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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.
Andy Austin joined brand agency CBX as its new group director of experience technology. Austin and his team of developers, designers and engineers will use technology to create more meaningful exchanges between brands and customers through human-centered experiences.
"Andy is a veteran of the wireless and consumer electronics industries who has spent more than a decade at the creative intersection of retail and technology," said Gregg S. Lipman, CEO/managing partner of CBX. "While Andy is a tech insider, this is about more than adding technical expertise. As both Andy and CBX see it, in the branding context, technology is useful only insofar as it drives a broader strategy — namely, one that sparks meaningful conversations with and among consumers."
Austin, whose client list as an independent consultant includes Audi, JCPenney and Ford Motor Co., formerly helped AT&T pioneer customer-centric stores as the company's director of retail customer experience for 10 years. Over the course of his 20-year career, he also held various sales and marketing positions for companies such as MCI/Worldcom, Verus Technology Solutions, and Caesars Tahoe.
Van Tarver, retail and fuel executive with The Kroger Co., has been selected to lead GreenPrint LLC's board of advisors and serve as chief strategic advisor to the company's executive leadership team. Tarver draws from his more than 30 years of experience in the fuel industry, including his role in building Kroger's C-Fuel and Supermarket Fuel operations.
"I believe in GreenPrint's mission to help offset fuel emissions in a socially responsible way and am excited to utilize my connections and experience in the space to introduce the company to retailers nationwide," he said.
Additional founding members of the board include Van Huff and Georgia State Sen. John Albers. The group will help GreenPrint expand its footprint in the retail fuel space in addition to other verticals.
Kentucky Petroleum Marketers Association (KPMA)
Jay Hall, president and CEO of Traxx Cos. in Lexington, Ky., has been named chairman of the Kentucky Petroleum Marketers Association (KPMA) board of directors. Hall follows Bob Riley of Riley Oil in Richmond, who concluded his two-year term as chairman.
"The KPMA is a terrific organization and I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to serve as its chairman," Hall said. "Fuel marketers and convenience store retailers are vital to Kentucky's economy and the productivity of our state. I'm honored to represent this industry and know we have a bright future in serving the people of the Commonwealth."
Traxx Cos. is a holding company that owns and operates a portfolio of diversified businesses throughout Kentucky. Thoroughbred Energy, a Traxx company, is the largest wholesale and retail Shell Oil-branded distributor in Kentucky with 48 Shell-branded convenience stores.
Hall has been a member of KPMA since 1987. He was elected to the association's board in 2009.
Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores
Judy Love, who founded Love's with her husband Tom in 1964, ranks No. 7 on Forbes' inaugural list of America's 50 richest self-made women. She has an estimated net worth of $2.4 billion.
The couple began the business by leasing an abandoned gas station in Watonga, Okla., and now the Oklahoma City-based retailer operates more than 300 locations in 39 states.
Other women on the list include Elizabeth Holmes, co-founder of the Theranos blood-testing company, who topped the list at $4.5-billion net worth. Oprah Winfrey ranked No. 5 at $3 billion, and Madonna was No. 28 at $520 million.
Mark VII Equipment Inc.
Mark VII Equipment, the U.S. subsidiary of WashTec AG of Germany, made several personnel moves recently.
Jim Rennie joined the company's direct sales team. Based in Atlanta, Rennie is responsible for sales of Mark VII car wash equipment, service and chemicals throughout Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. A seasoned sales veteran in the car wash industry, his previous experience spans 16 years at A.C.E.S., Ryko, and Hill & Foss.
In addition, Mark VII Equipment added Mark Glaser to its key accounts "Category Captain" team. Based in Dallas, Glaser is responsible for sales and support of Mark VII car wash equipment, service and chemicals to one of the largest divisions of a global convenience store chain. He brings more than 24 years of operations experience at a car wash/lube center chain to his new position.
The board of directors of MillerCoors, the U.S. and Puerto Rican joint venture between SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Co., appointed Gavin Hattersley to the role of interim CEO to lead the business when current CEO Tom Long retires June 30.
Hattersley, currently chief financial officer of Molson Coors, will serve as interim CEO for up to six months until the board completes its search for a permanent successor. He will continue as CFO of Molson Coors while serving as interim head of the U.S. business.
"Gavin is an outstanding and trusted leader with ideal qualifications for the role. He has extensive beer industry knowledge and experience in the U.S. and on the global stage. His unique experience of having held top leadership positions with both parent companies and MillerCoors makes him the right choice to take the business forward with integrity and a strong sense of purpose," said Pete Coors, chairman of MillerCoors and Molson Coors.
National Confectioners Association (NCA)
The National Confectioners Association (NCA) named Christopher Gindlesperger as vice president of public affairs and communications, and appointed VJ Mayor as senior director of communications.
Gindlesperger will serve as industry spokesperson, support the NCA Public Policy & Advocacy team, and develop and maintain relationships with allied organizations and the media to identify opportunities to increase awareness of the NCA brand and policy positions.
Mayor will focus on internal communications for the confectionery industry. He will direct communications to NCA members and prospective members through industry communications vehicles, including the association’s magazine and website. He will also work closely with NCA's Industry Affairs team to further communications with the industry's retail trade partners.
Prior to joining NCA, Gindlesperger spent more than five years with the American Beverage Association. Mayor spent the past eight years with the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.
Sipp Eco Beverage Co.
Josh Rosinsky assumed the role of vice president of sales at Sipp Eco Beverage Co., maker of organic sparkling beverages sweetened with agave. He joins Sipp from French beverage manufacturer Lorina and is responsible for growing and managing the sales organization, as well as continuing to drive the company’s exponential growth.
"We are very excited about Josh joining the Sipp team. He not only brings his experience and connections in the beverage industry, but also enthusiasm and passion for the Sipp brand," said Beth Wilson-Parentice, CEO/founder. "We know his commitment to the brand and his strong work ethic will help us take Sipp to the next level."
Rosinsky's diverse sales and management background includes building high-performance revenue engines for several well-known natural food brands. As western regional sales manager for Green Mountain Coffee, he grew and helped the company go public.
W. Capra Consulting Group
Convenience retailing veteran Ed Collupy is joining W. Capra Consulting Group, a retail technology, payments, security and strategic implementation firm, as an executive consultant.
Collupy joins W. Capra from The Pantry Inc., the largest independently operated convenience store chain in the southeastern United States prior to its merger with Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. At The Pantry, he served as vice president on the IT leadership team, where most recently he directed and supported all of the company's retail systems for the store operations, merchandising and fuel teams.
During his career at The Pantry, Collupy led its technology plans through rapid growth from 400 stores to more than 1,500 stores. Under his leadership, The Pantry implemented several successful strategic project initiatives, including point-of-sale, back-office reporting and accounting, analytics, workforce management and fuel pricing systems.
He has served as chairman of Connexus (formerly PCATS) and continues to be a member of its board of directors. He's also been a member of the VeriFone Petroleum Advisory Council, Retalix Executive Advisory Board, and in advisory roles on the NACS Technology Council.
Collupy is a past recipient of Convenience Store News' Top Technology Executive award.