The convenience store industry proves time and again that innovation and hard work are the foundation that supports steady, meaningful growth. This growth isn’t only important from a sales standpoint, but is vital to a company’s long-term stability when analyzing the human element.
Convenience store companies must be able to produce young talent that will guide the business into an uncertain future.
This was true when industry trailblazers such as 7-Eleven, QuikTrip, Kum & Go and Thorntons, began envisioning an industry much greater than the sum of its scattered parts in the 1950s and 60s, and it remains true today.
That why the National Advisory Group (NAG) and Convenience Store Decisions are proud to partner on the Young Executive Organization’s (YEO) 40 Under 40 Leaders.
NAG’s Young Executive group was first launched more than 30 years ago. Since I took over as Executive Director of NAG two years ago it has been my highest priority to reignite the passion for this important organizations and grow its membership. Thanks to a wonderful board of directors and a focused agenda that emphasizes industry education, networking and having fun, the group is again flourishing, and I couldn’t be more proud.
For example, earlier this year, 20 YEO members joined us at a roundtable hosted by Family Express in Indiana for a closer look at the chain’s impressive operations. At the 2015 NAG Conference this past September, we had more than 25 young executives attend the exclusive YEO Information Exchanges. We’re expecting an even greater turnout at the 2016 roundtable that will be hosted by RaceTrac Petroleum in Atlanta.
While this group is special to me, I feel the time is right to peel back a layer and let the rest of the industry in on the work that goes on behind the scenes. As such, we ask you to take a moment to identify the next wave of the industry’s young retail leaders by nominating them for inclusion in the 2016 40 Under 40.
We expect these nominations to come from all corners of our industry—executive level, operations, technology, foodservice, human resources—literally anywhere that requires leadership. Nominees must be 40 years old or younger through the end of 2015 and hold a leadership position at a multi-site convenience store company. Send your nominations to [email protected].
Importance of YEO
Industry growth today, as it was decades ago, is a complex, multi-tiered web that requires everyone within in an organization to focus beyond their immediate needs and anticipate the needs of tomorrow. This is especially true when it comes to identifying the next generation of industry leadership.
For some organizations, this is a fairly simple process. The next-generation leaders will be family members who have grown up eating and sleeping convenience store operations since they were first old enough to say “turnover.” It’s these family-owned business that continue to be role models by virtue of their longevity, but also because of their commitment to greatness.
The stakes are simply much higher for a family business than a larger corporation. As Matt Thornton, CEO of Thorntons Inc., once told me, “When your name is on the store, there is motivation every day to be great. No exceptions and no excuses.”
NAG’s YEO was designed to help the next-generation leaders have a group of their own that advances this philosophy and gives members an opportunity to interact with others in a similar position of maturing within the competitive convenience store industry. It also provides members a platform to express their ideas, leadership abilities and vision for the future of convenience retailing by encouraging capable executives. By participating in YEO, members are taking an important step toward becoming a future industry leader.
Please nominate your next-generation leader today or let us know of a young executive that deserves this prestigious recognition.