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 of the industry.
Conagra Brands Inc.
Conagra Brands Inc. promoted Tracy Schaefer to senior vice president and chief information officer.
Schaefer joined Conagra in 2001 as a financial analyst and served in a variety of leadership roles in multiple functional areas as well as enterprise-wide initiatives.
"Tracy has a strong track record of delivering excellent results in finance, information technology and global business services," said Dave Marberger, chief financial officer, Conagra Brands. "Her deep understanding of the business, strategic mindset, and exceptional leadership skills will all be critical as we continue to work across the enterprise to deliver on our strategic plans."
Delek US Holdings Inc.
Delek US Holdings Inc. expanded its leadership team with the addition of Mark Hobbs, executive vice president of corporate development. He is responsible for contributing to the company's efforts to bring the "sum of the parts" valuation to fruition, along with identifying growth opportunities in both current and new markets.
Hobbs is an experienced investment banker. He brings more than 28 years of energy industry experience to his new role, where he will lead and participate in strategic advisory engagements across the downstream sector. Additionally, he brings deep sector knowledge with expertise in downstream, midstream, oilfield services and renewables, according to Delek.
Before joining Delek, Hobbs previously held a position at Citigroup, where he spent the past 11-years as a managing director, leading coverage efforts across the global downstream sector, including renewable fuels. During his tenure, he worked closely with international oil companies, national oil companies and independent refiners, advising on both strategic and capital raising transactions.
Prior to Citigroup, Hobbs worked for other global financial institutions in leadership roles in Houston and London.
Growth Energy named Jake Comer as vice president of market development, where he will lead the domestic market expansion of higher ethanol-blended fuel.
Comer brings more than a decade of retail fuel experience to his new role, having served in leadership positions on the fuel teams at Kum & Go, Murphy USA, and most recently, Casey's General Stores Inc., where he served as director of retail fuels.
Marlene Creighton, global chief sales officer
The Hershey Co.
The Hershey Co. promoted Marlene Creighton as global chief sales officer, succeeding Phil Stanley.
Creighton brings more than 20 years of consumer packaged goods experience working across sales, category management and brands with Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Hershey.
During her career, she built a track record of building partnerships inside and outside of the company with retail partners and community organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club and Champion for Kids. Additionally, she is an advocate for mentoring and dedicates time to helping colleagues develop personally and professionally.
Stanley will transition out of Hershey after 26 years at the company.
Amy King, national sales manager
Hilco named Amy King as the company’s national sales manager. King is responsible for overseeing the national sales of the novelty candy company.
In her new role, she will address all the sales opportunities to continue to fuel the company's growth, especially in its everyday and seasonal segments.
King brings more than 20 years of experience in major consumer packaged goods to the position. Prior to joining Hilco, she served as director of sales at CandyRific in its western region for the past three years. Prior to that, King worked with Glanbia Performance Nutrition, Premier Nutrition and Kettle Foods.
Kristen Jones, chief revenue officer
Onfleet hired Kristen Jones as chief revenue officer to expand its executive suite. Her expertise includes revenue generation and business development for scaling startups.
In her new role, she will work to build a revenue engine to enhance revenue predictability and streamline sales, marketing, and customer success processes to deliver a seamless customer journey.
Previously, Jones worked as chief revenue officer for iControl Data Solutions, where she guided her team to improve performance and expedite return on investment. She joins Onfleet after announcing a Series B funding round earlier this year.
Liz Howard, vice president of operations
Parker's Convenience Stores
Parker's Convenience Stores hired Liz Howard as its new vice president of operations to succeed Chuck King, who is retiring after more than 20 years of service to the company.
In her new role, Howard will oversee operations of 11 Parker's Convenience Stores in Glynn, Wayne, Liberty, McIntosh, and Appling counties in Georgia.
Howard is an Parker's in-house hire. She first came to the company as a cashier in 2004, working at the Hinesville, Ga., location. During her tenure, she was promoted to a managerial role and won manager of the year four times while serving as a store manager.
Rich Holdings Inc.
Melinda (Mindy) R. Rich, who served as vice chairman, executive vice president and a member of the board of directors for Rich Products Corp. in her 37-year career, became chairman of the family-owned corporate parent, Rich Holdings Inc.
She succeeds Robert E. Rich Jr., who served as chairman for 16 years.
Mindy Rich joined Rich's in 1985 and worked in various roles as part of the leadership team, including executive vice president of innovation. In that position, she unified initiatives across the enterprise, established best practices and processes, and identified new business opportunities and technologies.
During her tenure, she also expanded the breadth and accelerated the pace of product development in support of Rich's long-term growth strategies. She chairs the board's Finance and Audit and Compensation and Organization committees.
"This decision was made after years of very deliberate and careful planning," Mindy Rich said in a message to Rich's 12,500-plus associates worldwide. "Intentional succession planning is a crucial part of fostering a robust leadership pipeline — especially in a family-led company like ours. We expect and demand that our senior leaders actively participate in this kind of forethought, and we hold ourselves accountable to the same expectations as stewards of Rich Products and our family of businesses."
Denny Berryhill, vice president of central sales
Unified Brands promoted Denny Berryhill to vice president of central sales for the company's central U.S. territory.
Berryhill brings more than 13 years of foodservice industry experience to his new role, where he will be responsible for driving sales through dealer and channel partners for the company's institutional sales, as well as managing independent manufacturer representatives in the central territory.
Before being promoted to vice president, he served as design manager for Unified Brands, a position he has held for the past five years.
CEO Theresa Motter stepped down from Van's Kitchen at the end of August. The company appointed Apollo Nguyen to succeed her as interim CEO to help lead it through this transition.
The board of directors will engage an executive search firm to hire a long-term CEO.
"Theresa took over the family business as CEO nearly a decade ago. Without her leadership, Van's Kitchen would not be one of the country's most successful egg roll manufacturers," said Nguyen said. "Theresa successfully navigated the company through the pandemic while increasing sales and maintaining employee retention. We are grateful for the exceptional leadership Theresa brought to Van's Kitchen."