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    Stewarts, Chevron Tout Community Service

    New York c-store chain gives record amount over the holidays, while energy firm remains committed to multi-million dollar social projects.

    SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y., and SAN RAMON, Calif. -- Stewart's Shops Holiday Match program donated more than $1.1 million to local children’s charities across its service territory late last year, the Poughkeepsie Journal reported.

    Company President Gary Dake thanked customers who contributed about half of the funds, more than $560,000, the report stated. Dake also said Stewart’s is doing well in difficult times, with a 5 percent increase in sales and a 7 percent rise in profits, according to the report.

    In other charitable news, Chevron Corp.'s spending on community projects will remain at $200 million in 2009, as its understanding of its social role matures despite slowing profit growth, Nadeem Anwar, manager of community engagement advisers, told Dow Jones Newswires

    The 2009 figure is stable from 2008 and up from $119 million in 2007, and $30 million in 2006, according to the report.

    The commitment comes despite only a 0.4 percent increase in fourth-quarter profits for the company, as refining earnings and a $600 million asset swap gain offset a $55 drop in the price of a barrel of crude, the news service reported.

    Anwar said: "We do not measure (community engagement) just from a dollar point of view...We don't just write a check and walk away."

    He added Chevron's community approach has evolved from simple financial contributions to assisting the cycle of human and economic development, which starts with basic human needs, such as health and water, to education and vocational training, to small and medium enterprise development.

    Convenience Store News recently profiled the social responsibility efforts Chevron has undertook as part of its Feb. 16, cover story "Making it Personal." To read about Chevron's initiatives, as well as the other companies features, click here.

    In other Chevron news, the company announced the retirement of Vice cCairman Peter J. Robertson from the company and its board after more than 35 years of company service, and Robertson will be succeeded by John S. Watson, currently executive vice president of strategy and development.

    “By any measure, Peter’s contributions inside and outside Chevron have been remarkable,” said Chevron chairman and chief executive officer Dave O’Reilly. “As vice chairman, Peter established himself as one of our industry’s most tireless, passionate and effective emissaries. For me personally, Peter has been a valued partner and a tremendous source of support in helping lead Chevron.”

    Watson, 52, joined the company in 1980 as a financial analyst after earning his Masters in business administration from the University of Chicago. He was appointed president of Chevron Canada Ltd. in January 1996, and in February 1998 became vice president, strategic planning, for Chevron Corp. Watson served as the integration executive for the merger of Chevron and Texaco, and in October 2001 he was named vice president and chief financial officer of the corporation. He became president of Chevron International Exploration and Production in 2005.

    “John’s breadth of corporate and operational experience, combined with his strategic vision, make him ideally qualified to assume this important leadership position,” O’Reilly said.

    The company also named Charles A. James, currently vice president and general counsel, to the role of executive vice president of Chevron Corp. These executive changes are effective April 1, according to the company.

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