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    QuikTrip, Sheetz & Atlas Receive Workplace Honors

    The c-store retailers, joined by manufacturer Mars, are recognized for employee relations.

    NEW YORK -- The convenience channel is a growing industry -- with more than 149,000 convenience stores in the United States -- and the business world is taking notice.

    Two well-known c-store chains landed on Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" list for 2014: QuikTrip Corp. and Sheetz Inc. This is a repeat performance for QuikTrip, while this year marks Sheetz' first appearance on the list.

    Tulsa, Okla.-based QuikTrip takes the No. 48 spot, up from No. 66 in 2013. What makes the company so great? "The convenience store chain, which operates more than 682 stores in 11 states, has an [Employee Stock Ownership Plan] that owns 14 percent of the company," according to the magazine.

    The retailer boasts annual revenue of $12.152 billion, 14,002 employees and 6.9-percent job growth.

    "QuikTrip continues to enter new marketplaces, introduce new products, build and operate new formats. Our purpose of giving our employees the opportunity to grow and succeed has never been stronger," Chet Cadieux, president and CEO of the c-store chain, said in a written statement to Tulsa World.

    Meanwhile, Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz takes the No. 87 spot in the ranking. What makes it great? "The gas station/convenience store chain holds Olympic-style, sandwich-building competitions," according to the magazine.

    "We are really proud that we've created a place that people feel good about coming to every day," said President and CEO Joe S. Sheetz. "We work very hard to constantly improve the work lives of our associates."

    The retailer has annual revenue of $6.368 billion, 13,992 employees and 7.7-percent job growth.

    "Because of our size, we work that much harder to implement comparable and attractive benefits for all," Joe Sheetz added. "Our team has been pretty creative, though, developing practices that are a custom fit for our family of employees."

    Joining the c-store retailers on Fortune's list is Mars Inc. The McLean, Va.-based manufacturer takes the No. 76 spot this year, up from its previous No. 95 ranking. What makes it great? "A Mars family member serves as corporate ombudsman for a conflict-resolution program available to all employees," according to Fortune.

    The company boasts annual revenue of $33 billion, 11,468 employees and 4.3-percent job growth.

    "Great people build great businesses. Our Mars associates are behind our winning culture, the success of our iconic brands and our generations of growth as a company," said Paul S. Michaels, president of Mars Inc. "We want to give associates the opportunity to have a long, rewarding career at Mars, so we invest seriously in growth and development. This pays dividends in the talent and abilities of our team and the retention of the best and the brightest. We are honored to be recognized by Fortune magazine for our associates' continued dedication in making Mars a great place to work."

    Fortune partnered with the Great Place to Work Institute, a global research and consulting firm, to conduct the employee survey for the 17th installment of the list.

    In a separate recognition program, Taylor, Mich.-based Atlas Oil Co. was named one of the Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces in the United States. The annual awards program recognizes top employers that display leadership and innovation in engaging their workplaces.

    "Atlas has experienced a 25-percent growth rate year over year," said Michael Evans, president and chief operating officer. "This growth didn't happen by accident. Our Atlas team members have a passion for this business and they work hard every day to exceed our customers' expectations. We are proud to be able to attract high-caliber talent to the company and our employee engagement is a key component in our recruiting efforts."

    The Achievers 50 Most Engaged Workplaces Awards panel of judges evaluated each applicant based on the "Eight Elements of Employee Engagement:" communication; leadership; culture; rewards and recognition; professional and personal growth; accountability and performance; vision and values; and corporate social responsibility.

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