Our Story

1st Propane is a locally owned and operated business serving the propane needs of our communities in the White Mountains of northern Arizona. Our headquarters are based out of Snowflake, AZ, where the owner, Mike Russell has lived most of his life. Small, rural communities are different, and so are we. Because we are local, and we live in the communities we serve, our passion and dedication to deliver quality in excellence is our 1st priority.
Established in 1999, 1st Propane was born out of need and entrepreneurship. Mike was once employed, and subsequently laid off, at the Paper Mill in Snowflake, and so when Mike got to walking, opportunity came knocking. Mike realized that there was no locally owned propane sources in the area, and he decided to take a chance and give it a go with everything he had in him. Aided by his lovely wife Kristi in the office, Mike got to setting tanks and servicing customers.

One year later, Shea Flake joined the team, and as Mike’s brother in law he delivered dedication and hard work in his desire to help grow a family business that could succeed and be passed down to generations to come. Shea’s joining the enterprise allowed Kristi, Mike’s wife to finally retire after 5 years of service on start-up, and resume her passion of being a mom and a grandmother to the growing family they have been blessed with. Mike’s sons would eventually join the team as well, and move on to take over some responsibilities needed to fulfil.

One big happy family, in the face of adversity we have been blessed to succeed in our business. it has been a great pleasure to serve the people of the White Mountains since 1998. We have met some wonderful folks, and created many life-long friendships. We at 1st Propane look forward to many more years of doing business with great people of our communities.

A Message from our Team


“I always wanted to start a business, which was always my dream. So with a large amount of work, and a fair amount of good luck we made it happen. Kristi helped in the office when we first started, while I set tanks and delivered propane.”
–Mike Russell
Owner 1st Propane
 

“My wife, Yvette, and Mike's wife are sisters, so it has been a family adventure for 17 years with many of our kids spending time dragging the propane hose, or whatever was needed to meet the needs of our customers. Thank you for all of your support through the years.”
–Shea Flake
Team Member since 1999