THE STORY OF CHRISTENSEN IS ONE OF
FAMILY / TRUST / GROWTH
Our company founders instilled within our organization a belief that every team member is a member of the Christensen family. By focusing on treating others the way we want to be treated, our team builds enduring relationships with each other, our customers and our key partners. Through robust organic growth and acquisitions, we have built Christensen into a nationally recognized, award-winning industry leader.
Ray E. Powell founded R.E. Powell Distributing in 1935 and proudly served the communities of the Yakima Valley in beautiful Central Washington for four decades.
Powell Christensen, Inc. started in 1980 when Gary and Annette Christensen sold almost everything they owned and acquired R.E. Powell Distributing from the estate and family of Ray E. Powell.
Powell Christensen was recruited by Texaco to market and sell quality Texaco fuel and lubricants. The company quickly became one of the fastest growing Texaco distributors in the U.S. During their high school years Brandon and Tony Christensen earned spending money by painting all the gas stations Gary signed up as customers. To this day both brothers’ favorite colors are light dove grey and vermillion red.
Gary Christensen signed on as one of the first Pacific Pride franchisees in the U.S. A partnership that has now spanned over 30 years.
Shell entered the Northwestern U.S. market and signed up Powell Christensen as a distributor. Since Brandon had already left home to attend college, Tony and some of his high school buddies were left to make sure that all the stations Gary signed up for the Shell brand were looking sharp.
A few short years after Shell came calling, it was BP’s turn to knock on Powell Christensen’s door. With an aggressive sales plan Gary and his team quickly became a fast-growing BP distributor. And, you know what that means, the Christensen boys dusted off their paint brushes and got to work, but this time it was Justin Christensen’s turn.
Powell Christensen became the first Tesoro distributor in the state of Washington. (We don’t remember who painted the Tesoro stations.)
Powell Christensen signs on as a 76 distributor.
Chevron acquired Texaco in 2003 and at the time Powell Christensen was one of the largest Texaco distributors in the U.S. In the ensuing years Powell Christensen would grow into the largest Chevron distributor in the Pacific Northwest.
Powell Christensen is recognized as the University of Washington’s Business of Year. Speaking of the award, Brandon Christensen remarked “It’s about time someone noticed how nice all those gas stations look.”
The entire Powell Christensen team took pride in being recognized as one of the 20 largest private companies in the Washington state by Puget Sound Business Journal.
Powell Christensen acquired Seaport Petroleum, expanding the company’s commercial division into Western Washington. Travis Paulson, whose family owned Seaport at the time, joined the Powell Christensen team as the company’s General Manager.
Powell Christensen was honored to be named the Silver Winner at the Seattle Business Family Business awards. Interestingly, the Gold Winner that year was Baker Boyer Bank, who’s CEO at the time, Megan Clubb, joined Christensen’s Board of Directors in 2018.
Under Travis Paulson’s leadership the company completed three acquisitions in Western Washington including acquiring key assets from Shell Lubricants/Pennzoil, 4Refuel, and Schultz Distributing.
Powell Christensen acquired Don Thomas Petroleum in Portland, Oregon, which expanded the company’s footprint in Oregon and Southwestern Washington.
The Christensen family shortens the name of the company from Powell Christensen to simply Christensen.