People on the Move: Chevron, CST & Energy Transfer Partners

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People on the Move: Chevron, CST & Energy Transfer Partners


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, new hires, promotions and people achievements happening in the industry. 

Chevron Corp.

Two top executives at Chevron assumed new roles effective Jan. 1. Michael Wirth, formerly executive vice president, downstream and chemicals, became executive vice president, midstream and development. Pierre Breber, formerly executive vice president, gas and midstream, became executive vice president, downstream and chemicals. 

Both continue to report to John S. Watson, Chevron's chairman and CEO.

In his new role, Wirth has responsibility for corporate strategy, business development, supply and trading, gas commercialization and the company's midstream operating units engaged in transportation and power.

Breber now leads Chevron's worldwide manufacturing, marketing, chemicals, lubricants and Oronite additives businesses. He also has oversight of the company's chemical joint venture, Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.

CORD Financial Services 

Convenience store industry veteran Steve Brady was promoted to senior vice president of retail at CORD Financial Services.

"Steve's awareness and knowledge of the convenience retail space will help CORD foster new relationships and take the company to the next level," said Kenneth Gilbert, president of CORD. "His results-driven business approach combined with his proven leadership capabilities will enhance our sales department. He's the perfect match to lead our retail sales force and differentiate CORD in all of the markets we serve." 

Brady was inducted into the Convenience Store News Supplier Hall of Fame in 2014. He is a strategic partner and member ambassador for SIGMA and serves on the Supplier Board of NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing.

CST Brands Inc. 

CST Brands' board of directors appointed Joseph E. Reece as an independent director of the company. He will also serve on the company's Executive and Nominating and Governance Committees.

Reece has more than 28 years of experience advising public and private corporations, boards, financial sponsors and institutional investors on strategy, financing, and mergers and acquisitions. He also has extensive experience in the real estate, consumer and retail, energy, technology, media, health care, financial services and industrial sectors. 

He recently concluded an 18-year career with Credit Suisse as its global head of Equity Capital Markets (ECM), where he provided investment banking, capital market advisory services, and merger and acquisition advice across a broad range of industries. As global head of ECM, he participated in the origination and distribution of equity products globally on behalf of Credit Suisse clients, as well as developing and overseeing management protocols for the related risk book.

During his career, he led multiple business units both regionally and globally, participated in business turnarounds as well as new business development; and ultimately sat on both the Global Equities Management Committee and the Investment Banking Management Committee.

Prior to becoming an investment banker, Reece spent 10 years as a practicing attorney. He is currently president and founder of Helena Capital, a merchant bank with offices in New York and Los Angeles, where in addition to principal investing, he continues to provide CEO-level counseling focused on long-term value creation.

With Reece's appointment, nine of CST's 11 directors are now independent.

Energy Transfer Partners LP 

Marshall S. McCrea, formerly president and chief operating officer of Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP), has been promoted to group COO and chief commercial officer for Energy Transfer Equity LP. In this new role, McCrea is responsible for the oversight and development of all commercial and strategic opportunities for the entire family of midstream partnerships.

Prior to his appointment as ETP president in 2008, McCrea held a number of senior management positions within the partnership, including president of Energy Transfer Co., a subsidiary of ETP, and senior vice president of business development.

Long-time Energy Transfer Equity board member Matthew S. Ramsey was named the new president and COO of ETP. Ramsey, who has more than 35 years of experience in the energy industry, has served on the board of directors since 2012 and as chairman of the board of Energy Transfer-owned Sunoco LP since 2014. 

Ramsey now leads ETP's commercial activities along with the operations, engineering, construction and compression business segments, all of which will benefit from his track record of building and managing successful companies and his extensive knowledge of the Energy Transfer family.

JTM Food Group

JTM Food Group hired Tom Burke as vice president of human resources. He oversees all strategic HR initiatives, including compensation, benefits, employee engagement, training, and leadership development.

Burke joins JTM with more than 25 years of progressive human resources experience. Most recently, he was the environmental health and safety manager for The Schwan Food Co. Prior to that, Burke was director of human resources and safety for the Castellini Group of Cos. He was also previously employed as vice president of human resources for AdvancePierre Foods.

"We are thrilled to have Tom on board. Not only does he bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, he also shares in many of JTM's core values and beliefs," said Tony Maas, president of JTM Food Group. "We are a growing company and are committed to not only growing our bottom line, but to developing our valuable team of employees. Tom's experience and expertise will help us tremendously as we move into the next chapter of our story."

L.E. Belcher Inc.

