Fresh off another successful National Advisory Group (NAG) conference last month in Nashville, I would like to thank all of the attendees that joined us for two days of outstanding networking, educational sessions and information exchanges.
What makes NAG so special is that it is an association driven by retailers for retailers. We are an organization driven by the core goals of helping convenience store operators build profits and relationships.
NAG has a strong emphasis on family businesses and small-to-mid-sized convenience store chains. In our educational sessions and information exchanges we are focused on identifying solutions to the unique challenges that affect their businesses and exploring profit-generating ideas to help them grow sales.
This is an exciting time for NAG and The Convenience Store Decisions Group. In addition to enjoying our biggest NAG conference to date, I will be heading up the association as Executive Director. Over the next few months, Convenience Store Decisions will be growing our editorial staff to better serve our readers, NAG members and the industry.
I am very proud to be working with NAG. At last month’s conference I heard countless comments from members about how much they enjoy the intimacy NAG offers and the special bond retailers have with the association and its fellow members. In my role as Executive Director, I will continue to nurture these relationships while working to bring value to our members and recruiting new companies into our close-knit family.
I want to hear your ideas on how we can improve, your ideas for future educational sessions, strategic partnerships, membership or anything you can think of that will make NAG better. It is your association and we will take all of the necessary steps to grow the group in a way that makes our members proud.
Calling All Young Executives
The success of NAG and our member companies is predicated on implementing great ideas, and that remains NAG’s prime directive. One of the great ideas we had over the past year was to reengage the Young Executive Organization (YEO).
YEO members are industry leaders who are 40 years of age or younger. Members are entrepreneurs actively pursuing a higher level of professionalism in the convenience store and petroleum marketing industry. The current membership roster represents some of the top retail, foodservice technology, operations, marketing and executive minds in the convenience store industry.
YEO membership provides the ideal opportunity to become actively involved in developing real-time solutions for convenience store and petroleum marketers. By participating, YEO members are afforded networking opportunities with prominent and accomplished industry leaders. In fact, we are counting on our NAG members to help foster superior leadership skills in our next generation leaders.
We decided to relaunch YEO to recapture some of the magic formed in NAG going all the way back to the early 1980s. Many of today’s c-store executives rose through the ranks of YEO, including many of NAG’s current members.
As the c-store industry evolves, training next-generation leaders is of crucial importance. YEO is prepared to take on that role. I encourage you to have up-and-coming executives and family members in your organization get involved with this growing organization.
The five-member YEO Board of Directors, headed by chairman Ben Jatlow of High’s of Baltimore, has already instituted some great ideas and they anticipate a busy 12 months. Other board members include: Jeff Jones, vice president and general manager of C.N. Brown Co.; Jared Sturtevant, director of marketing for Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes; Katie Wagner, vice president of Arrow Marts/Yellow Goose Markets; and Ashley Englefield, director of marketing for Englefield Oil Co.
In a few short months, YEO membership has doubled and we are looking to keep the momentum heading into 2014. If you have questions about NAG or YEO, please don’t hesitate to contact me.