Meet the 2017 TWIC Rising Stars

NATIONAL REPORT — Fifty female executives, managers and up-and-comers who work in the convenience store industry will be honored this fall in the fourth-annual Convenience Store News Top Women in Convenience awards program.

Honorees are selected based on nominations from their peers that illustrate a candidate’s innovative corporate initiatives, extraordinary financial and strategic accomplishments, astute problem-solving acumen, exceptional performance and selfless charitable participation, among other attributes that go above and beyond the call of duty.

This year’s judging panel selected five Women of the Year, 22 Senior-Level Leaders, 15 Rising Stars, and eight Mentors to be inducted into the 2017 TWIC class.

This year’s Rising Stars are:

Director, Hot Dispensed Beverages, U.S., Circle K Stores Inc.

  • Baccam, who joined Circle K in December 2008, has served in her current role for two years.
  • She is responsible for product development, training, and achieving sales and margin targets within the hot beverages category.
  • She played a key role in the rollout of Circle K’s Simply Great Coffee program.


Senior Manager, Portfolio Management, 7-Eleven Inc.

  • Bertha joined 7-Eleven in 2013 after completing her MBA at Duke University.
  • She is responsible for identifying emerging players in consumable goods, new services that expand customer convenience, and venture opportunities to invest in future vendors.
  • She is a C200 Scholar, as well as a member of the Junior League of Dallas and the Network of Executive Women.


HR Communications & Systems Specialist, QuickChek Corp.

  • DaSilva is a 14-year veteran of QuickChek. She worked in the IT Department for seven years before transitioning over to the Human Resources Department last June.
  • She is responsible for implementing and managing store operations solutions, including workforce management, inventory control and training initiatives.
  • The workforce management solutions she implemented have improved operational efficiency, inventory accuracy, quality of team member work life, labor operations accuracy, and compliance with food handling and freshness regulations.


Key Account Manager, GSP

  • Escobar started at GSP in 2012 as an account manager, and now manages a team of seven that stretches from Utah to the East Coast.
  • She has earned multiple awards for excellence in customer service and project management.
  • Escobar counts Sunoco LP as one of her accounts, one of the industry’s biggest players and GSP’s largest client.


Customer Business Manager, Convenience, U.S. Sales, National Accounts, Mondelēz International Inc. 

  • Johnson, who has 16 years of experience in the CPG industry, currently leads the team for Mondelēz’s largest convenience customer, 7-Eleven.  
  • Under Johnson, the team earned 7-Eleven’s Center Store Vendor of the Year award.
  • Johnson was responsible for the largest c-store event in Mondelēz International history, aligning 7-Eleven and Slurpee to the Sour Patch Kids and making it a success.


Marketing Specialist/Project Manager, Royal Farms Inc.

  • Kemp, who joined Royal Farms in October of last year, took over as project lead to launch the retailer’s RoFo Rewards app.
  • For the launch, Kemp worked with the operational team to create store-level engagement materials to increase awareness and education for store leaders and their staff.
  • She is currently working on going back to school to earn her MBA.


Marketing Category Manager, Kwik Chek Food Stores

  • Before joining Kwik Chek, Manzanarez graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and began her career in convenience stores at Stripes.
  • At Kwik Chek, Manzanarez is responsible for handling all inside store categories for marketing and category management.
  • She’s made an impact on the company with fresh ideas for the business, including new programs and promotions.


Senior Category Analyst, S&D Coffee and Tea

  • Megison has worked for S&D Coffee and Tea for four years and been in the convenience channel for 25 years.
  • As senior category analyst, she provides data analysis, and best-in-class category management programs and marketing.
  • She earned her MBA in management at Louisiana State University. 


Senior Manager, Food & Beverage, RaceTrac Petroleum Inc.

  • In her 18-year tenure with RaceTrac’s Georgia operations, Morris has served as a mystery shopper, marketing specialist, event planner, and community marketing manager.
  • She is now responsible for driving execution, processes, profitability and safety standards for RaceTrac’s proprietary food and beverage offers.
  • Morris has a Preventative Control Qualified Individual (PCQI) certification and an instructor certification in ServSafe.


Senior Store Leader, GetGo, Giant Eagle Inc.

  • Morton came to GetGo in 2012, starting as an assistant store leader at a Pittsburgh store.
  • In her current role, she is responsible for her location’s budget and sales, and oversees a team of 34 GetGo team members.
  • Morton was selected to open the first GetGo Cafe and Market in Verona, Pa.


Senior Account Manager, Altria Group Distribution Co.

  • After graduating from Rutgers University in 2003, Naudain began working at Altria as a sales manager, advancing to sales development associate and then unit manager over the next several years.
  • Naudain now leads a support team that services AGDC’s top customers.
  • She was recognized for account leadership and people development in 2016 and 2017.


National Account Executive, Foodservice, Coca-Cola North America

  • Padilla leads the foodservice/dispensed beverage partnerships between The Coca-Cola Co. and convenience retail national accounts in the western United States.
  • She worked with a national customer to negotiate a seven-year deal that made Coca-Cola the virtually exclusive supplier of frozen carbonated beverages across the retail operator’s store network.
  • Padilla was recognized with Coca-Cola North America’s “Act Like an Owner” Leadership Behavior Award in 2015.


Franchise Business Consultant, California, Chevron Corp.

  • Ortiz Rivera has worked for Chevron for 16 years, serving as a retail data quality analyst, COCO business consultant, and merchandising coordinator before taking on her current role.
  • She is responsible for developing business relationships with 27 franchisees in the South Bay area of California.
  • She is a member of the Somos Latin American and Hispanic Employee Network and the Chevron Women’s Network.


Merchandiser, Tobacco, 7-Eleven Inc.

  • Among Stegman’s primary responsibilities are understanding market conditions, and identifying and implementing best-in-class merchandising.
  • She works with 7-Eleven category managers to offer perspective on what categories and markets need focus and additional resources.
  • Her colleagues say she is great to work with, and open to new ideas and tests to continually enhance ways of going to market.


Product Director, McLane Grocery, McLane Co. Inc.

  • Veale has been with McLane for 11 years, during which time she’s worked in asset management and category development in both center of store and foodservice.
  • As product director, she was behind the design and implementation of McLane’s foodservice platform, McLane Kitchen, and fresh produce program, Produce Plus.
  • She oversees 12 teammates with whom she manages over $1 billion in annual volume.


All of the 2017 honorees will be celebrated at an awards reception taking place during the 2017 NACS Show, the largest annual gathering of the convenience store industry. The program will begin at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18 at the Hyatt McCormick Place Hotel in Chicago, right after the NACS Show floor closes for the day. Marcia Clark, the lead Los Angeles prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson "Trial of the Century," will keynote this special event.