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ATLANTA -- Carl Bolch Jr., chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based RaceTrac Petroleum, and Greg Gilkerson, president of Temple, Texas-based Professional Datasolutions Inc. (PDI), will be inducted into the Convenience Industry Hall of Fame at a gala reception and dinner this fall in Atlanta.
The Hall of Fame was launched in 1987 by Convenience Store News with the induction of Chester Cadieux of QuikTrip Corp. Since then, the Hall of Fame has recognized convenience store 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.
The Hall of Fame induction will be held Nov. 18, at the Atlanta Fish Market at 6 p.m.
Bolch received his Bachelor of Science in Economics degree from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 1964. He then received his Doctor of Laws degree from Duke University School of Law in 1967, before joining his family's independent gasoline business.
Bolch is a past-president of the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA) and is a past-chairman of the board for NACS, where he currently serves on the executive committee. RaceTrac has 545 stores in 12 southern states and achieved sales last year in excess of $12 billion.
On the supplier side, Gilkerson graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in accounting and began his career as a certified public accountant with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. After working in the Tax Department and spending several years helping initiate the firm's Small Business Advisory Services group, he went to work for Colonial Food Store, serving as the company's controller/treasurer. While at Colonial, Gilkerson oversaw the development of a new retail system that significantly improved Colonial's overall cost structures and access to key management information.
Upon the sale of Colonial, Gilkerson and a team of former Colonial employees obtained the rights to the software developed by Colonial and founded Professional Datasolutions Inc. (PDI) on June 1, 1983. Serving as president since its inception, Gilkerson has helped guide PDI to be the dominant software solution for the convenience store industry. Gilkerson has served on the NACS Technology Committee, the founding board of PCATS and the NACStech Technology Council during that time.
Last year's inductees were Bill Douglass of Douglass Distributing Co. and Steve Wolke of PepsiCo.
The Convenience Store News' Hall of Fame's roster of retailer inductees:
2008: Bill Douglass, Douglass Distributing Co.
2007: Alain Bouchard, Alimentation Couche-Tard
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.
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