Convenience Store News

DEC 2016

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WWW.CSNEWS.COM | DECEMBER 2016 | Convenience Store News 27 ing Tulsa, Kansas City, Wichita, Des Moines, St. Louis, Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, Tucson and, most recently Greenville, S.C., and Charlotte, N.C. A 1995 Hall of Famer, Steve Sheetz and his family have been friends with the Cadieux family for many years. "Chester taught us the gas business," recalled Sheetz, who serves as a member of the QuikTrip board of directors. "On a personal level, Chester taught us it's all about the people." When leadership transitioned from Chester to Chet in 2002, the son's people skills were put under the microscope. In fact, for all of QuikTrip's industry- leading innovations, it was Chester's determination to make QuikTrip a better place to work for his employ- ees that might be his greatest lasting contribution. It's a testament to son Chet that QuikTrip this year was included on Fortune's list of the "100 Best Companies to Work for in America" for the 14th consecutive year. "We knew he [Chet] had the skills to lead the company, but we wondered how he is on the people side of the business," Sheetz said about the transition pro- cess. "Our concerns were misplaced. Chet lives the QuikTrip core values: be the best; do the right thing; never be satisfied; focus long-term; and do what's best for QuikTrip." Sheetz noted that although the com- pany's growth — in both number of stores and breadth of offer — has been impressive, "even more impressive is the growth of its people. I'm amazed, and I shouldn't be, how much QuikTrip employees love their jobs and their company." He called Chet a great leader. "We know how proud your father was of you," Sheetz added. Smart competitors also hold Chet and QuikTrip in high regard. "The first day I started at Kwik Trip, [our CEO] Don Zietlow said to go look at QuikTrip and look at what they do with their people," shared Steve Loehr, vice president for the La Crosse, Wis.-based Midwest retailer whose co-founder Zietlow was the 2015 CSNews Hall of Fame inductee. "We hold you and your company in high regard for many reasons, but the main one is your people." The supplier community, too, recognizes how QuikTrip's core values enhance their partnerships. T he convenience store indus- try is often viewed as a fam- ily affair. There were the Thompson brothers who drove the early growth of 7-Eleven. There's Sheetz (a whole slew of fam- ily members including Steve, Stan and current CEO Joe); E-Z Mart's Yates (founder Jim and current CEO, daughter Sonja Hubbard), RaceTrac Petroleum's Bolch (Carl Senior, Junior and current CEO, daughter Allison Moran). And many more. No family name, though, holds a higher place in the pantheon of c-store industry leaders as Cadieux. The Convenience Store News Hall of Fame was launched in 1987, with the goal being to recognize convenience store industry pioneers and innovators from retailer and supplier com- panies of all sizes. The late Chester Cadieux, founder and chairman of QuikTrip Corp., based in Tulsa, Okla., was the first inductee. In many ways, Chester was the model for every other Hall of Famer who came after him. The entire convenience store industry owes a lot of its success to Chester, who raised convenience and fuel retailing to an art form. This year's retailer Hall of Fame inductee, Chet Cadieux III, has not only carried on his father's legacy of innovation and success, but he's enhanced it. Chet has taken a company and platform built by his father and "taken it to new and extraordinary heights," while redefin- ing convenience, said Hank Armour, presi- dent and CEO of NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing. Armour, himself a 2004 inductee of the CSNews Hall of Fame, was among more than a dozen industry leaders and past Hall of Famers in attendance at this year's Hall of Fame induction din- ner in Tulsa, along with 70 QuikTrip employees and family members. Chet, a Tulsa native, today serves as chairman, president and CEO of the company founded by his father in 1958. With annual sales in excess of $12 billion, QuikTrip is the 28th largest privately held company in the United States. It currently operates more than 725 stores primarily in major cities includ - cover story

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