People on the Move: CHS, Kwik Shop, Hershey & R.J. Reynolds

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People on the Move: CHS, Kwik Shop, Hershey & R.J. Reynolds

By Melissa Kress, Convenience Store News - 04/29/2015

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.

CHS Inc. 

CHS named James M. Zappa as executive vice president and general counsel. Zappa, who joined the company April 13, reports to CHS President and CEO Carl Casale and serves as a member of the company's strategic leadership team.

"Jim brings to CHS extensive global operations, compliance and business conduct experience that aligns well with both our strategic direction and our culture," Casale said.

In his new role, Zappa provides counsel to CHS leadership and the CHS board on issues related to company strategy and its execution, corporate governance, and compliance with laws and regulations. He also works with the CHS corporate finance team to ensure the company maintains the processes and infrastructure that ensure robust Securities and Exchange Commission reporting and compliance, disclosure and investor communications.

In his previous position, Zappa served as vice president, associate general counsel and chief compliance officer for the 3M Compliance and Business Conduct Department.

CORD Financial Services

Convenience Store News Hall of Fame inductee Steve Brady has joined CORD Financial Services, a provider of ATM solutions and products, as national business development manager. In his new role, Brady spearheads the company's efforts to acquire, cultivate and maintain national accounts.

Before joining CORD, Brady was a consulting partner for b2b Solutions where he specialized in working with retailers and suppliers in the convenience store/petroleum marketing industry. Prior to b2b Solutions, he served 24 years as vice president of business development for convenience distributor McLane Co. Inc.

"Steve's vast experience in building relationships, closing new business contracts and increasing revenue fits well into CORD's sales strategy," said Thomas Hailey, director of business development for CORD Financial Services. 

Fuel Rewards Program

The Fuel Rewards Program, formerly the Fuel Rewards Network, strengthened its executive management team with two key appointments. Thomas Wightman was promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer, while Greg Phillips took on a new role as senior vice president of business intelligence and customer relationship management.

These moves come amid several major initiatives with the Fuel Rewards national coalition loyalty program, including the rollout of a mobile app for its 5 million members; an upcoming payment card offer platform that expands the network of retailers and merchants from which members can earn rewards; and a push to bring more retailers and brands into the program.

Kwik Shop

Brian Fisher, vice president of operations, is resigning from Kwik Shop effective May 21. Kwik Shop is one of five convenience store divisions in the United States operated by The Kroger Co.

"Brian has certainly made a very positive impact on Kwik Shop. His dedication to people and results are attributes that will not easily be replaced," said Kwik Shop President Kevin Hess. "I would like to thank Brian for his many contributions since joining Kwik Shop and wish him great success in his future endeavors."

Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc.

Matrix Capital Markets Group promoted several team members and added a senior associate.

David W. Shoulders has been promoted to director. He has been a member of the Matrix Consumer & Industrial Products Group since joining the firm in 2006. M. Vance Saunders, CPA, also has been promoted to director. He has been a member of the Matrix Downstream Energy & Retail Group for nine years. 

Andrew A. LoPresti, CPA, has been promoted to associate in the Matrix Downstream Energy & Retail Group. He joined the firm in 2012.

David H. Endom, senior associate, has joined the Matrix Healthcare Group. He has more than 14 years of advisory and financial operations experience across a number of industries, including healthcare services, manufacturing and multi-site retail.

In addition, Matrix Managing Director Thomas E. Kelso has been appointed chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. Kelso is head of the Matrix Downstream Energy & Retail Group.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

Floyd Cook, area vice president for the Eastern Sales Area at R.J. Reynolds Trade Marketing, plans to retire at the end of this year. Cook will begin transitioning to a role with Niconovum USA where he will continue his involvement in Reynolds' commercial business through the remainder of 2015. 

"Floyd has served R.J. Reynolds for over 30 years, dedicating the last 12 years of his career to the commercial success of the Eastern Sales Area," said Mike Auger, executive vice president for R.J. Reynolds Trade Marketing. "I want to personally thank him for the leadership he has provided over the years and wish him all the best as he transitions toward retirement."

Mike McHugh, currently area vice president for the Western Sales Area, will take over as area vice president for the Eastern Sales Area, where he started his career with R.J. Reynolds. Replacing McHugh in the Western Sales Area will be Mike Cameron, who currently serves as vice president, international business at RAI International.  

Tanknology Inc.

Petroleum industry veteran John Nesbit joined Tanknology's executive team as vice president of sales and marketing. He is immediately transitioning into this role, held since 1997 by Richard Schnabel, who is becoming the company’s executive vice president of business development.

Nesbit has more than 25 years of petroleum industry experience in key sales, marketing and product management roles with industry leaders such as Red Jacket, Veeder-Root, OPW Fueling Systems, FuelQuest, MyTankInfo and, most recently, ANS Distributing. 

At Tanknology, he will manage the sales team and direct national sales and marketing efforts.

The Hershey Co.

The Hershey Co.'s board of directors elected John P. Bilbrey as chairman. He will also continue to be president and CEO of the global confectionery company, a role held since May 2011. 

Bilbrey succeeds Chairman James E. Nevels, who held the position since February 2009 and will now assume the role of lead independent director.

Under Bilbrey's leadership, Hershey has delivered strong financial results, expanded its global reach and positioned itself to capture new growth opportunities to build value for all of its shareholders. His recent appointments to presidential advisory committees and leadership in the consumer packaged goods industry further demonstrate his depth of expertise for this expanded role.

As lead independent director, Nevels will now hold a number of duties consistent with those he held as non-executive chairman and with best practices in corporate governance, including: serving as a liaison between the chairman and the independent directors, approving board meeting agendas and schedules, and assisting with succession planning and crisis management.

Vapor Corp.

In conjunction with its recent merger with Vaporin, Vapor Corp. implemented an organizational restructuring to further maintain the company's competitiveness and establish its branded products and retail stores in the increasingly evolving electronic cigarette and vaporizer market.

The company added several new members to its revamped management team, including President and Director Gregory Brauser, Chief Financial Officer James Martin and new board member Robert Swayman.