NATIONAL REPORT — Convenience Store News will welcome 45 more female leaders into its Top Women in Convenience (TWIC) family this fall.
Now in its fifth year, TWIC is the first and only convenience store industry awards program that recognizes women making outstanding contributions to their companies and the industry overall.
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, 15 Senior-Level Leaders, 20 Rising Stars and five Mentors to be inducted into the 2018 TWIC class.
This year's Senior-Level Leaders are:
Director of Real Estate, RaceTrac Petroleum Inc.
- Batchelor is responsible for site selection, acquisitions and asset management in RaceTrac’s Atlanta and Dallas-Fort Worth markets, working hand-in-hand with the retailer’s engineering, legal and environmental departments to select sites, negotiate deals and deliver profitable sites for future RaceTrac stores.
- In her more than 18 years with the company, she has contributed to the growth of both the RaceTrac and RaceWay brands, while mentoring and developing numerous team members.
- Batchelor is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and has served on its planning committee for its Southeast trade shows. She also served on the Retail Advisory Council for five years.
Vice President of Operations, Western Canada Business Unit, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc./Circle K
- Birollo leads a network of 306 convenience stores and 21 Subway quick-service restaurants in the Western Canada Business Unit.
- She is a CPA professional and Executive MBA graduate with more than 15 years of combined retail operations, sales development and strategic marketing experience.
- According to her nominator, Birollo’s business strengths include a systematic approach to decision making, and the ability to effectively communicate with store employees, direct reports, executive peers and the board of directors.
President & CEO, Convenience Distribution Association
- As head of the Convenience Distribution Association, Bolin leads programs that help establish and maintain positive working relationships between distributors and suppliers.
- She was instrumental in the transformation of CDA, enacting the agenda put forth by the board of directors in early 2015, beginning with a name change from American Wholesale Marketers Association to Convenience Distribution Association.
- Bolin was promoted to CDA president and CEO in 2016.
Vice President, Sales Analytics, Development & Technology, Core-Mark International
- D’Asaro leads technology development internally and for Core-Mark’s retail partners. She also oversees the company’s sales analytics and field sales directors.
- She has been with Core-Mark for 22 years and during that time, has held the roles of senior sales consultant, area sales manager, key account manager, general sales manager, regional director of sales and senior director of sales before being promoted to her current role.
- D’Asaro was recognized as Area Sales Manager of the Year in 2004 and General Sales Manager of the Year in 2008 within Core-Mark.
Director of Fuel, Florida Business Unit, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc./Circle K
- Dial began her career at Circle K as a part-time file clerk at age 17 and worked her way up through various roles, including fuel accounting, project manager of capital improvement and category manager in the marketing department.
- According to her nominator, Dial is one of the most knowledgeable resources for fuel in the organization.
- Talking about Dial’s performance following Hurricane Irma, her nominator said, “Janie worked countless hours to help get the Florida region back to normal! We could not have managed the storm without her!”
- Dial won the Circle K Pride Award in both 1999 and 2015.
Chief Purchasing/Marketing Officer, Lyons Specialty Co.
- Duet has spent most of her 15 years in the convenience store industry with Lyons Specialty, beginning as an assistant, before advancing to buyer, director, and finally into her current role of chief purchasing/marketing officer.
- She previously spent two years working for a broker representing Mars Chocolate. This experience gave her a better perspective on the expectations of being on the other side of the desk.
- Duet holds a BS in Business Administration from Nicholls State University.
Category Manager, Enmarket
- Gantt began her career in the c-store industry in 1997 with Enmark Stations (the former name of Enmarket) as an assistant in the marketing department. She advanced in the company, working in just about all aspects of marketing and advertising, as well as spending a few years in fuel pricing and supply.
- She became a category manager, overseeing the center store, ice and propane categories, in 2017. Enmarket’s store count has since grown from 59 to 122 locations.
- Gantt believes building great relationships with the retailer’s vendor partners and suppliers, as well as with her internal team, has led to success.
