Written on: June 8, 2022
July 17, 2022 marks the 65th Anniversary of Georgia Gas Distributors (GGD). To celebrate this milestone, let’s travel back to see how it all started.
As the current president and CEO of Georgia Gas Distributors, Gerry Misel Jr. carries on a family tradition — leading a company founded on innovative propane marketing and providing exceptional, face-to-face customer service.
His father, Gerry Sr., founded Georgia Gas Distributors on July 17, 1957 and established the company’s customer-focused work ethic. From the back of his 1959 white Dodge station wagon, Gerry Sr. brought commercial and industrial propane service to Metro Atlanta by selling companies on the advantages of propane.
Growing up in the propane business, Gerry Jr. learned the business from the ground up.
“My father knew to be successful, I needed to learn everything about the propane industry,” said Gerry. “My propane schooling started when I was 16…and it hasn’t stopped yet.”
Gerry has filled cylinders, repaired trucks, run routes, converted forklifts, along with ‘just about every other job’ that makes the company run successfully. Each job increased his knowledge and experience and has helped him lead GGD through the most challenging, innovative and exciting times in the propane business.
“If you’ve done it all,” reflects Gerry, “you have an idea how to get something done right. You can relate with employees because you understand the challenges of their jobs.”
Gerry Sr. served as GGD’s president and CEO from 1957 to 1975. Viola, Gerry Jr.’s mother, led the company from January 1975 to July 2001. Since then, Gerry Jr. has been the company’s president and CEO.
Family traditions and family focus remain the bedrock of GGD. Today, GGD is the only family-owned propane distribution company in the metro Atlanta area.
Innovation and competition have challenged Gerry to adapt and react. He promoted the propane Autogas industry in Atlanta and pioneered ‘Gas to Go,’ starting the 20 lb. exchange business at C Stores in the Southeast.
Gerry, also, lent his expertise to the national propane industry. From 2003-2004, Gerry served as an officer with the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) in Washington, DC. In 2005 he served NPGA as Chairman of the Board.
Traveling around the country serving as NPGA Chairman, Gerry says he made the “most stressful but best management decision I have ever made.” A detail-oriented CEO, it was at this point in his career that Gerry began delegating day-to-day operations of GGD to trusted employees. “I got out of the weeds,” he said. “Moving people into positions they know more about than me has brought a new energy to Georgia Gas Distributors.”
Throughout his ‘propane life,’ Gerry has seen many innovations and says the most impactful are in safety, “every aspect of the propane industry now focuses on safety”; technology, “improvements in technology have propelled the industry into new markets and helps us keep in contact with our drivers and customers”; and equipment design, “the design of equipment has made it easier to transport and store.”
Under Gerry’s leadership, Georgia Gas Distributors continues to be a leader in the commercial and industrial propane market. The direction of his management staff and employees bridges his father’s work ethic with the day-to-day operations of GGD 65 years later. And as other members of the Misel family take their places in the ‘family business,’ they honor their heritage, while assuring Georgia Gas Distributors’ future in the propane industry.