Rick Klyczek is what you'd call a NOCO "lifer." He started working for New York's NOCO Energy Corp. right out of school as an assistant manager in the company's NOCO Express retail division. He quickly moved up through the ranks to become store manager and then district manager before moving into various executive-level positions at the company's headquarters in Tonawanda.

Recently, NOCO promoted Klyczek from director of retail operations to dealer business manager. With 15 years of experience in the NOCO "system" under his belt, he's now tasked with growing the company's existing dealer business, which presently consists of 12 Exxon and Gulf branded dealers.

"I've been working on the retail side for the past 15 years, so this position is almost like starting at a first job," says Klyczek. "NOCO wanted someone with a stronger retail background so we could help [our dealers] grow their in-store sales. We have a certain amount of buying power with our 33 locations, so we want to be able to offer our dealers some stronger merchandising programs through our network."

Managing his new responsibilities required some initial-acclimation, since he'd grown used to the breakneck pace of retail. During his time on the retail side, he played a key role in growing the NOCO Express brand and generating strong return on retail investments by helping the chain execute various programs and partnerships at store-level. Recent partnerships with branded partners like Tim Hortons and Charlie the Butcher (see Meat marketing, Jan. '05, p. 10), for example, have helped to position NOCO Express stores as destination stops in the Greater Buffalo area.

Klyczek looks forward to similar successes on the dealer side of the business.

"There are a lot of great opportunities for our dealers on the merchandise-sellingside and the service side," he says. "We can help them get the best programsand ultimately create sustainability inside the store. If we can assist ourdealers in being more profitable through better merchandising programs, servicesand commissionbased revenues, we'll all come out ahead."

E-mail bdonahue@penton.comwith your "Rising Stars"


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