Save the Date: April 2-4, 2019
Location: Hyatt Regency O'Hare, Chicago, IL
You Have Questions. We Have Data-Powered Answers.
One of the best ways to gain a competitive advantage is by using data to guide the direction of your business. Informed decisions can help you improve product offerings, retain customers, reduce costs and gain operational improvements to drive growth.
With nearly 50 years of convenience industry data, analysis and strategic insights behind it, the NACS State of the Industry (SOI) Summit provides the data-powered answers you need to help set the course forward for your business. Each spring, we bring together business professors, economists and top-performing c-store retailers to help break down the latest consumer, financial and operational data across the convenience channel—live from the stage. Held over two, fast-paced days, this annual benchmarking conference is the only event where convenience retailers gain access to the newest metrics—as well as industry trends, opportunities and ‘watch-outs’—in essential topic areas such as finance, labor, store operations, merchandising and fuel sales.
By attending the SOI Summit, you’ll be among the first to:
See who’s already made plans to join us this year.
For any questions or to request more information, please contact:
Retail Attendee Inquiries
Amy Ashley-Burke, CMP
Director, Meetings and Convention Services
Supplier Attendee Inquiries
New Business Development Manager, Winsight Media
Next year’s NACS State of the Industry (SOI) Summit will take place April 2-4, 2019, just outside of Chicago in Rosemont, IL, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare Hotel.
Over the coming months, our research team will be working with top-ranked business professors, economists and c-store retailers to develop another data-rich program with brand new insights into the trends, watch-outs and opportunities for our industry.
Take a look at the 2018 Agenda and speakers (PDF).
Please check back in the fall for the latest information about the 2019 NACS State of the Industry Summit.
If you are unsure about the status of your membership with NACS, or would like to learn more about how you can participate in the event, please contact:
Director, Retail Membership
Membership Manager, Supplier Relations
Alan D. Beach
Alan Beach began his career with 7-Eleven as a management trainee in Baltimore, Md. He was subsequently named to numerous advancing positions in Store Operations and Merchandising in the Mid-Atlantic region.
In 1989, he relocated to Texas to work in both Field Merchandising and Operations positions.
In 1992, he moved to Dallas to join Corporate and begin development of national merchandising processes / practices and a centralized merchandising department.
From 1994 to 1999, he then managed many different product categories, including fresh food, proprietary beverages, and beer / wine on a national basis. He is credited with numerous innovative new products including the Slurpee Splitzo cup, the Burger Bite and the Big Brew Coffee.
Beginning in 2000 he served in numerous Sr. Product Director Roles responsible for Vault, Proprietary beverages, Non Foods, Tobacco, New Business Development, and Fresh Foods business units.
In 2005 he was promoted to Vice President of Field Merchandising, responsible for the quality assurance function and the field merchandising team for North America.
He became Vice President, Merchandising, in 2007, responsible for merchandising strategy and category management across all Beverages, Tobacco, and Center store business units. He was instrumental in launching the 7 Select Private Brands business unit and Global merchandising.
In 2010 Alan’s role was shifted to focus on centralizing field merchandising, oversight of the Vault beverage business, leadership of Canada merchandising, and implementation of the company’s Business Transformation initiatives.
In 2014 his role was expanded to develop a Merchandising Strategy and Support dept., coordinating long range strategy and planning in merchandising as well as creation and oversight of Pricing Optimization, Revenue, Vendor and Space management functions for the company.
Alan was named Sr. Vice President in June, 2015. In addition to is prior responsibilities, he took on leadership of the $4.4B vault business unit, oversight of the Store Design function, and redesign of the Merchandising business function.
Alan retired as SVP Merchandising with 40 years of service in October, but continues to serve the 7- Eleven family as a liaison to NACS and the NACS Research committee. Alan previously served on the NACS Coca-Cola research council. His stated goal is to leverage his knowledge and experience to enable 7-Eleven, and all other companies in the convenience industry to grow and improve via NACS.
Alan was also recently appointed to the Advisory Board of Grabbr, a digital services marketing company. He enjoys hunting, fishing and boating in the great state of Texas.
Alan has been married to his wife Renee for 31 years, and they are the proud parents of son Michael, and daughter Erin who is a junior at Texas A&M.
Dr. Bill Conerly
Dr. Bill Conerly guides business leaders in building resilient plans adaptable to any economy. He has the unique combination of a Ph.D. in economics from Duke University and over 30 years’ experience helping companies thrive in changing economic conditions. He has worked in economics and corporate planning at two Fortune 500 corporations and at a major bank, where he was senior vice president.
