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LAS VEGAS -- At the NACS Board of Directors meeting that took place at the conclusion of the NACS Show 2004, four new members assumed places on the board: Jeff Miller, president of Miller Oil Co., Inc. (Norfolk, Va.); Greg Parker, president of The Parker Companies (Savannah, Ga.); Stewart Spinks, president of Spinx (Greenville, S.C.); and Matt Thornton, CEO of† Thorntons, Inc. (Lousiville, Ky.).
Jeffrey G. Miller
Jeff Miller is president of Miller Oil Co. Inc. The Norfolk, Va.-based company operates 51 Miller Marts and Miller’s Neighborhood Markets, and an additional 37 dealers’ sites, all of which sell motor fuels, from Virginia Beach west to Richmond. It also operates Miller Heating Oil, Heating and Air-conditioning, Commercial Fuels.
Before joining Miller Oil in 1981, Miller worked for American Café in Washington, DC, from 1976 to 1981.
Miller is a member of the NACS Industry Relations Board Committee, which sets the strategic direction for NACS with regard to retail-membership value. The Committee works to develop education and training, provides a conduit and forum for the exchange of ideas and resources, and recognizes and responds to the diverse needs of member companies with the ultimate goal of giving members a competitive advantage.
Miller is very active in the community, currently serving as chairman of the Tidewater Retail Merchants Association, director and member of the Executive Committee of the Norfolk D’Art Center and director and member of the Executive Committee of the Greater Norfolk Corporation. He is past chairman of the Hope House Foundation and served on the first NACS Cocoa-Cola Leadership Council. In recognition of his contributions, Miller has been recongized with the 2001 Ali Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Cultural Life of Greater Hampton Roads and the 2002 Jefferson Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service to the Hampton Roads Community.
Miller earned a B.A. in international relations and economics from American University in 1978. He and his wife Connie reside in Norfolk and are the parents of three children.
Gregory M. Parker
Greg Parker is president of The Parker Companies, headquartered in Savannah, Ga. The company operates 20 convenience stores and an oil jobbership with combined annual revenues of more than $55 million. The company also has trademarked its proprietary brand of gasoline (Supron), contracts its own construction projects and has begun to diversify into the self-serve laundromat and self-storage facility industries.
In 1975, after earning a B.A., cum laude, from the University of Georgia, Parker joined the family business. His father had already begun construction of the company’s first convenience store, and Parker completed construction of this store that opened January 1, 1976. Parker’s brother, Patrick, came into the family business three years later. The two brothers have since split into two separate companies, both operating convenience stores under the name of Parker’s.
Parker is a member of the NACS Research and Development Board Committee, which directs NACS’s research and development initiatives and programs to promote the ongoing competitive viability of the channel.
Parker currently is 2004 chairman of the BP Amoco Marketers Association, chairman of the Savannah Master Plan Task Force and on the executive board of the Savannah Development and Renewal Authority. He is serving on the NACS-Coca Cola Leadership Council, is a past president of Petroleum Marketers Study Group 913, a past board member of the Savannah Chamber of Commerce and this year will be “aging out” of Young President’s Organization into World President’s Organization. Greg also is active with community and charitable groups including the Curtis and Elizabeth Anderson Cancer Institute, Savannah College of Art & Design, Historic Savannah Foundation, Telfair Museum of Art, Junior Achievement, First Tee and Savannah Country Day School.
Parker and his wife Kelley live in Savannah with their three children.
Stewart Spinks is founder and president of The Spinx Company Inc., which operates more than 100 convenience stores, primarily in upstate South Carolina.
Spinks is a member of the NACS Industry Relations Board Committee, which sets the strategic direction for NACS with regard to retail-membership value. The Committee works to develop education and training, provides a conduit and forum for the exchange of ideas and resources, and recognizes and responds to the diverse needs of member companies with the ultimate goal of giving members a competitive advantage.
After beginning his career with Shell Oil Co., Spinks formed the Spinx Oil Co. in 1972 with a home heating oil delivery company and one gas station in Greenville, SC. In 1977, Spinx opened its first independent store, marketing petroleum products under the Spinx name. During this time, Spinks wore many hats, ranging from general contractor, store manager and recruiter to accountant and advertising agent. In the 1980s, Spinx added Amoco petroleum brands, with Exxon and Conoco to follow. It introduced Subway, Arby’s and Burger King to its stores in the 1990s.
Today, the Spinx Co., with annual sales approaching $300 million, is the largest gasoline retailer in upstate South Carolina and is ranked among the top 100 U.S. convenience store chains. While Spinks has hung up some of those original hats that he wore, he remains active in many aspects of The Spinx Company.
In addition to serving on the NACS Board, Spinks serves as the South Carolina representative to the Petroleum Marketers of America Association and is on the Board of Directors for the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers. Along with serving as the Incoming Chairman of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, he also serves on 12 other boards, including those for the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, Greenville Tech Foundation, Furman University Advisory Council, Furman Foundation, Rumsey Hall Junior Preparatory School, TigerPeg Marketers Acceptance Corporation and Boy Scouts of America (Blue Ridge Council).
