Taking Stock in Kieler

Ashley Cullen doesn’t fancy himself a holy being among retailers, but he does know that dropping an occasional bag of Combos onto a gondola doesn’t make for the crowning achievement in inventory management. “When I first got here, we were lucky if we got $200 a day in deli,” Cullen said. “Now we’re averaging $450

Slam Dunk

The influx of people moving to western North Carolina from the Northeast and Florida—both areas where Dunkin’ Donuts does a booming business—was one reason Citizens Fuel Co. is excited these days to be adding Dunkin’ franchises to at least three of its 10 Citi Stop c-stores. “We felt it was a huge opportunity to fill

A True Up and Comer

LIKE A LOT OF people in the industry, Terry Johnson, director of marketing for Chester, Va.-based Uppy’s/Southside Oil, got his start by working the cash register at a local c-store while earning his business degree. Soon after graduation, Johnson became a store manager, the fi rst step toward his 30-year career in the business. Johnson,

familial operations

Unlike many retailers profiled in Rising Stars, Kurt Straube always knew he would have a career in the convenience industry. Kurt StraubeDari Mart Stores His grandparents purchased afarm in Junction City, Ore., back in 1940, which grewinto Lochmead Dairy, a milk processing plant, and Dari MartStores in 1965. Three generations of his family have been

service to the fleet

Jim Goldade has had an interest in the grocery andretail business since he was 15 years old. That passionhas fueled his dedication to the Coast Guard Exchangestores, where he

growing with the business

As Alan Drake grew up in central Colorado, he found himself working for a local convenience store through high school. At the time, Kwik Stop had just one store operating out of its headquarters in Penrose,Colo. Drake learned the business from the ground up—stocking shelves, sweeping parking lots and putting a smile on customers’ faces.

energizing the rockies

Steve EwingSuncor Energy USA Steve ewing has spent a solid 20 years working hisway through the convenience industry. As merchandising manager for Suncor Energy USA, Ewing works tocontrol categories, balance profits and grow the business of 44 Phillips 66-branded c-stores, based largely in theDenver area. Together with contract agreements to supply 150Phillips 66 gas stations

all in the family

Terry Gallagher, Jr.Smoker Friendly International LLC Terry Gallagher, Jr. may very well have oil in hisblood. The first and only president of Boulder, Col.-basedGasamat Oil Corp. dba Smoker Friendly International LLC,Gallagher grew up pumping gas and washing windshieldsunder his father’s watch. He spent college summers getting hishands dirty in the oil fields and refineries, all

blockandtackle

Marlin Larson: Convenience Management Group dba On the Run When Marlin larson started his education,he thought he would teach kids a thing or twoin the classroom or coaching a team. The former has come true for some of his employees at Convenience Management Group’s (CMG) nine ExxonMobil Onthe Run stores, but it’s the lessons Larson

entrepreneural spirit

Russ ScaramellaArizona Oil Holdings LLC Russ scaramella may not have had a specific career in mind growing up, but he's always had a passion for business and working with people. Scaramella channeled that passion into something positive when he and partner Delery Guillory decided to create Arizona Oil Holdings LLC. Before creating Arizona Oil, Scaramella

united front

For Sunny Singh, general manager of retail operations forGardena, Calif.-based United Oil, good business sense justruns through his veins. Not only does he possess a strong business acumen, he's also intimately aware of the intricacies necessary to succeed in the highly competitive convenience storeindustry. Singh, who hails from Punjab, India, began working in the familybusinesses,

dynamic duo

It's a true testimony to a company that prides itself on being"family run and family friendly" when two of its top earning category managers continually sing its praises after more than a decade working together. Jennifer Vespole, senior category manager for foodservice, andBill Tencza, senior category manager for packaged goods, haveworked side by side for

a man with plans

Norek spent a great deal of his career with 7-Eleven, working as a supervisor, gas supervisor,buyer and franchise marketing director. After a brief stint on the distribution side of the business with CoreMark, Norek returned to the retail side, signing on with CIC 7Eleven. He was responsible for 119 stores across 11 states. Healso worked

the brightest in 2006

For the past 12 months, Convenience Store Decisions has showcased some of the best and brightest category managementdecision makers from across the convenience store and petroleum industry. As 2006 comes to a close and the industry gearsup for what everyone hopes will be a prosperous 2007, CSD takes a look back at some of the

cuttingedge

One might think being fired from his first job in the convenience industry may have soured Russ Quick to the channel. Granted, he was 14, sweeping parking lots for a corner gas station and was replaced when the owner's daughter came of age, but still, a man has his pride. Quick dabbled successfully in several

playmaker

Mark Redding may have had to say goodbye to his dreams of becoming a professional baseball player, but he's been a playmaker in the convenience channel for years now. He got his first taste of the industry when he accepted a position as a route merchandiser for McLane Grocery Distributors in 1983. From there, Redding

unlimited potential

By Kate Quackenbush, Managing Editor While everyone talks a big game about livingand eating healthier, Don Hamberger knowsthat consumers still love to treat themselves.Candy represents the fourth most profitablecategory at La Platta, Md.-based Dash In Food Stores, behindcigarettes, foodservice and coffee. Confections are up 3.5%from last year, on top of 6% the year before, and

destiny finds a way

Wayne Moser, Town Pump Food Stores Wayne Moser studied electrical technology with the hopes of gaining employment in the oil fields in Western North Dakota or Eastern Montana, where he had always dreamed of moving. Unfortunately, the oil boom era was slowing down just after his college years, which made it difficult to find employment

problem solver

Tom Newbould graduated with an accounting degree, but after crunching numbers for six months at BP as an auditor, he realized his career aspirations just weren't adding up. Newbould began working for the British powerhouse during college, but he had his sights set on the retail marketing side of the business. So he paid his

clutch player

By Kate Quackenbush, Managing Editor Mike Leake may have had eight years of experience servicing convenience stores while working for Frito Lay and then McLane Grocery Distribution as a DSD sales representative, but it wasn't until DesMoines, Wash.-based Emanuel Inc. recruited him that he found a truly unique operation. Leake met owner Sami Said while

category captain

globetrotter

Joe Lewis Global Supply Chain Manager Chevron It's as if Joe Lewis was preparing to be a global supply chain manager for a multinational oil company his entire life. Why wouldn't any red-blooded American kid salivate over the idea of working in key markets throughout North America, Asia and Africa? Lewis started working in grocery

techfriendly

Greg Hendricks thought it was just a regular day when the vice president of Taylor Petroleum breezed into the Radio Shack where he was working in 1983. He asked Hendricks if he liked working with computers, which he did, and brought him on board the company's pump maintenance team. Twenty-three years later, Hendricks' technology roots

efficiency expert

Mary Vinson knew she was facing an uphill battle the day she started working for Donnini Enterprises (Lake Park, FL). Her job, simply put, was to install a back-office accounting system using the state-of-the-art computers the company purchased a year earlier. Just hours into her tenure Vinson faced her first daunting challenge: opening the boxes

iron man

While Bruce Earhart may have been ready to "sing the blues" after a couple of consecutive 14-hour days, his band Eugene and the Night Crawlers hasn't yet written a song about the convenience retailing business. How he found his way to the c-store industry might offer great material, but Earhart seems to have found his

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