Companies have used Dr. Conerly’s expertise to help with decisions regarding capital expenditures, inventory levels, expansion into new markets, pricing, business models and financial structure.
Bill Conerly has spoken to over 1300 business audiences in four countries and 31 states.
Dr. Conerly is an on-line contributor to Forbes.com and the author of The Flexible Stance: Thriving in a Boom/Bust Economy (2017) as well as Businomics (2007). You may have seen him interviewed on the News Hour with Jim Lehrer, CNN and CNBC. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, and USA Today.
Director, Client Solutions
Mark DiDomenico has been following trends in the Foodservice Industry for over 27 years. He started his career with The NPD Group, analyzing restaurant traffic trends and foodservice manufacturer shipments. From there, he transitioned to the manufacturer side, providing insights guidance for the foodservice divisions of Kellogg USA and Sara Lee. In addition, Mark was instrumental in executing customer database profitability analyses, as well as establishing CRM and white-space targeting initiatives.
In 2011, Mark transitioned back to the supplier side, joining Datassential, another leading insights provider for the foodservice industry. As Director, Customer Solutions, Mark is leveraging his significant experience helping foodservice operators and manufacturers develop critical insights for their strategy, sales, marketing, and new product development efforts, across all menu categories.
Mark has presented insights and trends at conferences and meetings for several organizations, including International Foodservice Manufacturers Association, The Research Chefs Association, Hillphoenix’s Supermarket Sense, the National Coffee Association and CSP Information Group (FARE and Foodservice Directory Magazines). Mark holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.
Todd Hale, LLC
Todd Hale, former Senior Vice President, Consumer & Shopper Insights with Nielsen, is a frequently sought-after industry and client speaker. Todd shares his insights on consumer shopping, buying and media consumption behaviors and attitudes to provide manufacturers and retailers with strategic visions to facilitate brand, category and retail sales growth. Todd has more than 39 years of experience in the consumer research industry, including 30 years with Nielsen, where he held various marketing and sales management positions within advertising/product testing, advanced analytics and consumer panel practice areas. Todd earned an MBA and a BA in Business from Wright State University.
President & CEO
Sprint Food Stores Inc.
Andy Jones is the president and CEO of Sprint Food Stores and MB Jones Oil Company. He is currently on the Executive Committee of Georgia Oilmen’s Association Board and is a member of SIGMA. Andy is also active in the community, serving on Augusta Tomorrow Board, Augusta Exchange Club, and is a past chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Episcopal Day School of Augusta, as well as a board member of the Augusta Country Club. Jones graduated from Georgia Southern University with a degree in finance. He currently serves on the NACS Board of Directors.
Global Head of Energy Analysis
Oil Price Information Service
Kloza was among the founders of OPIS nearly 30 years ago. He is regularly cited for his no-nonsense, non-partisan comments on oil and gasoline by most of the major U.S. newspapers and has commented specifically on oil prices to major network news. He is also a frequent guest lecturer on fuel price economics at colleges and universities as well as for key petroleum associations. Kloza serves on the Turner Mason & Co. Advisory Board and the Fuels Institute Board of Advisors. He earned a degree in English and has worked with the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. OPIS is now owned by IHS Market, which has a focus on global oil, natural gas, and electricity markets.
CEO & Co-founder
Jason Lobel is the CEO and Co-founder of SwiftIQ, started in 2013 in response to Amazon announcing Amazon Fresh. Prior to founding SwiftIQ, Jason was a Director of Investment Banking for Duff & Phelps, LLC. SwiftIQ is a leading convenience analytics platform enabling both large and independent retailers and their vendors to measure, share and enrich highly granular basket-level transaction and other retail insights. SwiftIQ makes retail analytics easy and fast through high scale automation and artificial intelligence to optimize store-level execution, category management, promotions, merchandising and pricing. SwiftIQ analyzes over $100 billion POS data serving large food and beverage retailers and their suppliers. SwiftIQ named a 2016 and 2017 Vendor of the Year by RaceTrac Petroleum and 2016 Gartner Cool Vendor for CPGs, has also been recognized by McKinsey & Company, Forrester, Forbes, and Progressive Grocer for its achievements.
Thomas F. O'Toole
Clinical Professor of Marketing and Senior Fellow
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
Thomas F. O'Toole is Clinical Professor of Marketing and Senior Fellow at the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University. His work and teaching at Kellogg focuses on subjects including: connecting data analytics to business outcomes, digital enterprise transformation, the emergent structure of marketing and customer loyalty. O'Toole serves as a Senior Advisor for McKinsey and Company. His work for McKinsey includes the Travel, Transport & Logistics sector and the Marketing practice across industries.