Spinks earned a B.S. in marketing from the University of Tennessee. He and his wife Martha are the parents of four sons and have five grandchildren.
Matthew A. (“Matt”) Thornton
Matthew Thornton is the CEO of Thorntons Inc. The Lousiville, Ky.-based company operates 160 stores in Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Connecticut. It also operates a river and pipeline fuel storage terminal, a transportation company and Fresh Serve Bakeries, which owns the exclusive rights to the Dunkin Donuts brand in Kentucky and southern Indiana. In 2002, Thorntons unveiled its newest retail concept, Thorntons QuickCafe and Market. With over $1 billion in annual revenues, Thorntons is the largest privately held corporation in Kentucky.
Prior to his current position, Thornton served as the company’s vice president of operations, where he was responsible for the growth and development of the operations team, daily store operations and the creation of operational efficiencies through systems, processes and technology. He also served in several other mid- and senior-level positions at the company.
Thornton is a member of the NACS Research and Development Board Committee, which directs NACS’s research and development initiatives and programs to promote the ongoing competitive viability of the channel.
Thornton is very active in the community and industry. He is a member of Bluegrass Chapter of the Young President’s Organization and serves on the Boards of PNC Bank of Kentucky; Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers Association; Greater Louisville, Inc.; Kentucky Public Education Foundation; and Louisville Free Public Library Foundation for the Crusade for Children. He also is current chairman of the Louisville Waterfront Development Corporation and past chairman of capital steering for Junior Achievement of Kentucky and 2003 chairman of the Louisville Metro United Way Campaign. He has been named the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in both Kentucky and Ohio.
Thornton earned a B.S. in management from the University of Alabama. He and his wife Fran live in Louisville.
NACS also announced that Steve Wolke, vice president of customer development for PepsiCo, Inc., Dallas, has been elected 2005 chairman of its Supplier Board. Ron Coppel, vice president of business development for Eby-Brown Company LLC, Naperville, Ill., was named chairman-elect and will succeed Wolke as 2006 chairman of the Supplier Board. In these positions, both Wolke and Coppel also serve as members of the NACS Board of Directors.
The 23-member NACS Supplier Board represents the mutual concerns of NACS retail and supplier members, serves as an organized voice for suppliers in the affairs of NACS, and collaborates with NACS and its retail members toward the achievement of its strategic initiatives.
Wolke and Coppel also are part of the 11-member Supplier Board Executive Committee, which consists of the chairman, chairman-elect and three vice chairs, three past chairs and three retail liaisons. The three vice chairs elected to the executive committee were Joe Burke, vice president, retail industry, for The Coca-Cola Co. (Atlanta, Ga.); Joe Bivona, vice president of customer relations for Time, Inc., Retail (Stratford, Conn.); and Pat Cordle, vice president of sales for Bic Corporation (Milford, Conn.).
In addition, two new members joined the Supplier Board: Scott Hill, vice president of sales, North America, for Link Snacks, Inc., Jack Link’s Beef Jerky (Minong, Wisc.), and Brian Gillett, national chair and account manager for Altadis U.S.A., Inc. (Cincinnati, Ohio).
Wolke began his career with Oscar Mayer & Company in 1975. He has been with PepsiCo since 1983, serving in a number of positions for Frito-Lay and PepsiCo. Wolke earned a B.S. in business administration, with a major in marketing, from Auburn University. A resident of Arlington, Texas, Wolke succeeds Jim Powers, vice president of convenience outlets for U.S. Nutrition (Bradenton, Fla.), as chairman of the
PepsiCo is a world leader in convenient foods and beverages, with revenues of about $27 billion and over 143,000 employees. The company consists of the snack business of Frito-Lay North America and the beverage and food businesses of PepsiCo Beverages and Foods, which includes PepsiCo Beverages North America (Pepsi-Cola North America and Gatorade/Tropicana North America) and Quaker Foods North America. PepsiCo International includes the snack businesses of Frito-Lay International and beverage businesses of PepsiCo Beverages International. PepsiCo brands are available in nearly 200 countries and territories.
Coppel has over 35 years experience in the distribution industry. After nine years in the gourmet foods distribution business, hiss career in convenience store distribution began in 1980 as a route sales representative with the Straus-Keilson Company. In 1984 Straus-Keilson was acquired by Core Mark International. Coppel was promoted to director of sales for the Ohio region of Core Mark. In 1987 he accepted the position of vice president of sales for Metropolitan Distributors, at the time the largest candy and tobacco distributor in New York City. Coppel joined Eby-Brown in 1990, and was promoted to his current position in 1994.
Coppel has a B.A. in political science, graduating in 1970 from the University of Cincinnati. He and wife Micki are the parents of twin adult sons.
Eby-Brown distributes consumer goods to the convenience retail channel of trade in the Midwest, Southeast, and Atlantic Coast markets of the U.S. The privately held limited liability company has been owned by the Wake family for over 50 years. Today, Dick Wake and Tom Wake are co-owners and co-presidents of the company.