CHICAGO — Convenience Store News will celebrate a record 74 female leaders at its eighth-annual Top Women in Convenience (TWIC) awards ceremony this fall.
This year's TWIC program was the most competitive yet, as the number of nominations received more than doubled from 2020. More than 300 nominations were judged.
With the help of the Network of Executive Women and the 2021 TWIC Advisory Board (which includes all five 2020 Women of the Year honorees), CSNews narrowed the field down to the top female executives, managers and up-and-comers working for convenience store industry retailers, distributors and suppliers today.
The judges selected five Women of the Year, 31 Senior-Level Leaders, 27 Rising Stars and 11 Mentors to be inducted into the 2021 class of Top Women in Convenience.
The honorees were chosen based on nominations received from their peers. Drawing from achievements during the previous 12 months, nominators were asked to illustrate the candidate's innovative corporate initiatives, extraordinary financial and strategic accomplishments, astute problem-solving acumen, exceptional performance, and selfless charitable participation, along with any other attributes that go above and beyond the call of duty.
This year's Top Women in Convenience are:
WOMEN OF THE YEAR
Recognized for their exceptional impact on the success or direction of their company, as well as their positive impact on the convenience store industry as a whole.
- Ericka Ayles, Managing Director & Chief Financial Officer, Yesway
- Renee Bacon, Senior Vice President, Sales & Operations, Murphy USA Inc.
- Melanie Isbill, Chief Marketing Officer, RaceTrac Petroleum Inc.
- Marissa Jarratt, Chief Marketing Officer, 7-Eleven Inc.
- Lisa Koenig, Head of Global Communications, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc./Circle K
Retailer, supplier and wholesaler executives at the level of director or vice president and above who have executed on a strategy and transformed their business in a positive manner.
- Atina Abraham, Director, Women’s Wellness – Walgreens Team, Procter & Gamble
- Brittany Bayley, Vice President of Marketing, Huck’s
- Dawn Boulanger, Vice President of Marketing, Tri Star Energy
- Sandra D'Asaro, Vice President of Sales Development, Analytics & Technology, Core-Mark International
- Simran Dhaliwal Emaus, Vice President of Operations, Now Save Stores & CEO, Dhaliwal Distributing dba ZARCO
- Christina Dokos, Senior Director, Marketing and Communications, Eby-Brown Co. LLC
- Megan Elfers, Vice President of Marketing, Casey's General Stores Inc.
- Meghann Erhart, Vice President, Business Process Improvement & Robotics, Pilot Flying J
- Polly Flinn, President, GetGo Café+Market
- Susan Flynn, Director of National Sales – QuikTrip, The Coca-Cola Co.
- Krystal Forbes, Senior Director – San Francisco Region, Reynolds American Inc.
- Elizabeth Hoffer, Director of Commissary Operations, CEFCO Convenience Stores
- Mary James, Director of Retail Operations, Duchess Convenience Stores
- Denise Jenkins, Vice President, Marketing, Insights & Loyalty, United Dairy Farmers Inc.
- Theresa Kindley, Category Manager, ExtraMile Convenience Stores
- Rachel Krupa, Founder & CEO, The Goods Mart
- Anne Livermore, Director of Sales — West, Tyson Foods
- Lisa Meyer, Senior Director, C-store Sales Planning, The Hershey Co.
- Teresa Patat, National Account Manager, McLane Co. Inc.
- Suzanne Poirier, Vice President, Global Finance & Supply Chain Optimization, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc./Circle K
- Lauren Quaglia, National Channel Manager — Convenience, Boston Beer Co.
- Kim Reed, President and CEO, ITG Brands
- Merlix Reynolds, Executive Director of Accounting, RaceTrac Petroleum Inc.
- Adriene Robins, Director of Marketing, OnCue Marketing
- Tonya Robinson, Director of Store Operations, Thorntons
- Sara Secondi, Senior Account Manager, Altria Group Distribution Co.
- Emily Sheetz Mandel, Vice President of Strategy & Information Technology, Sheetz Inc.
- Lindy Smith, Senior Director of Category Management, Maverik Inc.
