Michael Zielinski, the founder of Royal Buying Group and a fixture at convenience store industry events for the past three decades, has died. He was 61. The Homer Glen, Ill., native passed away from his long struggle with esophageal cancer.
There will be a wake for friends on Tuesday, Nov. 26, at the Schroeder-Lauer Funeral Home, 3227 Ridge Road, Lansing, Ill., from 2 to 8 p.m. Funeral services for Michael will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 27 at the funeral home, friends may visit with the family from 8:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. closing prayers. A mass of Christian Burial will follow at 10 a.m. at St. Ann Catholic Church, 3010 Ridge Road, Lansing, Ill. Interment will be private for family members.
In addition to the Royal Buying Group, Mike served in many prestigious industry positions, including Shell Dealer Council President and NACS Supplier board member. He was involved in countless consulting and business management pursuits, including UniteMeNow LLC and the Hukilau Tiki Event.
He leaves behind a last friendship to countless members of the convenience store and petroleum industry.
“Our industry has lost a true shining star in Mike Zielinski. Mike was one of the most genuine and down to earth people I have met. He had true passion for the industry and the people in it. Anyone who met Mike for the first time had an instant and lifelong friend in him. He was someone you could count on for solid advice, industry insights, and always a few laughs and good company,” said Lisa Dell’Alba, president and CEO of Square One Markets Inc. in Pennsylvania. “He always made sure that you had dinner plans and people to talk to. His presence will be missed by many, his legacy remains forever in the connections that he created for all of us in the industry and the great times we had. I think he enjoyed that part about his work the most.”
Lou Maiellano, president of the TAZ Marketing & Consulting Group, said, “Mike will be greatly missed by all that had the privilege of getting to know him. He definitely has touched many in a positive manner. In business he was gifted, but his true value was in the friendship he gave to all with whom he worked. I’m going to miss his great big smile and his genuine friendship.”
“Mike was a fixture in this industry,” said John Petersen, publisher of CStore Decisions. “He was a great friend to CStore Decisions and the National Advisory Group (NAG), but also to many of us personally and that’s what we will miss most. Our industry just lost one it’s biggest champions and biggest personalities.”
His complete obituary can be found at Mike Zielinski obit.