Sam Jacobsen, one of the early leaders who helped expand the role of NACS after its founding in 1961, and its 1971-1972 president, died Monday at his home in Madison, Wisconsin at age 84, NACS reported.
“Sam’s contribution to our association and our industry goes far beyond his tenure as president,” said NACS president and CEO Hank Armour. “He helped nurture and grow our industry. Many of the things we take for granted today – our video training programs from the early 1970s, our State of the Industry data (the first NACS State of the Industry Report was published in 1972) and our involvement with critical industry standards, to name a few – took root when Sam was most active in NACS. His contributions are immeasurable, and he will be missed.”
Jacobsen began his career in the retail food business in 1949, and went on to operate more than 200 PDQ convenience stores in six states. The company name came from the military expression PDQ – pretty darn quick. Jacobsen sold the stores to his sons in 1991 and last year the company was turned over to its employees in an employee stock ownership plan.
Jacobsen’s involvement in NACS culminated with his role as the 1971-1972 president of the association. (Up until the early 1980s, the top elected leader at NACS was known as the president; today the term is chairman.)
“To every man who is elected to this office, it’s a great honor,” Jacobsen said in a 2001 NACS interview. “It’s a pinnacle of a man’s job, striving in his vocation to do well, and to be honored by that, it’s a great honor and I felt that way.”