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Agenda
In just three days, CRU delivers years of insights you won't get anywhere else
7:45am – 6:00pm

Registration and Information Desk

Location: Event Hub
Presented By:
Altria Group Distribution Company
McLane Company
8:00am – 9:00am

Networking Breakfast

Location: CRU Product Gallery (Griffin Ballroom)
9:00am – 9:45am

Category Breakouts (choose 1 of 7)

Discover the insights, key trends and innovative thinking that best-in-class operators employ to drive c-store traffic. Uncover what makes top-tier category managers tick, and find out how they grapple with everything from exciting new product introductions to pricing, out-of-stocks to promotions. Join us as our team of editorial experts and last year's CMOY award winners sit down with some of the brightest category managers in the business to discuss their strategies for elevating an entire organization—one category at a time.

FoodService: Real Innovation Challenges in Today’s Retail Operations
Location: Dogwood

Ideation is important, but what programs are implemented into the stores is an imperative decision. Jason Read (Wawa) and Jessica Williams (Food Forward Thinking LLC) take us through key approaches on foodservice programs and the decision-making process. Does a program make sense for all stores, or a select few? What will be Grab and Go vs. Made to Order? Discuss the operation challenges that drive research and design. See some of the Next Generation Beverages that are hitting the market. Walk away with the tools you need to say ‘Create’ or ‘Reject’ with your team.

Speakers:

Director of Store Operations
Wawa Food Markets     

Founder & CEO
Food Forward Thinking LLC

Packaged Beverages: Current Trends in Packaged Beverages
Location: Cypress

Review current trends within packaged beverages & the cold vault. Bonnie will share some of the takeaways from Goldman Sachs proprietary Beverage Bytes retailer and distributor surveys. Learn about the strategies the large beverage companies are taking regarding innovation, pricing, etc.

 

Speakers:

Managing Director
Goldman Sachs

Behind the Counter: The Value of Vice: A Look at Trends and Interactions between Alcohol, Tobacco, and Cannabis
Location: Pine

Cowen’s Vivien Azer will discuss current trends and her outlook for the U.S. tobacco, alcoholic beverage and cannabis categories, including the role of innovation and regulation in tobacco, evolving trends and preferences in alcoholic beverages, and the interaction between cannabis and alcohol (in particular among younger, legal age consumers)

Speakers:

Managing Director and Senior Research Analyst
Cowen

Dispensed Beverage: Repositioning the Role of Dispensed Beverages
Location: Spruce

The triple threat of the category declining over the past 4 years: COVID, increase in remote working, and changing taste profile from Gens Y & Z - have expedited the downfall of the Dispensed Beverage Category which had a long history of being a “cash cow” for the convenience store channel.  In this session, we will explore creative strategies to revitalize this category, and reposition its role to a “trip driver.”

Speakers:

EVP Sales and Business Development
Impact 21

Tech and Loyalty : Self Checkout for Convenience: The Jury's Still Out
Location: Magnolia

Have you been thinking about creating a frictionless check-out experience for your guests?  During this session, you will hear the pros and cons from a Convenience Retailer that has Implemented Self-Checkout.  While there has been some successes, there have been key challenges and learnings that they will share in this interactive session.

Speakers:

Vice President Retail
Dash In

Center Store: Combatting Supply Chain
Location: Oak

No matter what the category, we're all feeling the disruption supply chain is causing. Two center store retailers discuss the ways they're navigating the challenges of contract compliance and incentives when you can’t get product, using your backoffice data for your advantage, and how you can look towards the future.

Speakers:

Category Manager of Center Store
Yesway

Marketing Manager
Speedy Stop

Fuels and EV: Driving Guests to your Store
Location: Maple
Speakers:

Fuel Category Manager
Casey's General Stores

10:00am – 10:45am

Category Breakouts - 23' CMOY Finalists (choose 1 of 7)

Discover the insights, key trends and innovative thinking that best-in-class operators employ to drive c-store traffic. Uncover what makes top-tier category managers tick, and find out how they grapple with everything from exciting new product introductions to pricing, out-of-stocks to promotions. Join us as our team of editorial experts and last year's CMOY award winner sit down with some of the brightest category managers in the business to discuss their strategies for elevating an entire organization—one category at a time.

Foodservice
Location: Dogwood

Foodservice has grown in the last few years! Hear this year's CMOY nominees talk about unique challenges, new innovations, and more! 

Speakers:

Food Category Manager
Pilot Company

Sr. Category Manager, Foodservice and Dispensed Beverages

Editor, Convenience Group | Moderator
Winsight, LLC

Category Manager- Foodservice and Franchise Brands
EG America

Packaged Beverages: Non-Alcoholic & Alcoholic Beverages
Location: Cypress

These CMOYs know what's happening when it comes to packaged beverages! Watch the dynamic panel comprised of Non-Alcoholic & Alcoholic Beverages CMOY finalists as they chat all things C-Store Packaged Beverages. 

