big moves at nice n easy

Company president John MacDougall announces major staff changes as he turns is attention to real estate development.

John MacDougall is on a first-name basis with all of his employees and a great many of his customers, too. Well, when customers see him in his Nice N Easy stores and recognize him from the chain’s radio and television promotions, more often then not they address him as the Nice N Easy guy. After all, that’s who he is.

As the Canastota, N.Y.-based chain has grown, MacDougall has had the opportunity to examine new areas of the business that have really captured his interest. He is clear that this is not the end of his involvement with Nice N Easy. In fact, one of his goals for 2006 is to be in stores even more. His focus will be on developing new sites and ideas for Nice N Easy, rather than the day to day operations, but he feels confident and proud of the hands the company is in.

“I’m not retiring,” said MacDougall, “but my knack is in real estate development and trying to find ways to improve our operations overall.”

To that end, he has announced the promotions of some key individuals.

Fran Duskiewicz has been named senior executive vice president and will be in charge of the company’s day-to-day business operations. Duskiewicz has worked for Nice N Easy in many different capacities for 20 years, most recently as CFO. He has served on several National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) committees and most recently was vice president of technical policy for the Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS). In MacDougall’s mind, there couldn’t be a more qualified person to take the helm.

“[Duskiewicz] knows the nuts and bolts of Nice N Easy better than I do,” says MacDougall. “He’s overseen just about every area of our business and he’ll be directing our staff efforts to make sure our growth and profitability continue. He is the brightest c-store analyst I know, so I feel very comfortable with him in charge.”

Peter Tamburro was named executive vice president of franchise operations. Before joining the Nice N Easy corporate division 12 years ago, Tamburro ran a franchise group in the Albany, N.Y., area for over 10 years. Along with oversight of the franchise division, Tamburro will also oversee Nice N Easy’s many special projects, which MacDougall feels will be an invaluable contribution.

“Franchising is a major part of what Nice N Easy offers, and no one knows that part of business better than Peter Tamburro,” says MacDougall. “But he’s also taking on a great deal of responsibility with special projects, like developing new profit centers. We’ve tried things like car wash, but we haven’t had the focus required to make money at it. He will keep us focused. [Tamboro] is also taking on New York State compliance issues for our gas operations. Having him head up that program will ensure we are compliant and not getting hefty fines.”

MacDougall also announced that Ron Rowland has been named vice president of corporate operations. Rowland, who was most recently director of corporate operations, has worked for Nice N Easy for 11 years.

“With [Rowland’s] supermarket background, he brought a wider scope on how to merchandise stores and how to work with vendors,” says MacDougall. “He opened our eyes about the potential different types of products can bring to our business and it’s widened our offer. He’s an innovator who isn’t afraid to take chances. And most importantly, he’s a great motivator. You have to get your people excited about store level projects, and he does a great job explaining what he wants to do and the results he wants to get.”

With Rowland’s new position and responsibilities, two store managers, Janice Boncella and Kate Farwell, were promoted to district managers. They will assist Rowland with the operations in corporate locations. Both Boncella and Farwell have been with Nice N Easy for 17 years. Farwell received Manager of the Year, and Boncella is a two time Manager of the Year.

While MacDougall’s focus will be on Nice N Easy’s real estate interests, he feels confident in the team he’s got in place.

“The best aspect of these changes is that they will be accomplished through the development of my own staff. By doing this internally, these folks can hit the street running—they’re familiar with our operations and know how we do business. It’s very rewarding to see people who have helped you grow your business grow as professionals also. I believe Nice N Easy is in very good hands.”

“It’s very rewarding to see people who have helped you
grow your business grow as professionals also.
I believe Nice N Easy is in very good hands.”
- John MacDougall,President of Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes

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