NACS Makes Moves


Henry Armour, president and CEO of Olympia, Wash.-based West Star Corp., was named chairman of the board of directors of the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), while Stephen Visocan, president of Helena, Mont.-based Pop Inn stores, was elected chairman-elect and vice chairman/treasurer of the association.

Emphasizing the importance of NACS' commitments to technology, education and political involvement, Armour said the industry must focus on a single purpose: to "own" convenience in the minds of American consumers. "Every industry on planet Earth has lower margins today than yesterday," he said. "That's what the economic globalization of markets has brought -- lower prices and intense competition. The future for us is about competitive viability and an unwavering focus on what we really sell: convenience."

Armour took over the helm of the association at the NACS convention in Las Vegas. His term as chairman will continue through NACS' October 2002 convention in Orlando. He succeeds Carl Bolch, chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based RaceTrac Petroleum Inc., as chairman of NACS. He founded West Star in 1982. The company operates 20 retail facilities in Washington, Oregon, and California, including 12 convenience stores, two truck stops, and six quick-service restaurants.

"I don't believe in a chairman's initiative of the year, because most initiatives of substance take a lot longer than a year to bear fruit, and for them to be fruitful it requires sustained commitment," said Armour, who, as chairman, will also serve as chairman of the NACS Executive Committee. The Executive Committee is the senior committee of the association, with responsibility for NACS' strategic and financial direction. "So you won't hear of any new earthshaking initiatives from me. What you will hear about is sustained commitment."

Visocan is the president of Pop Inn, which operates three convenience stores and a petroleum distributorship in Montana. He will serve as the association's treasurer, an office that includes responsibility for overseeing the association's strategic financial plan. His term also runs through next year's NACS convention.

Previously, Visocan has served as vice chairman of industry relations and as chairman of the NACS convention committee, which develops the strategies and content of the NACS convention.

The association's other moves include:
* Bill Douglass was elected vice chairman of government relations. Douglass is CEO of Sherman, Texas-based Douglass Distributing Co., which operates 10 convenience stores.
* Stanton Sheetz, president and CEO of Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz Inc., was re-elected vice chairman of research and development. Sheetz operates more than 250 convenience stores.
* Roy Strasburger, president of the international division of Strasburger Enterprises Inc., was elected as vice chairman of industry relations. Strasburger operates 42 convenience stores and currently is involved with more than 5,000 sites in approximately 20 countries.
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