ANKENY, Iowa — Casey's General Stores Inc. is celebrating National Pizza Day with an important new hire.
The convenience store chain announced Feb. 9 that Joe Cruz will serve as its first-ever chief pizza & beer officer, beating out more than 500 qualified candidates for the prestigious and mouth-watering role.
Cruz, who hails from the heart of Casey's country in Lincoln, Neb., loves to eat Casey's pizza and drink beer, making him uniquely qualified to take on the job, according to Casey's.
[Read more: Casey's Creates New Foodservice Position]
As chief pizza & beer officer, Cruz will serve as the authority on sampling, researching and pairing Casey's pizzas with the best beer combinations. He also will create compelling social media content to inform Casey's Country about these unique pairings and attend public events to spread the passion for pizza and beer.
"As The Official Pizza and Beer Headquarters, it was extremely important for Casey's to add the position of Chief Pizza & Beer Officer," said Tom Brennan, chief merchandising officer at Casey's. "Eating pizza and sampling beer is more challenging than it sounds, especially when you have the pizza and beer pairing curiosity and enjoyment of Casey's Country resting on your shoulders. We're confident that Joe is the right person for the job, and we're thrilled to welcome him to the Casey's family."
Casey's teamed with former NFL defensive lineman and well-known content creator and comedian Anthony "Spice" Adams to review the pool of candidates and identify the perfect pizza and beer connoisseur. Applicants were assessed on their passion, communication skills and leadership traits.
"As a proud resident of Casey's Country and a self-proclaimed pizza and beer aficionado, I'm honored to be the first person to take on this coveted role," said Cruz. "We all have thoughts about our dream job, and when I saw Casey's was looking for a Chief Pizza & Beer Officer, I knew I had found the best job ever. I'm ready to get to work bringing the most delicious pizza and beer combinations to Casey's guests."
Ankeny-based Casey's General Stores operates more than 2,600 stores across 17 states.