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A Heart Connection

This week’s Convenience Matters podcast gives listeners a behind-the-scenes look at how Pilot Flying J partnered with the American Heart Association.
May 16, 2018

​ALEXANDRIA, Va. – On this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, “Pilot Flying J Gives From the Heart,” NACS hosts Jeff Lenard and Carolyn Schnare talk with Tim Williams, senior manager IT project management office for Pilot Flying J, and Lauren Lemmons, national director of field corporate relations for the American Heart Association about Pilot Flying J’s participation in this year’s “Life is Why We Give” campaign.

Convenience stores across the country give back to their local communities, which solidifies their relationship with customers—and offers their employees ways to make a difference. In February 2018, Pilot Flying J raised nearly $1 million for the American Heart Association’s “Life is Why We Give” campaign.

“‘Life is Why We Give’ is a way for consumers, companies and the American public to unite around a movement about why life is important,” Lemmons said. This year, AHA had more than 140 supporting organizations and businesses help raise awareness and funds to fight heart disease and stroke. “With 1.2 million customers coming through the doors at Pilot Flying J every day, the AHA has been able to share critical health messages,” she said.

Pilot Flying J started planning well in advance of February 2018. “We treated it as a project,” Williams said. “We started planning in September 2017, … and started communicating with stores three months in advance.” By building in so much lead time, the company was able to develop ways for employee involvement and communicate expectation to team members well ahead of February 1. “Team members are great about reaching out to those who come into our stores,” he said. “The ‘Life is Why We Give’ campaign gave us a specific focus for those interactions.”

Throughout the year, NACS works with several nationwide campaigns, including the American Red Cross, Share our Strength and No Kid Hungry, as it seeks to help retailers help people in their local communities and across the United States.

Each week a new Convenience Matters episode is released. The weekly podcast can be downloaded on iTunes, Google Play Music and Stitcher and at www.conveniencematters.com. Episodes have been downloaded by listeners more than 39,000 times in more than 95 countries.