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TULSA, Okla. — Industry leaders gathered in QuikTrip Corp.'s hometown of Tulsa Monday night to honor the newest members of the Convenience Store News Hall of Fame.
Taking their place in the hall during the 30th annual induction ceremony were Chet Cadieux, chairman, president and CEO of QuikTrip, and Bob Johnson, founder and CEO of The Pinnacle Corp.
The event took place at the Double Tree Downtown Tulsa, sponsored by Altria Group Distribution Co., BIC USA, Logic Technologies, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Ruiz Foods, The Hershey Co., and ZipLine.
"Every year, it is a very special event bringing together some of the extraordinary and accomplished leaders in our industry," said Hank Armour, president and CEO of NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, and a CSNews Hall of Fame member. "Tonight we are honoring some extraordinary individuals."
Of this year's inductees, Armour said Cadieux has taken a company and platform built by his father "to new and extraordinary heights," while redefining convenience. And Johnson "has really provided leadership and innovation in technology solutions" before anyone knew what that was, he added.
Cadieux became only the second offspring of a Hall of Famer to be inducted. In fact, CSNews launched the Hall of Fame in 1987 with the induction of his father, Chester Cadieux. The elder Cadieux passed away in March. Sonja Hubbard of E-Z Mart Stores Inc. was the first offspring inducted, succeeding her late father, Jim Yates, into the Hall of Fame in 2010.
It seemed appropriate then that Steve Sheetz, a member of another strong convenience store industry family and the 1995 retailer Hall of Fame inductee, took to the podium to say a few words about Cadieux. The two families have been friends for many years, he explained. Chester Cadieux taught Sheetz Inc. the gas business and, on a personal level, he taught the Sheetz family that the industry was all about people.
When the QuikTrip baton was passed to Chet, Steve Sheetz said he knew Chet had the technical skills, yet he wondered how he would be on the people side of the business. "But our concerns were misplaced," he said Monday night. "Chet lives the QuikTrip core values: be the best; do they right thing; never be satisfied; focus long term; and do what's best for QuikTrip."
True to his nature, Cadieux was at first reluctant to accept the individual accolade, but said it was "a huge honor" to accept it on behalf of QuikTrip.
"I'm really blessed. I got to grow up and work for company like QuikTrip and work with these people — some of whom I've known since I was in diapers," he said. "They have done amazing things."
Before inducting Johnson, Jay Ard of The Coca-Cola Co., the 2015 inductee into the supplier wing of the Hall of Fame, shared a few thoughts about his fellow convenience supply chain leader. Noting that thousands of convenience stores around the United States use Pinnacle solutions, he said Johnson has been helping the industry for years with technology needs and innovation.
During his turn at the podium, Johnson noted the 30th anniversary of the CSNews Hall of Fame and said it was "wonderful to be included in this company."
He gave special thanks to his wife and high school sweetheart Judy, as well as "all the people at Pinnacle" who have been doing amazing things for 27 years.
"I treasure the relationships that we built over the years," Johnson said, pointing out that Armour and his former company West Star was Pinnacle's first-ever client.
To read more about Cadieux and Johnson, click here.