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NATIONAL REPORT — Retailers, wholesalers and suppliers in the convenience store industry are only as good as their management teams and employees. In this special roundup, Convenience Store News runs down the most recent executive changes, new hires, promotions and people achievements happening in the industry.
Josh Halpern has been appointed vice president of convenience, package liquor and military for brewer Anheuser-Busch. Halpern joined the company in 2012 as senior director of global trade marketing. He previously served as vice president, on-premise and military sales, and most recently as vice president of on-premise under the channel leadership team.
Wanda Woodard joined Aztech Software as regional sales manager for a territory encompassing 13 states, primarily in the Southeast. Woodard has been consulting and helping wholesale marketers and convenience store operators find software solutions to enhance their growth and profitability. Her background also includes owning and operating a convenience store in West Monroe, La. She will be based in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Coca-Cola North America
Diane Wallace assumed the role of vice president, retail marketing for Coca-Cola North America. She is responsible for key disciplines including retail strategy, category strategic advisory, customer marketing, strategic selling capabilities and customer/trade communications. Wallace joined Coca-Cola North America in 2003. Prior to that, she held numerous leadership roles with Eastman Kodak and The Quaker Oats Co.
Englefield Oil Co.
Englefield Oil welcomed Michael Adkins as vice president of the lubricants division, reporting directly to co-presidents Ben and Bill Englefield. Adkins oversees the strategic direction, expansion and operation of the lubricants division, which operates within Ohio and the surrounding states. With a focus on new strategies and improvements, Adkins is spearheading the implementation of a new enterprise resource planning system, along with major improvements to the division’s supply chain and delivery.
GasBuddy added several executives to its leadership team to drive the company's growth plans. Max Metral has been named GasBuddy's new chief technology officer, a role that will focus on leading the engineering team and shaping the technology agenda across the company. Metral was most recently the chief engineer at PayPal and brings more than 20 years of consumer technology experience to GasBuddy.
In addition, Bob Breznak and Jean-Charles Sisk have been hired to join Metral in leading the technology organization. Breznak was the vice president of engineering at Soofa and EverTrue, and served as a software engineer at Where Inc. Sisk was an application engineer architect at PayPal, where he played a key role in moving large parts of the organization to node.js.
Impact 21, a retail consulting, analytics and services company, appointed Lucia Romanello Crater to executive vice president, sales and business development. Crater will lead expansion efforts to serve more retailers, suppliers and technology companies. She has more than 25 years of experience in the convenience store industry. Most recently, she was director of convenience for Jack Link's. Crater is currently a member of the NACS Supplier Board, which she has served on since 2005.
New York Association of Convenience Stores
The New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS) inducted Amy Baldovin, who is retiring as the association's vice president, into the New York Convenience Store Hall of Fame. Baldovin was honored during the NYACS Chairman's Banquet in May along with fellow Hall of Fame inductees Peter Tamburro of Clifford Fuel Co. Inc., Marcy, N.Y.; Kevin Kenyon of Kenyon's Variety, Lockport, N.Y.; and Josh Altman of Mountain/Service Distributors, South Fallsburg, N.Y.
Over the past 15 years, Baldovin has served as NYACS' event planner, office manager, membership coordinator and bookkeeper.
Parker's Convenience Stores
Parker's continues to make personnel moves as the retailer marks its 40th anniversary and prepares for future growth.
Brian McClure joined the company as inventory control lead. In this new position, McClure is responsible for conducting inventory audits at each Parker's location. A former supervisor in the U.S. Marine Corps, he served as an auditor and store inventory manager for 7-Eleven Inc. and spent nearly 16 years working as an avionics technician for PDS Tech, Support Systems Associates Inc., TSI Aerospace and the U.S. Marine Corps.
Parker's also hired Portia Keene as fuel administrator. Keene is responsible for completing fuel contracts and maintaining a record of sales and fuel delivery diversions in all states where Parker's conducts business. Before joining Parker's, she served as a lead consultant at Small Business Consulting in Savannah, Ga. While advising local business owners, she also conducted economic research with the Savannah Economic Development Authority and World Trade Center Savannah.
In addition to those new hires, Parker's promoted Priscilla Risinger to inventory control lead. She supervises an inventory team to perform cash, retail and deli audits at Parker's retail stores in Georgia and South Carolina. Risinger joined Parker's four years ago as a customer service representative at the chain's Guyton, Ga., store and was then promoted to store manager at stores in Faulkville, Ga., and Rincon, Ga.
Sanders & Morley Candy Makers
Mike Koch Sr., vice president of manufacturing at Sanders & Morley Candy Makers, received the 2016 Kettle Award at a reception held during this year's Sweets and Snacks Expo. The Kettle Award is the highest recognition an individual working within the U.S. confectionery industry can attain.
Koch began his career with Morley Candy Makers in 1973 as a high school student sweeping and mopping the chocolate factory floors each night. Before becoming vice president of manufacturing, he took on several roles within the organization including candy maker, maintenance supervisor, quality control director, warehouse manager, and director of research and development. In 2008, he also became part owner of the company.
He has been an active member of the Confectionery Education Advisory Board since its inception and is often a speaker and educator at Retail Confectioners International (RCI) and American Association of Candy Technologists education forums and conventions. He has also served on RCI's board of directors and is a past president of the organization. Koch recently completed his term as a board member of the National Confectioners Association.
Seven & i Holdings Co.
Shareholders of Seven & i Holdings, parent company of 7-Eleven Inc. in the United States, approved the appointment of Ryuichi Isaka as the company's new president. Isaka, who succeeds Noritoshi Murata in the role, previously led the company's Seven-Eleven Japan convenience store chain. Isaka plans to increase the number of 7-Eleven Inc. outlets in the U.S. to boost its market share amid slowing demand in Japan.
Tanknology named William Logue as regional vice president of the company’s Northeastern United States region. He oversees operations functions in the region that covers the eastern seaboard from Maine to Virginia. A seven-year veteran of Tanknology, Logue began his career as a field service technician, then serving as the cathodic protection/specialty services operations manager. For the last five years, he served as the Northeast operations manager covering New York to Maine.