Each week until Election Day, NACS will update this page with information on the state of play in the battle for the majorities in the House and the Senate and spotlight certain races that may be of increased importance to the convenience industry. Those races may involve industry champions or be key to determining which party will control the House or Senate.
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These topics include hot button issues NACS is watching closely, as well as topics that are important to convenience retailers and their businesses.
Date: April 13 - 15, 2021
Location: Hyatt Regency O’Hare, Rosement, IL
Get the benchmarking data, analysis, emerging trends and executive imperatives you need to win in the game of convenience.
Leading retailers and industry partners who want to stay ahead of emerging trends and appreciate the value of using data-driven benchmarking to improve their businesses.
Retail Attendee Profile:
• Chief executives, presidents, & owners
• Senior leadership across the organization
• Staff from key functions:
• Category Management
• Real Estate
About the NACS State of the Industry Summit:
With 50 years of convenience industry data, analysis and strategic insights behind it, 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. Historically held over two fast-paced days, this year’s virtual event is the industry’s 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.
Be the first to know for next year. Sign up below to be notified when registration opens for the 2021 NACS State of the Industry Summit.
Featured Speakers from 2020
Chairman & CEO
Sage Policy Group, Inc.
Anirban Basu is Chairman & CEO of Sage Policy Group, Inc., an economic and policy consulting firm headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland with offices in Pennsylvania and Cambodia. The firm provides strategic analytical services to energy suppliers, law firms, medical systems, government agencies, and real estate developers among others.
In 2014, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan appointed him Chair of the Maryland Economic Development Commission. He also serves as chairman of the Baltimore County Economic Advisory Committee. He is also the Chief Economist to Associated Builders and Contractors and Chief Economic Advisor to the Construction Financial Management Association. He serves similar functions for Visit Baltimore, the Maryland Association of Realtors, and Marcum, LLC.
He lectures at Johns Hopkins University in Global Strategy and has also taught international economics, urban economics, micro- and macroeconomics at Hopkins. His radio show can be heard weekdays on 88.1FM, WYPR, Baltimore.
In both 2007 and 2016, the Daily Record newspaper selected Mr. Basu as one of Maryland’s 50 most influential people. The Baltimore Business Journal named him one of the region’s 20 most powerful business leaders in 2010.
Mr. Basu has been on many boards over time, including First Mariner Bank, the Baltimore City Public School System, Port Discovery, the Baltimore School for the Arts, and Union Memorial Hospital. He is currently on the boards of St. Mary’s College, the University System of Maryland Foundation, the Center for Emerging Media, the Lyric Opera House and the Archdiocese of Baltimore School System.
Mr. Basu earned his B.S. in Foreign Service at Georgetown University in 1990. He earned his Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and his Master’s in Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park. His Juris Doctor was earned at the University of Maryland School of Law.
Associate Client Director
Caitlyn Battaglia is an Associate Client Director in Nielsen's Retail Services group. In this role, she manages a number of retail accounts across the Convenience and Bev Al channels, connecting retail partners with the resources and insights they need to thrive in a competitive environment while also supporting broader retail initiatives. Prior to this role, Battaglia was a member of Nielsen's Beverage Alcohol Practice Area where she supported Nielsen's resources and thought leadership across beer, wine, and spirits clients. She also has a background in advanced analytics, including sales and marketing effectiveness, as well as supporting category management. A current Roanoke, VA resident, she holds a B.A. from Denison University and has been with Nielsen for nearly seven years.
Chief Oil Analyst
Oil Price Information Service | OPIS by IHS Markit
Denton has been with OPIS since 2001 and serves as the Chief Oil Analyst, responsible for the day to day operations of OPIS’ news and analysis division. In his role, Denton also provides big picture views to OPIS subscribers on a variety of topics from supply and demand trends to anticipating price moves in the futures, spot and retail markets in North America.
During his time at OPIS, Denton has covered a variety of markets from Natural Gas Liquids to U.S. refined spot markets. Before becoming the Chief Oil Analyst, Denton was leading the OPIS refined spots team.
He has been widely quoted and interviewed as an expert forecasting the price of oil and retail gasoline and diesel explaining what moves can mean for the consumer as well as the industry as a whole. Denton is a frequent contributor for major media outlets such as Fox Business, CNBC, MSNBC and CBS News.
Denton is a graduate of Rutgers University and football letter winner.
