​Two C-store Execs Named 2022 Rising Stars in Private Label

Casey's Erin Butler and Yesway's Dana Renfro are lauded for their innovative business acumen.
Store Brands Rising Stars in Private Label 2022

ANKENY, Iowa and FORT WORTH, Texas — Two convenience store executives are being lauded for their contributions made in world of private label.

Erin Butler, Private Brands Business manager for Casey's General Stores Inc., and Dana Renfro, category manager at Yesway, have been named 2022 Rising Stars in Private Label from Store Brands, sister publication to Convenience Store News.

For the third year, Store Brands is celebrating those under the age of 45 who are rising through the ranks in the world of private label. Butler and Renfro are among those being recognized for pushing forward and continuing to innovate despite the challenges of this past year that include rising material costs, inflation, labor shortages and more.

Butler is applauded for developing the private brand ice cream program at Casey's. Choosing a supplier partner that was flexible to fit her creative vision for the company, Butler developed creative product names, innovative packaging designs and even a proprietary flavor profile variety.

The program has exceeded even the supplier's expectations, and future line expansions are expected to continue the growth of the program, especially with the arrival of summer, Store Brands pointed out.

Casey's has expanded its private label product line in recent years, launching more than 100 new private brand snack and beverage products in 2021. Last year, the convenience retailer launched a reset initiative across its store network to free up space to expand its private label assortment.

Butler joined Casey's in 2020 after spending more than six years in leadership roles at Kum & Go LC.

Ankeny-based Casey's operates more than 2,400 convenience stores in 16 states.

Renfro has P&L responsibility and oversees all aspects of the packaged beverage category, including pricing, product selection, marketing, promotion, contract negotiation, and planograms. The category manager collaborates with supplier partners to drive innovation into cooler sets and delivers increased sales and margin for more than 400 Yesway and Allsup's stores.

Among her accomplishments, Renfro helped lead the development of 20 own-brand SKUs within packaged beverages that generate the highest gross profit in the cold vault. Yesway has a line of spring, alkaline, vitamin enhanced, and sparkling waters. She also assisted in developing Allsup's branded purified water.

Hired in February 2018 as a category assistant at Yesway, Renfro was expected to help out in all categories throughout the store. But in August 2018, she took over management of the tobacco and center store categories when a coworker went on maternity leave through October 2018, and then received a promotion to category manager of packaged beverages due to her strong work ethic and performance.

Renfro is also a 2019 Convenience Store News Future Leader in Convenience honoree.

Fort Worth-based Yesway's portfolio currently consists of 403 stores located in Texas, New Mexico, South Dakota, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Nebraska. It acquired the Allsup's Convenience Stores chain in late 2019.

The complete list of Rising Stars in Private Label 2022 honorees is available here.

Store Brands and Convenience Store News are properties of EnsembleIQ.