Until his retirement in late 2016, O'Toole was Chief Marketing Officer, Senior Vice President and President, MileagePlus of United Airlines. His responsibilities at United spanned: brand strategy, marketing, ecommerce, digital channels, ancillary revenue, loyalty, co-brand credit cards, customer data analytics, marketing systems, partnerships, product development and other functions, including United’s MileagePlus loyalty program. He joined United as Chief Marketing Officer in 2010.
Before United, O'Toole was Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Information Officer for Hyatt Hotels Corporation, where he was responsible for Hyatt's marketing, loyalty program, distribution, information technology and related functions worldwide. He joined Hyatt as Vice President of Marketing in 1995. In 1998, he was named to the Advertising Age "Marketing 100".
O'Toole currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Alliant Energy (NYSE: LNT), an S&P 500 company providing electricity, natural gas, renewable energy and logistics services; Extended Stay America (NYSE: STAY), the largest integrated hotel owner/operator in North America; and LSC Communications (NYSE: LKSD), a global leader in printing, publishing logistics and office products. In 2016, he was appointed by the US Secretary of Commerce to, and currently serves on, the Board of Directors of the Corporation for Travel Promotion (Brand USA), the nation's public-private enterprise to promote travel to the USA.
O'Toole is active in civic, charitable, educational and philanthropic endeavors. He currently serves on the Boards of the CSU Foundation, Windows on the World Communication (WTTW/WFMT) and the Big Shoulders Fund of Chicago.
O'Toole holds the degrees of Master of Applied Communication Theory and Methodology and Bachelor of Arts with concentration in communication research from the Cleveland State University. In 2013, he was named the Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences there.
President & CEO
Joe Sheetz is the president and CEO of Altoona, Pennsylvania-based Sheetz Inc. He leads one of America’s fastest growing family-owned and operated convenience store chains, which operates more than 560 stores throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina. He graduated in 1989 from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in economics, where his business concentration, entrepreneurial management, prepared him for an eventual return to the family business. Prior to becoming NACS chairman, Sheetz served on the NACS Executive Committee as treasurer; vice chairman, legislative; and vice chairman, research.
Kwik Chek Food Stores Inc.
Smartt began his retail and marketing career with Frito Lay Inc. In 2001, Smartt and a partner bought Austin, Texas-based Kwik Chek Food Stores Inc./McCraw Oil Company, where he has served as CEO since the acquisition. Smartt holds several board positions on local civic and charitable organizations. He serves on the NACS Executive Committee and has served on the boards for the Texas Petroleum Convenience Store Association and the Oklahoma Petroleum Marketers Association. He earned his degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Disruptive and UN-traditional Sales
Marketing, Branding & Relationship Expert
As the ultimate sales and marketing truth slayer, Scott helps organizations see their business through a new lens with his unconventional “unmarketing” views and vanguard approach to building and maintaining real customer relationships.
As the president of Un-Marketing, he has transformed how corporations like PepsiCo, Century 21, Fidelity and Microsoft do business with radical insights on how to engage better with customers through social and viral marketing. Named a top 5 social media power influencer by Forbes.com, Scott elevates the conversation by putting the focus back on what matters most to current and potential buyers, values like trust, authenticity, relationships and service.
Drawing from his experience as a marketing industry innovator and the author of four best-selling business books, he convinces audiences to look at the big picture, which is about creating loyal, repeat customers who become brand evangelists because they genuinely love the goods or services you provide. With humor, passion and candor, Scott blends real world strategies with memorable stories that will completely change the way you market and sell, for the better.
Gray literally grew up in the convenience store industry with the opening of the family’s first convenience store in 1963. Involved in the family business, comprised of 87 stores, he gained experience in all phases of convenience store and chain retail operations.
Gray has been involved on a variety of projects, including heading global product management for three of the world’s largest retail petroleum equipment and systems suppliers and Vice President of Research & Technology for the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). Gray managed product portfolios that included payment platforms for EMV migration markets from Malaysia to Canada, as well as mobile/RFID payments initiatives. Gray also established NACS’ card payments program which saved the industry $60M in its first year of operations, and currently serves over 1,500 stores, doing 100m transactions annually.
Introducing Cool New Products at the State of the Industry Summit
NACS is pleased to announce Cool New Products at the NACS State of the Industry Summit! Introduce your newest product innovations to decision makers at the top retailers in the industry.
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Contact Nicole Walbe at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-518-4229.