Former NACS Chair Bill Bennett Passes Away
MARIETTA, Ga. — NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, said goodbye to William "Bill" Bennett, an early advocate for the association and its 1974 president. Bennett died Aug. 11 at the age of 84.
Bennett was born on March 12, 1933, in Pontiac, Mich., and was raised in Auburn Heights (now Auburn Hills), Mich. He attended Auburn Heights High School where he met his wife Joan, and they married after graduation. Bennett attended the University of Detroit, Wayne State University and Oakland University.
He spent nearly his entire career in the food industry. In high school, he worked for A&P supermarkets and later went on to work for Allied Supermarkets, Campbell Soup Co. and Superfood Services. In 1963, he joined a new convenience store chain, Quik-Pik, before it even opened on July 11, 1963, according to NACS.
With only approximately 1,000 convenience stores in the country at the time, Bennett said the new job "was a chance to get in on the ground floor of something… a chance to just prove what I could do," he recalled in a 2001 interview with NACS.
Soon after Quik-Pik open, Bennett began attending NACS seminars and annual meetings, and became elected to committee positions, serving as chairman of the NACS Training Film Committee in 1972. As NACS chairman in 1974, he oversaw the association's continued focus on education, adding a director of education and developing a long-range planning exercise to restructure activities.
Bennett later worked at Munford Inc., which operated Majik Markets, before establishing his own consulting company, Management Marketing Associates. Later, he served as president of Adrest Inc. and he co-owned a chain of convenience stores called Minute-✔, as well as two liquor stores under the GoodTimes Package banner.
He was also an early advocate in growing the industry internationally, from South America to Europe to Asia and Australia, as well as active with the Association of Food Dealers of Detroit, Michigan Food Dealers, Food Industry Council of Detroit, Detroit Chamber of Commerce and Michigan Alcoholic Beverage Commission, according to NACS.
"I hope I'm just remembered as a good guy — honest, moral, trying to do a job … do whatever I can to help people," he said in 2001.
Bennett is survived by his wife of 66 years; sons William P. Bennett Jr., Rodger Ross Bennett and Scott Michael Bennett; daughter Victoria Louise Bennett Vigh; 10 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren and brother Robert Bennett.