Chamber Celebrates Clean Fuels National as February Member of the Month
The Wells County Chamber of Commerce and staff recognized Clean Fuels National as the February member of the month. Clean Fuels owner, Michael Vanover, has been serving the local area since opening in 2000 and is located at 4620 E 900 South in Keystone.
Michael, his father Kash and brother Gregg, started Clean Fuels as a tank cleaning business for the ag industry. “We cleaned farm tractors, grain trucks, fuel oil tanks, and anything that held fuel,” stated Michael. “We were able to offer a solution to a problem people didn’t know they had with dirty tanks and microorganisms growing in them, which led to fuel being contaminated and running through expensive equipment.”
Within three years the business started to expand into the retail market pushing hard with the gas stations locally and within the region. “We would assess the fuel storage tanks and found many were leaking, dirty, amongst many other things, which in turn, contaminates the fuel we put in our vehicles,” explained Michael. “Once we identified the cause and could help gas stations, our business increased in the mid-west substantially.”
Their work took them on the road for a year servicing tanks and growing the business. Vanover stated they worked with local and state governments and different environmental agencies to identify and rectify the contamination issues.
“We have solved a lot of issues here locally to help businesses. Clean Fuels has built a system to refine the processes and define what our company has done, and businesses pull us close to be a partner,” Michael said. “We know more than others in the industry because we have the knowledge, can do the experimentation, and can implement the research and development. We are incredibly hands-on.” Clean Fuels holds two patents for the work they do with Michael speaking all over the world as innovators in the industry.
In 2017, Michael took over the day-to-day operations of Clean Fuels and became President. Today, there are 30 vehicles running across the nation with Service Technicians and a team of staff at the Petroleum/Keystone location totaling 90 employees. “We are very sensitive to our employee needs. We know the Service Technicians have a hard job. They are away from their families and on the road for extended periods of time. While they are on the road we pay for their expenses and encourage them to have some down time to enjoy their surroundings,” Michael stated.
“Overall, our goal with our employees is to show them servant leadership. We are very thankful for our team and hire empathetic people for the right reasons. We want a good team and cultivate leaders within our company and for them to leave better than they showed up,” explained Michael.
Michael said Clean Fuels is not here just to make a dollar, but it goes much further. Family comes first at Clean Fuels. “I know when the business started, I had to make a lot of sacrifices and I don’t want our employees to have to sacrifice what I did. We want to treat people as we want to be treated.”
Taylor Vanover, son of Michael and Clean Fuels Assistant to Legal Counsel, explained that he can sympathize with the technicians. “I was young when Dad was working and starting the business. He was on the road a lot and money was extremely tight and he wasn’t home a lot. Therefore, we understand that sensitivity and will go the extra mile to treat employees as a family. Family does come first, and we do all we can to stress that importance.”
Michael concluded, “we really appreciate that the local community realizes what Clean Fuels does and are always trying to help other organizations and give to causes. Being recognized in Wells County and our efforts to give back is important. We try to take care of home.”
Pictured in the photo left to right:
Heather Morgan, National Oil & Gas, Chamber Ambassador
Stacey Duncan, WEG Commercial Motors, Chamber Ambassador
Kody Kumfer, First Bank of Berne, Chamber Ambassador
Keith Muhlenkamp, First Merchants Bank, Chamber Ambassador
Chris Shannon, Clean Fuels National
Cassie Crickard, Clean Fuels National
Taylor Vanover, Clean Fuels National
Michael Vanover, Clean Fuels National
Trae Schoeff, Clean Fuels National
Erin Prible, Wells County Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director
Alyssa Sponseller, Archbold & Lewis, Chamber Ambassador
Stephanie Hiday, Magical Vacation Planner, Chamber Ambassador
Jessica Beste, American Mortgage, Chamber Ambassador