Naples Liaison Brian Zepeda, Immokalee Board Liaison Gale Boone, Hollywood Board Rep. Steve Osceola, Seminole Petroleum general manager Carol Begelman and Trail Liaison Norman Huggins pose for a photo by the holding tanks and a tanker truck at the Naples headquarters Oct. 28. (Beverly Bidney photo)NAPLES — Seminole Petroleum rolled out its new name and freshly painted tanker trucks Oct. 28 at the company’s bulk fuel processing plant in Naples. Tribal officials introduced the Seminole Petroleum management team as they celebrated the transition to the new brand with a luncheon at the Naples plant.
The petroleum distributor provides fuel and lubricant products to retailers and other companies in Florida with a fleet of fuel tankers and smaller trucks, all of which prominently display the Seminole Petroleum name and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc. logo.
In 2013, the Board purchased Evans Oil Company, an established Naples company since 1959, and has been operating it ever since. The Naples bulk plant is equipped with fuel pumps for fleets and a dozen above-ground fuel storage tanks. The fuel supplies arrive in Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville ports. Once it arrives, Seminole Petroleum trucks load and deliver either to the bulk facility in Naples or directly to customers.
“STOFI was in the process of purchasing it for the convenience stores when I came onto the Board,” said Hollywood Board Rep. Steve Osceola. “It was an opportunity to control the operation and the entire line. We’ve grown the business since then and are working to keep building it to make sure it will be ours for a long time.”
Customers include the Trading Post convenience stores on the Hollywood and Brighton reservations as well as five Florida Chevron gas stations, marinas, golf courses, construction and agricultural companies, hospitals and other large consumers of fuel and petroleum products. Most customers are located from the Orlando area and south, but there are plans to expand the market and look for other opportunities in and eventually out of Florida.
“It’s been a long time in the works,” said Naples Liaison Brian Zepeda. “The Board put a lot of effort into making this a go and here we are kicking off Seminole Petroleum in Naples.”
Seminole Petroleum owns a fleet of eight 9,200-gallon fuel transport tankers and five 4,500-gallon tank wagons. The company distributes regular and premium gasoline, aviation gasoline, low-sulphur clear diesel fuel and dyed diesel for construction equipment, generators and off-road vehicles.
The company also sells 90-octane, non-ethanol fuel for boats and lawn maintenance equipment as well as a variety of lubricants and greases.
The luncheon included a few words from key people involved in the management and rebranding of the company.
“The most important thing is we’ve completed the new branding and we’re ready to grow,” said Carol Begelman, general manager.
Immokalee Liaison Gale Boone also spoke and thanked everyone for their contribution to Seminole Petroleum.
Operations director Jim Talik thanked the Board and the employees for their work, many of whom have been with the company for years.
“I’m reminded of an old Polish proverb,” Talik said. “When the going gets tough, you get a tough team; and we did.”
“Today is a great day, not only for the Tribe and the Board, but for the employees,” Trail Liaison Norman Huggins said. “This has taken a lot of hard work and we thank them.”