REG Blending Partner Selected as Veteran Owned Business of the Year

Posted by thebuzz on June 4, 2019

As partners to the heating oil industry, REG has plenty of "human interest" stories to share. Every winter, we see our blending partners go above and beyond for their customers, and we do whatever we can to help in that regard. Furthermore, as our fellow fuel sellers recognize, the job isn’t done once spring rolls around; customers keep calling, and we continue to answer the call 365 days a year.

With that being said, May 9 was an especially proud day for the REG Northeast offices. That’s because on this day, the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) honored our latest blending partner, Broco Oil, of Haverhill, MA, as the 2019 Veteran Owned Business of the Year for Massachusetts. Accepting the award was Broco Oil’s founder, owner and president, Robert "Bobby" Brown. And we at REG would be hard-pressed to find anyone more deserving of this accolade.

Bobby Brown founded Broco Oil shortly after serving in the U.S. military, and the crisis management expertise he gained during his years as a Navy Seabee has been a staple of his professional career ever since. Just last September, Brown and his team assisted in Hurricane Florence recovery efforts in North Carolina, as well as Merrimack Valley Disaster recovery efforts in Broco’s home state of Massachusetts. But helping others in their time of need is nothing new for Brown and his employees.

"We got on this platform of offering our services nationwide because when I was in the military I was stationed in Gulfport, MS, and right when I was getting out, Katrina ripped through there, devastating the area," Brown explained. "I saw how critical fueling was for the national response, so when I got into the heating oil business, it was natural for me to offer that."

Since Brown started Broco Oil in 2007, the company has broadened its relief efforts from local to regional to national. They were also involved in the Hurricane Irma response in 2017, and when Florence ripped through coastal and central North Carolina in September of 2018, leaving 53 dead and $13 billion in property damages, Broco Oil was one of the first fuel suppliers to volunteer. In fact, Brown headed south in advance of the storm, bringing with him a crew consisting of Broco Oil delivery drivers John Smith, Cameron Wulff, Brian McPhee and Les Michick, and company mechanic Rich Cohan.

With hours-of-service rules suspended for the affected areas, our blending partner’s crew was on the scene during and after Florence to provide needed fuel for emergency backup generators and fleets assisting in the recovery. "Our last truck was down there for about three weeks," Brown said. Thanks to Broco Oil’s brave delivery and service team, REG 9000® biodiesel literally helped get the lights back on for North Carolina.

When we caught up with Brown to discuss Broco Oil’s role in the Hurricane Florence response, we found him pitching in to help out with another crisis. "I had to actually fly home from North Carolina to get our Columbia Gas response up and running, so we had two deployments going on simultaneously," Brown said.

As most in the energy industry remember, on the evening of September 13, 2018, a series of natural gas leaks, fires, and explosions ravaged the Merrimack Valley neighborhoods of Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover, killing two, injuring dozens, and damaging as many as 150 homes. In the wake of the Merrimack Valley Disaster, a number of impacted Columbia Gas customers decided to convert their homes back to heating oil, "which is very rare," Brown pointed out. Broco Oil was happy to help its neighbors make the switch to safer, cleaner Bioheat® fuel. At the same time, the company was fueling emergency response generators, once again helping to get the lights back on. "We delivered to 350 generators in a single day," Brown said.

For all his courage, determination, and self-sacrifice, Brown — who’s also a Fire Captain for the City of Chelsea — was quick to pass the credit onto his employees at Broco Oil. "A lot of these guys volunteer themselves," he said. "It’s really about the culture of the company, helping out first. We can always get back to regular business when the job is done."

Clearly, the Massachusetts Small Business Association recognized in Broco Oil many of the qualities Brown exemplifies. "National Small Business Week is a time to reflect on the significant achievements and community impact that our small businesses have on the local economy," said SBA Massachusetts District Director Robert H. Nelson. "It’s truly an honor to present these awards to this group of amazing entrepreneurs who are making a difference with job creation and community development."

REG couldn’t agree more. We are immensely proud to team up with everyday heroes like Robert "Bobby" Brown and his remarkable staff at Broco Oil. Through our recently announced partnership, REG and Broco will provide blended Bioheat fuel from an upgraded terminal in Haverhill, MA. The terminal will be upgraded with rail improvements and additional infrastructure to allow for blending opportunities at the loading rack. REG will ship distilled biodiesel to Haverhill from one of our production facilities.

"The partnership between REG and Broco is a great opportunity for both businesses to deliver a high-quality, cleaner fuel solution to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," said Barry Knox, Director of Blended Fuels for REG.

Please join us as we welcome Brown and Broco Oil to the REG family and congratulate them on their well-deserved recognition.

Truly, every blending partner of ours has a unique and inspiring story to tell, and we at REG are honored play a part in it. If you’d like to see your company spotlighted in an upcoming edition of Let’s Blend, please contact our sales team.