Dean Durling, Bob Sears to Be Inducted Into CSNews Hall of Fame

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Dean Durling, Bob Sears to Be Inducted Into CSNews Hall of Fame


WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. – Dean Durling, chairman, president and CEO of Quick Chek Corp., based here, and Bob Sears, director, trade and state relations, sales training and compliance for Altria Group Distribution Co., will be inducted into the Convenience Store News Industry Hall of Fame at a gala reception and dinner this fall.

Launched in 1987 with the induction of Chester Cadieux of QuikTrip Corp., the Hall of Fame has recognized convenience store industry pioneers and innovators from companies of all sizes, including James Keyes of 7-Eleven Inc., John MacDougall of Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes Inc., Dick Wood of Wawa Inc., Steve Sheetz of Sheetz Inc., Carl Bolch Jr. of RaceTrac Petroleum and Sonja Hubbard of E-Z Mart.

Inductees into the supplier wing of the Hall of Fame have included Michael Irish of Philip Morris USA, Jerry Rose of McLane Co., Joe Burke of Coca-Cola Enterprises, Greg Gilkerson of PDI and Tom Joyce of The Hershey Co.

Dean Durling

Durling's more-than-30-year career with Quick Chek has allowed him to serve the company in many capacities, working his way from director of real estate and construction to assistant director of human resources, vice president of marketing, executive vice president, vice chairman and CEO, and finally chairman and CEO.

Affiliated with many industry trade associations, Durling has served as a board member of NACS for more than 14 years and has held the position of chairman of the board and executive committee member. He also served as chairman and board member of the National Advisory Group and is a member of the New Jersey Economic Growth Council. Durling holds a bachelor of science degree in food industry management from Cornell University.

He enjoys reading, skiing, golf and spending time with his family. He and his wife, Elizabeth, reside in Whitehouse Station, N.J., and they have five children: Chapman, Jonathan, Ngaere, Oliver and Margaret.

Sharing the Hall of Fame stage with Durling will be Bob Sears of Altria, who was selected for induction into the supplier wing of the Hall of Fame by the same 50-member Blue Ribbon panel of industry peers and past inductees that selected Durling as this year's retailer inductee.

Bob Sears

Sears joined Philip Morris USA (PM USA) in 1996 as the director of trade marketing for national accounts. In 1998, he became the section sales director for the Michigan market, and then in 2005, he became the director of external affairs based out of Richmond, Va. Two years later, he was appointed to director of trade relations for Altria Group Distribution Co. (AGDC).

In 2012, Sears' role expanded to include the Sales and Compliance Training departments. As director of trade and state relations -- sales training and compliance, Sears has six areas of responsibility: customer engagement, state relations, AGDC regulatory compliance, sales training, compliance training and the business management of select legislative issues.

As a contributor to the industry, Sears serves on the NACS Supplier Board as vice chairman, on the American Wholesale Marketers Association (AWMA) board of directors, on the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) board, the Altria Political Action Committee board of directors, and the board of directors for the Virginia Capitol Region of the American Red Cross.

Sears graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelor of arts degree in 1984. He began working after college as a buyer for May Company Department Stores and in 1987, moved out of retail and into consumer product goods sales, having worked for Unilever and Revlon before coming to Philip Morris USA. He has been married for 27 years and has three children ages 21, 19 and 11.

Nearly 100 industry leaders turned out last year for the Hall of Fame's 50th anniversary induction ceremony for Spinx Co. founder and CEO Stewart Spinks and Bic Corp.'s Pat Cordle. The event featured several past CSNews Hall of Famers including Bill Douglass of Douglass Distributing Co. and Bob Seng, formerly of Busy Bee Food Stores, as well as several past supplier inductees.

The Hall of Fame roster of retailer inductees includes:

  • 2011: Stewart Spinks, Spinx Co.
  • 2010: Sonja Hubbard, E-Z Mart Stores Inc.
  • 2009: Carl Bolch Jr., RaceTrac Petroleum
  • 2008: Bill Douglass, Douglass Distributing Co.
  • 2007: Alain Bouchard, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.
  • 2006: William Krause, Kum & Go LC
  • 2005: James Keyes, 7-Eleven Inc.
  • 2004: Henry O. "Hank" Armour, founder of West Star Corp. and current NACS president
  • 2003: John MacDougall, Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes Inc.
  • 2002: John Hansan, Sterling Stores LLC
  • 2001: Bob Robertson, White Hen Pantry
  • 2000: Don Lamberti, Casey's General Stores Inc.
  • 1999: Fred M. Higgins, Minit Mart Foods Inc.
  • 1998: Chris Girard, Plaid Pantries Inc.
  • 1997: Jim Yates, E-Z Mart Stores Inc.
  • 1996: Dick Wood, Wawa Inc.
  • 1995: Steve Sheetz, Sheetz Inc.
  • 1994: Richard Jensen, SuperAmerica Group
  • 1993: E.L. "Steve" Stephens, Town & Country Food Stores Inc.
  • 1992: Erich Wendl, Maverick Markets Inc.
  • 1991: John and Jere Thompson, The Southland Corp.
  • 1990: C. Alan Marsh, Marsh Village Pantries
  • 1989: Robert Seng, Busy Bee Food Stores Inc.
  • 1988: Charlie Nirenberg, Dairy Mart Convenience Stores Inc.
  • 1987: Chester Cadieux, QuikTrip Corp.