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    CSNews Inducts Third Class of Top Women in Convenience

    Annual event honors 62 outstanding female leaders.

    By Danielle Romano, Convenience Store News

    ATLANTA — The convenience store industry's top women and rising female stars took center stage Wednesday evening at Convenience Store News’ 2016 Top Women in Convenience (TWIC) awards reception, following the NACS Show, at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center here.

    The third-annual event recognized and celebrated 62 women in the convenience channel.

    “The CSNews Top Women in Convenience awards program recognizes a diverse array of women from both the retailer and supplier sides of the industry. From leaders to mentors to rising stars and role models,” said Don Longo, editorial director of CSNews.

    This year's winners included 24 senior-level leaders, five mentors, 21 rising stars, five store managers and two single-store owners, as well as five female leaders awarded Women of the Year.

    On behalf of the Network of Executive Women (NEW), Dagmar Boggs, TWIC alumnus and president of the 7-Eleven Global Customer Team for The Coca-Cola Co., commented: “Women are making an impact in leadership roles. … We need to embrace our women and embrace the inclusion of women, men and the next generation.”

    Judging was conducted by CSNews in conjunction with NEW and the Top Women in Convenience Advisory Board, which includes the previous year's five Women of the Year.

    The 2016 Women of the Year were: Laura Asbell, regional vice president of convenience for Mondelēz International Inc.; Niki DePhillips, senior vice president, store development for Kum & Go LC; Sharon Kuncl, vice president, merchandising — foodservice at Eby-Brown Co. LLC; Danielle Mattiussi, vice president, retail adventures for Maverik Inc.; and Nancy Smith, senior vice president, merchandising, fresh food and beverages at 7-Eleven Inc.

    “[These] five women have been selected as our 2016 Women of the Year for their exceptional impact not only on the success of their own companies, but also their positive impact on the convenience store industry overall,” said Linda Lisanti, editor-in-chief of CSNews.

    Altria Group Distribution Co.'s Blake Benefiel, director of state and trade relations, training and compliance, and Maura Scott, vice president of regional sales, presented the Women of the Year awards.

    Scott told the audience that it is imperative in the convenience marketplace to bring to light the benefit of female leadership, as the future of the workforce is retained by women. “To all women, thank you,” she said.

    When it comes to women in roles of leadership, they often have to make sacrifices, Kuncl noted during her acceptance speech. For her family's support at home, she said she is grateful. 

    Mattiussi told the audience she was “humbled to be part of this awards program and the industry in general, with its diversity and vibrancy.”

    Upon accepting her award, Smith said she is a big believer in time and place, and she’s been “very lucky to have worked with incredible men and women.”

    The 2016 Top Women in Convenience awards were sponsored by Altria Distribution Group, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Ruiz Foods, BIC USA, Coca-Cola North America, Eby-Brown Co. LLC, The Hershey Co., Logic Technologies, McLane Co. Inc., and Mondelēz International Inc.

    By Danielle Romano, Convenience Store News
    • About Danielle Romano Danielle Romano is associate managing editor for EnsembleIQ's Convenience Store News and CSNews.com. Prior to joining CSNews full-time in January 2015, Romano served as a freelancer for CSNews, with a concentration on social media, while working as product content copywriter/editor for Myron Corp., a promotional product company. Romano has a bachelor's degree in print journalism from William Paterson University.

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