JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Joseph M. DePinto, president and CEO of 7-Eleven Inc., and Blake Benefiel, director of trade and state relations for Altria Group Distribution Co., have been selected as this year’s inductees into the Convenience Store News Hall of Fame.
The newest Hall of Famers, along with the 2017 Convenience Store News Retailer Executive of the Year (who will be announced May 2), will be honored at a gala banquet and induction ceremony this fall in Dallas, the headquarters city of 7-Eleven, the world’s premier convenience retailer with more than 61,000 stores globally, some 10,600 of which are in North America.
DePinto will become the third executive from 7-Eleven to be inducted into the Convenience Store News Hall of Fame, following founding brothers John and Jere Thompson, who were inducted together in 1991, and former CEO James Keyes, who entered the Hall of Fame in 2005.
Hall of Famers are selected by a 60-member blue ribbon panel of top convenience store retail executives, as well as past retailer and supplier Hall of Fame inductees.
Over the past 30 years, the Convenience Store News Hall of Fame has recognized convenience store industry pioneers and innovators from retailer and supplier companies of all sizes. Retailer inductees have included Scott Hartman of Rutter’s Farm Stores; John MacDougall of Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes Inc.; Dick Wood of Wawa Inc.; Carl Bolch Jr. of RaceTrac Petroleum Inc.; Dean Durling of QuickChek Corp.; Don Zietlow of Kwik Trip Inc.; and Steve and Stan Sheetz of Sheetz Inc. Last year’s inductee was Chet Cadieux of QuikTrip Corp.
Inductees into the supplier wing of the Hall of Fame have included Dave Riser of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; Jerry Rose and Steve Brady of McLane Co. Inc.; Joe Burke of Coca-Cola Enterprises; Greg Gilkerson of PDI Inc.; Robert Sears of Altria Group Distribution Co.; Jay Ard of The Coca-Cola Co.; and Tom Joyce of The Hershey Co. Last year’s supplier Hall of Fame inductee was Bob Johnson of Pinnacle Corp.
ABOUT THIS YEAR’S HONOREES
DePinto is currently a board director of 7-Eleven Inc. and its parent company Seven & i Holdings Co. Ltd., and is the chairman of the board of Brinker International.
Before being appointed chief executive of 7-Eleven in 2005, DePinto was president of GameStop Corp. He has also held executive positions at PepsiCo Inc. and Thornton Oil Co.
Additionally, he serves on the board of the Business Executives for National Security, the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund, the Southwestern Medical Foundation, and the Dallas Citizens Council. DePinto is also a council member of the George W. Bush Presidential Center Military Service Initiative, the Kellogg School of Management Global Advisory Board, and the Dallas Stars Ownership Advisory Group.
A native of Chicago, DePinto earned a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Management from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Benefiel joined Altria Sales & Distribution Co. in 2000 as a territory sales manager and in 2003, became a unit manager. In 2005, he was promoted to a senior account manager and held eight different positions in the sales organization.
In 2014, Benefiel was appointed to his current position as director of trade and state relations. In this role, he has four areas of responsibility: customer engagement; state relations; AGDC regulatory compliance, and the business management of select legislative issues. To summarize his role, he is responsible for developing and executing programs and processes to improve trade and state alignment, while promoting collaboration and engagement.
Benefiel is a member of the Convenience Distribution Association board of directors and manufacturer advisory council, NACS Member Services Committee, the Convenience Store News Top Women in Convenience Advisory Board, and the Conexxus Board. He will be joining the NACS Supplier Board this fall.
Born in Indiana, Benefiel graduated from Ball State University with a bachelor’s degree in Applied Science in 2000. He began his career with Altria after graduation as a territory sales manager in Toledo, Ohio.