Blossman Propane Gas, Alliance & Service

Blue Note Newsletter

Lifestyle Photo

Blossman Founders Part II: The 1980s

In commemoration of Blossman Gas' 65th anniversary year, we are providing you, our valued customers, a detailed historical look at our company's history and founders. This is the second in a four-part series. The third and fourth will be featured in upcoming issues of the Blossman BlueNotes.

Through a series of acquisitions in the 1960’s and 70’s, Blossman added branch locations throughout Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama. When energy controls were lifted in 1981 after Ronald Reagan became president, Blossman Gas was a leader in the propane industry in the Southeast, becoming one of the top 10 propane companies in the US and the largest independent (family owned) businesses. At the helm of Blossman during these growth years was Woody’s son, John Blossman.

Passing the Torch from Woody to John Blossman

John Richard Blossman graduated from Yale University in 1966 and Vanderbilt School of Law in 1969. Upon graduation from law school, he moved back to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and joined Blossman. Under his 40-year leadership, Blossman Gas grew from 14 branches selling 13 million gallons a year to more than 60 branches selling 70 million gallons. He continued to expand its market area to stretch from Southeast Louisiana to the Mid Atlantic.

During these expansion years, Blossman escalated it commitment to providing excellent service, installation, and added sales of propane gas-related products including gas fireplaces, grills, generators, water heaters, cooktops, gas dryers, and space heaters.

In the early 1980s, the company recognized the need for better, quicker customer information systems. An Information Technology manager was hired in 1985. Blossman Gas was the first multi-state propane marketer to have all of its locations connected with a real-time computerized information management system.

Along with market-leading customer service, independence was at the core of Blossman’s success which remains unchanged in 2016. This autonomy allows it the agility to build a propane-based business while allocating substantial resources to market innovations, employee education and training, as well as research and development.

Under the guidance of John Blossman, Blossman Gas was one of the first propane marketers to embrace the National Propane Gas Association’s Gas Appliance System Check (GAS Check™), a voluntary inspection program that provides safety inspection guidelines for technicians. In the 1980s, under the leadership of Safety and Training Director Don Singleton, the GAS Check training program at Blossman Gas was expanded and upgraded into what has become the best and most respected safety and training program in the propane industry. The company continues to lead the industry in safety practices and standards: requiring rigorous training and continued education for all Blossman technicians.

During the 1980s, the nation began exploring vehicle fuel alternatives as the gasoline supply seemed to be in jeopardy. Blossman Gas opened conversion shops in Ocean Springs, Miss, Theodore, AL, and LaGrange, GA, to enable vehicles to run on cleaner burning, economical propane.

Company expansion continued in the states mentioned previously and entered into the states of South Carolina (Greenville) and Florida (Pensacola, Perry, and Monticello).

John Blossman continued to emphasize employee contributions to the company, a principle started by his father E.W Blossman (Woody) who passed in 1990. A year later John Blossman, then Chairman asked his stepson, Stuart Weidie to join the company. Bob Mayer was appointed President, David Reynolds as Chief Financial Officer, and Jesse Johnson as Vice President of Operations.

Read the full Blossman Founders series:

Part I: The Early Years

Part II: The 1980s

Part III: The 1990s

Part IV: The New Century