Convenience Store News' 2020 Technology Leader of the Year Is...
VALPARAISO, Ind. — Convenience Store News has selected Gus Olympidis, founder, president and CEO of Family Express Corp., as its 2020 Technology Leader of the Year. This annual award goes to a technology leader (individual or company) who not only contributes to the success of their organization, but also to the advancement and growth of the convenience store industry as a whole.
Olympidis, who was inducted into the CSNews Hall of Fame last year, spearheaded Family Express’ pioneering implementation of frictionless technology across its 75 stores in northwest and central Indiana. Last year, the retailer went live with a new custom loyalty app that integrates multiple vendors into the platform. The app’s features included native app ordering, seamless store content management, and customer engagement with the ability to tailor rewards and discounts based on customer behavior.
Partners in Family Express’ seamless customer engagement “ecosystem” include Paytronix for loyalty, Olo for online ordering, Big Club Digital for website development, and National Carwash Solutions to tie in all elements of the retailer’s business to create a holistic experience for customers.
This year, Family Express is installing NCR’s new Optic platform at its pumps chainwide. New modules are being added to the pumps as the company invests in EMV compliance at the forecourt. The modules make each dispenser a “smart pump,” allowing for customized messaging, promotions and even product ordering at the pump.
CSNews will honor Olympidis during its new two-part Virtual Technology Leadership Series. Due to the cancellation of the 2020 NACS Show in Las Vegas, CSNews is replacing its annual Technology Leadership Roundtable & Dinner with this virtual experience that will bring together c-store tech leaders to share best practices and discuss the future technology needs of the industry.
The series will kick off Oct. 1 with a fireside chat with Art Sebastian of Casey's General Stores Inc. about the company's digital journey, followed by a retailer panel discussion on contactless payments, online ordering, payment options, curbside pickup and home delivery. Confirmed panelists include Duane Statler of Rhodes 101 Convenience Stores, Jeremie Myhren of Road Ranger, and Howard Hyche of Double Quick/Refuel.
The second session, on Oct. 8, will begin with the presentation of the 2020 Technology Leader of the Year award and a Q&A with Olympidis, followed by a retailer panel discussion. Among the topics to be discussed: business intelligence and its role in the channel, store-level inventory management, replacing aging POS systems, and EMV at the forecourt.