Single Store Owner

DEC 2016

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6 / Convenience Store News for the Single Store Owner / DECEMBER 2016 PERSPECTIVES Single-Store Duo Honored as 2016 Top Women in Convenience The two entrepreneurs were among 62 outstanding female executives recognized is involved in implementing a formal mentor program within the Chevron franchise group. Grace Papoulias Owner, Westmoor Chevron Westmoor, Calif. • Papoulias is responsible for everything involved with running the business, from top-level management decisions to day-to-day op- erations. She has two direct reports and 11 employees. • She began working in her father's gasoline sta- tion business as a child and joined full-time in 1991. In 2014, she helped drive the Westmoor, Calif., station's rebuild construction project to replace the three-bay auto care business with a convenience store. • In 2015, Papoulias established her own limited liability company, took over the business and, following a seven-month-long renovation proj- ect, opened the convenience store. As in years past, honorees were chosen based on nominations received from their peers, drawing from achievements during the previous 12 months. From the entire pool of nominees, judges also chose five as the best of the best and awarded them the title of Women of the Year. The 2016 Women of the Year were: Laura Asbell, regional vice president of convenience for Mon- delez International Inc.; Niki DePhillips, senior vice president, store development for Kum & Go LC; Sha- ron Kuncl, vice president, merchandising — food- service at Eby-Brown Co. LLC; Danielle Mattiussi, vice president, retail adventures for Maverik Inc.; and Nancy Smith, senior vice president, merchandising, fresh food and beverages at 7-Eleven Inc. Sponsors of the 2016 TWIC program included presenting sponsor Altria Group Distribution Co.; platinum sponsors R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Ruiz Foods; and gold sponsors BIC Con- sumer Products, The Coca-Cola Co., Eby-Brown Co. LLC, The Hershey Co., Logic Premium Electronic Cigarettes, McLane Co. Inc., and Mon- delez International Inc. SSO C onvenience Store News once again used the backdrop of the NACS Show, the largest annual gathering of the convenience store industry, to present its 2016 Top Women in Convenience (TWIC) awards. On the evening of Oct. 19, once the expo floor had closed for the day, showgoers were invited to head over to the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center for a special reception celebrating the industry's most outstanding female leaders and rising stars. "The CSNews Top Women in Convenience awards program recognizes a diverse array of women from both the retailer and supplier sides of the industry, from leaders to mentors to rising stars and role models," CSNews Editorial Director Don Longo said at the third-annual event. The 2016 inductee class included 62 of the best and brightest ladies making a positive impact in the convenience retail channel. Among this year's honorees were 24 senior-level leaders (positions of vice president and above), 21 rising stars (job titles above store manager, but below vice president), five mentors (women who have made an extraordinary impact on the careers of their colleagues), five store managers, and two single-store owners. This was the second year that single-store owners were celebrated as part of the TWIC awards pro- gram. Both of this year's independent honorees hail from the state of California: Marylou Mendez Owner & Chief Financial Officer, Mendez Auto Services Orange County, Calif. • Since 1979, Mendez has served as general manager of her family's Chev- ron-branded stations, where she helped open Chevron's first c-store in Orange County, Calif. • In 1992, she purchased Plaza Chevron from her father. Her husband and two sons work alongside her in the business. • Mendez is an active member of Chevron's Extra Mile Franchise Advisory Council and

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