Industry elite roast Brad Call, vice president of Adventure Culture for Maverik, as more than 200 retailers and suppliers honor the 2013 Convenience Store of the Year chain.
“Maverik does such a great job. Imagine how good they could do if Brad worked more than 20 minutes a month,” joked Pat Lewis, president of Oasis Stop N Go, as he kicked off a roasting of pal Brad Call, vice president of Adventure Culture for Maverik Inc., at Convenience Store Decisions’ 2013 Chain of the Year Award Dinner last night at The Commerce Club of Atlanta.
CSD‘s Chain of the Year Award remains the oldest and most prestigious award for convenience retailing excellence. “The honor is given to convenience retailers that exemplify excellence in customer service, product quality and marketing innovation, and Maverik certainly embodies all of these attributes. This year is CSD’s 24th year of honoring the industry’s best,” said John Lofstock, vice president of editorial content and editor-in-chief of The Convenience Store Decisions Group.
The Roast Was On
Roastmaster Peter Tedeschi, president and CEO of Tedeschi Food Shops, winner of the 2012 Chain of the Year (COY) Award, praised Maverik as an innovator in convenience retailing. But to get the full story on Maverik and Call, he reached out to fellow roasters to share their stories.
Joining Lewis and Tedeschi in the roast were, current NACS Chairman Dave Carpenter , president and CEO of JD Carpenter Cos.; Richard Oneslager, president and owner of Balmar Petroleum; Jack Kofdarali, president JNT Management; and Jeff Miller, president, Miller Oil Co.
Call, the incoming 2013-2014 Chairman of NACS took the roasting in stride.
“The first time I met Brad, I stuck out my hand and he comes at me like a spider monkey in heat,” followed up Carpenter. “I hold out my hand like this and the next thing you know he’s slapping my hand with his foot,” he joked.
Adventure’s First Stop
The friendly ribbing aside, Maverik is a retail leader, and innovative marketer that is committed to its employees and driven by a service-first mantra to satisfy customers. Under the direction of Mike Call, Maverik’s chief adventure guide and Brad Call, the Utah-based chain has created a dynamic brand that intimately connects with customers of the Mountain West. Today, Maverik fuels adventures in more than 250 locations across 10 western states.
Maverik has been a part of the community for three generations. The company was founded in 1928 by Mike and Brad Call’s grandfather, Reuel Call, who opened his first gas station in Afton, Wyo. When few customers were coming to the station, Call rigged up an old Ford with a pole running across the dashboard and attached two barrels—one hanging outside the driver’s side door and one hanging outside the passenger’s side door—and brought gasoline directly to farmers to fuel their tractors. The foundation for the innovative spirit that continues to thrive at Maverik was born.
Maverik encompasses everything a convenience store chain should be: innovative, fun, daring, exciting. But what stands out most of all is its unwavering dedication to the customer experience. Where many companies spend countless hours trying to promote their brand, Maverik’s unique ‘adventure first’ culture literally resonates throughout the community, and at the center of this adventure culture is Maverik.
Maverik is guided by its Five Core Values, which are Being Customer Fanatics; Big Time Thinkers; Value Drivers; Leaders Who Serve; and, of course, Adventure Guides. The company targets specific customer segments to personally meet their needs, such as women and children, blue collar, white collar, emerging adults, Hispanics, Healthy Lifestyle, and, of course, the outdoor adventurer. This customer focused philosophy has paid off with overwhelming brand satisfaction and loyalty.
Passing of the Torch
Tedeschi emphasized the respect other retailers have for Maverik’s world-class retail programs.
“It’s no longer enough to be in convenience, you have to make yourself a destination, and Maverik does that in spades,” Tedeschi noted. “Their customers come in and they don’t just have a transaction they have an experience.”
To announce the 2013 COY Winner, Tedeschi waxed poetic of Call:
“His name is Call of Duty
His wife T is quite a beauty
His hair is a mess and so is his dress
But his company’s quite a beauty
We love what he’s done
His stores are all fun
Adventure at every turn
So lets give a cheer
For this is the Year
That Maverik is Number One.”
“On behalf of Maverik I’m extremely honored to accept this award,” said Call. “ It is absolutely phenomenal. To be considered among this elite group of companies is inspiring.”
Call also took a moment to thank the supplier community for their support of the convenience store industry.
“I really appreciate your support of our channel. You would be in business without you, but without you, we wouldn’t have a chance,” he said. “I can’t wait to do business with you tomorrow. It’s going to be a blast. It’s going to be an adventure.”