Leading Ladies

Par Mar Oil Co. President and CEO Sandra Morgenstern, upon receiving her Woman of the Year award during last year’s Convenience Store News Top Women in Convenience reception, recalled how far the convenience store industry has come in growing its female ranks.

“I remind myself of years past when I sat in rooms with very few women other than myself representing our industry,” she told last year’s crop of fellow honorees.

This year, CSNews is once again recognizing and celebrating the increasing presence and achievement of females in the c-store industry — from the c-suite to the store level to the independent entrepreneur — with our third-annual Top Women in Convenience awards program.

The 2016 class includes 62 of the best and brightest ladies making a positive impact in the convenience retail channel. It is a diverse group, with the winners hailing from c-store retailer, supplier and wholesaler companies, and serving in a variety of job roles. Categories include: senior-level leaders (positions of vice president and above), rising stars (job titles above store manager, but below vice president), mentors (women who have made an extraordinary impact on the careers of their colleagues), store managers and single-store owners.

As in years past, the honorees were chosen based on nominations received from their peers. Drawing from achievements during the previous 12 months, nominators were asked to illustrate the candidate’s innovative corporate initiatives, extraordinary financial and strategic accomplishments, astute-problem solving acumen, exceptional performance and selfless charitable participation, along with other attributes that go above and beyond the call of duty.

This year’s judging was conducted by the Convenience Store News editorial staff in conjunction with the Network of Executive Women (NEW) and the 2016 Top Women in Convenience Advisory Board, which includes all five 2015 Women of the Year honorees.

The judging panel selected 24 senior-level leaders, five mentors, 21 rising stars, five store managers and two single-store owners to receive the esteemed title of Top Women in Convenience for 2016. In addition, the panel chose five nominees as the best of the best from among all the nominations and awarded them the title of Women of the Year.

Recognized for their exceptional impact on the success or direction of their company, as well as their positive impact on the convenience store industry, the 2016 Women of the Year are:

  • Laura Asbell, Regional Vice President, Convenience, Mondelēz International Inc.
  • Niki DePhillips, Senior Vice President, Store Development, Kum & Go LC
  • Sharon Kuncl, Vice President, Merchandising, Foodservice, Eby-Brown Co. LLC
  • Danielle Mattiussi, Vice President, Retail Adventures, Maverik Inc.
  • Nancy Smith, Senior Vice President, Merchandising, Fresh Food & Proprietary Beverages, 7-Eleven Inc.

All of the honorees will be celebrated at an awards reception taking place during the 2016 NACS Show, the largest annual gathering of the convenience store industry. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19 at the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center.

Read on for spotlights of this year’s Top Women in Convenience.

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