Energy supplier L.E. Belcher Inc. hired convenience store industry veteran D.J. Orr to assume the newly created role of vice president of retail convenience. Orr comes to the company from Tedeschi Foods Shops Inc., with more than 30 years of multi-unit retail management experience. In his prior position, he led a team of 12 direct reports and oversaw more than 100 diverse convenience store sites.

Orr also serves on the New England Convenience Store Association​ Massachusetts Legislative Committee and is chairman of the board for Goodwill Industries of Pioneer Valley.

"We are really excited to have D.J. join our team. We've crafted an ambitious strategic growth plan to better serve our customers and enhance the overall profitability of the division," said David Ryan, chief operating officer. "D.J. will be able to facilitate the execution of those objectives by leveraging our existing team members and his extensive industry experience."

The Manitowoc Co.

The Manitowoc Co. named current board member Kenneth W. Krueger as interim chairman, president and CEO. The move came after Glen Tellock resigned to pursue other opportunities. 

The board has initiated a search for a new CEO of Manitowoc Cranes. Hubertus Muehlhaeuser will remain CEO of Manitowoc Foodservice.

"Manitowoc has maintained its industry-leading positions in Cranes and Foodservice in spite of significant macro-economic headwinds and operational issues over the last 18 months," said Roy Armes, the company's lead independent director. "The board of directors, however, believes this is the right time for new leadership at the company. Ken's deep knowledge of Manitowoc's businesses, coupled with his robust financial and operational expertise, make him an excellent choice to lead the company's efforts as we execute a search for our next CEO."

In his interim role, Krueger is focused on executing the company's efforts to improve financial performance and executing the spinoff of the foodservice business, as well as implementing restructuring initiatives. 

The Manitowoc Co. also appointed John O. Stewart as chief financial officer of Manitowoc Foodservice, effective Nov. 9. Most recently, Stewart was executive vice president, CFO and chief administrative officer of Hostess Brands Inc. While at Hostess, he led the development of a turnaround plan aimed at transforming the business during its financial restructuring.

Royal Dutch Shell plc

Maarten Wetselaar took on the role of integrated gas director at Royal Dutch Shell plc effective Jan. 1 and became a member of the Shell Executive Committee. He is based in the Netherlands at Shell headquarters.

Wetselaar was previously executive vice president of integrated gas. He joined Shell in 1995 and has held a variety of financial, commercial and general management roles in downstream, trading and upstream. 

Tomlinson Industries 

Tomlinson Industries appointed Matt Figas as director of business development and finance. Figas previously worked as an investment banking analyst at League Park Advisors LLC in Cleveland.

During his time at League Park, he served as a key execution team member in both sell-side and buy-side merger and acquisition engagements.  

VideoMining Corp.

Sanjay Mittal joined VideoMining Corp. as president and CEO. Mittal is a technology entrepreneur who has worked with some of the largest companies in manufacturing, finance and retail.

His first venture was Selectica, a pioneer in internet sales and configuration solutions for large enterprises. More recently, he co-founded Spotzot, a mobile marketing company that provided location-based retail offers. Spotzot was acquired earlier this year by Valassis, a leader in retail coupon delivery. 

VideoMining founder and former CEO Rajeev Sharma assumed the role of executive chairman and chief analytics officer and continues to provide leadership and expertise across multiple areas of the company.

In addition to its new leadership, the company moved its corporate headquarters to Santa Clara, Calif. 

VMR Products

VMR Products appointed Lawrence Wong as managing director and vice president of operations for China. In this role, Wong is responsible for all business activities in China, including managing supply chain, sales and marketing, finance and human resources functions. He has more than 15 years of experience in managing businesses in the country.

VMR Products also announced three key promotions within its executive leadership and plans to bring on additional staff to help scale the company's global operations. 

Sanjiv Desai, formerly vice president of compliance and general counsel, was promoted to executive vice president, regulatory affairs and general counsel. 

Fred Lu, formerly vice president of products, is now an executive vice president. He is responsible for the planning, organization and engineering of several VMR products, including the V2 Pro Series 3 and Series 7 vaporizers. 

Daniel Ramirez, formerly chief of staff to VMR's CEO Jan Verleur, is now vice president of operations. He is responsible for overseeing the company's U.S. and E.U. operations, including purchasing, logistics, fulfillment, customer service, IT infrastructure and facilities.

Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board 

The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) welcomed Holly Schmitz to the organization as Midwest regional marketing manager. 

Schmitz joins WMMB with a strong background in consumer marketing and retail management. Most recently, she was business development manager for Advantage, where she was responsible for all headquarter sales at Hy-Vee, Fareway Stores Inc., Roundy’s, Certco and Affiliated Midwest.

In her role as regional marketing manager, she will represent WMMB in the retail and foodservice channels where she will develop and implement business plans and marketing programs for accounts in the Midwest.