Cory Kahler, whose expertise made CGRS a CNG player, now leading Alternative Fuels division

CGRS had just begun building its Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) portfolio when well-known and highly respected CNG expert Cory Kahler joined the team in 2015, making the company a serious contender in the field.

“He has a tremendous amount of knowledge about the CNG industry,” said Eric Hick, CGRS CEO/President. “He’s made a name for us, really.”

Kahler is the son of Wally Kahler, who retired in June 2021 after more than 30 years in the CNG industry, the last two years of which were at CGRS. Besides the education and experience he received from working alongside his father, Kahler had attended CNG mechanics school and various training, construction and maintenance courses, as well as worked in the industry for four years, before coming to CGRS.

But it was more than his skills and reputation that impressed his employer.

“He has tremendous character,” Hick said. “I think he checks all the boxes on the core values – his work ethic, taking responsibility, a go-to attitude. There are some things you can’t teach people; it’s just built into them. Cory has them. He’s a stellar person.”

Kris Quantz, CGRS Director of Refined Fuels, said he’s found that Kahler is the same person on and off the job. “He’s a stand-up guy – honest, integrity, a good person to the core – and it shows in family life and work ethic.”

And at CGRS Kahler found a work home where leadership was open to new ideas, supportive and let him pursue what he loved to do.

“I think the biggest thing for me is the culture,” he said. “There are expectations, but it’s laid back enough that it allows me flexibility to be true to what I like to do. I feel like I’m making a difference. They allow me to be me.”

Kahler, who works out of an office in Northglenn (north Denver metro area) most of the time, said he is sold on CGRS’ Solutions Delivered tagline.

“I will self-educate myself,” he said. “I follow a lot of people who are in this industry to stay up on current technology. I will research books and other forums to come up with an answer. I invest my own time into understanding the trade and into how things work. I won’t give an answer that I’m not 100% confident of. I do what it takes to find a correct answer and solution.”

And he’s impressed more than a few customers with that attitude. “He builds very strong relationships with them,” Hick said. “He takes responsibility, he does what he says he’s going to do and he communicates.”

Quantz said besides being a true industry expert, Kahler listens to customers, helps them understand what is required to meet their goals, then develops a solution that meets their needs and their budgets.

Kahler’s first job as a CGRS team member was building the Hat 6 Travel Plaza, which included a CNG aspect, in Wyoming. He has since headed numerous CNG and renewable natural gas (RNG) projects including:

  • The City of Longmont Biogas Treatment and RNG Fueling Station
  • Three City of Fort Collins CNG systems
  • The Weld School District RE-1 CNG system
  • The City of Boulder Biogas Enhancement Project (an RNG project)

Kahler will also head the CNG side of the City of Loveland Fuel System project that CGRS will begin constructing this fall.

CGRS’ CNG offerings also include CNG/RNG service and maintenance work beyond project contractual obligations. As the only Colorado-based Registered Service Agent for certifying CNG dispensers through the Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety (OPS) Weights and Measures Office, Kahler’s CNG team keeps busy providing that service for numerous retail sites as well as CNG construction customers.

Today, Kahler oversees CGRS’ newly designated Alternative Fuels division with his sights on more than just CNG/RNG: he is currently working to find vendors to expand our services to installing and maintaining electrical vehicle (EV) stations and, eventually, hydrogen.

“With the push of global warming and climate change, it’s important for companies like CGRS that are in the energy business to provide alternative solutions moving forward,” he said. “It’s an ever-growing industry with changes in fuel types and environmental impacts. Having alternative fuels in our portfolio makes a huge difference. It’s good to understand the market changes and be on top of them to provide solutions.”

Hick and Quantz are confident that Kahler will flourish in his new role, and he has the entire company’s support.

“Cory’s a great guy for that because he’s already starting to poke around on these other fuels,” Hick said, noting they involve the compression, storage and transfer of fuel, in which Kahler is an expert. “Over the next few years, we will have great opportunity to grow that part of the company.”