People on the Move: Kum & Go, Casey's & GPM Add to Their Executive Teams
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.
KUM & GO
Kum & Go LC appointed Reed Rainey as chief operating officer. In his new role, Rainey will lead the development of short- and long-term strategic operations initiatives to achieve the company's purpose to "Make Days Better" for customers and associates, the company said.
"My grandfather used to say, 'people make the difference and the difference is Kum & Go people.' Reed Rainey is a difference maker in retail," said Kum & Go President Tanner Krause. "He has continuously excelled as a developer of teams and talent. Having someone as successful as Reed to lead our stores is a major win for our 5,000 Kum & Go associates across the country."
Rainey is a dynamic leader with an extensive background in multi-department leadership, vendor relations, team development and change management, according to the convenience retailer.
Rainey's most recent role was with Domino's Pizza Corp., where he served as vice president of international operations leading the Americas region to $1.3 billion dollars in retail sales.
Before that, he spent 23 years at Target in multiple leadership roles, including director of facilities management operations; senior director of construction; and chief operations officer and chief financial officer at Target CHEFS Cooking Co. While at the company, Rainey oversaw operations, finance, accounting and warehouse functions for its CHEFS internet retail subsidiary and managed the company's $3.5 billion dollar new and remodel store program.
Rainey has a Bachelor of Science in Business Systems from DeVry University and was pre-med at University of North Dakota.
"I am excited and humbled to be joining the Kum & Go family. The team, culture and brand positioning are second to none and poised for material growth and continued innovation," Rainey said. "My wife and I were also deeply impressed with Kum & Go's philanthropic and civic-giving reputation. I look forward to participating at the headquarters in Des Moines, and in the 11 states in which we operate."
At Kum & Go, Rainey will serve the company as a key member of the senior leadership team bringing a keen understanding of the business and leadership in enabling its growth, the company said.
Des Moines-based Kum & Go has nearly 400 stores in 11 states: Iowa, Arkansas, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming. It is No. 24 on the 2019 Convenience Store News Top 100 report.
CASEY'S GENERAL STORES
Casey's General Stores Inc. named Tom Brennan as chief merchandising officer. He will report to CEO Darren Rebelez. Brennan will lead development and implementation of the convenience store chain's overall merchandising and prepared foods strategy.
"Tom is a tremendous leader with deep experience across the convenience and quick service restaurant industries that will benefit Casey's already popular, fresh food program, and enhance our merchandising strategy," Rebelez said. "We have a strong leadership team at Casey's and I'm confident that Tom will contribute to our collective efforts to make life better for our guests and communities every day."
Brennan's most recent role was chief operating officer at CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc., the parent of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, where he was responsible for the operations and support of more than 3,000 restaurants across the United States. Prior to that, he spent 11 years with 7-Eleven in a variety of leadership roles in merchandising, category management, store development and operations.
He also worked in the financial planning and analysis group at Target Corp. and served six years on active duty as an Armor Officer in the U.S. Army.
Brennan has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business and a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point.
"I am honored to join the team at Casey's to help continue to build this incredible brand and deliver great products conveniently every day to our guests," Brennan said.
GPM Investments LLC promoted Ruth Ann Lilly to the role of vice president of marketing and merchandising. She will lead the category management function for all categories in the store with the exception of foodservice, fresh food, fountain drinks and coffee, which will be led by Bill Reilly. In her new position, she will also have responsibility for promotional planning and the field Division Marketing Managers.
"Ruth Ann is a skilled merchant and leader who is very well respected in the convenience store industry. I am excited to have Ruth Ann leading category management, loyalty and promotional planning," said Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer Mike Bloom.
Lilly joined the company in 2017 as the tobacco, beer and wine category manager and added the fas REWARDS loyalty program to her list of responsibilities in 2018. She has more than 25 years of combined experience in a variety of roles in the c-store and grocery industries, the company said. Before joining GPM, she was the category manager of tobacco, beer and wine at Sunoco before its acquisition by 7-Eleven.
She was also named a Woman of the Year in the 2017 Convenience Store News Top Women in Convenience Awards.
"I am very excited for this opportunity. I am especially grateful to be surrounded by a strong team. I know that together we can achieve great results!" Lilly said.
Headquartered in Richmond, GPM Investments operates or supplies stores in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. The company ranked No. 11 on the 2019 Convenience Store News Top 100 ranking.