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NACS elects its 2016–17 Executive Committee; Rahim Budhwani named new chairman

ATLANTA, 2016-Oct-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) announced the election of its 2016–17 Executive Committee during its Board of Directors meeting at the NACS Show in Atlanta.

Rahim Budhwani, CEO at Hoover, Alabama-based 6040 LLC, was named the association’s chairman; he also chairs the NACS Executive Committee, which provides strategic direction and financial oversight to the association.

Also named to the NACS Executive Committee were the following NACS retail members:

  • Vice Chairman-Treasurer: Joe Sheetz, President and CEO of Altoona, Pennsylvania-based Sheetz Inc.
  • Vice Chairman, Legislative: Julie Jackowski, Senior Vice President and Corporate General Counsel and Secretary of Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey’s General Stores Inc.
  • Vice Chairman, Convention: Wendy Chronister, CEO of Springfield, Illinois-based Chronister Oil Company (Qik-n-EZ)
  • Vice Chairman, Research: Kevin Smartt, CEO of Austin, Texas-based Kwik Chek Food Stores Inc.
  • Vice Chairman, Member Services: Jared Scheeler, Managing Director of Dickinson, North Dakota-based The Hub Convenience Stores Inc.
  • Vice Chairman, International: Frank Gleeson, Region Managing Director and COO of Dublin, Ireland-based Aramark Ireland
  • Vice Chairman: Ari Haseotes, CEO of Framingham, Massachusetts-based Cumberland Farms Inc.

Also on the NACS Executive Committee are:

  • 2015-16 NACS Chairman Jack Kofdarali, President of Corona, California-based J&T Management Inc.
  • 2014-15 NACS Chairman Steve Loehr, Vice President, Operations Support of La Crosse, Wisconsin-based Kwik Trip Inc.

Here are biographies of the NACS Executive Committee members:

Rahim Budhwani: 2016-17 NACS Chairman
Budhwani is president and CEO of 6040 LLC. He served on the Board of Directors of the Petroleum and Convenience Marketers of Alabama and on the NACS/Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council. He serves on the Board the Alabama Underground Trust Fund and also played a vital role in building the relationship between the National Alliance of Trade Associations and NACS.

Budhwani earned a B.S. in information technology from the University of Pune and a degree in hotel management and food technology. He is currently working on a degree in aviation business administration and was also a lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. Budhwani and his wife, Kulsum, live in Hoover, Alabama, with their two children.

Joe Sheetz: Vice Chairman, Treasurer

Sheetz is president and CEO of Altoona, Pennsylvania-based Sheetz Inc. Prior to assuming these roles in October 2013, he served as executive vice president of finance for 18 years.

In that capacity he was responsible for finance, accounting, information technology, real estate, risk management and shareholder relations.

Sheetz graduated from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in economics in 1989. His business concentration at Wharton was entrepreneurial management, preparing him for an eventual return to the family business. After graduation, he worked as an employee benefits consultant for CGI Consulting in the suburban Philadelphia area, specializing in designing benefit and retirement plans for major corporations.

Sheetz currently serves on the Altoona Blair County Development Corporation where he was chairman from 2009–2011. He is also former Chairman and a current trustee of Mount Aloysius College.

Kevin Smartt, Vice Chairman, Research
Smartt is the CEO of Kwik Chek Food Stores Inc. As the vice chairman of research, he oversees the NACS Research Committee, which directs the association’s research and development initiatives and programs to promote the ongoing competitive viability of the channel.

Smartt and his business partner, Doyce Taylor, acquired Kwik Chek from its founder in 2001, and have expanded the business significantly in the years since. In addition to his role as CEO, he owns and operates a wholesale fuel distribution company that sells to Kwik Chek stores and more than 100 conveniences stores in Texas and Oklahoma. He is currently leading his team in a company-wide re-branding program, including developing the Kwik Café, offering fresh and healthy made-to-order food in a restaurant within the store.

Smartt is a current member of the Texas Food & Fuel Association (TFFA) and the Oklahoma Petroleum and Convenience Store Association (OPMCA). He also serves on the Conexxus Board of Directors as its current chairman, and since 2006, has served on the Board of Directors for the First National Bank of Trenton.

Wendy Chronister: Vice Chairman, Convention
Chronister is the CEO of Chronister Oil Company dba Qik-n-EZ. As the NACS vice chairman of convention, Chronister oversees the activities of the Convention Committee, which oversees the development and implementation of NACS events, including the NACS Show.

She has been CEO of Chronister Oil Co. since 2009. Previously, she was a partner at Waud Capital Partners LLC and at Kirkland and Ellis. Chronister is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and Young President’s Organization/Chicago Chapter. She previously served on the boards of Regency Hospital Company, ASG Security LLC, Acadia Healthcare LLC, Maxum Petroleum (f/k/a SPI Holdings LLC) and was chairman of True Partners Consulting LLC. She also serves on the board of the Joffrey Ballet Company of Chicago, the Board of Trustees of the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation, the Women’s Board of the Field Museum of Chicago, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago. She graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College in 1987, earning an AB in government. In 1992, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Illinois College of Law in Champaign, Illinois.

