JD Buss is curious about new ideas and has a sincere interest in people!
JD Buss brings a curiosity about new ideas, as well as a sincere interest in other people to his work. He is always interested in hearing from people, even those who hold different opinions from his. He puts it this way, “I may not always agree, but I appreciate the ability to have a civil, interesting conversation. I’m aware that there are lots of things I don’t know in life and if there is an opportunity to listen and learn, gain more knowledge and wisdom, I am always open for that.”
Interest in the energy market.
Born and raised in the greater Kansas City area, JD graduated from Southwest Baptist University with a degree in Business Administration and a dual focus in Accounting and Marketing. At the end of his senior year, he sat for and passed the CPA exam.
Though job fairs in college highlighted opportunities with big accounting firms, he wasn’t sure he wanted to go that direction. He discovered Koch Industries, and their work in the energy market seemed much more interesting than traditional accounting work. JD knew nothing about the energy industry at this time and had to learn quickly. He still remembers the first book he read about energy derivatives; how it captured his attention at the time.
Starting out in energy.
He ended up accepting a job with Koch Industries and worked for them in Wichita, Kansas, for about two years. Oil and natural gas derivatives were still a relatively new field at this time, and he wanted to get more experience, so he headed for Houston, Texas.
In Houston, JD accepted a job with the Enron Corporation. As the top company in the energy industry at the time, he was able to work with and learn from the best and brightest in the field. Unfortunately, Enron imploded a few years later, and JD chose to look for work elsewhere.
Moving back to Kansas City.
At the time, he and his wife had been considering moving back to Kansas City to be close to family. With Enron’s collapse, the timing seemed right to make this move. JD worked for the Johnson County, Kansas government for a while doing traditional accounting work. Then he went back to work in his family’s lawncare business.
For the next three years, JD focused on running and growing the family business, while also doing accounting work for a few clients. The business grew to a point that the family decided it was time to move on. They sold the business and JD took a job as the Controller for a local real estate developer.
Getting back into energy with Twin Feathers!
Still very interested in the energy industry, JD watched for possible opportunities to get back into the field. In 2008, he had the opportunity to join Twin Feathers. JD brought experience in oil and natural gas, but it was his curiosity and interest in people that helped him the most as he learned about the propane industry.
Investing in relationships.
Building and growing relationships with people is important in the propane industry. JD enjoys being able to build relationships with new clients, as well as strengthening those with existing clients. Forming solid relationships with clients is not something that is unique to the Twin Feathers team. JD shares that he sees this same type of investment in the relationships his clients have with their own customers.
Sharing knowledge with clients – a collaborative process!
Investing in relationships builds trust and that trust enables JD to do what he enjoys most, have the chance to educate or share knowledge with clients. JD is quick to point out what this means. “This does not mean our clients are not smart and capable – they are. But they have a wide range of things they are dealing with that we don’t. So, we are able to take a moment and say, ‘We see this taking place, and this is what we would recommend. What do you think?”
It is very much a collaborative process, which means there is no one strategy that is the same for every client. The team at Twin Feathers takes each client’s circumstances and risk tolerances into account with the advice they give.
As part of the collaborative process, JD stays informed about his clients’ concerns as well as changes in the larger energy market that could impact them. Things like climate change regulations and the growth or decrease of energy markets outside of North America could all have an effect on a client’s business. JD makes a point to educate himself about these issues and others so he can help clients successfully navigate a changing energy market.
Outside of work.
Outside of work, JD enjoys hiking, especially with his wife. He also enjoys spending time with family. His kids are involved in different activities, but they enjoy spending time together – especially when they can play disc golf. He also enjoys golf that doesn’t involve discs, and he is learning to play it a little better. He enjoys traveling and exploring new places (especially with his wife). And he would tell you that there is never a bad time to visit a winery! Above all else, JD would also tell you to stay curious – about the world, ideas, and the people who hold them. Because “people are the most important thing, if you lose sight of that, then you lose sight of what’s most important in the long run.”