President, North America
Jose currently heads up dunnhumby’s business in North America, with responsibility for leading growth and expansion journey in the region. With over 10 years in the industry, Jose brings a wealth of retail, consultancy and brand experience, and a fantastic understanding of the complex retail market.
Prior to this, he was Managing Director of Latin America and Africa, where he oversaw an explosion of growth and expansion of dunnhumby's presence to Mexico and Argentina. Before that, Jose lead the start-up of Digital Media Services in Latin America for dunnhumby by building and taking to market products developed in partnership with the likes of Facebook and Google. During that time, he was responsible for personalizing the customer experience for thousands of shoppers of major Latin American and African Retailers and FMCGs, such as Raia Drogasil, Grupo Exito, Grupo Pão de Açucar, Shoprite, Dia and AB Inbev. Before joining dunnhumby, Jose worked in Investment Banking with BPI.
President and CEO
Sprint Food Stores Inc
Andy is the third generation in the family business. He began working at the full-service gas station at the age of 10. After graduating college, he worked for Georgia Pacific in Atlanta. In 1991, Andy returned home and began learning all aspects of the family business. In 1997, Sprint Food Stores was formed. Currently, Andy is President and CEO of Sprint Food Stores, MB Jones Oil Company and Town and Country Gas. He also is on the Executive Committee of both Georgia Oilmen’s Association and Augusta Tomorrow. Andy is on the Board of Governors of Augusta Country Club. He is also Past Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Episcopal Day School of Augusta.
VP, Strategic Industry Initiatives
Jeff Lenard oversees NACS’ industry-wide external communications campaigns to advance the role of convenience stores as positive economic, social and philanthropic contributors to the communities they serve. Lenard also serves as lead spokesperson and has conducted more than 6,000 media interviews about trends and innovations at the nation’s 153,000-plus convenience stores. In addition, he is the creator and co-host of the association’s award-winning weekly podcast, “Convenience Matters,” and oversees the long-running video series “Ideas 2 Go.”
Prior to joining NACS in 1999, Lenard served in communications and marketing functions for several energy-focused associations. He earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. in marketing from Syracuse University.
Executive Vice President, Market and Shopper Intelligence
Larry Levin has spent his entire career in market research, leading engagements for many of the world’s largest manufacturers and retailers including Pepsi, Coke, Lexus, Porsche, Nissan, Infiniti, Starbucks, Audi, Microsoft, and Disney, just to name a few. The first three decades of his career were spent at Synovate (formerly Market Facts), where he held a number of positions, including head of Global Automotive, executive director of International New Business Development and leader of two global conferences—one in Beijing and one in Cairo.
Following his tenure at Synovate, Levin joined TNS as head of its Consumer Sector. He was quickly elevated to president of Client Services and Relations, where he and Bob Tomei, current president of IRI’s Consumer & Shopper Marketing, co-led its North American business.
In February 2010, Levin joined IRI to lead its Survey Solutions group and was then promoted to run its overall Consumer Insights business.He also led IRI’s Business Development – New Solutions until he was named executive vice president of Consumer & Shopper Marketing in 2017.
Levin is a frequent speaker at a number of industry events, including Sweets & Snacks Expo, Confections State of the Industry, NACS State of the Industry, Shopper Marketing, HOP—State of Mass Beauty, FMI, New Products Innovation, NFRA and CSPA and has been a guest on Bloomberg Television’s Surveillance program as well as quoted in numerous periodicals.
Chief Adventure Guide
Chuck graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1986 in Electrical Engineering and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1991. In 1993, Chuck married Crystal Call, also an HBS 1991 graduate, and moved to Salt Lake City, shortly thereafter opening their first hotel, Crystal Inn. Together, they grew the portfolio to 14 hotels. Since 2011, Chuck served in various roles including Director, Chief Operating Officer and President of FJM Management, also serving its subsidiaries as Board Chairman for Big West Oil and TAB Bank. In 2016, Chuck was named Chief Adventure Guide for Maverik, Inc., the premier regional convenience retailer operating 300 stores across the intermountain west from its base camp in Salt Lake City. Crystal and Chuck enjoy skiing, bicycling, boating and travel with their four children: Drew, 21; Lexi, 18; and twins Hailey and Erica, 16. He is an avid pilot and has been an active member of Young Presidents Organization since 1997.
Chairman & CEO
Coen Oil Company, LLC
Charlie McIlvaine is the Chairman & CEO of Coen Oil Company, LLC, a diversified holding company. Together with his brother Andy, they manage Coen Markets (a convenience retail chain in the Tri-State region of Pittsburgh, PA) and Coen Tire (a retail tire platform). Charlie is also Managing Partner of Thomaston Capital, LLC, a private investment firm that invests in growth or later stage companies primarily in the consumer/retail sector.
