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    <i>CSNews</i> Presents First Tech Awards

    Quickway Food Stores and Jenny Bullard of Flash Foods honored at NACSTech.

    GRAPEVINE, Texas -- At a cocktail reception held last night during the NACSTech show in Grapevine, Texas, Convenience Store News magazine presented its first annual Technology Leadership Awards.

    Quickway Food Stores was presented with the award for Outstanding Technology Implementation, and Jenny Bullard, CIO of Flash Foods Inc., received the Top Tech Executive Award. The event, sponsored by PerformanceRetail as a platinum sponsor and EZminer as a gold sponsor, drew a crowd of more than 150 attendees.

    Quickway Food Stores, a division of Sydney, N.Y.-based Mirabito Fuel Group, received its award for creating a customer-loyalty program with VCMG. The program entitled both the c-store and home-heating customers to a variety of benefits at the company's store locations. Quickway also partnered with other businesses, including restaurants, other retail locations, recreation and travel, with more than 100 merchants honoring the loyalty card.

    After implementing a pricebook, loyalty PCs were interfaced with the company's POS system, allowing them to capture data from the pump as well as in-store purchases from both loyalty and non-loyalty customers. As of today, Quickway has more than 35,000 registered cardholders.

    "This implementation brought us many additional benefits besides a loyalty program," said Ross Mirabito, CIO of Quickway Food Stores, during his acceptance speech.

    By analyzing the captured data, the company has proven loyalty members spend more money, are shopping in the store more than non-loyalty customers, and are combining fuel and in-store purchases more often.

    The second award of the evening was presented to Flash Foods' Jenny Bullard for her leadership in the industry as well as in her company. Bullard has been in the c-store industry for more than 30 years, and is an active participant in industry events, forums and committees concerning technology initiatives. She has been an active advocate for the NACS XML standards as a member of the Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS), and took her company from manual operations to complete automation, saving more than a million dollars on one project alone.

    "I thank my staff for all of their help and support because without them I wouldn't be here," said Bullard.

    CSNews accepted nominations from both retailers and technology vendors for each award, which were judged by a panel of experts, including Joe Tarnowski, technology editor for Progressive Grocer magazine; Debby Garbato, senior executive editor of Retail Merchandiser magazine; Scott Langdoc, vice president of research for retail technology at AMR Research; Kate Delhagen, vice president of retail research at Forrester Research; and staff editors of Convenience Store News.

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