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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.
Altria Group Inc.
Thomas W. Jones, a member of the Board of Directors of Altria Group Inc. (Altria) since 2002, is retiring when his current term ends. He will not stand for re-election to the Board of Directors at Altria's 2017 Annual Meeting of Shareholders.
Jones has served on the board since 2002 and is Altria's most senior director. He is a member of the Audit, Compensation, Executive and Finance committees.
He is Senior Partner of TWJ Capital LLC, an investment company, and former chairman and CEO of Global Investment Management with Citigroup Inc.
Delek US Holdings Inc.
Delek US Holdings Inc. and Delek Logistics Partners LP announced that Kevin Kremke joined the companies as executive vice president, effective April 1. He will serve in this role until June 1 when he will be named executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) of the companies.
As planned, Assi Ginzburg’s resignation of his role as executive vice president and CFO will be effective June 1. Ginzburg will continue to work as vice president overseeing the business development and strategic planning of Delek and will remain a member of the board of directors of Delek Logistics GP LLC, the general partner of Delek Logistics Partners.
Kremke has nearly 20 years of financial experience in the energy sector. Most recently he served as CFO for Ciner Resources Corp. and Ciner Resources Partners LP.
Dot Foods is under new leadership. Outgoing CEO John Tracy announced that his brothers Joe Tracy and Dick Tracy have taken on new roles as CEO and president, respectively. John Tracy will remain full-time with Dot, serving as executive chairman.
Joe Tracy's has served as Dot’s chief operating officer (COO) and president for nearly a decade. He joined the family business full-time in 1987 and has held a variety of positions in sales, purchasing, distribution center management, warehouse, and transportation. He became COO in 2007 and added president to his responsibilities in 2008.
Dick Tracy took over the COO role in 2015. He has worked in the family business full-time since 1991. Before taking on the operations responsibilities, he served as national sales manager, general manager of Dot's e-commerce subsidiary, vice president of customer development, and executive vice president of the foodservice division.
In addition, Anita Montgomery was named Dot’s new chief financial officer. She replaces Bill Metzinger, who retired at the end of 2016 after 23 years of service as CFO. Montgomery joined the Dot team in 2008 as credit manager before being promoted to director of credit. Since 2013, she led the team responsible for maintaining Dot’s inventory as vice president of replenishment.
Dot's leadership team also announced the addition of two new officers to the company. Jeff Grever, a 19-year Dot veteran, is the new vice president of corporate accounts. Bryan Langston, a 16-year company veteran, is the new vice president of warehousing.
Fontem Ventures has appointed Titus Wouda Kuipers as its new CEO. Wouda Kuipers previously worked as operations director at Fontem Ventures' parent company Imperial Brands. He succeeds Arthur van Benthem who is leaving Fontem to pursue other interests.
GasBuddy named Frank Beard to the new position of analyst/evangelist of convenience store and retail trends. Beard made headlines in the c-store industry when he documented himself eating every meal at a gas station for 30 consecutive days. Not only did he avoid gaining weight, he lost six pounds and proved that the industry has evolved and expanded its offerings to include healthier food options.
"Since launching our SaaS platform, GasBuddy Business Pages, dozens of c-store retailers have turned to GasBuddy for consumer insights and ways to better reach their customers," said Mike Dilorenzo, vice president of marketing at GasBuddy.
"Frank has visited more than 1,000 gas stations in 24 states, and brings the passion and knowledge that will help further advance GasBuddy's efforts in working with our retail partners along with educating the public as to just how much the industry has evolved," he added.
In his new role, Beard will continue to follow the industry closely and analyze GasBuddy's rating and reviews data to produce original content.
Marathon Petroleum Corp.
Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) appointed Rodney P. Nichols, senior vice president, Human Resources and Administrative Services, to executive vice president, Human Resources, Health and Administrative Services.
