People on the Move: Marathon Petroleum, TravelCenters & GACS

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.

Convenience Valet

Convenience Valet, a supplier of single and double dose over-the-counter medications and convenience/travel size personal care and general merchandise, named Mike Finke as sales manager for the Southwest Region.

Finke has more than 25 years of experience in the convenience retail industry and was most recently customer development manager for Advantage Sales and Marketing of Austin, Texas, with responsibilities covering the Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas markets. 

"Mike comes to us with tremendous c-store knowledge, a strong work ethic and a reputation for building relationships.” said Doug Steffen, vice president of sales and business development for Convenience Valet. "We know his experience in the Southwest market, which he knows so well, will continue to strengthen our relationships."

FDA's Center for Tobacco Products

The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) has made changes to its Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC). 

Three new members joined the panel. They are Pebbles Fagan, Gary A. Giovino and Thomas E. Novotny. According to the agency, all three new members have specific scientific expertise that fits the anticipated needs of the committee.

They replace four members — Chairman Jonathan Samet, Claudia Barone, Joanna Cohen and Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin ​— who resigned or had their terms on TPSAC terminated. The FDA is working to fill the remaining vacancy.

"All of us at the agency have appreciated the leadership, insight and expertise of Drs. Samet, Barone, Cohen and Krishnan-Sarin. We extend our sincerest gratitude for their work on the TPSAC," said CTP Director Mitch Zeller. 

These changes follow a July ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Leon that required the FDA to reconstitute TPSAC. The ruling also bars the FDA from using TPSAC's 2011 Menthol Report. Leon issued his ruling as a result of a 2011 lawsuit that alleged in part that certain members of TPSAC had conflicts of interest that violated ethics law.

Georgia Association of Convenience Stores

The Georgia House of Representatives recognized Jim Tudor, president of the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores (GACS), for his accomplishments and years of service on behalf of the c-store industry. 

A graduate of the University of Cincinnati, Tudor worked at 7-Eleven for nine years before moving on to the association. He also served in the U.S. Army. Tudor is retiring later this year. 

House Resolution 287 read in part: Tudor "has diligently and conscientiously devoted innumerable hours of his time, talents and energy toward the betterment of his community and state, as evidenced dramatically by his superlative service with the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores."

Heineken USA

Heineken USA CEO Dolf van den Brink is taking on the role of CEO of Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma/Heineken Mexico, Heineken's largest operating company. He will be succeeded by Ronald den Elzen, the current managing director of Heineken Portugal. The move will be effective July 1. 

Van den Brink has been with Heineken for 17 years. During his six-year tenure at Heineken USA, he's led a successful turnaround of the business, restoring top-line growth and driving consistent market share gains. 

"I'm incredibly proud of everything Heineken USA has achieved over the last six years. Collectively with our passionate employees and dedicated partners, we have become a true portfolio company and created great momentum in the marketplace," said van den Brink. "Heineken USA has a tremendous amount of potential and I believe Ronald is the right person, arriving at the right time to lead the acceleration of this business."

Den Elzen is originally from the Netherlands and has been with Heineken for more than 20 years. He's held various positions in finance, sales and general management in Heineken's businesses in Amsterdam, the United Kingdom and Portugal. 

Marathon Petroleum Corp.

Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) made a series of key management changes at its Findlay, Ohio, headquarters. The company appointed Donald C. Templin as executive vice president, supply, transportation and marketing; and Timothy T. Griffith as senior vice president and chief financial officer. Both will report to President and CEO Gary R. Heminger.

Templin has served as senior vice president and CFO since June 2011. Griffith joined MPC in August 2011 as vice president of finance and treasurer, and assumed responsibility for investor relations in early 2014.

In addition, George P. Shaffner has been appointed senior vice president, health, environment, safety and security; and John S. Swearingen has been appointed senior vice president, transportation and logistics. Shaffner will report to Heminger, while Swearingen will report to Templin.

Also reporting to Templin will be James P. Heintschel in the newly created role of vice president, business development. Heintschel served as business development director prior to this appointment. 

National Association of Truck Stop Operators

Brad Stotler has been promoted to vice president, government affairs at the National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO). In this new role, he will lead the association’s legislative policy and lobbying efforts on behalf of the truck stop and travel plaza industry. He will oversee NATSO's relationship with government regulators as well.

Stotler served as NATSO's director of government affairs since 2010. Before joining NATSO, he worked at the American Trucking Associations and as a legislative assistant to U.S. Rep. Timothy Johnson (R-Ill.).

NATSO also named Corey Berkstresser, general manager of Lee-Hi Travel Plaza in Lexington, Va., and Gerald Danniel, chief operating officer of Liberty Petroleum Distributors in New Milford, Pa., as co-chairmen of its Future Leaders Working Group. The group provides networking opportunities and education to anyone who has, or is pursuing, more responsibility within the industry. This year, the group will focus on growing membership and creating its long-term strategic mission.

TravelCenters of America LLC 

Tom Liutkus, vice president of marketing and public relations for TravelCenters of America LLC, was appointed vice chairman of the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) Communications and Image Policy Committee.

The committee’s purpose is to improve the image of the trucking industry and develop communications strategies for ATA policy and legislative initiatives. The committee also helps enhance ATA’s communications with its members, the news media and the general public.

Liutkus has been with TravelCenters and its predecessors for more than 35 years. The Westlake, Ohio-based company is the operator of the TA and Petro Stopping Centers travel center brands.

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