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Convenience Store News Unveils 2023 Class of Future Leaders in Convenience

Up-and-comers from 29 different industry companies are being recognized.
Linda Lisanti
logo for Future Leaders of Convenience

CHICAGO — The 2023 class of Future Leaders in Convenience (FLIC) will comprise 36 rising stars from 29 convenience store industry retailer, distributor and supplier companies, Convenience Store News announced today.

Now in its sixth year, the goal of the FLIC program is to celebrate and help develop the next generation of c-store industry leaders by providing a forum for talented young businesspeople to hone their leadership skills, while recognizing the achievements of a select few emerging leaders.

The FLIC awards recognize young people (aged 35 and under) working in the convenience channel who are already making significant positive contributions to their companies and the industry at large. The winners were chosen based on nominations received from their companies and peers that highlighted achievements made between Jan. 1, 2022 and April 30, 2023.

The 2023 Future Leaders in Convenience are:

  • Gretchen Akers, Category Manager, Beer West, 7-Eleven Inc.
  • Nathali Aucapina, Market Leader, Golden Gate Market, 7-Eleven Inc.
  • Makenna Callen, Trade Marketing Manager, BeatBox Beverages
  • Austyn Chivington, District Manager, High's
  • Jamie Cousart, Vice President, Sales & Customer Leadership, Convenience Retail, North America Operating Unit, The Coca-Cola Co.
  • Joshua Eggen, Director, Fuel Supply and Trading, North America, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc./Circle K
  • Tyler Grubbs, Executive Director of Store Systems & Technology, RaceTrac Inc.
  • Melissa Harbeck, Marketing Manager, Harbor Foods
  • Shelby Harrison, Regional Operations Director in Training, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc./Circle K
  • Robinson Hunt, Vice President of Operations, DBH Distributing and Hunt Brothers Pizza
  • Ankush Kamboj, Chief Strategy Officer, KFT Holdings LLC
  • Eli Kaminsky, Shopper Marketing Manager, Small Format, Anheuser-Busch
  • Daniel Kerekes, Accountant, S&G Stores
  • Leanna Klingensmith, Assistant Category Manager, Yesway
  • Pascal Kriesche, Founder & CEO, smoodi Inc.
  • Thomas Mathewes, Real Estate Project Manager, Parker's
  • Stacey Windon Matthews, Marketing Manager, Imperial Trading Co.
  • Kyle May, Director of External Relations, Reynolds American Inc.
  • Adam McGowen, Senior National Account Manager, McLane Co. Inc.
  • Emily Meckstroth, Category Manager, Ferrera Candy Co.
  • Justin Navolanic, National Category Manager, Advantage Sales and Marketing (R Squared Solutions)
  • T.J. Noonan, Head of Business Development, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc./Circle K
  • Zachary Parr, Convenience Operations Supervisor, Lassus Bros Oil Inc.
  • Wilson Raetzsch, Purchasing Manager/Operations Support Specialist, Lyons Specialty Co.
  • Jade Reddington, Vice President of Sales, Convenience & Specialty Channels, Ferrera Candy Co.
  • Jenna Reiman, Director, Human Resources Business Partner, Casey's General Stores Inc.
  • Clint Sherwood, Data Engineering Manager, Casey's General Stores Inc.
  • Michael Silver, Payments Fraud Strategy Analyst, Treasury, 7-Eleven Inc.
  • Corey Stump, Category Manager & Regional Director, Childers Oil Co./Double Kwik
  • Aubrey Thornock, Senior Category Manager, Maverik — Adventure's First Stop
  • Justin Tisch, Senior Business Analyst, National Convenience Distributors
  • Elly Villescas, Business Development Manager, Convenience, National Accounts, The J.M. Smucker Co.
  • Katie Wetzel, Assortment Manager, Packaged Beverages, Wawa Inc.
  • Chad White, Foodservice Category Manager, Rutter's
  • Caleb Woods, Foodservice Commercialization Manager, Casey's General Stores Inc.
  • Mathew Wright, Director of Sales for Convenience, That's it Nutrition LLC

These up-and-comers will be recognized and honored at the sixth-annual Future Leaders in Convenience Summit, to be held Nov. 16 in Pittsburgh. The FLIC Summit will precede Convenience Store News' 2023 Hall of Fame gala dinner, honoring retailer inductee Joseph (Joe) S. Sheetz, chairman of Sheetz Inc., and supplier inductee Kevin Martello, vice president of food service solutions and industry relations, convenience retail, for Keurig Dr Pepper.

Reynolds Marketing Services Co. serves as the founding and presenting sponsor of the Future Leaders in Convenience program. 

For sponsorship information, contact Convenience Store News Vice President and Group Brand Director Paula Lashinsky at [email protected]. 

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