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JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Convenience Store News is pleased to announce the launch of a new industry awards program to recognize a retailer executive who exemplifies leadership, business acumen, dedication to the industry and commitment to community service.
Kim Bowers, CEO of CST Brands Inc., the San Antonio-based retailer that operates nearly 1,900 locations throughout the southwestern United States and Canada, has been chosen as the inaugural winner of the CSNews Retailer Executive of the Year award.
Bowers is being recognized for several notable achievements, including her company’s strategically important acquisitions, state-of-the-art convenience store prototype, industry-leading efforts around signature private-label products, and for steering the company through its successful spinoff from Valero Energy Corp.
CST celebrated the one-year anniversary of its spinoff from Valero in April.
In the U.S., CST's Corner Store locations sell Valero-branded fuels and signature products such as Fresh Choices baked and packaged goods, U Force energy and sport drinks, Cibolo Mountain coffee, FC Soda and Flavors2Go fountain drinks. In Canada, CST is the exclusive provider of Ultramar fuel and its Dépanneur du Coin and Corner Store locations sell signature Transit Café coffee and pastries.
CST made lots of headlines this summer with the purchase of Lehigh Gas GP LLC, the general partner of Lehigh Gas Partners LP. The approximately $85-million deal will double the size of CST’s footprint and provide a growth vehicle for future expansion with an already-in-place infrastructure for the continued development and maintenance of the wholesale fuel supply business.
The promise of future growth was realized less than a month later with CST's purchase of Canastota, N.Y.-based Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes, a chain of 33 company-operated and 44 franchised stores in central New York State.
CST also continues to grow organically, with this expansion centered on its new, highly-praised larger store format that's focused on foodservice sales.
On the community service front, CST in the U.S. helps raise millions of dollars for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. In Canada, the retailer contributes to the Ultramar Foundation, which supports organizations that aid children in need, and the Breast Cancer Foundation.
Earlier this year, Bowers was also named one of five Women of the Year as part of the CSNews Top Women in Convenience program. She will be recognized Oct. 8 at a special Top Women in Convenience awards breakfast, taking place at the NACS Show in Las Vegas.
Bowers will then accept the Retailer Executive of the Year award at CSNews’ 27th annual Hall of Fame gala, being held Nov. 5 in Hershey, Pa. This year’s Hall of Fame inductees are Scott Hartman, president and CEO of Rutter’s Holdings Inc., and Stephen Brady, former vice president of business development at McLane Co. Inc. As in past years, the Hall of Fame banquet will also recognize the winner of the CSNews 2014 Grand Spirit Award for Community Outreach.