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NGVAmerica Presents 2019 NGV Achievement Awards at Annual Meeting & Industry Summit

Eleven Organizations and Individuals Honored for Their Contributions to Advance the Natural Gas in Transportation Industry

Atlanta, GA – Today, eleven organizations and individuals were honored at Natural Gas Vehicles for America’s (NGVAmerica) 2019 Industry Summit and Annual Meeting for their contributions toward the advancement of natural gas as a transportation fuel.  These annual awards are awarded to nominees from all stakeholder segments, including but not limited to: NGV industry equipment and service suppliers, policy-makers, customers and clean-air/clean transportation advocates.  Nominees’ disciplines include education, government relations/policy development, public relations/communications, marketing, technology and operations/applications, among others.

“We are genuinely proud to award these hardworking individuals and organizations for the work that they do and the communities that they serve,” said NGVAmerica President Daniel Gage.  “Because of their contributions, we are moving to make communities healthier with fewer emissions through the increased use of readily-available natural gas as a transportation fuel.”

The 2019 NGV Achievement Award Recipients are:

  • BC Transit, Natural Gas Transit Fleet Program
  • City of Philadelphia, Natural Gas Fleet Program
  • Southern Company, Gas NGV Utility Leadership
  • Rob Adams, Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Pat Riley, Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Mike Casteel, Exemplary NGV Industry Leadership
  • Bert Kalisch, Exemplary NGV Industry Leadership
  • Dave McCurdy, Exemplary NGV Industry Leadership
  • T.J. Noland, NGV Horizon Award
  • Susan Shifflett, NGV Horizon Award
  • OK State Rep. Terry O’Donnell, NGV Public Policy Champion

In conjunction with the North American Commercial Vehicle Show, the 2019 NGVAmerica Industry Summit began Monday and continues through today at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA.


Rob Adams

With 35 years of dedicated service to the CNG market, Rob Adams is a well-known and valued resource to the NGV industry.  With over 200 station projects and about 50 garage upgrade projects, Rob is one of the most experienced CNG infrastructure design engineers and is known for novel solutions for the most challenging station projects.    Rob has a focus on improving CNG station performance, reliability and safety.  Over his career, he has made his mark as a technical leader and a trusted consultant who operates in the best interest of the client, the industry and the public.  Rob is a professional engineer, CPA and Project Management Professional.  Rob entered the industry after engineering school, as the first employee hired for the CNG program at a major utility.  Rob designed and installed several stations while there then left in 1985 to start a CNG station equipment manufacturer.  This manufacturer developed a reputation as a high quality/high technology supplier in the market.  As VP and General Manager, Rob grew this company to a major US CNG equipment supplier before leaving in 1995.  Rob next founded Marathon Technical Services focusing on CNG infrastructure consulting including project analysis, CNG station design, garage upgrade analysis, training and general consulting.  Marathon primarily serves local, state and federal government clients with a focus on municipal and transit applications.  Although he provides design for a variety of station and fleet types, Rob’s most significant contribution to the North American CNG industry is as the pioneer of the high capacity, high speed fueling system that is now widely used in transit and heavy truck fueling.

BC Transit

Under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Erinn Pinkerton, BC Transit has quickly become a recognized leader in the deployment of CNG-powered buses, not only in British Columbia, Canada but across the rest of North America.  Starting in 2012, BC Transit recognized that diesel and diesel electric hybrid buses were becoming increasingly expensive and operationally difficult to justify, let alone able to meet increasingly stringent provincially-mandated emissions targets.  It considered CNG, electric and hydrogen bus options and developed a CNG business case that was presented to and approved by its board.  Between 2014 and 2018, BC Transit contracted with Clean Energy to build and operate three CNG stations in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, Kamloops in the southern BC interior and in Whistler, BC. These stations exclusively operate 50, 45 and 25 CNG buses respectively and all can add more as their individual service territories grow.  BC Transit is now accelerating its move to CNG buses through the addition of large stations in Metro Victoria on Vancouver Island and another in the Central Fraser Valley, which is just east of Metro Vancouver.  Both stations will start with 60 CNG buses and will have sufficient capacity to grow to over 120 buses each. B.C Transit recognized some of the key benefits of transitioning to natural gas, including proven technology, reliability, performance and lower fuel costs.

