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DES MOINES, Iowa -- In front of an audience of family, friends and colleagues, W. A. Krause, one of the convenience store industry's pioneers, was inducted into the Convenience Store News Hall of Fame during a reception and dinner here this week. Krause, whose Kum & Go chain operated 445 stores in 13 states, joined an impressive roster of venerable executives who were past honorees, including James Keyes (7-Eleven), John MacDougall (Nice N Easy Grocery Stores) and John Hanson (Sterling Stores LLC).
Krause, described as "one of the founding entrepreneurs of the industry," by Convenience Store News Publisher & Editorial Director Maureen Azzato, was visibly touched as he accepted the honor with his wife, Nan, at his side. "I am blessed with some of the greatest friends and some of the best vendors," said Krause, to the audience that included his son, Kyle, who is Kum & Go's president and CEO, many Kum & Go employees, and other retailers from such companies as Kwik Trip, Love's Country Stores, Shell Oil Products, Sterling Stores, Strasburger Enterprises, and Town & Country Food Stores.
As head of one of the largest family-owned enterprises in America, Krause gave sincere thanks to his family, from his late father-in-law and partner Tony Gentle to his three children who actively participated in many evening "board meetings" around the dinner table. "I missed a few evening meals in my life, but I always had this girl at my side to ask me, did you make the deal?" said Krause, thanking his wife for her unflagging support.
William P. Laufer, a 27-year veteran of brewer Anheuser-Busch, was inducted into the Supplier wing of the Hall of Fame and Jenny Love Meyer of Love's Country Stores accepted Children Miracle Network's Retailer of the Year award in recognition of the retailer's support of the charity. Love's raised $306,000 last year for Children's Miracle Network.
The Hall of Fame reception and dinner was sponsored by Anheuser-Busch Inc., Children's Miracle Network, Duke Convenience Group, Kraft Foods, McLane Co. Inc., Ruiz Foods, and Swedish Match.