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GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Stewart Spinks of The Spinx Co. and Pat Cordle of BIC Corp. were inducted into the Convenience Store News Industry Hall of Fame last night during a gala ceremony and reception, which also marked the 25th anniversary of the Hall of Fame.
Nearly 100 people turned out for the event, held at The Westin Poinsett Greenville hotel, including several past CSNews Hall of Famers. Past retailer inductees in attendance included Bill Douglass of Douglass Distributing Co., and Bob Seng, formerly of Busy Bee Food Stores. Past supplier inductees included Joe Burke of The Coca-Cola Co., Tom Joyce of The Hershey Co., and Bill Laufer, formerly of Anheuser-Busch.
CSNews' Editor-in-Chief Don Longo reflected on what was happening in 1987, when the Hall of Fame debuted. Noting that the top movie at the time was "Lethal Weapon" and the most popular songs were from heavy-metal bands Poison and White Snake, Longo said, "I feel I can very confidently say that the best thing to happen in 1987 was the CSNews Hall of Fame."
As a tie-in to the 25th anniversary celebration, past Hall of Famers provided the introductions for the newest inductees. Burke, the first-ever individual from a supplier company to be inducted into the supplier wing of the Hall of Fame, welcomed Cordle as the ninth individual supplier to be honored. (From 1987 through 2003, supplier companies were inducted.)
During his acceptance speech, Cordle noted that this year has been one of several 25-year milestones for him personally. He recently marked 25 years of service with BIC, where he is vice president of field sales. He also just celebrated his 25th anniversary with his wife, Marsha.
Cordle cited teamwork as a main ingredient to his success, and said he gets a lot of support from his company and colleagues. He recalled a quote by the famous long-distance runner Steve Prefontaine who said, "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice a gift." Cordle said he feels very lucky that "everyday, I get to work with people who give their best."
Before being officially inducted into the retailer wing of the Hall of Fame, Spinks received two surprise honors. South Carolina Senator Greg Ryberg presented him with a Senate resolution recognizing his achievements, while Greenville City Councilwoman Amy Doyle announced that Nov. 14 has been declared "Stewart Spinks Day" in the city.
Once formally inducted, Spinks, who was introduced by Seng, the 1989 retailer Hall of Fame inductee, first thanked his wife Martha for her years of support during the many nights he had to work late. He also gave credit to his parents for instilling in him a solid work ethic.
"I am just a common man. I've approached the way to make life easier for our customers in an uncommon way," he said, thanking his team for all they do to make customers' lives easier.
In addition to the Hall of Fame inductions, CSNews presented its 2011 Grand Spirit Award for Community Service to Kum & Go LLC. Now in its third year, the Spirit Awards for Community Outreach program celebrates convenience retailers involved in community service programs aimed at bettering the lives of people in the markets they serve.
Franci Phelan, Kum & Go's vice president of grow people, accepted the award on behalf of the Iowa-based company's 4,000 associates across 11 states. "It's not just about growing our people, but also about helping the communities we serve grow," she said.
Monday night's Hall of Fame gala event was sponsored the American Wholesale Marketers Association (AWMA), BIC Corp., The Hershey Co. and McLane Co.
For profiles of this year's Hall of Fame inductees, look in the December issue of CSNews.