Senior Director, North America Franchise Operations and Marketing, Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc./Circle K
- Geyer integrates marketing and operations under one team, negotiates vendor contracts and oversees all areas of franchise development in North America — from floor plans to synergies to construction and opening.
- In Canada, she is developing the Circle K franchise brand with recruitment of new franchisees, marketing the offer and managing all aspects of this new business development.
- Geyer, who has been with the company since 1985, started working for Circle K as a store employee, going on to be district manager and then holding several roles on the operational side before moving over to the franchise side in 2010.
Senior Director, Strategic Accounts, RAI Trade Marketing Services
- Kilburg leads a high-level trade marketing team of key account managers that develops business plans with and advises RAI’s most strategic business partners.
- She has spent 25 years with Reynolds American and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. During that time, she’s served as senior division manager, senior key account manager, account executive, senior director of trade marketing and senior director of commercial development.
- Kilburg is involved in several volunteer and charitable organizations, including the Navy Sponsorship Program, Lighthouse Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity.
Senior Director, Category Leadership, Snyder’s-Lance Inc.
- Kristeller leads category management efforts for Snyder’s-Lance and provides strategic and consumer insights to the company, as well as its many customers.
- She brings ideas and innovative merchandising that is backed by solid facts and supported by the wider macro-trends she has researched on behalf of the company, according to her nominator.
- Previously, Kristeller was a category director in convenience retail, revitalizing many center-of-store categories for The Pantry, prior to its acquisition by Couche-Tard.
Vice President, Centralized Operations, EG Group
- Rantanen oversees store operations, real estate, supplier relations, merchandising, finance and people development for Kroger’s c-stores, now owned by EG Group.
- She leads Kroger’s test concept, Fresh Eats Kitchen, as well as the company’s Turkey Hill Midwest Division.
- Before joining The Kroger Co. in 1997 as a category manager, Rantanen began her career working in the grocery industry at a family store in the state of Washington and later worked for Ennen’s Foods, Frank Russell Co. and Supervalu.
Director, Category Management, 7-Eleven Business, The Coca-Cola Co.
- Smith joined the Coca-Cola team in 1998 and has worked in multiple category management roles over the past 20 years.
- She focuses on how to help 7-Eleven sell more nonalcoholic beverages by leveraging shopper insights, category trends and best practices in the market.
- In 2016, Smith was recognized by 7-Eleven with a Vendor of the Year award.
Vice President for Global Circle K Business, The Coca-Cola Co.
- Spears is accountable for 76.2 million cases and $418.4 million in revenue, and has overseen six consecutive years of both volume and value share growth.
- She is responsible for managing and negotiating all U.S. national contracts with Circle K procurement and brands, based in Dublin, Ireland, while also providing both Couche-Tard and the Coca-Cola system with global support of the Circle K international franchise and COOP business across 16 countries.
- Spears spent the earlier years of her career working in the foodservice industry as a manager with Brinker International, Bob Evans and The Italian Oven. She also worked for Sysco Foodservice as a territory sales representative.
Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Casey's General Stores Inc.
- Summers oversees three departments, $750 million in payroll and 37,000 employees across 16 states.
- She spearheaded a project to implement a new HCM (human capital management) and payroll system featuring an integrated software used by multiple departments.
- Summers has 25-plus years of experience in HR, payroll and training/development, and has spent much of her career at Fortune 500 companies in the retail, manufacturing and financial services industries.
- She serves as a deputy on the Iowa Business Council and is a member of the Convention Committee for NACS.
Regional Vice President of Sales, S. Abraham & Sons Inc.
- Worrell is responsible for pricing and promoting the SAS brands to more than 550 customers doing more than $250 million in gross sales dollars annually. She manages a team of 17 people and a budget of approximately $2 million in both administrative and direct expenses.
- Since assuming her current role in 2014, she has grown sales in her territory by 3 percent.
- Worrell was recognized as the Top Female Executive and an Elite American Executive by the Women’s Leadership Association.