The Tech Event took place May 6-9 in Dallas, Texas at the Hilton Anatole.
New this year, the Tech Event combined NACStech and the PCATS (Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards) Winter Meeting into one event intended to deliver new ideas and opportunities to connect with industry peers.
Breakout sessions included topics such as the future of EMV, project management, the state of the convenience store industry, building a company alliance through IT, and more.
Wednesday’s Keynote Speaker David Wolman, author of The End of Money: Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies, Dreamers, and the Coming Cashless Society, outlined the costs of a cash-based society and introduced the idea that a monetary revolution is at play that could eventually remove physical cash as a form of payment.
Gray Taylor, executive director, PCATS, spoke to a general session audience about the need for the convenience store industry to strive to be leaders in technology. “If we’re not first we shall be last,” he warned. Because of the fragmentation of the c-store industry, and as channels blur, the industry’s competitors are easier prospects to new technology. “We must be leaders in technology. Try it in our industry first,” he said. To that end, NACS is investing strategically in groups outside the c-store industry, as well as keeping its pulse on what is happening in c-stores globally, especially Europe, to be prepared before it’s implemented here, and to lead the conversation before someone else does. “Through technology we have the power to tear down monopolies,” he said, referencing the major card companies.
New PCATS Board Members
During the session, PCATS welcomed those elected to four key roles on the Board of Advisors:
Vice Chair: Margaret Akins of Pilot Flying J
Membership and Marketing: Drew Mize of The Pinnacle Corp.
Technology Research and Strategy: Doug New of Tedeschi Food Shops
Retail Business Requirements: David Welsh of Sheetz Inc.
Hall of Fame
Retailers gathered at the PCATS Hall of Fame reception on May 8 to celebrate the induction of Scott Hartman, president and CEO of Rutter’s Farm Stores, and Gene Gerke, president of Columbia, Mo.-based Gerke & Associates Inc., into the PCATS Technology Hall of Fame.
Hartman has been active in the technology industry since 1995 when he became involved with the NACS Technology Standards Project, which ultimately led to the creation of PCATS in 2004. (PCATS was integrated into NACS in 2010.) In addition, Hartman served as the 2005-06 NACS chairman and also served two terms as PCATS chairman. He also acted as NACS vice chairman of research and development, chairman of the Technology Committee and chairman of the Technology Standards Steering Committee.
Gerke also was an original member of the NACS Technology Standards Project team, as well as a co-founder of CSX LLC, the largest purpose-built, online database of financial and operating data in the industry. NACS acquired CSX in 2007. Gerke’s management consulting firm advises clients in areas including technology implementation and technology standards.