Convenience Store News Seeks More Members for Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board

Board expansion and the establishment of six steering committees are part of the brand’s ambitious 2023 growth plans for its D&I industry initiative.

CHICAGO — In June 2021, after more than a year of nationwide protests and serious discussions about race and injustice in America, Convenience Store News launched an industrywide initiative to facilitate engagement among all stakeholders in the convenience channel around diversity and inclusion (D&I), with underwriting support from Altria Group Distribution Co., The Coca-Cola Co., The Hershey Co. and WorkJam.

The platform is designed to be a catalyst for discussion, innovation, engagement and action. Since its inception, CSNews has established an advisory board composed of thought leaders from prominent retailer and supplier companies in the channel; published educational columns and special reports on various D&I topics; presented a number of insightful and informational webinars; conducted research on the state of D&I in the industry; and more.

Now entering the third year of this program, CSNews has ambitious growth plans for 2023. Chief among them is increasing participation in the initiative and achieving industrywide engagement that reaches all corners of the convenience channel — single-store owners, small operators, large operators, distributors, suppliers and solution providers.  

"Over the past few years, the convenience store industry has made considerable strides in diversity and inclusion, but there is much more work to be done. True change requires involvement and representation from all segments of the industry," said CSNews Editor-in-Chief Linda Lisanti.

CSNews is currently recruiting more members for its Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board, whose mission is to help the brand make the business case for D&I in the c-store industry through dialogue, education and the sharing of best practices.

In addition to expanding the advisory board, CSNews is also looking to establish six steering committees this year around key D&I issues: Membership, Affinity Groups, Independents, Minority-Owned Supplier Initiative, Training and Mentorship. The brand is currently recruiting 10 to 12 members for each steering committee.

"Research continues to show that diverse companies outperform their less diverse peers. Diverse voices make for smarter, stronger organizations — and a more successful c-store industry overall. Convenience Store News and its underwriters remain committed to leading this charge," said Paula Lashinsky, vice president and brand director for CSNews.

Anyone interested in joining the advisory board or the steering committees are encouraged to contact Lisanti at [email protected]. Any companies interested in underwriting opportunities are encouraged to contact Lashinsky at [email protected].