Charlie was previously a member of Avista Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in New York with $4 billion under management, where he focused on investments in the consumer sector. Prior to working in private equity, Charlie was Co-Global Group Head and Managing Director of the Global Consumer Group for Deutsche Bank. In this capacity, he had responsibility for managing a group of 50+ professionals across three global investment banking offices which generated revenues over $300 million. DB’s Global Consumer Group advised on mergers & acquisitions and raised debt and equity capital for clients in the food/beverage, household products/personal care, retail/restaurant and business services sectors. Previous to DB, Charlie was a senior member and Managing Director of J.P. Morgan’s Global Consumer Group in investment banking. While at J.P. Morgan, he executed financings and mergers and acquisitions for a wide range of consumer companies. He began his career as an investment banking analyst for Merrill Lynch based in New York and London.
Charlie holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, attended New College of Oxford University, and earned a BA in economics from Duke University.
Lori Buss Stillman
Vice President, Research
Lori Buss Stillman is Vice President of Research for NACS, leading the association’s portfolio offerings in support of industry performance benchmarking and analysis, labor and compensation insights, consumer tracking and custom research solutions. Stillman joined NACS in September 2019, following her role as EVP of Analytics, Insights and Intelligence for Advantage Solutions. She has additionally held leadership roles with Nielsen, Information Resources and Webco General Partnership. Her passion for industry disruptive trends and expertise in the FMCG retail landscape have attracted a wide following. Stillman is a sought-after speaker, having shared her deep insights and thought leadership at key industry, trade and supplier events. Lori earned her B.A. in Business Communications from Maryville University of Saint Louis. She is a member of the Path-to-Purchase Faculty and serves on the board of both the Coca-Cola NACS Retail Research Council and Conexxus.
Thomas H. Talbert, RD
VP, Culinary Marketing
Thomas H. Talbert, RD is the Vice President, Culinary Marketing at CSSI, Marketing + Culinary, a full-service culinary and marketing communications Marlin Network agency. He leads a team of chefs and account planners in creative culinary development and innovation for the foodservice industry.
Thomas has years of experience in the foodservice industry, with a multidimensional background in culinary arts, product development, and dietetics. He is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University with an associate’s degree in Culinary Arts and a bachelor’s degree in Culinary Nutrition as well as a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s dietetics programs.
Thomas has worked at an assortment of fine and casual dining restaurants and consulted with the industry’s leading manufacturers and operators and has led product innovation and introductions into the retail channel.
Helping food manufacturers and restaurant chain operators develop and implement successful innovation practices is Thomas’ major focus at CSSI. His depth of knowledge is firmly grounded in experience as a chef and registered dietitian—presenting new culinary concepts and menu trends that have driven innovation at many of the top restaurant chains. Coupled with his expertise in product development, sales support and marketing strategy, he has helped clients achieve foodservice success in the U.S., South America, Asia and the Caribbean.
SVP, Strategic Insights & Planning
The Marlin Network
For more than 20 years, Chris Wolf has been helping marketers to anticipate and address emerging consumer opportunities through strategy, innovation and brand development for companies including Tyson Foods, PepsiCo, 7 Eleven, Campbell Soup Co., M&M/Mars, Gerber/Novartis, McDonald’s, Nestle, Yum!Brands, Brinker International, Subway, Burger King, and Starbucks.
As a professional speaker and former journalist for The Food Channel and QSR Magazine, Chris’ forecasts, recommendations and ideas have attracted the attention of the media as well, including CBS This Morning, NPR, Psychology Today, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, as well as many trade publications. Wolf has a master’s degree in strategy and marketing from Kellogg Graduate School of Management and has taught marketing at Missouri State University and Drury University.
Chris has held roles at agencies, innovation consultancies and food manufacturing companies. He now leads planning and insights for the Marlin Network, managing a team that helps inspire consumer- and customer-led strategy to drive growth for brands.
The Marlin Network is a subsidiary of Advantage Sales & Marketing, and includes Marlin Co., The Alchemedia Project, CSSI, and the Halverson Group, specializing in marketing, creative and culinary services for brands focused on hospitality and the experiential consumer.
One Move Could Change Your Future
A Quick Look at the 2019 Summit:
What Past Attendees are Saying about the Summit: