People on the Move: Chaudhary Petroleum Group, PFMA, Rutter's & Swisher

The Coca-Cola Co., Food Concepts Inc. and Kaival Marketing Services also make personnel appointments.
Melissa Kress
Executive Editor
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NATIONAL REPORT — Retailers, wholesalers and suppliers in the convenience store industry are only as good as their management teams and employees. In this special roundup, Convenience Store News runs down the most recent executive changes at the top in the industry. 

Chaudhary Petroleum Group

Chaudhary Petroleum Group (CPG) hired former 7-Eleven Inc. executive Jim Summers as president and chief operating officer (COO). At CPG, Summers is responsible for establishing standard operating procedures and systems to improve the existing business and enable future growth. 

Chaudhary Petroleum Group (CPG) hired former 7-Eleven Inc. executive Jim Summers as president and chief operating officer.

Prior to joining CPG, Summers served as senior vice president of franchise operations for 7-Eleven. In that role, he was responsible for the growth and profitability of more than 6,800 franchise stores. Previously, he was vice president of operations for 7-Eleven's highest-volume zone located in the Southeast United States where he oversaw 1,300 franchise stores and approved new store development and site selection.  

"I want to welcome Jim to our company," said CEO Binod Chaudhary, who co-founded CPG with company Chairman Dilara Chaudhary. "As a 7-Eleven franchisee, we worked very closely with him over the past seven years and came to respect his talent and business acumen. He will be able to hit the ground running and help us put the right pieces in place to accommodate the considerable growth we foresee taking place in the coming years." 

Summers started at 7-Eleven in 1990 operating individual stores before being promoted to field consultant, market manager and fresh foods category manager.

Summers' career at 7-Eleven spanned a total of 22 years. After the first 12 years, he accepted an opportunity to become director of tool rental for Home Depot. Following that role, he was tapped to lead a start-up convenient store business, Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores, which became one of the largest marketers for ExxonMobil in North America. As president and COO, he was responsible for all company operations. After helping the company get established, he returned to 7-Eleven to accept the vice president of operations role which he held for just more than nine years.  

The Coca-Cola Co.

The Coca-Cola Co. named Henrique Braun to a newly created role of president, International Development.

Braun previously as president of the Latin America operating unit, a position he has held since 2020. A 26-year veteran of the company, Braun has worked in a number of functions during his career at Coca-Cola, including supply chain, new business development, marketing, innovation, general management and bottling operations. He has also been a leader in regional, business unit and corporate functions. From 2013 to 2016, he served as president of the company's Greater China and Korea business unit. He was named president of the Brazil business unit in 2016, followed by his current role as president of what was then the newly created Latin America operating unit in 2020.

In his new role, Braun will have oversight of the Latin America operating unit, along with adding responsibility for six operating units: Japan and South Korea; ASEAN and South Pacific; Greater China and Mongolia; Africa; India and Southwest Asia; and Eurasia and Middle East. The presidents of these operating units remain unchanged; Braun's successor as president of the Latin America operating unit will be named at a later date.

Food Concepts Inc.

Food Concepts Inc. (FCI) promoted Zach Duesler to vice president of design and architectural services, Jake Kneebone to vice president of operations and Alex Kulis to vice president of national accounts.

"This is great for FCI," said Tom Bush, President. "We just keep growing, and these three key individuals have proven talent and the experience to drive FCI through this growth and will continue our track record of innovating. We are focused on exceeding the expectations of our customers, with solutions that transform interior environments and boost sales."

Duesler is a registered architect with 18 years of experience. Kneebone is an 11-year veteran of the company who came to FCI with a degree in construction management and a background in cabinet building. Kulis joined FCI in 2009 when he started as a design consultant. He has a degree and background in architecture and considerable expertise in construction, hospitality, manufacturing and in supporting large retailers.

Kaival Marketing Services

Kaival Marketing Services (KMS), which handles sales and marketing for Bidi Vapor products, hired Dean Simmons as senior vice president of sales and corporate development. In the role, Simmons will maximize major retail and wholesale accounts for its BIDI Stick.

Simmons previously worked as vice president of sales at Swisher. During his time at Swisher, he was responsible for leading its national sales department, calling on wholesale and retail accounts throughout the convenience, mass, drug, grocery and tobacco outlet retail channels. Before his last position, Simmons was vice president of national accounts for Swisher, managing the strategic partnerships for its largest chain-retail partners and major wholesale accounts.

KMS is the independent contractor acting as the marketing and sales division of Kaival Brands.

Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association

Christopher Reed, general counsel for The Rutter's Cos., joined the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association's (PFMA) board of directors. Reed accepted the open seat after Scott Hartman, president and CEO of Rutter's Holdings Inc., ended his long-time involvement on the board.  

Christopher Reed, general counsel for The Rutter's Cos., joined the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association (PFMA) board of directors at the board's fall meeting.

Reed leads Rutter's legal team, with 11 years of experience in real estate development, environmental remediation, fuel, gambling, alcohol, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate transactions. He moved into his present role as general counsel at Rutter's in 2018. Previously, he worked as associate general counsel at Rite Aid, where he advised on and negotiated all facets of commercial real estate development and pharmacy acquisition transactions. He began his career at a mid-sized Pennsylvania law firm in 2011.  

Reed serves as a board member for Rutter's Children's Charities. Among other service, he also is the president of the board for York Day Early Learning. 

"We are excited to welcome Chris to the PFMA board and continue a strong, engaged relationship with Rutter's, a long-time sponsor and member of PFMA," said Alex Baloga, president and CEO of PFMA. "Chris brings a wealth of experience to the board that will benefit our members and impact our agenda moving forward." 

Baloga also recognized Hartman's years of service on the board. Hartman joined the board in 1999. He served as treasurer and secretary, each for two years, and ascended to the role of chair from 2007 to 2008. His father, Stewart Hartman, also served as board chair from 1995 to 1997. 


Rutter's promoted two members of the senior executive team, Chris Hartman and Tom Turnbaugh, to vice president positions. In addition, Mike Shonk joined the senior executive team as a senior director.

The company named Hartman vice president of fuels, advertising and development. He is part of the 11th generation of Rutter's ownership and son of Scott Hartman, Rutter's president and CEO.

Rutter's also names Turnbaugh vice president of finance and accounting. He joined Rutter's in June 2020, with more than 10 years of finance and accounting experience, as the director of financial planning and analysis. He was promoted to senior director of finance and accounting in December 2021.

Shonk is the company's new senior director of facilities and development. He came to Rutter's in September with 23 years of experience in the field as director of facilities. In addition to Shonk's current facilities management responsibilities, he is also charged with overseeing the development of new stores and remodels.


Swisher's board of directors named Neil Kiely president and CEO. Kiely served as president for the past year.

As president and CEO, Kiely leads the strategic growth, transformation and diversification of Swisher's portfolio of products for adult consumers in a variety of lifestyle categories, bringing more than three decades of experience growing and transforming consumer packaged goods companies. 

One of Kiely's first moves in his new role was to tap Jeffrey Brown as executive vice president of Swisher Sales. Brown previously served as general manager of E-Alternative Solutions LLC (EAS), a sister company of Swisher. At EAS, Brown was responsible for developing and staffing the team from the ground up and developing and implementing strategic plans for new products.

The appointments follow the recent transition of Chris Howard to the role of executive vice president, External Affairs and New Product Compliance.

About the Author

Melissa Kress
Melissa Kress is Executive Editor of Convenience Store News. Read More