The president of Thorntons Inc. will succeed Mary Banmiller as chairman beginning Jan. 1, 2015, and oversee the association’s effort to support and engage small, mid-sized and family-owned convenience store businesses.
As President of Thorntons Inc., Tony Harris leads one of the largest family-owned convenience store chains in the country. Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, the industry veteran will also lead the National Advisory Group (NAG) as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Harris, who takes the reigns as chairman from Mary Banmiller, director of retail and hotel operations for Warrenton Oil Co., will serve a two-year term helping to oversee the direction of NAG and content for its annual conference.
“I am very excited to continue the momentum that Mary and the board have built over the last several years,” Harris said. “NAG is an association for retailers and run by retailers, and that should be very appealing to convenience store chains of all sizes. I look forward to leading the board over the next two years and generating world-class content that will help industry operators improve their businesses.”
Harris, is a 20-year Thorntons veteran and a 1993 graduate of Western Kentucky University with a degree in Management Information Systems. He obtained his Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 2012.
Thorntons currently operates more than 175 convenience stores, car washes and travel plazas in six states: Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Florida and Tennessee.
“I have admired the work being done by Thorntons and Tony Harris for many years. It is an outstanding chain with wonderful leadership, which is why we are honored to have Tony lead NAG for the next two years,” said John Lofstock, executive director of NAG. “At the same time, I would like to sincerely thank Mary Banmiller for her leadership as board chairman these past two years. Mary has been a mentor, friend and leader for NAG members for the past five years and I’m thrilled she will remain on the board to continue our efforts to grow NAG.”
“It has been wonderful to be a part of the NAG revitalization. Thank you to John Lofstock, Tom McIntyre and John Peterson for believing in NAG and helping us grow this organization into something that provides real value to its members,” Banmiller said. “Tony Harris is a great leader and has always been willing to share information and experiences, which is what we do at NAG.”
NAG AT WORK FOR THE INDUSTRY
The National Advisory Group is part of The Convenience Store Decisions Group. It is a retail trade association driven by retailers for retailers and is an organization committed to building profits and relationships. NAG is aimed at small, mid-size convenience and family-owned convenience store chains and the executives that run them.
NAG members meet annually to examine pressing issues affecting the convenience store and petroleum industry. Through education, networking and NAG’s world-class Information Exchanges, NAG members and the supplier companies that support them have formed lasting friendships and partnerships that have helped storeowners increase profits, reduce operating costs and explore new ideas for expanding their business.
As the convenience store and petroleum industry continues to evolve, training the next generation leaders of tomorrow is more important than ever before. NAG relaunched the Young Executives Organization (YEO) in 2012 to help young executives have a group that is solely focused on exchanging personal experiences with peers in their age group. YEO accomplishes this mission by leveraging the experience of NAG members to help foster superior leadership skills.
NAG is also committed to helping convenience store retailers cultivate the executive leaders of tomorrow through higher education. In keeping with that theme NAG is proud to offer scholarship funding for children of NAG members.
ABOUT THORNTONS INC.
Founded by Kentucky native James H. Thornton in 1971, Thorntons Inc. is one of the leading independent gasoline and convenience chain retailers in the U.S., currently operating throughout the Midwest under the brand name Thorntons. The chain was named Convenience Store Decisions Chain of the Year in 2011. Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Thorntons operates over 174 gasoline and convenience stores, car washes and travel plazas in six states: Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Florida and Tennessee. For more information visit www.thorntonsinc.com; www.facebook.com/thorntonsinc or www.twitter.com/thorntonsinc.