In a recent article published in the May 2022 issue of BPN Magazine, learn how one of our leaders worked her way up from an internship to a workforce development pioneer. Michelle Wilson played a major role in developing GeneratioNext Propane Pros, a workforce development program committed to helping propane marketers find qualified job candidates, from the ground up. The program now partners with another workforce development program, Vets2Techs, to further expand its reach to help propane marketers find even more qualified applicants within the veteran community. Read on to check out the full article.
If you meet Michelle Wilson at a board meeting, on a video chat over Zoom or at a trade show, it only takes a few minutes to see her passion for the propane industry. Once you get to talking, it’s even clearer. She’s a marketing and financial consultant, active community member and workforce development organizer — and those are just a few of the many hats you’ll find her wearing on any given day.
Wilson’s career in the propane industry started off as happenstance. After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in accounting and finance, she began an internship in the accounting department of Boston Environmental LLC in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Boston Environmental serves propane marketers with financial consulting, marketing and risk management services.
On the accounting team, Wilson began to learn the ins and outs of how propane companies conducted their businesses. Over time, she worked her way up to controller at Boston Environmental, and as she started to work more closely with propane marketers, she was gradually drawn out from behind the desk and into the field.
Wilson’s transition from accounting to sales in 2009 was a natural one. She is a true people person and thrives in an environment where she can connect with others. Wilson will admit she was still a little nervous at her first trade show, but she quickly found the propane industry to be a dynamic and supportive environment, willing to welcome new professionals. She never looked back.
After that first trade show, things kept rolling. Wilson took every opportunity to attend propane industry events and meet marketers across the Northeast and, eventually, the country.
“I was so fortunate to meet so many incredible people that have motivated me,” she said. “I am grateful to have had industry leaders take me under their wing, like Judy Garber, Bob Boltz and Dan Holohan. Through their mentorship, I was able to grow and learn so much.”
For the past 11 years as vice president at Boston Environmental, Wilson’s focus has been helping her clients in the propane industry grow their businesses. Her expertise has expanded from accounting and financial consulting to include propane marketing strategy and risk mitigation. And, thanks to many years of stopping into the offices of her clients, catching up with the staff and observing employee training, she has a sharp understanding of what it takes to run a business in the propane industry.
Wilson is an active member of many state and national propane gas associations, including serving as the membership chair of the Women in Propane Council, the membership chair of Women in Energy, and serving on the board of directors for the Pennsylvania Propane Gas Association and the New England Fuel Institute. So, you might be wondering, what exactly is it about the propane industry that turned Wilson’s original internship into a lasting career?