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The most up-to-date ideas and strategies in convenience retailing and a beautiful historical setting combined to make this year's Convenience Store News annual Top 50 Forum an indisputable success. The event, held in Charleston, S.C., June 13 to 15 at the Charleston Place hotel, kicked off with a tour of area c-stores. Later, 150 attendees gathered for a Welcome Reception at the Riviera Complex, a restored 1939 Art Deco movie house. Throughout the event, retailers and suppliers attended sessions emceed by Harry McHugh of Wawa Inc.
Bruce Tulgan of Rainmaker-Thinking Inc. and author of Winning the Talent Wars and Managing Generation X delivered the keynote address the first day. Tulgan received an enthusiastic response from attendees for his talk on the most effective techniques in recruiting, motivating and retaining young workers.
Rob Kelly, global marketing manager at Exxon Mobil Corp., treated attendees to a close look at ExxonMobil's international retail outlets and shared details of retailing trends and practices in places as far-flung as New Zealand, Zimbabwe and London.
Panel discussions at the Top 50 Forum included "The Next Generation of CEOs" and "Competitive Shift: Supermarkets, Clubs and Mass Merchandisers."
A highlight of the event was the "Best of the South" reception and dinner party at Middleton Place, a National Historic Landmark and a preserved 18th-century plantation on the Ashley River.