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Top Women in Convenience celebrated at NACS

Wednesday, October 8, 2014  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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Five female convenience industry veterans were named Women of the Year at the Top Women in Convenience by Convenience Store News, Oct. 8, 2014 during an awards breakfast co-hosted by NEW at the NACS Show in Las Vegas. The event also honored other outstanding women leaders, "rising stars" and store managers.

Kim Bowers, president and CEO of CST Brands Inc.; Gwen Forman, vice president of marketing at Cumberland Farms Inc.; Allison Moran, CEO of RaceTrac Petroleum Inc.; Barbara Poremba, vice president, national retail sales at Coca-Cola Refreshments; and Jennifer Rhoads of CEO at Ohio Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Association were honored as Women of the Year.

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"These awards are very special to me — and, in many ways, long overdue,” said Network of Executive Women President and CEO Joan Toth, who previously served as publisher of CSNews. "When men and women from the convenience industry and others founded the Network of Executive Women just 13 years ago, we recognized there were not enough women leaders in our business. Today, women’s leadership is recognized for what it is: A competitive advantage and a business imperative. And our Network has grown from a handful of visionaries to more than 8,500 members representing 750 retail and consumer goods companies. There’s still a lot of work to do.”

CSNews Editorial Director Don Longo said, "Just as women are becoming more of a presence in convenience stores as shoppers, females are becoming more of a presence in key leadership roles across the convenience store industry, Women have long held a significant percentage of the store manager positions in the convenience channel and now, they’re making great strides in middle- and upper-management positions, breaking the glass ceiling in what was once a male-dominated business.”

Other awardees

Fifteen senior-level executives, eight rising stars and two store managers also were recognized at Convenience Store News’s first-ever Top Women in Convenience awards celebration. These senior-level executives were honored:

Angela Angelilli, executive vice president, Royal Buying Group
Mary Banmiller, retail operations director, Warrenton Oil Co.
Paula Conti, vice president of customer service, PDI
Lucia Romenello Crater, director of sales, convenience, KIND Healthy Snacks
Susan Curry, vice president of operations, XYIENCE
Sonja Hubbard, CEO, E-Z Mart Stores Inc.
Jennie Jones, vice president of marketing, S&D Coffee & Tea
Kris Kingsbury, marketing and merchandising manager, Robinson Oil Co.
Amy Lane, chief operating officer, The Parker Cos.
Lori Lunt, division manager, Alliance Energy LLC
Mary Szarmach, vice president, trade marketing & government relations,
Smoker Friendly International
Wendy Redmond, director of sales, S&D Coffee & Tea
Debbie Robins, CEO and president, Century Distributors
Yvette Spears, vice president, national retail sales, Coca-Cola North America
Kathy Williams, vice president, national sales, Coca-Cola North America

The rising star honorees were:

Jeannie Amerson, advertising & loyalty manager, Flash Foods Inc.
Brittany Bayley-Murray, buyer & category manager, Martin & Bayley
Madalena Ferreira, director of c-store operations, Bobby & Steve’s Auto World
Tanja Gassenmaier, district manager, The Parker Cos.
Carly Goebel, category buyer, GetGo & Giant Eagle Express
Jedy Majovsky, merchandising specialist, GetGo
Cecilia Ottenweller, c-store specialist and district leader, GetGo
Mila Spencer, benefits manager, Kwik Trip Inc.

Store managers Diane Hank of L&P Convenient Store and Jan Phipps of Autumn Grove Tiger Mart/Subway also were honored.

Nominations for the Top Women in Convenience Awards were accepted for retailers, suppliers and wholesalers in three categories: senior-level executives (positions of vice president and above), rising stars (job titles above store manager, but below vice president) and store managers. Nominators were asked to illustrate the candidate's innovative corporate initiatives, extraordinary financial and strategic accomplishments, astute problem-solving acumen, exceptional performance and selfless charitable participation, along with other attributes that go above and beyond the call of duty, based on achievements during the previous 12 months.

Judging was conducted by CSNews in collaboration with NEW.

Reagan Lund of NEW congratulates Woman of the Year awardee
Kim Bowers of CST Brands Inc., with Beth Jarocki of Kraft Foods.

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