Mike Casteel

Mike recently retired as Director of Fleet Procurement for UPS.  Today he serves as senior advisor with NGVA member TruStar Energy.  As a strong advocate of alternative fuel solutions, Mike has championed the adaptation of natural gas across the country.  His proven experience leading UPS towards cleaner and more sustainable fleet solutions has served as an example, empowering fleet owners throughout the country with a model to achieve economic growth while lowering greenhouse gas emissions.  Because of Mike’s commitment to promoting alternative fuels, UPS has bought more natural gas vehicles than any other North American trucking fleet, proving to the rest of the industry that shifting fleets to natural gas is profitable and scalable.  UPS began its transition to natural gas in 2013 and now it sees it as a way to reduce its carbon footprint. To date, UPS has over 50 natural gas stations and several thousand natural gas trucks operating in the United States alone.

Bert Kalisch

Bert Kalisch became President & CEO of the American Public Gas Association in 2004.  One of his first efforts was to move APGA offices from Fairfax, Virginia to Capitol Hill.  He also led the effort to create two new foundations, the APGA Research Foundation and the Security & Integrity Foundation.  These foundations play an important role in providing funding for research and coordination into tools to increase the operational safety of natural gas distribution infrastructure and in the development of safe and efficient natural gas end-use technologies.  Bert also led the successful charge by APGA to file a lawsuit against a Department of Energy furnace rule in 2011 which led to DOE vacating the rule.  APGA was concerned that this rule, should it have gone into place, would have incentivized the replacement of natural gas heat to electric heat at the expense of consumers.  More recently, APGA has created a Direct-Use Task Group, made up on investor-owned gas systems and public gas systems, to respond to the many challenges the direct use of natural gas is facing.

Dave McCurdy

Dave McCurdy joined the American Gas Association (AGA) as president and CEO in February of 2011, retiring earlier this year.  Founded in 1918, AGA represents more than 200 local energy utility companies that deliver natural gas to 177 million Americans nationwide.  He led the association during a natural gas renaissance due to advanced technology that has made domestic energy from shale formations abundant and affordable.  McCurdy joined AGA after serving for four years as president and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.  He led the Alliance during a period of unprecedented economic, environmental and regulatory challenges for the auto industry.  Prior to his work at the Alliance, McCurdy served for eight years as president and CEO of the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA).  Before his tenure at EIA, McCurdy had a distinguished career in Congress, spending 14 years in the House of Representatives as the Member from the Fourth Congressional District of Oklahoma.

T.J. Noland

TJ Noland is currently the Southern Regional Sales & Marketing Manager at CenterPoint Energy, where he drives market growth and new programs in natural gas including CNG station, high density and large master planned residential and Federal GSA contracts.  TJ is an active member of NGVAmerica’s Board of Directors and is a leadership member of the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance.  TJ graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a BS in Construction Engineering, before joining CenterPoint Energy more than 21 years ago.  He has been in the Natural Gas Industry for 18 years and started working with CNG stations in 2005 to secure gas supplies.  His tenure at CenterPoint includes: Trade Ally relations with A&E firms, C&I Commodity Sales and On-System Gas Transportation to C&I customers.

Rep. Terry O’Donnell

OK State Representative O’Donnell has been a longtime advocate in the Oklahoma State Capitol for the increased use of natural gas in transportation.  Representative O’Donnell chairs the important Energy and Natural Resources Committee and serves as the House Majority Whip.  In the 2019 legislative session, State Representative O’Donnell successfully shepherded comprehensive pro-CNG legislation – HB 2095 – through the state legislature.  This legislation provided for the reform and modernization of the existing statute.  An Oklahoma alternative fuels incentive bill, HB 2095 extends the sunset from Tax Year 2019 to 1/1/2027 to enable longer term economic and emissions reduction benefits and reforms and modernizes existing statute to promote the use of natural gas and other sustainable transportation fuels.

City of Philadelphia

The City of Philadelphia has started its transition from diesel refuse trucks to CNG and has contracted with Clean Energy to retrofit its South 63rd Street garage to make it CNG compliant as well as design, build, operate and maintain a 43-truck private time-fill CNG station (with room for expansion).  The City has already received its first 2 CNG refuse trucks and is currently fueling at Clean Energy’s Philadelphia Airport CNG Station.  The City has ordered an additional 20 CNG refuse trucks scheduled for delivery in 2020 with plans to order another 20 CNG refuse trucks to be delivered in 2021.

