Convenience Channel Veterans Form Industry Think Tank

The collaborative group meets virtually once a quarter to share views and perspectives.
Convenience Leaders Vision Group logo

AUSTIN, Texas — Convenience channel executives and veterans are joining forces in a newly formed think tank, the Convenience Leaders Vision Group (CLVG).

The collaborative group brings together convenience retail icons and trailblazers through quarterly virtual meetings. During these private sessions, members identify trends, challenges and disruptions in retail, as well as possible solutions and opportunities. 

According to the group, it is committed to sharing its views and perspectives to advance the convenience retailing and mobility industry. Findings will be shared through a series of trend reports. The first CLVG Trend Report will be released in early December. 

Convenience Leaders Vision Group is the second think tank under The Vision Group Network, which gathers leaders in multiple retail segments, including convenience, grocery, foodservice and consumable retail food markets. The first think tank under the Vision Group Network umbrella is the Vision Group.

Myra Kressner, president of Kressner Strategy Group; Eva Strasburger, president of StrasGlobal and CEO of Compliance Safe; and Roy Strasburger, StrasGlobal CEO and president of Compliance Safe, founded the Vision Group Network in 2020.

After establishing the Vision Group, the founders immediately saw the benefits to its members of being part of a group of industry experts who learn from each other and use the forum as a sounding board for new ideas and perspectives. Creating the CLVG was a natural extension of the group's mission.

CLVG members also include:

  • Hal Adams, consultant, former CEO, MAPCO and president, CST Brands Retail
  • Henry Amour, president and CEO, NACS
  • Fouad El-Nemr, executive vice president, Nouria
  • Annie Gauthier, chief operating officer/co-CEO, St. Romain Oil Co.
  • Varish Goyal, CEO, Loop Neighborhood Markets
  • Scott Hartman, CEO, Rutter's
  • Doug Haugh, president, Parkland USA
  • Drayton McLane Jr., chairman, McLane Group
  • Natalie Morhous, president, RaceTrac Inc.
  • Greg Parker, CEO, Parker's Kitchen
  • Jigar Patel, CEO, FASTIME
  • Joe Sheetz, executive vice chairman, Sheetz Inc.
  • Kevin Smartt, CEO, TXB Stores
  • Barbara Stoyko, senior vice president, Shell Mobility Americas, Shell Oil Products U.S.
  • Liz Williams, president, Foxtrot

CLVG held its inaugural virtual session Nov. 1. McLane opened the first meeting with a retrospective of the convenience industry.

"I started in the convenience store industry in its infancy, back in the late 1960s. It is amazing how the business has mushroomed, and it is going to continue to do so," he said.

After identifying the first four industry stages — selling milk and ice, expanding the grocery offer, introducing self-service fuel, and establishing foodservice as a mainstay — he noted that the industry is now into the fifth stage of development with challenges and opportunities around technology, alternative fuels, logistics and the impact of remote working.