protecting the perimeter

Tesoro Corp. has instituted a series of safeguards to keep employees out of harm’s way.

Frank Coletta has every reason to take his job very seriously. If he eases up on the rules and regulations just a little bit, employees could get hurt, or worse. So this savvy industry veteran has no plans to go easy on store employees who take convenience store safety lightly.

Coletta is the manager of safety and loss prevention for Tesoro Corp., and he is the focus of this month’s cover story.

Since joining the San Antonio-based refiner-marketer in 1998, Coletta has instituted a series of safeguards to keep employees out of harm’s way. They include interactive security, time-delay drop safes and a strict non-resistance policy when it comes to robberies. His policies were developed based on his 15 years of experience in law enforcement.

What distinguishes Coletta from some of his peers is that he is not simply paying the security issue lip service. He means business and he is not afraid to show it.

“We had a guy who intervened in a robbery when he shouldn’t have and he tied a would-be thief up with Scotch tape,” Coletta said. “The employee thought he was doing the right thing. We decided his behavior could not be tolerated. He put himself and other employees at risk and, as a result, the guy doesn’t work for us any more.”

At a time when labor continues to be a persistent industry-wide problem, some security managers might be willing to turn the other cheek. Not Coletta. That says a lot for chain that oversees a retail marketing system of almost 500 convenience stores and gas stations.

It takes a lot of people to man those stores, but all of them are expendable if they don’t follow the rules and put themselves and others at risk.

Have a Question? Ask the Experts
In response to the many editorial questions we get each month, Convenience Store Decisions in June launched Ask the Experts, an online panel of authorities designed to help retailers and suppliers get quick, concise information on a host of industry-related topics ranging from category management and human resources to technology and government compliance.

This fully interactive Web-based tool is intended to be a timely resource for our readers looking for answers to complex questions or simply to learn how other operators are dealing with similar retail situations. To submit a question or join the panel of experts, visit

The Ask the Experts Web site will also feature a Question of the Day, which will be answered by some of the convenience store and petroleum industry’s leading authorities. We hope you will find the new site informative and that it enables you to benchmark your business against industry standards.

Our editorial staff carefully chose the participating experts based on their knowledge of specific areas. CSD’s Ask the Experts panel includes:

  • Allen Seidner, principal of Thought for Food Consulting
  • David Bishop, director of Willard Bishop
  • Gene Hoffman, president of Corporate StrategiesInternational and former president of TheKroger Co.
  • James Bassett, president of The James W. Bassett Co.and
  • James Calvin, president of the New York Associationof Convenience Stores (NYACS)
  • Jeff Lenard, director of communication for the National Association of Convenience Stores(NACS)
  • John Matthews, founder and president of Gray Cat Enterprises Inc.
  • Mark Lilien, a consultant with the Retail TechnologyGroup
  • Mark Mayberry, customer service consultant andauthor of “Building The Dream Workforce
  • Mark Radosevich, president of PetroProperties & Finance, a division of PetroConsulting Inc.
  • Mark Thorsby, executive director of the International Carwash Association (ICA)
  • Mel Kleiman, president of Humetrics Inc.
  • Michael J. O’Connor, president & CEO of theVirginia Petroleum, Convenience and GroceryAssociation (VPCGA)
  • Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association
  • Richard J. George, Ph.D., Professor in theDepartment of Food Marketing at the HaubSchool of Business at Saint Joseph’s University

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