People on the Move: Clark, VP Racing & Western Refining

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.

Clark Brands

Bill Troyer, a 45-year veteran of the petroleum industry, will retire from Clark Brands on Dec. 31.

Troyer has worked with Lisle, Ill.-based Clark Brands for 17 years, starting at Clark Refining and Marketing as an account manager. In 2003, he introduced and implemented the Clark Brands license program, along with signing up the original 20 marketers and 300 dealers.

His career began with Union Oil as a dealer rep. He then held numerous positions in various cities with the company including dealer trainer, merchandiser, equipment buyer, auto/truck stop sales manager and auto/truck stop area sales manager. His last assignment was regional manager, eastern division for Uno-Ven.

Troyer’s philosophy has always been to try to get rid of the cumbersome non-essential tasks and focus on areas that were productive. He was awarded the Illinois Petroleum Marketer Gas Pump for Meritorious Service to the Industry in 2006. 

Henny Penny

Henny Penny, headquartered in Eaton, Ohio, announced major organizational changes designed to better align for the company’s future as one of the leading designers and manufacturers of premium foodservice cooking, holding and display equipment. Among the changes announced last month, three key promotions have occurred.

Rick Cartwright is now director of product development and innovation (previously director of controls engineering). A major strategic goal for Henny Penny is to build a new product development and innovation engine. Cartwright has been promoted to lead this initiative. He will oversee electronic engineering, project management, product development and food science.

Don Kern is now director of engineering (previously director of quality assurance and safety). He is charged with enhancing the quality of Henny Penny products. Kern will also focus on warranty, reliability, engineering services and safety.

Jeff Frymier is now director of corporate relations (previously director of human resources). In this new role, he focuses on external relations and community development initiatives for the company. He also leads internal communication strategies for Henny Penny.

Mars Chocolate North America

Mars Chocolate North America promoted Timothy LeBel to the position of vice president of sales. In his new role leading the Mars Chocolate sales organization, LeBel oversees the strategy and execution of its retail management, customer account teams, field sales, customer development and customer experiences. He also serves as a member of the Mars Senior Management Team and will play an active role in industry events.

A 24-year veteran of Mars Inc., LeBel has a wealth of sales experience both in the Chocolate and Petcare divisions. He has led sales strategies and in-store execution for several channels including mass, grocery, club and value, and his established partnerships with key retailers provide a strong foundation for customer collaboration and mutual value creation. LeBel also has a track record of mobilizing and engaging his teams.

Reynolds American Inc.

Andrew D. Gilchrist, executive vice president of Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Reynolds American Inc. (RAI), will be promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer effective March 1.

Thomas R. Adams, the company’s current executive vice president and chief financial officer, plans to retire from RAI. He will begin transitioning the role to Gilchrist in January, ensuring a smooth transition.

Adams, 64, has served as CFO since 2008, and also serves as chief information officer of RAI Services Co. Gilchrist will assume that responsibility as well in March.

Before his current role, Gilchrist, 42, served as president and chief commercial officer of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. from January 2011 until October 2014. Prior to that, he served as executive vice president and CFO of R.J. Reynolds and chief information officer of RAI Services Co. He joined Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. in 1997, and held a number of management positions at both Brown & Williamson and British American Tobacco before joining Reynolds American and its operating companies as part of the business combination in 2004.

Additionally, the RAI board elected Ricardo Oberlander as a new member. He is a management board director of British American Tobacco, regional director of the Americas Region, and chairman of the board of British American Tobacco’s subsidiary in Brazil, Souza Cruz. Oberlander succeeds Neil R. Withington, who retired from the board.

VP Racing Fuels Inc. 

VP Racing Fuels appointed Kelley Hendel as general manager of consumer products. Based at the company’s corporate headquarters in San Antonio, she will be responsible for overseeing customer service and support for distributors, dealers and retail customers who purchase VP’s consumer products including VP Small Engine Fuels, VP Madditives and VP PowerWash.

With VP Racing Fuels since 1995, Hendel most recently was responsible for managing operations and customer service for the seven-state western sales region. Josh Hoffner has been promoted to office manager for the VP Western Region office, replacing Hendel.

“Kelley will bring broad and deep experience to our Consumer Products Division,” said Alan Cerwick, president of VP Racing Fuels.  “After many years of providing our racing fuel customers with exemplary service, we’re confident the dealers in our distributor network will view Kelley’s enthusiasm, commitment and expertise as a great asset.”

Western Refining Inc.

El Paso, Texas-based Western Refining appointed Robert J. Hassler as a new member of the company's board of directors effective Nov. 10. He serves on the board's Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.

Hassler, 62, is the former president of European Refining and Marketing for ConocoPhillips. During his 33-year tenure at ConocoPhillips, he served in various senior management positions in refining and marketing, as well as exploration and production.

"We are honored that Bob has agreed to join our board of directors. Bob's extensive knowledge and experience in the energy industry, especially in refining and marketing, will make him a valuable addition to the board,” said Paul Foster, board chairman.

Western also announced that Ralph Schmidt has retired from its board of directors. He previously served as chief operating officer of the company from 2005-2006 and was a member of the board since 2006.

"Ralph has been a very valuable member of the Western team. His commitment and dedication to Western through a number of roles has directly contributed to our success,” Foster said. “We are very grateful for his service and we wish him well in his future endeavors."

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