During the week-long program, NACS Executive Leadership Program attendees get to experience Cornell’s campus, in addition to immersive convenience-industry-specific classroom learning and collaboration with a network of peers.
Designed for senior-level retail management, this program will enlighten, inform and level up your leadership skills. Foster new ways of thinking, respond to the challenges of an evolved marketplace today and own your position as a visionary leader.
This program helps convenience leaders:
- Reflect on and refine their leadership skills
- Prepare for the demands of key company roles
- Access 360-degree feedback assessments and individual executive-level coaching
- Engage in group case studies that build a network of peers to help address tomorrow’s business challenges
- Hear from top industry leaders speaking to today’s biggest challenges in leadership and the workforce
The program has been customized for the convenience and fuel retailing industry, and is administered by faculty in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, recently ranked in the top 15 best business schools by U.S News and World Report – providing a once-a-year opportunity for high-potential convenience industry executives to engage in peer case studies and prepare for the demands of key company roles.
For any questions or to request more information, please contact:
Education Program Manager
“The course was amazing, from start to finish. The content is top notch! The Cornell faculty did an amazing job keeping all participants fully engaged— which is not an easy task given our fast-paced and ever-changing landscape.”
-Matthew Solly, Fuel Operations Director, Circle K Stores, Inc.
Not sure which program to attend?
Please contact NACS Education to schedule an advising session.
Schedule Consultation >
The NACS Master of Convenience designation acknowledges the hard work and investment NACS members have made in their personal leadership development. It is awarded to convenience retailers who have attended 3 or more of the 5 NACS Executive Education programs. For questions, contact Brandi Mauro, NACS Education Program Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 518-4223.
“It was one of the most educational trainings I’ve ever had. Meeting so many people from the industry, from across the globe, made the experience truly unique!”
– Kerstin Meier, Head of Key Account Management, Lekkerland SE & Co. KG
Geared towards high-potential convenience industry executives preparing to take on key leadership roles in NACS retail member companies. This program provides opportunities to supplement experience with formalized instruction on skills needed to drive long-term organizational performance. Past participants include:
- Presidents and CEOs
- CFOs and Controllers
- Vice Presidents
- Directors of Store Operations
- Operations Managers
- Territory Managers
Participating Companies Include
- Circle K Stores Inc.
- Kum & Go, L.C.
- Ipiranga Produtos de Petróleo S.A.
- Shell International Oil Company Limited
The NACS Executive Leadership Program will take place on Cornell’s campus Sunday, July 30 through Thursday, August 3, 2023.
Here is a sample curriculum and schedule (PDF) for an idea of what to expect. Attendees should plan to arrive no later than 4 PM on Sunday, July 30 and depart after 12:30 PM on Thursday, August 3.
During the week, attendees will spend a few hours at the Hoffman Challenge Course—one of the largest collegiate challenge courses in the country, with over 50 low and high ropes elements—to put their leadership skills around team-building, negotiation, strategy and giving/receiving feedback into practice.
We have two guest lecturers lined up to present this year: Bonnie Herzog, managing director of Goldman Sachs, who will share her take on the convenience industry from the Wall Street point of view and Bryan Gildenberg, founder/CEO of Confluencer Commerce, who will provide a global view of c-stores and retail media networks.
Attendees will also attend a live-virtual kick-off webinar scheduled to take place on June 20 from 11 AM – 3 PM EDT. During that time, attendees will receive an introduction to the Benchmark Assessments that will be an integral part of their one-on-one feedback and coaching session to take place prior to arriving to campus. Cornell will work with participants directly to schedule their individual coaching sessions.
The NACS Executive Leadership Program is administered by faculty in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, recently ranked number three in Bloomberg BusinessWeek's rankings of undergraduate business programs.
This program combines the exclusivity of an Ivy League education with world-class experts tailoring the training specifically towards the convenience industry. Meet the professors lined up to present at the 2023 program.
Henry Armour is the president and CEO of NACS. He grew up working in his family’s retail businesses, Armour Oil Company, rising to the position of vice president and COO in 1977. In 1980, he joined The Standard Oil Company of Ohio, where he served as manager of development strategies. He later founded West Star Corporation, which grew to include 59 NOW! convenience stores, truck stops and quick-service restaurants in the Pacific Northwest until he sold the company in 2004. In 1988, Armour founded Epoch Corporation, which operated retail enterprises in California.
