Davenport Energy Inc., a family-owned petroleum products company headquartered in Chatham, Va., has acquired the customers of Lester-Penn Coal & Oil Corp. in Martinsville, Va.
Lester-Penn Coal & Oil Corp. has served the Martinsville-Henry County community for many years, providing fuel oil and other products to homes, businesses and industry.
Davenport Energy provides the same petroleum products and services to customers in and around Martinsville and throughout Southside and Southwest Virginia.
“We want to thank Lester-Penn customers for their business over the years, and say that Davenport Energy looks forward to serving them in the future,” the companies said in a joint statement.
Lester-Penn President Edwin G. “Trippi” Penn III plans to retire, but will work closely with Davenport Energy during the transition.
“We know Davenport Energy, and know they give good service. We feel like they will treat our customers well, too,” Penn said.
The Lester-Penn office has closed and all customer fuel needs should be directed to Davenport Energy’s Martinsville office at 8720 Philpott Highway. To schedule deliveries or for more information, Lester-Penn customers may contact Davenport Energy at 276-632-5788 or 800-528-0599 or visit www.davenportenergy.com.
“We are making every effort to make this a smooth transition and continue to build on the fine tradition established by Lester-Penn,” said Davenport Energy President and Chief Executive Officer Lewis E. Wall Jr. “Customers may see a new driver, but can expect the same great delivery and service.”
In addition to fuel oil, Davenport Energy offers propane, propane appliances, and propane service along with automatic fill and will-call and flexible payment and budget plans.
Started as Zentmeyer Coal Company in 1937, Lester-Penn added fuel oil in 1954 and changed its name in 1960 after Edwin G. Penn Jr. and Claybrook Lester took over as partners.
Penn, who has worked for the company 50 years, began delivering heating oil while still in high school, often working on weekends and during holidays. He joined Lester-Penn full time in 1971.
Although Penn managed the company, he continued making deliveries, especially when it became tough to find good drivers.
Founded in 1941, Davenport Energy serves more than 25,000 customers from offices in Chatham, Gretna, South Boston, Martinsville, Rocky Mount, Bedford, Roanoke, and Covington.
Davenport Energy is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2016. For more information, visit www.davenportenergy.com.
Davenport Energy Inc. received Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Pinnacle Award for outstanding community service in May.
The award, the chamber’s highest honor, recognizes companies that have made significant contributions to the region’s economic and social well-being.
Davenport Energy, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, has made and continues to have a strong local economic impact, employing more than 130 people and delivering propane, fuel oil, and other petroleum products to more than 30,000 customers throughout southern, southwest, and central Virginia.
The company, under the leadership of Chairman Ben Davenport Jr. and President and Chief Executive Officer Lewis Wall Jr., has a long and distinguished record of supporting the community through donations, volunteering, and service on local, state, and national boards, the chamber noted.
“Davenport Energy supports local schools, sports teams, churches, fire departments, chambers of commerce, merchants associations, recreation departments, civic clubs, and a variety of other charitable causes,” said Chamber Chairman John W. Daniel.
Team members also support local United Way campaigns through payroll deductions, and donate time to local fire departments, rescue squads, schools, civic clubs, and other community organizations.
Whenever there is a need, Davenport Energy is “Ready For You,” as the company’s trademarked slogan states, said Daniel.
Rain, sleet, and snow doesn’t stop Davenport Energy Inc. from delivering fuel to customers.
Our offices in Chatham, South Boston, Rocky Mount, Gretna, Martinsville, Bedford, Roanoke, and Covington were open during January’s snowstorm, with team members standing ready to deliver emergency propane and fuel oil to keep customers warm.
Lewis Wall, president and chief executive officer of Davenport Energy Inc., has joined the management committee of Petroleum Marketers Oil Company, LLC, owner of the Spirit gasoline brand.
Based in Chatham, Davenport Energy is a licensee for a number of Spirit gasoline stations and convenience stores throughout the Dan River Region.
