retailing for the future

Independent conveniencestore and gas station operator VERC Enterprises named DaveProler to the position of districtmanager, covering six of the company'slocations from Berlin, Mass. to Nashua,N.H.

Proler has two years experiencefrom Greenfield, Mass.-based SandriSunoco Fuels, where he learned valuable skills as a district manager thatwould benefit him greatly in his newposition with VERC. Prior to entering the gasoline and c-store industry, he worked for the state as a social worker.

Armed with a Master's degree in criminal justice from Northeastern University, Proler set out to help others by devoting himself to social work. He went on to jointhe Massachusetts Department of YouthServices, where he spent five years as acase worker.

Proler took a concentration of classesdealing with the private security industryand human services. These courses helpedguide his career path toward the c-storeindustry. "Much of what we do deals withloss prevention and cash and inventory control," he said. "The private sector is a greatway for me to use my degree—the c-storechannel turned out to be a perfect fit."

While working with Sandri, Prolerattended the annual channel events suchas NACS and the New England ConvenienceStore Association (NECSA). There hemade key industry contacts, including LeoVercollone, the president and CEO of VERC,whom he heard speak at one of the events.

"I was very impressed with Leo's visionfor the industry," said Proler. "I was aware ofVERC's strong presence in New England andtucked his name into the back of my mindfor future opportunities."

That opportunity came in the chance tooversee six VERC stores situated in hightraffic New England areas. The sites thatProler manages are located up and downthe I-495 corridor, bringing in highway visitors as well as locals. Proler enjoys thechance to interact with associates andcustomers on a daily basis, and relies onboth parties to drive VERC's neighborhoodfriendly business.

VERC's offerings of well-respectedbrand names, including ExxonMobil fuels,Dunkin' Donuts and Subway, draw in customers along with the company's level ofservice. Many locations are open 24/7and feature on-site car washes. Proler isworking with VERC as it begins to convertits stations to the successful On the Runmodel and continue to grow with Dunkin'Donuts brand.

"Our brands provide another service forour customers and make us the one-stopshop for the community," said Proler. "I'menticed by the sales and retail aspects ofthe c-store business. Retail is our future.

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