CANASTOTA, N.Y. -- Fran Duskiewicz, a long-time veteran of Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes, has moved into the president/CEO role at the New York convenience store chain. This executive change follows the June 21 passing of John MacDougall, founder and former president/CEO of Nice N Easy.
Duskiewicz has worked for the 81-store Nice N Easy chain since 1985, serving in various capacities including store manager, district manager, director of training and education, vice president of operations, and chief financial officer. Most recently, he served as senior executive vice president.
In an announcement made Monday, Duskiewicz said he is "humbled and sobered by the responsibility" he now undertakes, "especially after 34 years of John MacDougall being the only president/CEO Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes has ever known, and also him being a legend."
MacDougall, who was inducted into the Convenience Store News Hall of Fame in 2003, passed away June 21 at the Cleveland Clinic surrounded by his family. He was 73. MacDougall opened the first Nice N Easy store in 1980 and for the last 34 years, his strong values defined the company and its mission statement, “Be Nice, Have Fun, Sell Stuff and Be the Best.”
"A few years ago, when John started experiencing health issues, he forged an agreement with me that assured a smooth transition of operational leadership in case something happened to him. I was honored that he wanted me to have the president/CEO titles, but I hoped against hope that they would never need to be attached to my name," Duskiewicz recalled. "I was a great right-hand man and possessed the right set of skills and interests to meld perfectly with John’s. He was a visionary. I was all about the details."
Going forward, the new president/CEO said his job and that of the rest of the Nice N Easy management team is to care for MacDougall's legacy.
"In these past six months, our management team has become exactly that – a team in every sense of the word and I know John was extremely proud of us. He was glad we were focusing on each other and not just on him, which can often happen with a strong leader," Duskiewicz added. "Our job now is to keep that teamwork in place and to protect John's legacy as we move forward."
In addition to his work at Nice N Easy, Duskiewicz has been an advocate for the entire convenience store industry, holding various positions with NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing. He was a member of the NACS board of directors, served as vice chairman of research, chaired the annual State of the Industry Summit conference, and chaired the NACS Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council.
Before joining Nice N Easy, Duskiewicz taught 7th and 8th grade English for eight years. He holds degrees in both English and education from Colgate University.