Nominations Open for Convenience Store News' 2022 Future Leaders in Convenience Awards

For the first time, employees of both convenience store retailers and convenience store distributors/suppliers are eligible for nomination.

CHICAGO — Members of the convenience store industry are invited to recognize up-and-comers in their organizations by submitting a nomination for Convenience Store News' 2022 Future Leaders in Convenience (FLIC) awards. Entries are being accepted through June 30 for the fifth-annual recognition program.

The FLIC awards recognize young people (aged 35 and under) who are already making significant positive contributions to their companies and the industry at large.

For the first time ever, employees of both convenience store retailers and convenience store distributors/suppliers are eligible for nomination this year.

The goal of the program is to celebrate and help develop the next generation of c-store industry leaders by providing a forum for talented young businesspeople to hone their leadership skills, while recognizing the achievements of a select few emerging leaders.

To be eligible for entry into the 2022 Future Leaders in Convenience awards, nominees must work for a convenience store retailer, distributor or supplier company and be 35 years old or younger at the time of their nomination. Entries should cite accomplishments and achievements attained from Jan. 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022.

All honorees will be prominently recognized during the Future Leaders in Convenience Summit in November, and in future Convenience Store News print and online coverage. 

Reynolds Marketing Services Co. serves as the founding and presenting sponsor of the Future Leaders in Convenience awards.

Click here to nominate a Future Leader in Convenience.

A Look at Past Winners

Twenty-five convenience channel up-and-comers were honored last year as the 2021 FLIC class. Winners were selected based on nominations received from across the c-store industry, with their spheres of leadership running the gamut from marketing to operations to category management to retail technology and more.

During the 2021 Future Leaders in Convenience Summit, keynote speaker Roy Strasburger, CEO of StrasGlobal and a fourth-generation retailer, spoke to the attendees about how it is an honor to be named a future leader in convenience, but it is more important that the people they work with recognized them and nominated them for this honor.

"I don't want to put too much pressure on you, but you have now been designated as the leaders who will solve all the problems in the retail world in the next few years," he told the honorees. "Pandemics, labor shortages, product shortages, increased competition, inflation, changing demographics, channel blurring, and climate change — just to name a few."

To be a leader, one needs to have a full view of what is going on. "It is impossible to improve your company or your industry if you don't understand it as a whole," Strasburger said, advising the future leaders to study the industry and understand its history, the players, what worked and what didn't work, and why.

"The bottom line is if you don't know the rules, you can't break them," he said.

Strasburger also offered six key pieces of advice to emerging leaders in the industry:

  • Take in the full picture, so you can improve the details.
  • Change is your friend, and fail fast.
  • Pay attention to what is happening outside your sandbox. Are you going to be the disruptor or the disrupted?
  • Figure out what is going to be convenient tomorrow.
  • Be the leader that you would want to follow.
  • Pay it forward and help others.