John Peña sits down with Women in Propane to discuss leadership, empowerment, and what he keeps in the trunk of his car…

No stranger to taking the lead, John Peña has spent most of his life serving his family, his country, and now the Southeast Propane AllianceWIP QR Code Technical Education Center (SEPATEC) as the Director of Education. His passion for communication and leadership are clear in everything he does, which is evident in SEPATEC’s latest student housing initiative, which supports SEPATEC students with free housing while they are enrolled.  Peña and his team have worked tirelessly over the past year to secure housing for SEPATEC students while they are enrolled in the training program. This five-bedroom uptown retreat, located in Burlington, NC, serves as a much-needed support for service members, veterans and all students attending classes at the training center.

Peña recently sat down with hosts Freddie Ridler (Rural Computer Consultants) and Bridget Kidd (PERC) on a new episode of the Women in Propane Council’s podcast, “Through the Leadership Lens” to talk about his life experiences and how they have shaped and inspired his leadership journey.  As the oldest of 5 siblings, John was a natural born leader from the start, which prepared him for his incredible 30-year career in the military. In this episode, John shares how his military deployment played a pivotal role in shaping him as a leader, and how he works to empower his team and those around him at SEPATEC today.  He shares, “It’s easy leading when all the conditions are perfect. I really feel that leaders don’t embrace the opportunities they have, when they have setbacks, shortcomings, when they fall and fail.”  He also shares lessons he has learned from his mentors, and what he focuses on during his day-to-day activities, which allow him to continually evolve as a leader.


jessica johnsonTo hear this episode, and more like it, you can stream “Through the Leadership Lens” on YouTube and Spotify, as well as by visiting To learn more about NPGA’s Women in Propane Council, and the “Through the Leadership Lens” podcast, visit, or email



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Jessica Johnson is the administrator of growth projects at ThompsonGas, where she is active in their Emerging Leaders program. Johnson is also the chair of the Women in Propane Council’s Communications & Marketing Committee. She is the creator and executive producer of Women in Propane’s podcast “Through the Leadership Lens.” Johnson also serves as a Women in Propane State Ambassador to the Southeastern Propane Alliance.



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