He became president and CEO of NACS in July 2005, having also served as the association’s chairman in 2002 and 2003. Armour earned a BA in economics from Stanford University, an MSc in economics from the London School of Economics, and an MBA and PhD in economics from Stanford University.
Bryan Gildenberg is an industry expert, keynote speaker, and advisor on the commerce landscape. With over 25 years of experience helping retailers, brands and their trading partners adapt to and win in the changing retail world, Bryan is a trusted subject matter expert on both physical and digital retail, including retail ecommerce.
Bryan is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and private events, and his perspective has been featured in dozens of media publications and news outlets such as CNBC, the BBC and Fox Business. He is co-host of the popular CPG Guys podcast as well as The Gildenberg Omnicomment, a weekly perspective on omni-channel strategy. As Founder and CEO of Confluencer Commerce, a consultancy aimed at helping brands and leaders navigate the confluence of retail, media and content, Brian works with brands, agencies, and retailers to drive best-in-class commerce strategies. Bryan also leads the North America business for Retail Cities, a global retail research business that helps clients get and maintain a finger on the pulse of the global retail landscape.
Bryan spent over 20 years as Chief Knowledge Officer for Retail at Kantar, the world’s leading marketing data and analytics company. He also served as SVP of Commerce for Omnicom’s retail marketing agencies. Bryan holds an M.A. with Honors from Cambridge University and an MBA from Babson College in Wellesley, MA.
Bonnie Herzog is a managing director and senior consumer analyst at Goldman Sachs covering the beverage, tobacco and convenience store sectors. During her 20 plus years of experience as a sell-side equity research analyst, Bonnie has been a top-ranked Institutional Investor analyst. For more than ten years, Bonnie has been recognized by Institutional Investor magazine for the All-America Research Team, most recently ranking as a runner-up in the beverage/HPC sector and historically ranking as No. 2 in the tobacco sector. Bonnie also consistently ranks in the U.S. Thomson Reuters Awards and most recently ranked No. 3 stock picker and No. 2 earnings estimator in the beverage sector.
Prior to Joining Goldman Sachs in December 2019, Bonnie was a managing director at Wells Fargo where she covered the beverage, household & personal care, tobacco and convenience store sectors since 2011. Prior to Wells Fargo, Bonnie was a managing director at Citi Investment Research where she covered the beverage and tobacco sectors in equity research since 2002 and was a director at Credit Suisse covering the beverage and tobacco sectors since 1997.
Bonnie is best known for her in-depth proprietary research and successful contrarian stocks calls. She has been a guest speaker at numerous tobacco, beverage and convenience store industry conferences. Bonnie earned an MBA degree in finance from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BA degree in finance from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Dan is a global retail and consumer packaged goods executive with broad experience across diverse business environments and formats, leading traditional food retail operations and merchandising, as well as product development, consumer and category analytics, sourcing and procurement, global trading, national sales and ecommerce. Dan is an outstanding strategist and general manager, and he has led the successful startup of multiple diverse businesses. Known for and recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on retailers’ proprietary brands, he has shaped clients’ programs across four continents and eight classes of trade. His passion is in helping companies see their unique DNA and positioning and creating actionable marketing and sales strategies essential for their success.
After earning a degree from Cornell University in Agribusiness and Marketing, Dan plunged headlong into retail joining Aldi Foods as a District Manager. In the early 1990’s Wakefern/ShopRite was very concerned about Aldi’s expansion east and Dan jumped at the opportunity to start a business, and moved to West Springfield, MA and opened the first Price Rite Store. Today there are over 70 Price Rite stores that generate over $1 Billion in annual revenue and they are a strategic growth driver for Wakefern.
