Students Today, Leaders Tomorrow | NACS – Magazine – Past Issues – 2016 – April
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Students Today, Leaders Tomorrow

The NACS Foundation recognizes rising industry leaders through the NACS Scholarship Program.

By Diane Rusignola

Since 1991, the NACS Scholarship Program has awarded nearly $400,000 to employees of NACS retail member companies who demonstrate leadership potential. Now through June 1, you can help recognize the next generation of industry innovators by nominating a rising leader within your company for a $3,000 scholarship.

The Importance of the Program
The NACS Scholarship Program was created to recognize and support industry employees who exhibit the potential and determination to help the convenience channel thrive tomorrow. The program’s commitment to recognizing and developing future leaders honors the memory of industry icon Jim Yates, founder of E-Z Mart Stores and former NACS chairman from 1992–1993. In 2011, a large donation from a NACS member company expanded the program to include honoring the memory of David Erickson, former CEO of Erickson Oil Products.

The NACS Scholarship Program has a long-standing mission to grow today’s top talent into tomorrow’s top performers through continuing education and professional development opportunities. The program offers a way for retail members to recognize, reward and inspire rising leaders within their companies.

Selected applicants are awarded $3,000 for costs toward undergraduate career education, community college or university. In addition, this year’s scholarship recipients also receive a stipend to attend the 2016 NACS Show in Atlanta, October 18–21, where they will be recognized during a special evening ceremony and given the firsthand opportunity to learn more about exciting career paths in the industry. The program targets college and university students—rising leaders who have demonstrated leadership potential within the convenience channel.

The NACS Foundation also supports executive leaders by funding part of the programming at three of the nation’s most respected universities. High potential leaders have the opportunity to attend the NACS Financial Leadership Program at Wharton (June 19–24), the NACS Executive Leadership Program at Cornell (July 31–Aug. 4) and the NACS Marketing Leadership Program at the Kellogg School of Management (July 24–29). These programs further support the journey mid- to senior-level managers are taking to become industry thought leaders.

The NACS Scholarship Program provides a way for NACS retail members to recognize, reward and inspire top talent within their companies by investing in their employees’ education and excellence. For more on the program, including a video of 2015 scholarship recipients and information about the 2016 application process, visit

Diane Rusignola is deputy editor at NACS. She can be reached at or (703) 518-4278.