Spirit is a nationally recognized independent petroleum brand managed by marketers and owned by the non-profit Petroleum Marketers Association of America.
Spirit President Vera Haskins said Davenport Energy has been a great supporter of Spirit in Virginia.
“I’m delighted that Lewis has agreed to serve on the PMOCO Management Committee,” Haskins said. “I believe his vision and energy will be of great benefit to the brand and to all of our licensees.”
Wall said it is a privilege to be asked to join the Spirit management group.
“It’s a great board, part of a great organization led by an impressive group of people,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to getting in there and listening and getting up to speed on the conversations the committee has been having, and helping in any way I can to contribute to the growth and health of the Spirit brand.”
Founded in 1941, Davenport Energy will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2016, and has grown to a multi-product company with eight regional offices serving more than 25,000 customers.
Check out WDBJ7’s and WSET’s coverage of Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting at Glenvar High School.
Roanoke County is the first school system in western Virginia to use propane from Davenport Energy to fuel 10 new school buses.
A clean alternative fuel, propane autogas is cheaper than diesel or gasoline, and propane-fueled vehicles are environmentally friendly and noticeably quieter.
There are more than 17 million propane buses, trucks, vans, shuttles, taxicabs, and police and government vehicles on the road.
Davenport Energy’s director of safety and compliance, Taft Yeatts, held a training class and fueling demonstration for school officials last week at Glenvar High School.
A ribbon-cutting is planned Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 10 a.m.
Dunn retires after 42 years with Davenport Energy, Cox Oil & Gas
During his 42 years with Davenport Energy, Lloyd Dunn never knew what the day might bring.
One day he might be working on a gas stove or repairing a furnace, and the next installing gas logs or helping a farmer with a tobacco barn.
It was all in a day’s work for the veteran service technician for Davenport Energy in South Boston.
Dunn, who is retiring on Sept. 30, was recognized recently at the propane and heating oil company’s South Boston office on Edmunds Street.
The day also included a customer appreciation event with a pig pickin’ prepared by propane driver W.T. Terry.
“The Dunn family has been a huge part of our company going back to U.S. Cox Oil and Gas, Chatham Oil, and Davenport Energy,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Lewis E. Wall Jr.
Wall cited Dunn’s dedication and strong character, noting the veteran service man led by example and was a great role model.
“Forty-two years with the same companies is pretty incredible,” said Wall. “One thing is for sure. We can’t replace you. It’s not possible.”
Dunn, 75, worked at Dan River Mills and Burlington Industries and was in heating and air conditioning before joining U.S. Cox Oil and Gas in 1973.
He drove an oil truck for two years before becoming a service technician. Even then, he still did “run-outs” for Cox for 20 years.
Anytime a customer ran out of heating oil or propane at night and on weekends, the telephone rang at Dunn’s home.
“I went out a lot of nights, weekends, and holidays,” he said.
Dunn continued working for the South Boston operation after it was purchased by Davenport Energy.
He always put in a full day — 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. — and enjoyed service work. He likes fixing
things and making customers happy.
“I like all of it — run-outs, getting a person oil or LP gas, repairs and installations,” he said.
According to Dunn, a good service technician has to be a jack-of-all-trades.
Dunn is licensed by the Virginia Board of Contractors and Tradesmen as a master electrician, master gas fitter, master heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and master plumber.
His son, Billy Dunn, also works for Davenport Energy as a service technician, and has been with the company 30 years.
Father and son have a farm in South Boston, and Dunn enjoys restoring old tractors.
“I got three of them,” he said.
His eyes light up with pride when he talks about his 1953 Ferguson 30, 1950s model Ford Jubilee, and 1957 Farmall 130.
Thanks to Dunn, all three are in good running condition.
Now that he’s retired, Dunn plans to spend more time on the farm.
“As long as I’m going strong, I have no plans to slow down,” he said.