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People on the Move: Marathon Petroleum, Murphy USA & Parker's

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.

The producer- and member-cooperative owners of Cenex parent CHS Inc. re-elected five farmers to new three-year terms as directors of the farmer-owned cooperative and global energy, grains and foods company. The elections took place during the 2015 CHS Annual Meeting, held Dec. 4 in Minneapolis. CHS directors must be full-time farmers or ranchers to be eligible for election to the 17-member board.

Re-elected were Don Anthony, Lexington, Neb.; David Bielenberg, Silverton, Ore.; Steve Fritel, Barton, N.D.; David Johnsrud, Starbuck, Minn.; and David Kayser, Alexandria, S.D.

Following the annual meeting, the CHS board elected Bielenberg to a fourth one-year term as chairman. 

The Coca-Cola Co.

Coca-Cola announced that Alexander B. Cummings, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, will retire March 31 after more than 18 years of distinguished service.

Cummings joined Coca-Cola in July 1997 as deputy region manager for Nigeria and advanced to become president of Coca-Cola's Africa Group in 2001. A native of Liberia, West Africa, Cummings led a period of strong growth in the company's Africa business, overseeing critical investments in marketing and infrastructure across 56 African countries and territories from 2001-2008. In July 2008, he was named to his current position.

During his time with the company, Cummings also oversaw the creation of The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation in response to the growth and impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Exxon Mobil Corp.

Darren W. Woods was elected president of Exxon Mobil Corp. and a member of the board of directors, effective Jan. 1. Rex W. Tillerson continues his position as chairman of the board and CEO of the corporation.

Woods, 50, previously served as senior vice president and a member of the management committee since June 1, 2014. He joined Exxon Co. International in 1992 as a planning analyst; held a number of domestic and international assignments for ExxonMobil Refining & Supply Co., ExxonMobil Chemical Co. and Exxon Co. International; and served as manager of investor relations for the corporation.

The Hershey Co.

Sales veteran Rob Gehring joined The Hershey Co. as global chief sales officer, effective Jan. 18. He made the move from Coca-Cola North America where he served as president for the Walmart Global Team since 2011.

"Rob is a seasoned sales leader who has deep experience in consumer packaged goods, strong customer relationships and a proven track record," said Michele Buck, president, North America, for Hershey. "We are excited to have Rob join Hershey to lead our global sales team and strengthen our sales organization around the world."

Gehring brings more than 20 years of experience with large category-leading brands in key retail channels. During his tenure at Coca-Cola, he held a variety of roles including leading the field sales organization in Canada across all trade classes, and leading sales for the western United States where he focused on customer and channel performance.

Marathon Petroleum Corp.

Marathon Petroleum (MPC) made several changes to its senior management structure that took effect Jan. 1.

Donald C. Templin, executive vice president, supply, transportation and marketing, was named president, MPLX. Templin will continue to report to MPC President and CEO Gary R. Heminger and remain an executive vice president of MPC. He will be located in Findlay, Ohio.

Pamela K. M. Beall, MPC's senior vice president, corporate planning, government and public affairs, was named executive vice president, corporate planning and strategy at MPLX, reporting to Templin. She will also remain in Findlay.

David L. Whikehart, director, product supply and optimization, was named vice president, corporate planning, government and public affairs, succeeding Beall. He will report to Heminger and be based in Findlay.

MPC also announced the retirement of Richard D. Bedell, senior vice president of refining, effective March 1. Raymond L. Brooks, currently general manager of MPC's Galveston Bay Refinery in Texas City, Texas, will replace Bedell. Bedell joined Marathon in 1979 and held numerous positions of increasing responsibility in the company, including serving as general manager of MPC's refineries in Garyville, La., Robinson, Ill., and Texas City.

Midwest Retail Group LLC

Three months after the sale of Tedeschi Food Shops Inc. to 7-Eleven Inc., former CEO Peter Tedeschi has joined forces with Jim Fiene and Paul Reuter as the chief strategic officer of the Midwest Retail Group LLC (MRG).

Tedeschi left a career in financial services to become the CEO of his family business in 2007, where he was credited with helping to earn the company national recognition. He continues to support the industry through his involvement with NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, where he currently serves as the association's treasurer and vice chairman.

"With the addition of Peter and his extensive background on the team, he will help position MRG for sourcing and preparing growth opportunities at many different levels," Fiene said.

Mondelēz International Inc. 

Mondelēz International appointed Christiana Shi to its board of directors. She is president, direct-to-consumer for Nike Inc., with oversight for Nike Stores, Nike Factory Stores and Global Digital Commerce, which includes leading all of Nike’s ecommerce business around the world. Shi joined Nike in October 2010. 

With this addition, the Mondelēz International board has 13 directors, 12 of whom are independent. Shi's appointment was effective Jan. 4.

Murphy USA Inc.

Christian Pikul recently joined Murphy USA as director of investor relations and financial planning analysis. With almost 20 years of experience in the area of finance/investments, Pikul holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation as well as a master's degree in finance from the University of Colorado.

He spent 12 years on the sell-side as a research analyst covering exploration and production companies for AG Edwards and Morgan Keegan. His most recent role was with Concord Energy as director, finance, budgeting and planning.

"We are delighted that Christian has joined our business and look forward to the contributions he will make in helping expand our business in the coming years. We believe the expertise and point-of-view he brings are an important addition to the growing team we have in place today," said Andrew Clyde, president and CEO of the company.

NEC Display Solutions of America

NEC appointed Jennifer Cheh as vice president of marketing. She previously served as director of marketing operations for North America at Motorola Solutions. Cheh brings more than 20 years of business-to-business and channel marketing experience to NEC, where she will be responsible for driving marketing strategies, as well as programs and initiatives to generate demand in display solutions.

Under Cheh's leadership, NEC will connect with partners and customers in such industries as retail, hospitality, transportation and education on a profound level, the company stated. 

Parker's Convenience Stores 

Parker's hired Brian Prevatt as director of finance and administration. In this new position, Prevatt is responsible for overseeing financial strategy and fiscal operations at Parker's.

Before joining the company, he worked closely with Parker's while employed as a tax manager with Hancock Askew & Co. LLP. During his tenure at Hancock Askew, he earned the J. Patterson Little Team Player Award, as well as awards for profitability and most billable hours for several consecutive years.

An active community volunteer, Prevatt currently serves as a member of the Royce Learning Center board of directors and is a member of the United Way of the Coastal Empire's Stewardship Review Committee.

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