TEXARKANA, Texas -- Sonja Yates Hubbard, the former CEO of E-Z Mart Inc., will join the Riverbend Water Resources District's board of directors following her appointment by the Texarkana, Texas, City Council.
GPM Investments LLC, which owns about 1,020 convenience stores in 15 states, announced a deal in late December 2017 to acquire 273 convenience stores from Texarkana-based E-Z Mart.
The first E-Z Mart opened in Nashville in 1970. Hubbard's father, Jim Yates, ran the growing business until his death in 1998. It was then that she became CEO, eventually growing the chain to more than 280 sites in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas. As leader of the company, Hubbard had been laser-focused on improving the life of employees, the quality of the stores and their customer service, in addition to giving back to the chain’s local communities.
Hubbard also has held several board and officer positions, including chairman of NACS and director of Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Hubbard is a certified public accountant (CPA) who received her Bachelor of Science in business administration with a degree in accounting from the University of Arkansas.
At the Riverbend Water Resources District, a conservation and reclamation district, Hubbard will fill the unexpired term of Kelly Mitchell, who was recently appointed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to the Sulphur River Basin Authority.
Hubbard brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Riverbend in not only accounting and finance but also in business leadership and economic development endeavors. “Management of our water resources is the most important issue facing our entire state of Texas right now,” said Hubbard. “I am eager to learn more about our regional efforts to preserve and protect this precious resource.”
“Sonja is a strong asset to our community and her appointment to Riverbend will ensure the continued success of an entity created to bring our region together to work on addressing our water issues,” said Steve Mayo, regional water liaison for the city of Texarkana.
“Having Mrs. Hubbard join Riverbend could not have come at a better time as the district prepares to implement much needed water infrastructure to meet current and future municipal and industrial demands,” said Marshall Wood, president of Riverbend. “This implementation will require someone with Sonja’s background to help advise the district on the long-term viability and financing of those projects.”
Pictured (from left): Marshall Wood, Riverbend president; Liz Fazio Hale, executive director/CEO; Sonja Hubbard; Kelly Mitchell, Sulphur River Basin Authority board member; Steve Mayo, Texarkana regional water liaison; and Fred Milton, Riverbend vice president.