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Dash In Parent Company Names New President & CEO

Julian B. (Blackie) Wills III served as president and chief operating officer for the past two years.
Blackie Wills & Wills Group logo

LA PLATA, Md. — The Wills Group, parent company to Dash In convenience stores, appointed Julian B. (Blackie) Wills III as president and CEO, effective Aug. 1.

The announcement caps two years of growth across the Wills Group as it continues to invest and grow its retail line of businesses — including Dash In, Splash In ECO Car Wash and SMO Motor Fuels — and expands on its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and community and employee engagement.

"Blackie's impact on the company culture, innovation and the future direction of the business is discernible," said Lock Wills, executive chairman of the Wills Group. "We value his leadership and are confident he is the right leader at the right time to continue to guide the Wills Group's growth and expansion."

In his new role as president and CEO, Blackie Wills will continue to lead the Wills Group's efforts to transform Dash In and Splash In ECO Car Wash with a focus on the customer experience. The Wills Group will also forge ahead with its DEI efforts as it expands its commitment to community engagement through two signature programs: Nourishing Children and Families, and Reimagining Outdoor Spaces.

Blackie Wills served as president and chief operating officer for the past two years, working across the Wills Group company of brands to lead a number of transformative efforts, according to the company. These include:

  • The grand opening of Dash In's all-new store prototype in Chantilly, Va. The site debuts a fresh, new brand identity for Dash In and Splash In ECO Car Wash, and offers customers a reimagined store experience and new menu that is the first of its kind for the convenience store chain.
  • The Wills Group received the Great Place to Work Certification for two consecutive years. The accolade reflects the company’s ongoing investments in building culture, employee and community engagement, career opportunities and expanded employee benefits as part of the Wills Group's continued investment in its employees.
  • A continued commitment to DEI as a promise and strategy that informs the Wills Group's commitment to a future where every employee voice is heard, equitable policies and practices enable growth and advancement, and staff members have the opportunity to contribute to building better experiences for their customers and communities.
  • Continued investment and expansion of the Wills Group's community engagement signature programs: Nourishing Children and Families, and Reimagining Outdoor Spaces. The organization partners with regional and local food banks and pantries to address food insecurity for children and their families, and collaborates with communities to envision and bring to life reimagined community spaces such as Phoenix Run Park in La Plata, unveiled in June 2022, and Tanglewood Park in Clinton, Md., unveiled in July 2023. This past year, the Wills Group provided more than $875,000 in grants and investments to nonprofit partners, resulting in more than $5.5 million donated since 2006.

"The Wills Group remains committed to reimagining the customer experience across our Dash In and Splash In ECO Car Wash lines of business, informed by innovation and creating an environment where everyone feels welcome," said Blackie Wills. "Today's announcement is a reflection of our collective commitment to invest in each other as we work together to build a great culture, provide rich benefits, and support our purpose — keeping 'Lives in Motion.'"

La Plata-based the Wills Group operates nearly 300 retail locations across the Mid-Atlantic region. It is family-owned since 1926.

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