Regardless of your sphere of responsibility within the convenience store industry, you will find any of the CRU courses informative, enlightening and engaging. For those with responsibilities in foodservice or who have an operational mindset, CRU provides you with five separate tracks to customize your conference experience...

C-stores might be recession-resistant, but as merchandisers, we must maintain discipline and creativity to delight customers and generate profit. Whether you want to strengthen your strategy in emerging categories or devise tactics to target new customers, our education sessions will give you insights and data you can act on now.


Even as you battle competition from drugstores, quick-serve restaurants and pop-ups, the average unit volume for convenience stores offering prepared food and dispensed beverages jumped up more than 10% last year and is forecasted to grow more than 3% annually. It's a sure sign that operators are becoming better at foodservice execution. You may be a top performer, or you may be figuring out how to get there... but you know that foodservice offers unique challenges and distinctive processes. CRU continues to uniquely provide sessions applicable for those invested in foodservice.


Teams work best when they work in harmony. Retail operators know that success is all about the people—your team as well as the customer. If your front-line doesn't get it right, the customer might not come back. CRU offers concurrent courses for the operations team and anyone working with cross-functional teams.


As noted in the CSP 2012 April issue "back in the day, the most exciting thing about filling up was watching the price rack up faster than the gallons." Well, times have changed and the forecourt is abuzz with marketing, information and sales messaging, all geared to service the needs of the motorized consumer.


There are terms referring to where traditional and digital merge: "Tradigital Marketing" or "Integrated Marketing." No one calls for elimination of traditional in-store promos, coupons or even billboard advertising. But the digitizing of America is changing how we talk to shoppers. To remain relevant, convenience store marketers and their service suppliers need to adapt and do so quickly.


Steve Goldner
Senior Director of Social Media, MediaWhiz
As Senior Director of Social Media for MediaWhiz, a division of  Hyper Marketing Inc., Steve Goldner is responsible for the social media practice. Under Steve's leadership, MediaWhiz provides clients with social and communication strategy, planning, execution, and management while providing measured results and KPIs (key performance indicators).
Tony Harris
Chief Operating Officer, Thorntons Inc.
Tony Harris is the Chief Operating Officer of Thorntons Inc. in Louisville, Ky. Founded by James H. Thornton in 1971, Thorntons Inc. is one of the leading independent gasoline and convenience chain retailers in the U.S., currently operating throughout the Midwest under the brand name Thorntons. With over $2.3 billion in revenue, Thorntons is the largest privately held corporation in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Kevin E. Kelley
Co-founder and principal, Shook Kelley
Kevin E. Kelley, AIA, is the co-founder and principal of Shook Kelley, which has offices in Charlotte and Los Angeles. Shook Kelley is a multi-disciplinary firm that not only studies how consumers behave within retail-based situations and environments, but makes design adjustments to these venues in an effort to attract, influence and shape specific consumer behavior. The firm's client list includes well-known brands such as Harley-Davidson, Whole Foods, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Hess, Thorntons, Harris Teeter, Bashas' and more.
Larry Levin
Executive Vice President, Consumer Insights SymphonyIRI Group, Inc.
Larry Levin has spent his entire career in market research, leading engagements for many of the world’s largest manufacturers and retailers including Pepsi, Coke, Lexus, Porsche, Nissan, Infiniti, Starbucks, Audi, Microsoft, and Disney, just to name a few. The first three decades of his career were spent at Market Facts (formerly Synovate), where he held a number of positions, including head of Global Automotive, executive director of International New Business Development.
Linda McKenna
Principal, Convenience Store Coaches
Human Capital Performance Consultant, author, and industry expert, Linda McKenna sets herself apart with her real life experience specifically in the c-store industry. Linda heads her company's Convenience Store Leadership Academy which helps transform managers and supervisors of tasks into coaches and leaders of people. She's helped numerous companies of all sizes in this industry to connect the performance of people to the organizations profitability.
Michael Sansolo
Retail Food Industry Consultant
Michael Sansolo, the long time senior vice president of the Food Marketing Institute and past editor-in-chief of Progressive Grocer, offers a diverse and unique view of the changing nature of today’s shoppers and their impact on the food retail industry. Through countless studies and work with some of the world’s most innovative retailers and manufacturers, Sansolo has an excellent perspective on the changing nature of shopping, cooking, eating and competition.

At CSP's Leadership Events, our CARRE Foundation (Charitable Alliance of Restaurant and Retail Executives) plays a critical role in the attendee experience. CARRE Foundation's purpose is to provide leadership through charitable giving while building stronger relationships and bonds within our conference community. Primary support will be to other non-profit organizations that assist others suffering from disability, disease, illness, and other hardships.

© Convenience Retailing Conference 2015