Pat Riley

Pat Riley has worked in the natural gas industry for 39 years.  He began his career with Allen & Hoshall Consulting in Memphis.  After graduating from the University of Memphis with a degree in civil engineering technology, he began working for Gibson County Utility District.  He has worked with GCUD for 32 years, serving as General Manager for the past 20.  During that time, Pat has served as the President of the Tennessee Gas Association (2004-2005) and currently holds a seat on the Board of Directors.  He is also an active member of the American Public Gas Association Board of Directors, the West Tennessee Gas Association Board of Directors, the Tennessee Association of Utility Districts Board of Directors, and the State Chamber Board’s Environmental & Energy Subcommittee.  In 2017, Governor Bill Haslam appointed Pat to a second three-year term on the Tennessee Utility Management Review Board.  In 2003, Pat received the TGA Silver Flame Award in recognition of his years of service and passion in promoting natural gas and natural gas vehicles.  In both 2002 and 2010, Pat received the Tennessee Association of Utility Districts’ M.M. Bullard ward for Financial Operational Excellence.  He’s led its Natural Gas Vehicle Committee for years, organized three Natural Gas Expos, and was a pivotal member and co-founder of our own national NGV Road Rally.  Pat has been a longtime Tennessee State Lead for NGVAmerica’s State Government Advocacy Committee.

Susan Shifflett

Susan M. Shifflett, President of the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance and President of S3-Serivces, has worked in the natural gas and propane vehicle markets for 25 years.  As President of the Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance, Susan focuses on developing new and expanding natural gas transportation markets and refueling stations in the State of Texas using industry initiatives, government programs, energy education and community relations.  Her company, S3- Services provides safety training and grant writing to private and public companies making the switch to natural gas and propane.  Susan previously worked at the Railroad Commission of Texas in the Alternative Fuels Research and Education Division and served as the Dallas Fort Worth Clean Cities Coordinator for the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

Southern Company Gas

Southern Company Gas, through its Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) subsidiary, has been a leader in developing the NGV market since the early days of the industry.  Doug Horne, formerly of AGL, helped write the gas utility best practices documents which eventually became the basis for today’s NGV Codes and Standards. Doug went on to lead the Clean Vehicle Education Foundation before he retired, and it was consolidated into NGVA.  AGL filed a Natural Gas Vehicle program as part of its integrated resources plan approved in 1993 which included the V-52 rate for AGL to start building CNG stations for customers.  AGL also developed a Vehicle Technology Center in the 1990s to do vehicle conversions, showcase NGV technology, and offer an innovative tank lease program.  AGL now has 275 CNG vehicles performing day to day operations in its fleet.  Dennis Smith, AGL’s director of NGVs in the 1990s, helped organize the first Clean Cities coalition designated by DOE and then moved to Washington where he has served as National Director of the Clean Cities program for the last 25 years.  Dennis worked with MARTA to help them begin their transition to CNG.  AGL built MARTA’s first CNG station at Perry Blvd. to fuel the first 118 CNG buses it received just in time for the 1996 Summer Olympics.  Clean Cities Georgia just celebrated its 25th anniversary and is now chaired by Ian Skelton, Southern’s Director of Natural Gas Vehicles and NGVA Board Member.  AGL Initiated a CNG Infrastructure Program in 2011 to jumpstart development of publicly-accessible CNG stations in Georgia and built seven stations under the program.  In 2011, AGL also filed the TS-1 and TS-2 transportation rates to accept Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) into its distribution system and deliver it to market. The company currently has three projects utilizing these services.  Southern Company Gas, through its Pivotal LNG subsidiary, is also a major player in the LNG transportation market.  Pivotal LNG has been selling LNG for on road trucking for many years and is now also supplying the developing marine, rail, drilling, and mining markets.


NGVAmerica is a national organization of over 200 companies and organizations dedicated to the development of a growing, profitable, and sustainable market for vehicles, ships and carriers powered by natural gas or biomethane.  NGVAmerica member companies produce, distribute, and market natural gas and biomethane across North America, manufacture and service natural gas vehicles, engines, and equipment, and operate fleets powered by clean-burning gaseous fuels.

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