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LAVAL, QUEBEC, CANADA -- Alain Bouchard, chairman, president and CEO of Alimentation Couche-Tard, the largest chain of company-operated convenience stores in North America, and Tom Trader, the former head of industry relations for R.J. Reynolds, the second-largest tobacco supplier to the c-store industry, will be inducted into the Convenience Industry Hall of Fame at a gala reception and dinner on Oct. 22 in Montreal.
The 2007 Convenience Store News' Hall of Fame reception and dinner will be held at Les Voutes at the Intercontinental Montreal from 7 to 11 p.m. The Hall of Fame was launched in 1987 by CSNews' with the induction of Chester Cadieux of QuikTrip Corp. Since then, the Hall of Fame has recognized convenience industry pioneers and innovators from companies of all sizes, including James Keyes of 7-Eleven Inc., John MacDougall of Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes Inc., Dick Wood of Wawa Inc., and Steve Sheetz of Sheetz Inc. Supplier inductees have included Michael Irish of Philip Morris, Jerry Rose of McLane Co. and Joe Burke of Coca-Cola Enterprises.
Bouchard began his career at Perrette Dairy Ltd. in 1968 as an interim store manager. He then became supervisor and district director until 1973. As district director, he supervised the opening of 80 stores and developed the Perrette network. From 1973 to 1976, Bouchard, while at Provigo, Provi-Soir division, organized and supervised the opening of 70 Provi-Soir convenience stores. From 1976 to 1980, he operated a franchise in Saint-Jerome and, in 1980, opened the first Couche-Tard.
Laval, Quebec-based Couche-Tard has grown through a dazzling series of acquisitions, including the Perrette and Provi-Soir stores of Bouchard's earlier days, other Canadian chains, and numerous U.S. properties, including Dairy Mart. The biggest purchase occurred in 2003, when the company purchased the American c-store chain Circle K, landing more than 1,600 corporate stores in 16 states. Since then, the company continued to make headlines with its breathtaking appetite for acquisitions in the U.S., purchasing 509 additional stores in the last 14 months.
Couche-Tard currently operates a network of 5,615 convenience stores, 3,444 of which include motor fuel dispensing, located in nine large geographic markets, including six in the United States covering 29 states and three in Canada covering six provinces.
On the supplier side, Trader served as R.J. Reynolds' longtime director of trade relations, contributing many years service to NACS on its supplier committees. In 2005, he was the recipient of the NATO Pinnacle Award and served on the NATO (National Association of Tobacco Outlets) board of directors from 2003 to 2004. He retired in August of 2005 and has formed a consulting company with another retired RJRT employee.
Last year's inductees were William Krause of Kum & Go and William Laufer of Anheuser-Busch.
The Convenience Store News' Hall of Fame's roster of retailer inductees:
2006: William Krause, Kum & Go
2005: James Keyes, 7-Eleven Inc.
2004: Henry O. "Hank" Armour, founder of West Star Corp. and current president of NACS
2003: John MacDougall, Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes Inc.
2002: John Hansan, Sterling Stores LLC
2001: Bob Robertson, White Hen Pantry
2000: Don Lamberti, Casey’s General Stores Inc.
1999: Fred M. Higgins, Minit Mart Foods Inc.
1998: Chris Girard, Plaid Pantries Inc.
1997: Jim Yates, E-Z Mart Stores Inc.
1996: Dick Wood, Wawa Inc.
1995: Steve Sheetz, Sheetz Inc.
1994: Richard Jensen, SuperAmerica Group
1993: E.L. "Steve" Stephens, Town & Country Food Stores Inc.
1992: Erich Wendl, Maverick Markets Inc.
1991: John and Jere Thompson, The Southland Corp.
1990: C. Alan Marsh, Marsh Village Pantries
1989: Robert Seng, Busy Bee Food Stores Inc.
1988: Charlie Nirenberg, Dairy Mart Convenience Stores Inc.
1987: Chester Cadieux, QuikTrip Corp.