CSNews Hall of Fame Installs New Members

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CSNews Hall of Fame Installs New Members

By Linda Lisanti, Convenience Store News - 11/06/2014

HERSHEY, Pa. — In front of family, friends and peers, Scott Hartman, president and CEO of Rutter’s Holdings Inc., and Stephen Brady, formerly vice president of business development at McLane Co. Inc., were inducted Wednesday night into the Convenience Store News Hall of Fame.

Hartman, who was welcomed into the Hall of Fame's retailer wing, and Brady, who was installed into the supplier wing, were honored at the 28th annual gala ceremony held at The Hotel Hershey.

During his acceptance speech, Brady reflected on his 30-year career in the grocery distribution business and recalled something his mentor Jerry Rose once told him: "If you want to succeed in this business, you have to get involved and get engaged. Learn what the retailers live and the issues they face."

Brady said he always followed this advice. His industry involvement included service on the NACS Supplier Board and chairing the NACS Manpower Committee. He is also a member of the NATSO Chairman’s Circle and a long-standing strategic partner of SIGMA.

Looking back on his experiences, the McLane alum said one of his greatest joys has been the people he's met throughout his career and the true friendships he's formed in the industry.

Reflection was also the theme of Hartman's acceptance speech. His convenience industry career dates back to 1972 when at the age of 12, he began working in convenience stores during summers.

Forty three years later, he is the third generation of his family to lead York, Pa.-based Rutter’s Holdings, three companies that consist of: 60 convenience stores trading as Rutter’s Farm Stores; Rutter’s Dairy Inc., operating in the Mid-Atlantic states; and M&G Realty, a real estate management company. Rutter’s Holdings is the oldest vertically integrated food company in the United States.

Hartman joked that his list of thanks is "like an Academy Awards list." He expressed gratitude to his family in attendance his wife, two children, parents and brother -- and his extended Rutter's family.

"It is a team. It's a broad group of people that makes a company successful. Being able to be up here tonight and accept this award is because of all of you," he said.

In addition to the Hall of Fame inductions, Wednesday's gala included the presentation of the inaugural CSNews Retailer Executive of the Year Award to Kum Lubel, chairman and CEO of CST Brands Inc.

CSNews Editorial Director Don Longo shared some of Lubel's most notable achievements, including leading her company's strategically important acquisitions, development of a state-of-the-art convenience store prototype, its industry-leading efforts around creating signature private-label products, and steering the company through its successful spinoff from Valero Energy Corp. CST Brands, headquartered in San Antonio, celebrated the one-year anniversary of its spinoff from Valero in April.

Jeremy Bergeron, senior vice president of integration and development operation at CST, accepted the award on behalf of Lubel, who was not able to attend due to travel difficulties. Bergeron read from a speech prepared by Lubel, in which she said "it's been quite a wild 18 months."

Since spinning off, CST has made lots of headlines with its recent acquisition of Lehigh Gas GP LLC, the general partner of Lehigh Gas Partners LP, and its recent purchase of Nice N Grocery Shoppes.

"We've been building our plane as we fly it," Lubel said in her prepared remarks. Equating the $85-million Lehigh Gas deal to getting a rocket boost, she said she's excited for the opportunities ahead.

One final award was presented during the Hall of Fame event: the 2014 CSNews Grand Spirit Award for Community Outreach. This year's recipient was West Des Moines, Iowa-based Kum & Go LC. 

Kum & Go is no stranger to the Spirit Awards program, now in its sixth year of honoring philanthropy and community service in the c-store industry. The chain has been honored three times in those six years and in fact, this year marked the second time it received the Grand Spirit Award, the highest honor.

Traci Rodemeyer, manager of communications, accepted the award on behalf of the company's leadership and all the team members at its 400-plus stores in 11 states. She spoke of the pride she personally feels working for a company that makes philanthropy a core value. 

Sponsors of this year's CSNews Hall of Fame included Altria Group Distribution Co., BIC Corp., Core-Mark International, The Hershey Co., LOGIC Technology, Pepsi Beverages, S&D Coffee & Tea, and Utz.