ANKENY, Iowa — Casey’s General Stores Inc. announced two additions to its executive leadership team. Ena Williams, a former 7-Eleven Inc. and ExxonMobil Corp. executive, was named to the newly created role of chief operating officer, while Steve Bramlage, former chief financial officer for two major public companies, is succeeding Bill Walljasper, who announced his retirement earlier this year.
The new hires are key additions and seen as an opportunity to accelerate the execution of Casey’s three-year strategic plan, which was revealed in January, Casey’s CEO Darren Rebelez said in an interview with Convenience Store News. Both moves are effective June 1. Williams and Bramlage will report to Rebelez, and Walljasper remains aboard as an executive advisor to assist with the transition.
“Casey’s is fortunate to have two phenomenal leaders with deep expertise in their fields join the team, particularly during this time of unprecedented change,” said Rebelez. “I’m confident they will strengthen our efforts to deliver on our strategic plan to not only lead our industry, but also remain among the top quintile of all retailers nationwide.”
Rebelez told CSNews that these additions will lead to the establishment of a dedicated mergers and acquisitions team, and enhanced operational efficiencies including asset protection and centralized procurement. He also cited Williams’ expertise in the fuels business.
Williams will lead Casey’s 2,200-plus-store network across 16 states. She will oversee store operations, fuel procurement and delivery, operational excellence, new store development, and transportation and distribution.
Williams spent a decade at 7-Eleven and served as senior vice president and head of international. Prior to 7-Eleven, she spent more than 15 years at ExxonMobil and Mobil Oil Corp. in operations management, merchandising, transportation and supply, and leading the company’s West and Midwest divisions. Most recently, she served as CEO of the largest direct provider of technology-enabled medical equipment in the hospice industry, National HME.
In 2016, while at 7-Eleven, Williams was named a Top Women in Convenience in the Senior-Level Leaders category of CSNews’ annual program recognizing female leaders in the industry.
Said Williams: “I am honored to join the talented and dedicated Casey’s team at such an exciting time. I look forward to supporting the stores as we deliver on the company’s strong commitment to enhance the lives of our guests and communities each day.”
Serving as a large public company CFO for the past eight years, Bramlage will steward Casey’s financials and build upon its reputation for fiscal discipline and sound financial management. Bramlage was most recently CFO of Aramark, a $16-billion food, facilities and uniform services provider.
While at Aramark, he helped the company balance and strengthen its revenue, margin, EBITDA and free cash flow, while improving financial flexibility and making several key strategic acquisitions. Prior to that, he was CFO at Owens-Illinois, the world’s largest maker of glass. Bramlage also has held financial leadership roles at PPG Industries, Eli-Lilly, and Ernst & Young.
“Casey’s has a well-deserved reputation for being able to balance strong financial flexibility with consistently making disciplined growth and value-enhancing investment,” he said.
Rebelez told CSNews that finding the right talent and building a best-in-class team are priorities to drive the execution of the company’s three-year strategic plan.