- Mindy Stone, Customer Director, C-store Shopper Marketing, Mondelēz International Inc.
- Eva Strasburger, President, StrasGlobal and CEO, Compliance Safe Inc.
- Siva Surkunalingam, Vice President, IT Strategy & Governance, 7-Eleven Inc.
Women with job titles from store manager to just below vice president who are making their mark on the c-store industry even in the early stages of their careers.
- Ashley Chambers, Food Operations Project Manager, Thorntons
- Katie Cunningham, Chain Director, FIFCO USA
- Heather Davis, Director of Foodservice, Parker's
- Leslie Edmiston, Manager, Category Space & Analysis, Wawa Inc.
- Stephanie Ferguson, Director, Regulatory Affairs & Compliance, United Pacific
- Sarah Garcia, Food Safety & Quality Assurance Manager, Casey's General Stores Inc.
- Jennifer Gurdock, National Convenience Store Operations Manager, The Hershey Co.
- Cynthia Herrera Enriquez, Regional Director of Operations, West Coast Business Unit, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc./Circle K
- Sara Hillstrom, Senior Director, Industry Relations, Anheuser-Busch (formerly)
- Lorena Javalera, Pricebook Lead, ExtraMile Convenience Stores
- Kim Jenks, Category Manager, Kwik Trip Inc.
- Jocelyn Miller, Manager of Operations – Workforce Management, Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores
- Cate Moore, Strategic Insights Assistant Manager, Eby-Brown Co. LLC
- Nicole Nelsen, Director of Strategic Retailer Sales, General Mills Convenience
- Shannon Patrick, Senior Manager of Fuel Supply & Distribution, GetGo Café+Market
- Kaylie Peduzzi, Lead Operations Specialist, Wawa Account Team, Altria Group Distribution Co.
- Jessica Pierce, Category Manager, Maverik Inc.
- Randi Reeder, Fill-In District Supervisor & Store Manager, Rutter’s
- Dana Renfro, Category Manager, Yesway
- Mary Ridout, Merchandise Manager, United Refining Co./Kwik Fill
- Colleen Seifert, Category Manager, EG America/Cumberland Farms
- Sara Shankman, Senior Customer Marketing Manager – Speedway & QuikTrip, The Coca-Cola Co.
- Michelle Signorelli, OTP Category Manager, RaceTrac Petroleum Inc.
- Kate Splawn, Account Executive, Reynolds American Inc.
- Melissa Vonder Haar, Marketing Director, iSee Store Innovations
- Hannah Walker, Partner Solutions Manager, GreenPrint
- Anahi Wray, Senior Category Manager, 7-Eleven Inc.
Women who have made an extraordinary effort, and had an extraordinary impact, on the careers of their colleagues.
- Tara Antle, Manager, Talent Acquisition, Casey's General Stores Inc.
- Donna Barbier, Senior Chain Sales Executive, Molson Coors Beverage Co.
- Julie Beltran, Training Specialist, Chevron USA Inc.
- Megan Gibson, Human Resources Business Partner, RaceTrac Petroleum Inc.
- Lori Hall, District Manager, Coen Markets
- Beka Jackson, Director, Foodservice Project Management, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc./Circle K
- Myra Kressner, Founder & President, Kressner Strategy Group
- Amy Lane, Senior Vice President, Special Projects, Parker's
- Sarah Montgomery, Director of Strategic Account Executives, Applied Data Corp.
- Cynthia West, Restaurant Manager, Rutter's
- Elizabeth Wiles, Sales Director, JUUL Labs
All of this year's honorees will be celebrated at an awards gala to be held Oct. 6 in Chicago, against the backdrop of the 2021 NACS Show.
Supporters of the 2021Top Women in Convenience program include: founding and presenting sponsor Altria Group Distribution Co.; platinum sponsor Reynolds Marketing Services Co.; gold sponsors Anheuser-Busch InBev, BIC USA, Boston Beer Co., The Coca-Cola Co., FIFCO USA, The Hershey Co., Mars Wrigley, McLane Co. Inc., Mondelēz International and Tyson Convenience; and silver sponsors Molson Coors Beverage Co., Proctor & Gamble, and Ruiz Food Products.