After spending two years at Arthur Andersen as a retail consultant Dan spent fourteen years at Daymon Worlwide working with manufacturers and retailers across the world. Dan’s career at Daymon progressed rapidly, and In 2011 Dan was appointed to the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) as the Chief Supplier Officer (CSO). As the CSO Dan was responsible for Category Management and Analytics, Supplier Relationships, Global Sourcing and Procurement and ran Daymon’s import and export businesses. As a member of the ELT Dan was instrumental in re-inventing Daymon from consulting/brokerage company to a broader retail services company. Dan left Daymon at the end of 2013 and joined Trilliant Food and Nutrition in January of 2014 as the Vice President of Sales for national accounts and ecommerce.
For the last four years Dan has focused on the digital channel selling to ecommerce retailers and running multi-million-dollar businesses for Walmart.com and Jet.com.
And today, Dan is on the Faculty at the SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University where he teaches both graduates and undergraduates in Food and Consumables Marketing, Supply Chain Strategy, and he is the Director of External Education for the Food Industry Management Program.
Dan has an MBA from the University of Connecticut.
Michael Hostetler is a faculty member of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. Mr. Hostetler's main research and teaching interests are in strategy, decision-making, leadership, high performance teams, innovation and change management. He has taught classes in the MBA program, Executive MBA program and the Cornell-Queen's EMBA program, as well as many non-degree executive education programs.
Mr. Hostetler is also the author of on-line courses in strategic thinking, scenario planning, leadership, and team effectiveness for eCornell, Cornell’s distance learning subsidiary. These programs have been used by corporations around the world to enhance their executive development programs, including IBM, CSC, AP Moeller Maersk, the U.S. Navy, Delta Hotels and Resorts, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police among many others.
Mr. Hostetler also consults with private and non-profit organizations, both domestically and internationally. In particular, he works frequently in the health care, financial services, manufacturing and food industries. Recent clients include the Lehigh Valley Health Network, the Community Health Foundation of Buffalo, New York, the P2 Collaborative of Western New York, Northern Trust, Schwan’s, LG, United Technologies, Driscoll’s, Philip Morris International, Citigroup, Victaulic Co., Anthony Marano Co., Nunasi Corp., Ahold Delhaize, Sun World International, Samsung, LG, Sony, NACS, United Fresh, Vantage Foods, OSRAM, Baldor, NGA, and SG Cowen. Mr. Hostetler has also designed and taught a number of executive development programs and strategy consulting projects globally, including the U. S., Great Britain, Holland, Canada, France, Germany, Austria, Brazil, Venezuela, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, India, Dubai, and Egypt.
Also, because of his strong interests in leadership and leadership development and high performing teams, Mr. Hostetler has been an active executive coach and has worked one-on-one with hundreds of managers and executives around the world.
As associate dean at the Johnson School from1992-2003, he had P&L responsibilities for managing all public and custom executive programs. In addition, he launched and managed the Johnson School's Executive MBA program during its first two years of operation and served on the committee that developed the Cornell-Queen's EMBA Program.
Prior to joining Cornell University, Mr. Hostetler was assistant dean for executive education at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. His prior experience also includes positions with St. Mary's Medical Center, the University of Tennessee, and the Office of the Governor of Kentucky. Mr. Hostetler is an emeritus trustee of the International University Consortium for Executive Education.
Bruce Levitt has been a Professor in the Department of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University since l986. He served as Chair of the Department from l986 to l995 during which time he oversaw the final phases of construction of the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts and, together with the faculty and staff, restructured the academic and productions programs of the department.
Previous to assuming the Chair of the Department at Cornell Dr. Levitt headed the MFA programs in Acting at the University of Iowa and served as program coordinator of the MFA program in Directing at Columbia University.
Professor Levitt has had a distinguished career as a freelance director in New York and regionally, and has been involved with the development of dozens of new plays in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Recent credits include Cornell productions of The Cherry Orchard, The Glass Menagerie, Strider, A Lie of the Mind, Equus, The Three Sisters, Cocoanuts, Beat Box Bard, Hamlet, and the American premier of David Edgar's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Dr. Levitt is a former chair of the New York State Council on the Arts Theatre Panel. From 1995 to 2001 Levitt served as the Producing Artistic Director of The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival in Kansas City, where he has directed productions of Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, Love's Labour's Lost, Macbeth, King Lear, and Measure for Measure, which won the 1999 Kansas City Drama Desk Award for best direction. Professor Levitt teaches several levels of acting classes, text analysis, solo performance, and directing. He was elected to membership in the National Theatre Conference in 2008.
