Super Quik's Rice Named Kentucky C-store Operator of the Year

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Super Quik's Rice Named Kentucky C-store Operator of the Year

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- G. Lynn Rice, president of Super Quik Inc., based in Flatwoods, Ky., was honored as the operator of the 2009 Convenience Store of the Year during the Kentucky Grocers Association/Kentucky Association of Convenience Stores 68th Celebration & Annual Meeting.

Rice accepted the award on behalf of all Super Quik employees. "People will make you or break you. I personally feel this industry's future is bright and that our employees are willing and able to take on any challenge that we may face," he said during his acceptance speech, heard by the 230 attendees of the 2009 KGA/KACS Celebration.

Rice's remarks focused on how smaller c-store operators have to be "on their game plan" every day to avoid the many pitfalls in front of them. Big operators "can't get it all" and smaller independent operators can do well if they are quick on their feet and flexible in their thinking and planning, he said.

Rice joined Ashland Petroleum Co. in the early 1970s. As Ashland was developing its Save Mart convenient store division, Lynn transferred there and worked as a supervisor until 1979.

At that time, long-time family friend Jerald Witten sold his 100-store chain in Texas and started Super Quik. Rice joined him to run the three-store Super Quik operation.

SuperQuick now operates 15 high-volume convenience stores and seven branded foodservice operations. In June 2005, Witten sold the company to SuperQuick employees, creating a 100-percent Employee Stock Ownership Plan organization. Every full-time employee who works 500 hours per year qualifies for a stock allocation.

Under Rice's leadership, the level of execution and employee responsiveness has improved dramatically, according to a KGA/KACS statement. "An ESOP cannot make a bad company good; rather they can make a good company better," Rice noted.

As the company pays down debt incurred for the ESOP, the retailer is looking to acquire profitable retail or foodservice operations.

The company annually raises money to fund scholarship programs for local youth to advance their education.

Rice, who believes everyone should perform some type of community service, has served on the Ramey-Estep Children's Home board of directors. He now serves on the board of directors at Kings Daughters Medical Center in Ashland and on various committees at his church.

The Kentucky Grocers Association and Kentucky Association of Convenience Stores is a joint trade association representing approximately 550 member companies operating in a retail food and convenience marketplace of 3,300 locations across the state.

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