People on the Move: Murphy USA, Parker's & QuickChek
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.
Murphy USA Inc.
Murphy USA's board of directors appointed David B. Miller as an independent director of the company. Miller is co-founder and managing partner of EnCap Investments LP, a leading provider of private equity capital to the oil and gas industry. From 1988 to 1996, he served as president of PMC Reserve Acquisition Co., a partnership jointly owned by EnCap and Pitts Energy Group.
Prior to the establishment of EnCap, Miller served as co-CEO of MAZE Exploration Inc., a Denver-based oil and gas company he co-founded in 1981. He began his career with Republic Bank, ultimately serving as vice president and manager of the bank's wholly owned subsidiary, Republic Energy Finance Corp.
In 2004, Miller was appointed to the National Petroleum Council, an advisory body to the U.S. Secretary of Energy. He's also a member of the board of advisors of the Maguire Energy Institute.
Network of Executive Women
Lisa Walsh, senior vice president, sales and marketing for the Frito-Lay North America division of PepsiCo Inc., has been named vice chair of the Network of Executive Women (NEW). She previously served on the organization's executive committee as chair for marketing and communications.
As vice chair, Walsh will focus on the Network's long-term strategy, serve as a resource for NEW board members and committee chairs, and support the organization's mission to advance women's leadership, build business and transform the industry's workplace.
At PepsiCo, Walsh is responsible for the integration of Frito-Lay sales and marketing plans and elevating the capabilities and effectiveness of the Customer Management organization.
Parker's Convenience Stores
Parker's hired Brian Prevatt as director of finance and administration. In his new position, he is responsible for overseeing financial strategy and fiscal operations at the convenience store chain.
Before joining Parker's, Prevatt worked closely with the retailer 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 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.
Randy Carlin joined QuickChek as senior vice president of real estate and development. He brings more than 20 years of corporate real estate experience to the position, including acquisition, leasing, site selection, development, construction, lease administration, facilities, sustainability and energy management experience.
Carlin comes to the convenience store retailer from PetSmart Stores, where he played a key role in that company's growth from 600 retail stores in 2003 to more than 1,400 today. He also led the site selection, development and construction of four major distribution centers, ranging in size from 800,000 square feet to more than 1,000,000 square feet.
"Randy brings a wealth of experience in store development and real estate administration that will be a great asset to our team as we continue to look at the best ways we can serve our market," said QuickChek CEO Dean Durling. "He has a proven track record in managing the key components and directing people to successfully grow at the retail level. We are pleased to welcome him to our senior leadership team."
Carlin's responsibilities include directing QuickChek's site selection, new store strategy, store engineering and construction, and property development teams.
Reynolds American Inc.
Jerome Abelman, director of legal and external affairs and general counsel at British American Tobacco plc (BAT), was elected to Reynolds American Inc.'s (RAI) board of directors as a Class II director. He is one of five board members designated by Brown & Williamson Holdings Inc. (B&W), a subsidiary of BAT, under the terms of the 2004 governance agreement, as amended, between RAI, B&W and BAT.
Abelman has been with the BAT Group for 13 years and held a number of legal, corporate and regulatory roles. He joined BAT’s management board as director of corporate and regulatory affairs in January 2015, and was appointed director of legal and external affairs and general counsel in May. His initial term on RAI's board will end at the 2016 shareholder meeting in May, when he will be up for re-election.
Meanwhile, John P. Daly resigned as a member of RAI's board of directors effective Feb. 4. He served on the board since December 2010, also as one of the five board members designated by B&W. His three-year term as a Class II director was scheduled to expire in 2018. Daly, former chief operating officer at BAT, retired in 2014.
Swisher International Inc.
Swisher International and its sister company, Drew Estate, hired Nick van Olden as vice president of corporate tobacco procurement. In this newly established role, van Olden will coordinate tobacco procurement for Drew Estate's premium cigar line and assist Swisher's procurement efforts for its mass-market cigar and smokeless products.
He started his career with Harkema in Amsterdam and worked with the company internationally for 16 years. He then worked for Consolidated Cigar Co. (CCC) where he rose to the position of senior vice president. Van Olden left CCC after more than a decade and worked most recently as senior vice president for ITG Brands.
Retail petroleum industry veteran Ted Abeyta has joined Tanknology Inc.'s operations leadership team as vice president, Western Division. In this role, he oversees the operations and business development for the western portion of the United States, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Alaska and Hawaii.
Abeyta started his career with UNOCAL 76. He also previously served as national director of facilities for Tosco (Circle K, Conoco Phillips and BP); operations manager for Bovis/BP (ampm) and TotalProjex; and most recently operations manager for VPSI on the West Coast.
VMR Products appointed Jeffrey Li as chief financial officer. He will spearhead all aspects of financial strategy and management as VMR continues to scale its presence globally by developing new products and penetrating emerging vapor markets such as China.
Li was previously director of investments at Shanghai-based Huabao International Holdings Ltd. He has more than a decade of experience in public accounting with a focus on auditing, holding key positions with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young. His corporate experience includes a senior role at Sanpower Group, one of the largest privately held companies in China, where he led mergers and acquisitions.