• National Consumer Energy Exchange


An Example of Jerry’s Entrepreneurial Skills and Visions


In 1974 Jerry was nationally recognized for his insight and development of National Consumer Energy Exchange, which was an organization specifically designed for businesses and individuals to exchange gasoline coupons used in the proposed national coupon rationing programs. The programs were to be initiated by the U.S. government because of severe gasoline shortage-"The Energy Crisis", in a period of less than 30 days in January 1974. Jerry created an entire business plan that was designed to trade gasoline coupons between businesses and individuals throughout the U.S.

Jerry was then interviewed by the local affiliates of the major television networks. These interviews, on how Jerry envisioned the energy problem facing the nation in 1974, were picked up by NBC, CBS and ABC and broadcasted on their national television evening news programs, as well as syndicated to hundreds of independent television stations across the nation.

Subsequent to the telecasts a very prominent businessman in Kansas City (Ewing Kauffman, founder of Marion Laboratories and the owner of the Kansas City Royals) called Jerry and asked if he would come to his office and visit with him about the plan he conceived. Jerry Nickell and Jerry met with Ewing from 9 am to 2 pm that day. Ewing suggested that they create a corporate division whereby corporations would recommend that their employees would sell any coupons they didn’t need through the National Consumer Energy Exchange. Those corporations would then have a right of first refusal to buy the coupons that had been tendered to the National Consumer Energy Exchange by their employees. Ewing even arranged for some major corporations to join with him in the support of their new adventure.

The recognition of Jerry’s ideas on how to deal with coupon rationing drew substantial interest from The National Energy Commission in Washington. Jerry was invited to meet with the commission in Washington to explain his concepts of how to trade rationing coupons nationally. A few days after the meeting, the Energy Commission announced there would be no coupon rationing program.

The U.S. government’s constant references to the imminent need to ration gasoline was the motivating factor that moved Jerry to find a way to trade ration coupons. The government was surprised by Jerry’s new company and in fact wanted a copy of the business plan. It was later learned that coupons that were to be printed never were and the government’s possible plan to issue rationing coupons was only a means to get the U.S. consumers to conserve gasoline usage.



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Last modified: 02/01/10