Speakers:

Category Manager-Beer, Wine & Spirits
Yesway

Category Manager- Packaged Beverages / Dairy
Circle K

Category Manger- Packaged Non-Alcoholic & Alcoholic Beverages
G&M Oil Co.

Category Manager – Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery
Murphy USA

Behind the Counter
Location: Pine

New things are happening every day in Behind the Counter. These CMOYs  break down the current trends and challenges they've faced this year and talk what's to come! 

Speakers:

Category Manager, Cigarettes & Tobacco
Circle K - Heartland

Category Manager
Thorntons Inc.

Marketing Manager, U.S. Franchise
Circle K

Sr. Category Manager Cigarettes, Tobacco, Kratom
Maverik, Inc.

Senior Editor | Moderator
CSP Magazine

Presented By:
Altria Group Distribution Company
Dispensed Beverage
Location: Magnolia

"Pour me a cold one!" or a warm one...anything's possible in the C-Store! This year's CMOY finalists talk all about Hot and Cold Dispensed Beverage. 

Speakers:

Category Manager
Parkland USA

Category Manager - Dispensed Beverages
GPM Investments

Vice President, Retailer Relations & Event Content Director | Moderator
Winsight

General Merchandise
Location: Spruce

There's so much crossover between General Merch and Center Store. Mary Sonatore and Stephanie Reeder take this opportunity to create a group discussion and answer your questions on their previous session. 

Speakers:

Category Manager of Center Store
Yesway

Marketing Manager
Speedy Stop

Center Store (Snacks/Candy/GM/HBC)
Location: Oak

Snacks and Candy and GM and HBC...oh my! Center Store has grown and changed in the last few years. Hear how this year's CMOY finalists have worked to meet customer demand while incorporating new trends! 

Speakers:

Category Manager- Center Store
The Spinx Co.

Sr. Category Specialist Center of Store
BP Americas

Director of Retail Marketing
Cross America Partners LLP

Senior Category Manager, Candy & Snacks | Moderator
MAPCO

Forecourt and Fuels
Location: Maple

Fuels and EV are a hot topic this year! From costs to new regulations, it seems like something new is always happening. This panel of CMOY finalists sit down to discuss the challenges and changes from the past year! 

Speakers:

Fuel Operations Director
Circle K

Fuel Category Manager
Casey's General Stores

Director of Retail Fuels
Kum & Go

Content Director, Convenience Group | Moderator
CSP Daily News

11:15am – 12:10pm

Speed Networking

Location: CRU Product Gallery (Griffin Ballroom)

Spend some quality time this morning in structured networking opportunities that will connect you and CRU's supplier partners to provide the solutions and partnerships you need! Retailers will receive of list of suppliers that outlines who and where your meetings are during this time. Be sure to complete all your meetings to be eligible for a $100 Amazon gift card!

Snacks and Chats

Nothing goes better with chats than a good snack. Which is why we're bringing the two together! Connect with other attendees, make new friends, and discuss hot topics in the industry!

 

12:15pm – 1:15pm

Networking Lunch

Location: CRU Product Gallery (Griffin Ballroom)
1:30pm – 4:15pm

Speed Networking

Location: CRU Product Gallery (Griffin Ballroom)

Continue the afternoon exploring the Product Gallery, attending meetings and checking out solutions from CRU's supplier partners. Be sure to complete all your meetings to be eligible for a $100 Amazon gift card!

Thinking and Drinking

Hemingway famously said, "Wine is the most civilized thing in the world." So be it wine or your favorite beverage, join us to think, drink, and connect with each other!

5:00pm – 10:00pm

CRU's Rockin' Evening

Location: Palm Ballroom
Cocktail Reception
Location: Palm Ballroom Prefunction

The glitterati of CRU will be found at the Cocktails Reception before the Awards Ceremony! Come for a a few drinks and some tantalizing appetizers before dinner! Hob nob with attendees, CMOY finalists, and more! Cheers!

CMOY Awards Presentation Dinner
Location: Palm Ballroom

Join us as we honor the rock stars of category management in CSP’s 8th annual Category Manager of the Year Awards. The CMOY awards honor category managers who are pushing the convenience-store industry forward. All attendees are welcome to join us for a plated 3-course dinner while we recognize c-store professionals from across the industry in eight major product categories. Come raise a glass with us in honor of all the nominees!

Speakers:

Content Director, Convenience Group
CSP Daily News

Senior Director Industry Engagement
Altria Group Distribution Co

Presented By:
Altria Group Distribution Company
Rockin' Through the Ages Karaoke Night
Location: Palm Ballroom

We’ve celebrated this year’s CMOY nominees and winners, don’t stop now! Let’s continue the party with Rock-n-Roll Karaoke. Join American rock guitarist Billy Morris, from Warrant and Quiet Riot, and sing onstage with your peers hits from the decades! And yes, dressing in your favorite decade is encouraged!

Speakers:

Rock Legend

Presented By:
Altria Group Distribution Company
5:15pm – 10:00pm

Product Gallery Sponsor Teardown

Location: CRU Product Gallery (Griffin Ballroom)
50+Speakers
400+Attendees