Black Enterprise Selects Hightowers as 2013 BE Industrial/Service Company of the Year
Accelerated growth, recognition reported by licensed wholesale motor fuels distributor
Sep 16, 2013, 08:45 ET
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio, Sept. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Hightowers Petroleum Co. (HPC), a licensed wholesale motor fuels distributor in approximately 40 U.S. states, Mexico and Canada, has doubled its earnings over the past five years, with gross revenues of $303 million and sales of more than 100 million gallons of gasoline and diesel in 2012.
Based on the company's remarkable performance in a nontraditional industry for African Americans, Black Enterprise selected Hightowers as the 2013 BE Industrial/Service Company of the Year. Past honorees include Bob Johnson of BET, Oprah Winfrey, and Dave Steward of World Wide Technologies.
CEO Stephen Hightower attributes the company's growth to its decade-long marketing strategy and his promise of "fueling America's petroleum needs, one customer at a time." Hightower has built relationships for a nationwide distribution network to source fuel on credit anywhere, in some cases with little more than a handshake and his honor. "This is a small circle of people, and your reputation is more important than your ability to buy fuel," said Hightower.
Since the Great Recession, Hightowers provides the "initial fill" of fuel in every GM car assembled in the U.S. and Mexico, proving it can meet all required specifications. The company's blue-chip clients also include Duke Energy, AK Steel, Chrysler, Ford, Delta Air Lines, FedEx, and Kroger.
The Secretaries of Energy and Interior appointed Hightower to the National Petroleum Council in 2010 and the National Park Foundation Board in 2012. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Hightowers supplied emergency response fueling. "Hightower came through for us at a time when it was hard for anyone to find fuel," said Michael Jones-Bey, Director of Supplier Diversity at Con Edison of New York.
Built on a family business, the company has grown across generations. Hightower's son, Stephen L. Hightower II serves as COO, taking on more responsibilities as the elder Hightower focuses on HP Energy, a developer of energy efficiency projects, and Hi-Mark Construction Group, a design-build general contractor since 1979. "Stephen has stepped up to the challenge and shown a lot of maturity," said the elder Hightower.
As the company adds customers and additional lines of revenue, the leadership team continues to diligently service existing clients. "We've been very careful not to lose our focus on our baseline business and customers. We feel that a distraction to our core business could be fatal, particularly in this growth that we're experiencing," said Hightower.
Through its organic growth and business strategy, Hightowers aims to become a billion-dollar company. Hightowers is laying the groundwork by staying relevant in the industry, building relationships at the C-suite level, and proving that it can get the job done.
Hightowers is a Corporate Plus member with the National Minority Supplier Development Council. To the skeptics of African-American owned enterprises, Hightower says, "There is not a black way or white way in the fueling business. There is only the right way!"
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SOURCE Hightowers Petroleum Company
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