Julie Jackowski: Vice Chairman, Legislative

Jackowski joined Casey’s in 1994 as legal counsel. She was promoted to vice president of human resources/legal counsel in 2003, In 2010, she was promoted to senior vice president, corporate general counsel and human resources. In August of 2015, her area of focus changed to her current position of SVP-Corporate General Counsel and Secretary where she concentrates primarily on legal risk and compliance.

Before joining Casey’s, Jackowski was an attorney for Shearer, Templer, Pingel &Kaplan. She has been active in a number of organizations including the Association of Corporate Counsel (Iowa Chapter), Iowa State Bar Association past chair of the Corporate Counsel Section), Drake University Law School Board of Counselors and Delta Theta Phi International Law Fraternity, for which she served four years at its president. She is also on the executive board of the non-profit Wildwood Hills Ranch of Iowa and the president of the Affiliated House Corporation of Gama Phi Beta at Iowa State University.

Jackowski earned a J.D. from Drake University Law School and a BA in political science from Iowa State University.

Vice Chairman, Member Services: Jared Scheeler
Scheeler began his career in the convenience industry in 1998 while attending college. He held multiple roles with the Minneapolis-based Bobby & Steve’s Auto World, most recently as director of convenience store operations for the 8-store chain. In 2014, Scheeler founded The Hub Convenience Stores in southwest North Dakota.

During his industry career, Scheeler has been an active partner with the Minnesota Service Station Association as well as the ND Petroleum Marketers Association on state level industry and political affairs. In 2008, Scheeler was named to the Philip Morris USA Retail Sales Associate Council. In 2013 National Petroleum News named him National Legislative Leader of the Year. Scheeler hosted one of the first NACS In Store events with U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer. He also testified on behalf of NACS before the House Small Business Committee in Washington, D.C., regarding EMV compliance. In 2015, The Hub won the North Dakota Division of Vocational Rehab Regional Employer of the Year under Scheelers leadership.

Scheeler attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where he studied business and psychology. He coaches high school basketball and is an avid volunteer for Dickinson Catholic Schools, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Special Olympics.

Frank Gleeson: Vice Chairman, International
Gleeson is the managing director and COO of Aramark Northern Europe. As the NACS vice chairman of international, Gleeson chairs the International Committee and directs the association’s global engagement.

Aramark Northern Europe has more than 15,000 employees across 2,500 locations. Its world-class experience and expertise in workplace solutions, foodservice, convenience retailing, environmental services and property enables it to provide a fully integrated solution to Irish, UK and EMEA companies.

Gleeson began his career in retail as an operations director for O’Brien’s Fine Wines. He later served as vice president of retail for Statoil Ireland. More recently he was retail director for Topaz Energy Group since 2005, where he led the rebranding of the company in 2008 and was responsible for the retail business of more than 340 sites.

Gleeson is a board member of employers group IBEC and chairman of its energy policy committee, a board member of the Irish National Transport Authority, board member and former chairman of Retail Ireland. He is a member of the Irish Directors Institute, and a member of the Irish government’s Labour market council. He graduated in business management from the Irish Management Institute.

Ari Haseotes: Vice Chairman

Haseotes began his career with Cumberland Farms in the Marketing Department in 2003. In 2005, he was appointed to the position of Vice President of Strategic Planning and Business Development within the company’s finance department. In 2007, he was later promoted to Vice President of Marketing and served in that position until his promotion to President and Chief Operating Officer on October 1, 2008. Effective September 1, 2013, he was promoted to President and Group Chief Operating Officer of the Cumberland Gulf Group of Companies.

On July 1, 2014, Haseotes was named Chief Executive Officer of the Cumberland Gulf Group; he is also a member of the Board of Directors.

Haseotes holds a B.S. in Business Management from Boston College and an MBA from Harvard University. Haseotes and his wife, Ashley, are the founders of One Mission, a childhood cancer foundation dedicated to enhancing the lives of pediatric cancer patients and their families. One Mission is a registered 501(c)(3) foundation that provides help, hope, care, and support to children and their families touched by pediatric cancer. One Mission funds patient and family support services, cutting-edge cancer research, and programs and services that help children and their families.

The NACS Show is the premier event of the year for the convenience and fuel retailing industry. More than 20,000 attendees from 60-plus countries are at the 2016 NACS Show in Atlanta, which features four days of general sessions, more than 60 education sessions and more than 1,200 exhibiting companies in a nearly 410,000 net-square-foot expo. For the most up-to-date news and information on the event, go to

Founded in 1961 as the National Association of Convenience Stores, NACS ( is the international association for convenience and fuel retailing. The U.S. convenience store industry, with more than 154,000 stores across the country, conducts 160 million transactions a day, sells 80% of the fuel purchased in the country and had total sales of $575 billion in 2015. NACS has 2,100 retail and 1,700 supplier member companies, which do business in nearly 50 countries.


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