At Cornell, Levitt has collaborated in community-based projects with the Lehman Alternative Community School, John O’Neal, Roadside Theatre, Urban Bush Women, Michael Keck, and members of the American Festival coalition. He co-teaches a course in community engagement with Scott Peters, Co-Director of Imagining America and faculty member in Development Sociology and Shorna Allred, faculty member in Natural Resources.
Levitt is a facilitator for the Phoenix Players Theatre Group, an organization founded by incarcerated men at Auburn Maximum Security Prison. He has been with the group eight years, meeting with them weekly, assisting them on their journey of transformation through the use of theatre techniques. Levitt has assisted in devising four original pieces that the group has performed for invited audiences. Maximum Will, the groups’ second piece was performed in April of 2012 at Auburn Correctional facility and its development is the basis for the documentary Human Again. The group expanded its membership in 2013 and in May of 2014 performed their third original piece titled, An Indeterminate Life. In May, 2016, The Phoenix Players presented their fourth original piece, This Incarcerated Life, the full video of which can be found on the Phoenix Players web site. PPTG’s most recent piece: The Strength of Our Convictions: The Auburn Redemption is now posted on the PPTG web site. His two most recent articles about the Phoenix Players, co-authored with Nick Fesette, assistant professsor at Oxford
College, can be found at the following links: Pedagogies of Self-Humanization: Collaborating to Engage Trauma in the Phoenix Players Theatre Group and Rehearsing Transformation in an American Prison. An interview with Levitt and Lorraine Moller of RTA can be found here.
In August of 2016, Levitt was the recipient of Cornell's first Engaged Scholar Prize.
Don Rhoads is the President of The Convenience Group, LLC, a convenience store chain operating in Washington State. Don began his convenience store career in 1989 as President of the Quick Shop Minit Mart, a 51 unit convenience store chain located in Vancouver, Washington. Don also owns and operates a Cannabis producer and processing facility in Oroville, Washington.
Prior to Quick Shop Minit Mart, Don was Business Development Administrator for the Small Business Development Center located at Washington State University. Additionally, Don was President of Columbia River Development Association, operating as a Small Business Administration 504 company in Washington State and Vice President of Columbia River Economic Council located in Clark County, Washington.
Currently, Don is a Board and committee member of the National Association of Convenience Stores, Board and Executive Committee member of Washington Food Industry Association, and past President and Board Member of Washington Association of Neighborhood Stores.
Don has served on many nonprofit and charitable organizations.
The Convenience Group was awarded the 2018 Washington State Retailer of the Year by the Washington Food Industry and Independent Grocers Association.
Don attended St. Mary’s College, Western Washington University, National Development Council and Wharton School Executive Program for Economics and Finance.
Don resides in Vancouver Washington with his wife, Jennifer and their two children, Donnie and Giovanna.
Registration for the 2023 NACS Executive Leadership Program is closed. Sign up below to be added to the waitlist and to be notified once registration is open for the 2024 program. If a seat becomes available in the 2023 program, then you will be contacted directly.
NACS Member - $3,995
A tuition endowment from Reynolds makes this program most affordable for all NACS retail member companies. With financial support from Reynolds, program tuition is $3,995, which includes instruction, course materials, assessments, lodging, scheduled meals and entertainment.
Please note: Registration is limited to retailer, distributor, and state association member companies only. State Associations, please contact Brandi Mauro at email@example.com to register.
Classroom & Lodging
130 Statler Drive
Ithaca, NY 14853
Lodging at Cornell’s Statler Hotel and scheduled meals are included in the total cost of the program. NACS will handle the booking of your room.
The program fee includes 4 nights (Sunday, July 30 – Wednesday, August 2). If an Early Arrival (the evening of Saturday, July 29) or Late Departure (the evening of Thursday, August 3) is needed, then please notify Brandi Mauro at firstname.lastname@example.org. Evenings outside of the program dates are at the participant’s expense. Payment for the additional night is due at the time of check-in.
Classes are scheduled to take place within the Statler building.