QuickChek’s Graczyk Rings NASDAQ Opening Bell on Veterans Day

Thayer invites c-store retailer exec to participate to encourage more hiring of vets

Bob Graczyk, QuickChek

Bob Graczyk

NEW YORK -- Bob Graczyk, QuickChek’s vice president of human resources, was among a select group of military veterans who rang the opening bell of the NASDAQ in Times Square on Veterans Day, November 11.

Graczyk, a retired officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve with more than 31 years of service, joined chief learning officers and executives from companies such as Hilton Worldwide, FedEx, Xerox, ADP, Office Depot, JetBlue, MetLife, Wyndham Resorts, EY, Marsh & McLennan, Comcast, Frontier, Target, Stanley Black & Decker, Caterpillar and Goldman Sachs at the morning ceremony.

While traditionally reserved for NASDAQ-listed companies only, QuickChek, a leader in the convenience-store market, was invited to participate in this special all-American Veterans Day opening bell ringing by the Thayer Leadership Development Group to encourage companies to hire more veterans.

“It is a great honor for me personally, as well as professionally on behalf of QuickChek, to be part of a program recognizing our country’s veterans on the national stage,” said Graczyk, who retired from the reserves as a Navy Commander 05 in 2004.

Whitehouse Station, N.J.-based QuickChek has been affiliated with Thayer Leadership Development Group for the past four years, using its leadership programs led by West Point instructors to train executives, implement leadership philosophy and recognize the leadership potential of its more than 3,500 employee team members.

“We’re very pleased that Bob has been chosen to be part of this program honoring our veterans,” said QuickChek CEO Dean Durling, whose family-owned company has raised millions of dollars to support a variety of causes benefiting children, families and military veterans. “He is an outstanding representative for any event recognizing the need to hire our servicemen and women.”

The company raised $132,000 in just six weeks this summer through a charity golf outing and by inviting store customers to purchase dog-tag shaped magnets for $1 to benefit Hope for the Warriors, a non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the quality of life for post-9/11 service members, their families, and families of the fallen, who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty.

QuickChek teamed with Muscle Milk to raise additional funds for Hope for the Warriors through an in-store promotional sale of specialty protein nutrition bottles.

Earlier this month, the company was also a sponsor of the 8th annual Long Island Run for the Warriors in Babylon, N.Y., dedicated to the men and women wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, their families and families of the fallen.

Family-owned QuickChek operates 142 convenience stores throughout New Jersey, New York’s Hudson Valley and Long Island.

Part of CSP's 2015 Convenience Top 101 retailers