24 Feb GROEBNER – Celebrating our Past, Growing our Future
As this new year rolls out, we at GROEBNER are passionate about all the possibilities and growth we see in the world of natural gas. We can’t thank our customers and manufacturer partners enough as we close in on 45 years in the business. We have never felt better about our strong relationships, nor have we seen more opportunities to help our customers improve their daily practices and fulfill their needs.
Our team definitely has the background to stay current with those increasing opportunities. More than ever, GROEBNER is “Powered by Experience.” Our current team has over 525 years’ experience with GROEBNER. That number is even larger when you think about the overall background they have in the natural gas utility industry. This year, we are celebrating Joe’s 40th year with GROEBNER along with some other noteworthy anniversary milestones:
- Joe Groebner, President — February 2020 marks Joe’s 40th anniversary in the industry with GROEBNER
- Steve D’Amato, Executive Vice President — 31 years
- Scott Gleisner, Vice President of Manufacturing — 28 years
- Scott Doebler, Inventory Control Manager — 24 years
- John Nylin, Inside Sales — 24 years
- Gary Ebnet, Territory Manager — 22 years
- Alice Zak, Illinois Branch Manager — 22 years
- Jim Perkins, Senior Sales Director — 20 years
These people comprise just a small portion of the staff that continues to research and promote new technologies for natural gas utilities and construction. Our entire team is focused on offering our customers the best products to meet their many business needs.
In addition to seeking and selling top-of-the-line products, our customer service/sales support team provides you an easy point of contact. Order status, inventory availability, and even scheduling service calls — our representatives help you experience a smooth process when working with GROEBNER.
Natural Gas Industry Involvement and Support
Here at GROEBNER, we know that we can’t bring you the very best in products and services if we don’t keep our industry knowledge up-to-the-minute. So we place a high level of importance on membership in the industry’s associations. It allows us to give the industry much-needed support, while helping us to remain relevant and in tune with the industry’s needs. We proudly hold memberships in and support numerous organizations:
- American Gas Association
- American Public Gas Association
- Arkansas Gas Association
- Distribution Contractors Association
- Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities
- Kentucky Gas Association
- Louisiana Gas Association
- MEA Energy Association
- NACE International
- New Mexico Gas Association
- Oklahoma Gas Association
- Southern Gas Association
- Texas Gas Association
- Western Energy Institute
We also go beyond basic memberships to work with many associations on their inner circles and committees. Here’s a broad sampling of the association committees we are honored to participate in:
- Louisiana Gas Association (LGA) Scholarship Committee
- Texas Gas Association (TGA) Distribution and Scholarship Committees
- Western Energy Institute (WEI) Operational Excellence Committee
- MEA Energy Association (MEA) Board Finance Committee, Board of Directors, Gas Associate Advisory Council, Gas Codes & Standards Committee, Gas Distribution Committee, and Purchasing & Materials Management Committee
In addition, we work with a number of associations to coordinate the exhibit aspects of their conferences which includes managing exhibitor registrations, exhibit room set-up, hospitality nights, and more.
Engaging with the Natural Gas Industry
There are also other ways we reach out to the industry to ensure we are hearing everyone’s needs and desires. Our sales and customer service teams engage one-on-one every day with our customers and manufacturers. But we also find participation in industry trade shows and events to be very valuable.
Additionally, due to our staff members’ experience, they often participate as conference speakers, panel members, or leaders for break-out training sessions. We also exhibit at the conferences, allowing us to meet with our customers and manufacturer connections face-to-face (and gather the latest in industry information).
A sampling of some of the events we’re planning to attend in 2020 includes:
- Nebraska Pipeline Safety Seminar (February)
- DCA Annual Convention (February)
- SD/ND Pipeline Safety Operator Training Conference (March)
- KGA Expo (March)
- WEI Operations Conference (April)
- MNOPS Pipeline Safety Educational Conference (April)
- AGA Operations Conference (May)
- 4 Corners Oil & Gas Conference (May)
- MEA Energetic Women Conference (June)
- TGA Operations and Management Conference (June)
- MANGO Summer Safety Conference (June)
- IEA Pipeline Safety Conference (July)
- SGA Natural Gas Connect (July)
- LGA Pipeline Safety Conference (July)
- MEA Gas Operations Technical and Leadership Summit (August)
- Western Regional Gas Conference (August)
- NMGA Pipeline Safety Seminar (September)
- OGA Annual Conference (September)
- ICC Pipeline Safety Conference (September)
- MEA National Gas Rodeo (September)
- AGA Annual Conference (October)
- KCC Pipeline Safety Seminar (October)
- And others
As our expertise in the natural gas industry has grown, we have felt the importance of sharing that knowledge with others. One way we do this is through training sessions with our customers. We partner with a number of our manufacturers to help ensure the staff and crews at natural gas utilities have solid knowledge of best practices and equipment usage.
To ensure we have the best information from our manufacturers to pass on to our customers, we work with them to obtain training for our staff. This includes hosting their staff at our offices and having their representatives travel with our sales team. In 2020, we’ll also be working with manufacturers in monthly “Quick-Hit” training webinars from their team to ours.
GROEBNER has the team in place to allow us to truly be “Powered by Experience.” We enjoy sharing with our colleagues that industry knowledge we’ve gathered. Some examples of this knowledge-sharing include:
- Gas 101 — provides an overview on natural gas — how it all started, how it works, history of the industry, and even a live gas demonstration. This session has been repeatedly presented to companies such as Citizens Energy Group, Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, NIPSCO, Ohio Gas Company, and SEMCO ENERGY Gas Company where new hires and those new to natural gas can build a deeper industry understanding.
- Foreman Leadership Training — as part of Miller Pipeline’s program, throughout the year, they host training for about 30 foremen at a time from across the country at their corporate headquarters. GROEBNER has been a part of 47 of those sessions to date and works with the group to teach the latest in McElroy maintenance, electrofusion do’s and don’ts, combustible gas indicators, etc. and hold an open Q & A. These sessions help ensure that Miller Pipeline’s foremen team is up-to-date and working from the same knowledge base.
- Product showcase — several times a year, we host engineers from our client, Nicor, at GROEBNER to highlight a variety of products and processes. They have the opportunity to learn about the latest technology at stations for butt fusion, electrofusion, and leak detection.
As mentioned, these are just a sampling of the possibilities. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to work together to develop training/educational opportunities for your own teams.
Using our Past to Fuel the Future
After nearly 45 years in the natural gas industry, GROEBNER continues to be excited about the future of the industry, about our customer and vendor relationships, and about the possibilities we all have for success. We will continue to expand our knowledge base and our partnerships, to help ensure the best for our shared industry. We’re thankful for all the cooperative work we’ve done with such a broad section of the natural gas industry. Thank you to each of you for being part of this journey, and we look forward to continuing our mutually beneficial relationships.