Nichols began his career with MPC in 1977, as an employee relations representative in the Corporate Industrial Relations organization. After an assignment in the northeastern production district, Nichols served in a number of employee relations management positions in Alaska and Wyoming, as well as at the Garyville and Texas City refineries.
He was named manager, Human Resources Refining, Marketing and Transportation in 1986, vice president, Human Resources and Administrative Services in 1998, and senior vice president, Human Resources and Administrative Services in 2012.
In addition, MPC and MPLX LP announced the retirement of Randy S. Nickerson, executive vice president, Corporate Strategy, MPC, and executive vice president and chief commercial officer, MarkWest assets, of the general partner of MPLX, effective April 1. Following his retirement, Nickerson intends to serve in a consulting/advisory role to MPC and MPLX.
PDI announced two additions to its executive team. Douglas Henderson joins the team as senior vice president of global sales, and Bo Harvey will assume the role of senior vice president and general manager of North American Operations.
Henderson brings more than 20 years of experience building strong customer relationships in the convenience retail segment. Most recently, he served as the executive vice president of sales for Kalibrate.
Harvey is a 16-year PDI veteran and has served in numerous capacities at the company, including vice president of professional services. In his new role, he will oversee the day-to-day management and operation of the company's North American business.
Rich Products Corp.
Rich Products Corp. promoted two longtime, senior-level associates to fill two newly created executive vice president positions.
Georgia Dachille, most recently the company's senior vice president of Finance and Business Development, has been promoted to executive vice president, Global Supply Chain and Technology. In addition, Paul Klein, senior vice president and chief process and information officer, has been promoted to the new role of executive vice president, chief information and strategy officer.
With their promotions, Dachille and Klein also join Rich's executive leadership team. Dachille joined Rich's in 1991, providing internal audit services. Klein began his career at the company in 1995 as an information technology director.
True Drinks Inc.
Food and beverage industry veteran James J. Greco has joined the board of directors at True Drinks Inc. He brings with him more than 25 years of experience in the quick-service restaurant (QSR) sector.
Kevin Sherman, CEO of True Drinks, said Greco's experience in the QSR space plays into the company's strategy to expand its distribution efforts from convenience and grocery stores into the restaurant space.
Most recently, Greco served as president and CEO of Pilgrim Holdings LLC. He previously served as chief operating officer of Newk's Franchise Co. LLC from July 2014 until October 2016, as well as president from January 2016 until October 2016.
Prior to his time with Newk's, he served as president and CEO of Sbarro LLC from January 2012 until October 2013, and as the CEO of Bruegger's Enterprises Inc. from August 2003 to December 2011.
Antonio Depina, a store manager with VERC Enterprises, has been named Operator of the Year by the New England Convenience Store & Energy Marketers Association (NECSEMA). He began his career at VERC Enterprises 11 years ago as a part-time cashier.
Depina, manager of the VERC Commerce Way Mobil in Plymouth, Mass., was honored at NECSEMA's annual awards banquet on March 21. The awards program is designed to recognize outstanding individuals who set the standard of excellence for the convenience store industry throughout New England.
"The NECSEMA awards honor the best of the best in our industry," said Leo Vercollone, President of VERC Enterprises. "We are delighted, but certainly not surprised, that Tony has earned this prestigious award of excellence."
Chris Gheysens, president and CEO of Wawa, will deliver the commencement address at Rowan College at Burlington County's (RCBC) 47th graduation ceremony on May 20 the school's main campus in Mount Laurel, N.J.
"We are delighted that Mr. Gheysens will be part of Rowan College at Burlington County's annual celebration of students who transformed their lives through education," Drayton said. "As one of our Classroom to Career partners, Rowan College at Burlington County has a lot in common with Wawa: we're growing quickly, embrace change with innovation and exist to serve others."
Wawa and Gheysens have supported the RCBC Foundation for many years with Gheysens serving as the keynote speaker for Celebration of Philanthropy in 2014. Last year, Wawa and RCBC formed an educational partnership that provides additional benefits to Wawa associates who attend RCBC.