Owners: Paul and Anna Patton
Location: Conway, Mo.
History: ProGas Propane LLC was started by Paul and Anna Patton in 1992. When starting out, Paul drove three hours round trip to fill his delivery tank. Paul was encouraged by the opportunity in the area so he and Anna cashed in their lifetime savings and invested in their first bulk storage tank.
In those early days, the office was in their dining room. Paul did everything from sales to invoicing, answering the phone and delivery of the propane. When the company grew too large for Paul to handle on his own, his daughter, Shari Popejoy, joined the business and faithfully ran the office. After Anna retired from Mercy Hosptial, she managed the office but she is quick to say it was not her forte. She answered the phone for many years, on call 24/7 and always greeted customers with a cheerful and friendly voice.
After a few years as a home-based business, Paul broke ground and put in a shop building with an attached office. Eventually they purchased a large 30,000-gallon bulk tank.
Today, son Richard is in charge of all plant operations and management of ProGas. His wife, Leslie, joined the operation in 2017 and manages the office. Leslie and a family friend, Rebekah Arnold, both work part-time to keep the ProGas office running proficiently. Today they employ three drivers: Jeff Hyde, Ron Wheeler and Zack McCaslin.
Products and Services: ProGas delivers propane, provides tank set and 500-gallon lease tanks, supplies regulators and performs leak tests, system safety inspections and service to tanks within a 30-mile radius of their family ranch and office. Leslie said ProGas customers are primarily small farms, although they also service larger agriculture businesses like area meat processing plants, auction barns, several dairy farms, large-scale poultry farms, a hog operation and greenhouses.
Philosophy: “We are a family business serving our farming neighbors,” Anna said. They are strong supporters of their community and help with fundraisers at the school in their town. Their motto states, “Let our family treat you like family.”