massachusetts; Kyrene Monte Vista in Arizona; Broward Education Foundation in Florida; Wilkes Elementary in Oregon; Five Star Education Foundation in Colorado; St. Francis Elementary in Minnesota; and Friendswood Jr. High in Texas.

Donations began today with an event at Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School in Boston. Hager surprised teachers at the school and announced that they would receive a total of $10,000 from PERC to purchase supplies for their classrooms. Boston Public Schools is the first district in the city to switch from diesel to propane buses.

The transition from diesel to propane buses has been reported in 20 of the top 25 designated market areas, and four of the 10 largest school districts in the country are using them. Among the health and safety advantages of propane buses is that they are quieter than diesel and they reduce exposure to diesel exhaust, which the World Health Organization classifies as a carcinogen.

“As a former teacher and parent, I know that the school day begins and ends on the bus,” Hager said. “When we give our kids a safer, healthier start to the day, it can improve their entire experience in the classroom and at home, too.”

For more information on propane school buses, including bus safety tips for parents and kids courtesy of the National Association of Pupil Transportation, visit BetterOurBuses.com. To donate to teachers in your local community, visit AdoptAClassroom.org.

2015 World LPG Forum Kicks Off With Global Technology Innovation Awards, Women In LPG Global Network

The 28th World LPG Forum officially opened yesterday at the Suntec Convention Centre in Singapore with the Welcome Reception and the inauguration of this year’s Exhibition Floor.
Anita George World Bank
2015 WLPGA Global Technology Conference (GTC) opened with a warm welcome from WLPGA Technical Director Mr. Nikos Xydas and was chaired by Ms. Nathalie Venis of Petredec and Mr. Morten Balle of Hexagon Ragasco. The GTC was held over two sessions during the afternoon.
Ten papers, featuring some of the latest technologies impacting the LPG industry, were presented including some innovative applications for LPG as an engine fuel and as a residential energy source, several ways to improve LPG quality and safety were presented, as well as some interesting ideas involving communications, packaging and distribution.

The winner of the 2015 WLPGA Innovation Award was Mr. Mark Walls, of the Southwest Research Institute with his paper Direct Liquid Propane Injection on a Modern GDI Engine. The runner up was Ms. Anne Feudner, of Kohler Power Systems with her paper Application of Propane to the Mobile Rental Generator Market.
World LPG Forum Singapore Global Tech Conference 2015

The WLPGA Women in LPG Global Network (WINLPG) also held its inaugural meeting yesterday. The meeting was opened by Mr. Pedro Jorge Filho of Ultragaz. Ms. Nikki Brown, managing director of Cavagna UK and first WINLPG chair, welcomed the group and special guest, Ms. Anita George of the World Bank, who gave an inspiring keynote speech.

The World LPG Association’s (WLPGA) Industry Council approved a Women in LPG Global Network (WINLPG) last May, with goals to support and retain women already in the industry, to promote the use of lobbying and advocacy through media and at industry events, and to educate and attract women to the propane profession.

Stay tuned for more from the 2015 World LPG Forum in Singapore.

St. Francis Elementary School Makes Commitment to Cleaner Air with CleanFUEL USA and Thomas Built Propane School Buses

CleanFUEL USA took part in a check presentation Monday evening for St. Francis Elementary School in St. Francis, Minnesota. The Propane Education & Research Council donated $2,500 to the school in recognition of its effort to improve students’ health and safety by adopting a propane-powered bus fleet. The donation is part of PERC’s new campaign to educate consumers about the benefits of transitioning away from diesel.
StFrancis School PERC Check

Of the 50 total buses in their fleet, St. Francis Elementary boasts 41 propane powered Thomas Built Saf-T-Liner C2 units in their fleet. The buses are equipped with Liquid Propane Injection (LPI) systems by CleanFUEL USA.

“St. Francis made the choice to focus on cleaner air for their students and staff, and we are proud to play a part in that commitment,” said Curtis Donaldson, founder and managing director for CleanFUEL USA. Donaldson attended the school board meeting, where the check was presented, along with local representatives from Thomas Built, American Lung Association and the Minnesota Propane Gas Association.

“Our drivers say they’re quieter to the point that you can’t even hear them running,” said Dean Krause, St. Francis’ transportation director. “They’re that quiet. When the kids don’t have to yell over the loud diesel buses, they tend to talk quieter and the whole noise level is reduced.”
StFrancis School Propane Bus
In addition to noise reduction and fuel savings, St. Francis is able to save a substantial amount of money – about $10,000 annually – on heating costs for their diesel engines. The propane buses do not have any issues “starting right up in 30 below — every day.”

For more information on propane school buses, including bus safety tips for parents and kids courtesy of the National Association of Pupil Transportation, visit BetterOurBuses.com. To donate to teachers in your local community, visit AdoptAClassroom.org.