Leadership Team

Seasoned leadership team with deep propane industry experience

Energy Distribution Partners (EDP) has created a leadership team of propane industry veterans with a deep understanding of retail and commercial propane sales, operations and finance.

Thomas E. Knauff, chief executive officer, brings 30-plus years of executive, operations and financial experience in the propane industry. At Ferrellgas, where Tom served as a wholesale division manager and retail marketing director, he helped to integrate the $400 million leveraged buyout of Buckeye Gas Products Company. Tom later co-founded Propane Continental, which acquired 34 retail propane operations. He then affiliated with a Chicago middle-market investment bank – and continued his entrepreneurial focus in the energy industry. In 2003 Tom co-founded Liberty Propane, ran its operations during the start-up period and served on its board until 2009.

In 2012, Tom co-founded EDP. As of late 2016, EDP’s operations include 11 top-notch local and regional distributors from California to Pennsylvania. Tom is committed to working with propane operators who are seeking to transition their businesses in a way that benefits their employees and their local communities, in addition to the owners themselves.

Marlo Young, chief operating officer, downstream, brings more than 25 years of corporate and operating experience in retail propane distribution and similar industries. Marlo joined Ferrellgas in 1991 where he quickly rose to an area manager position. He later joined Cornerstone Propane Partners where he was responsible for operations that served more than 30,000 customers. Following his tenure at Cornerstone, Marlo joined Inergy Propane where he ultimately served as executive vice president for Midwest operations and had direct operational and executive responsibility for more than 250,000 customers, 100 service centers and $350 million in revenue. During this time he oversaw $650 million in acquisitions.

Marlo later served in senior operations management positions with two other companies with national distribution businesses. He returned to the propane industry in 2012 when he joined EDP.

Brett Krause, executive vice president corporate development, has more than 25 years of experience leading organizations through rapid change and growth. Brett started his career as an acquisitions analyst at Ferrellgas, developing transactions with more than 37 retail propane companies. He then spent eight years with a large telecommunications company, leading the effort to expand into the residential broadband market through seven simultaneous acquisitions ($1.3B) and leading customer facing-operations in the start-up organization, growing to over 500 employees and 275 contractors across 11 states.

Brett later re-entered the energy sector and assisted investors in the turnaround and ultimate sale of a struggling company. Then, as a member of a small partnership, raised over $200 million to purchase two companies in a private MLP structure. Brett returned to the propane industry in 2014 when he joined EDP.

Mark Zimora, vice president of U.S. operations, brings more than 25 years of executive and operational leadership experience uniquely spanning both the public and family-owned propane business segments. Mark started his career with AmeriGas and later joined Blue Rhino as a fledgling company. At Blue Rhino, Mark worked closely with the company's founder to grow the business into one of the most recognized brand names in the propane industry. After the $340 million divestiture of Blue Rhino to Ferrellgas, Mark joined Paraco Gas where he served as Executive Vice President of Operations. Mark was later named Chief Operating Officer for Thompson Gas where he led the company through an expansion program into nine southeastern US states. Most recently, prior to joining EDP, Mark served as a division president for Inergy Propane.

Mark A. Janek, chief financial officer, brings over 25 years of executive and financial experience to the company. A CPA from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, Mark began his career at a Big Four public accounting firm. He joined EDP in 2014 from Standard Parking/SP Plus Corp, where he was SVP Finance and assisted the company in integrating the acquisition of its largest competitor. Prior to that, for ten years, he served as divisional CFO for Matson Logistics, Inc., assisting the company in substantially growing revenue both organically and through several acquisitions. He also served as Assistant Vice President and Corporate Controller for Hub Group, Inc. and has held managerial financial roles at ServiceMaster, Clintec International and Czarnowski Exhibit Services. Over his career, Mark has had a diverse industry background assisting companies in acquiring and integrating nearly $1.0 billion in revenue that employed over 10.000 employees.

Are you a propane marketer or company owner looking to transition your business in a way
that will benefit you, your employees and your community?
If so, contact Brett Krause today at (312) 254-5954 or for a confidential conversation.
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Human Resources/Accounting: (312) 254-5950   |   Customer Service: (312) 254-5965 or CustomerService@edplp.net