People on the Move: Northern Tier Energy, MFA Oil & NJOY

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.


Rob Sincavich, president of Team Sledd, based in Wheeling, W. Va., will assume the chairmanship of the American Wholesale Marketers Association (AWMA) at its annual convention, the AWMA Marketplace & Solutions Expo, in Las Vegas Feb. 24-26.

Sincavich purchased Sledd Co. in 1996. He and his business partner, Randy Emanuelson, have built the business into today’s Team Sledd  a Top 25 U.S. convenience wholesaler.

Sincavich currently serves as an AWMA board of director and is a former AWMA education committee co-chairman. He succeeds 2014 Chairman Mark Davenport of Core-Mark Distributors Inc., based in Sanford, N.C.

Chevron Corp.

Alexander B. Cummings Jr. was elected to Chevron Corp.'s board of directors, and will serve on the company’s Audit Committee.

Cummings is executive vice president and chief administrative officer of The Coca-Cola Co., where he oversees a variety of functions including legal, human resources, community engagement, strategic planning, information technology, sustainability, security and aviation, research and development, product integrity, innovation and procurement.

He also currently serves on the board of directors of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, S.C. Johnson & Son Inc., the African Leadership Foundation, CARE USA, and Clark Atlanta University.


MFA Oil named Jon Ihler as vice president of sales and marketing. Ihler is responsible for overseeing sales, marketing, quality control and oil distribution warehouses, as well as the APM LLC, the company's dealer/wholesale company that was acquired in 2013.

Ihler joined MFA Oil in 2001, working in management with Big O Tires and Jiffy Lube before moving to Colorado, where he owned and operated his own franchised automotive business. He returned to MFA Oil in 2006 serving as business development manager and director of sales and marketing. 

Mondelēz International

Valerie Oswalt will become president, U.S. Sales at Mondelēz International, effective April 1. In this role, she will lead all direct-store-delivery retail and customer headquarter activities for the company's snacks and confectionery businesses in the United States.

Oswalt joined the company in 1996 as a sales finance analyst, based in Chicago. Most recently, she was vice president, sales, West area, a position to which she was appointed in 2012. Prior to that, she spent a year as customer vice president for business development.

Among her many career highlights, Oswalt held the role of Walmart customer vice president of beverage and grocery from 2008 to 2010.


Paul Sturman has assumed the CEO and president role at NJOY.

Prior to joining NJOY, Sturman served as global president and general manager of Pfizer's Consumer Health Care business. In this role, he was responsible for the $3-billion division's global operations, including the development and marketing of major household brands such as Advil, Centrum, ChapStick and Robitussin. Prior to Pfizer, he served as president of Johnson & Johnson's North American Consumer Healthcare unit.

"I am confident that Sturman has the ability and commitment to pursue making combustible tobacco obsolete. Doing so will reduce preventable, tobacco-caused, chronic disease — thereby improving the public's health while reducing the cost of health care," said Dr. Richard Carmona, the 17th U.S. Surgeon General and chairman of NJOY's scientific advisory board.

Northern Tier Energy

David Bonczek has elected to resign as chief financial officer (CFO) of general partner Northern Tier Energy GP LLC and Northern Tier Energy LLC effective March 16.

In addition, the partnership appointed Karen B. Davis as executive vice president of the general partner and the company, effective Feb. 2 and executive vice president and CFO of the general partner and the company, effective March 16.

Davis previously served as CFO at Western Refining Logistics GP LLC.

Pro Food Systems Inc.

Pro Food Systems (PFS), best known for its flagship brand Champs Chicken, expanded its team to include a new CFO and four new vice president positions.

Trevor Monnig has been named CFO. He served in the same position for the past 11 years with a manufacturing and distribution company in the Midwest where he led accounting, purchasing, human resources, marketing and information technology.

Meanwhile, Dave Yarbrough was promoted to vice president of field operations; Brock Blaise accepted the newly created position of vice president of operations; Darrell Hale was promoted to new vice president of purchasing and customer support; and Carla Dowden was promoted to vice president of human resources.

Including this leadership expansion, PFS has grown its staff overall by nearly 25 percent in the last year.

Talking Rain

John Peirano has joined Talking Rain as chief marketing officer. The maker of Sparkling ICE also recently hired Marcus Smith as CFO and recently promoted Michael Lowes to chief operating officer.

Peirano will be responsible for overseeing marketing initiatives and developing areas within the company such as channel distribution, product development, marketing communications and customer service. He was most recently senior vice president of marketing for Muscle Milk/CytoSport.

Smith is responsible for finance, accounting and information technology. He was most recently CFO at Mobisante. He currently serves on the board of directors for and WINGS, a Seattle angel investor network.

Lowes moves up the ladder from his previous role as vice president of finance and has assumed increased responsibilities such as managing strategic and operational accountability for all programs, and supervising all programmatic modifications.

Wilbur Curtis Co.

The Wilbur Curtis Co. promoted two key executives. Kevin Curtis has been named president and CEO, and Michael Curtis has been named executive vice president.

Kevin Curtis' appointment assures a seamless transition for the company that has been a leader in the foodservice industry for more than 70 years. He has headed Curtis' sales, marketing and product development areas since joining the company in 1986.

After joining the company in 1993, Michael Curtis has been the primary author of Curtis' operational and administrative excellence.

Wilbur Curtis Co. also recently named Krista Reddington as director of marketing. Prior to this appointment, she served as manager of sales support and marketing.

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