The Pantry Fills Operations Slot

Venezia assumes role last held by Williams

Joe Venezia

CARY, N.C. -- Filling a position last held by Brad Williams, who left in the company in August 2011, Joe Venezia is joining The Pantry's executive leadership team as senior vice president of operations.

As reported in a Raymond James/CSP Daily News Flash on Thursday, in his new role, Venezia will lead the company's store operations and be focused on driving sales, improving store productivity, and leading a great store operations team.

Venezia joins The Pantry from TitleMax. Prior to TitleMax, from 2008 to 2012, Venezia worked at Walmart, where he served in several regional general manager positions before being appointed to division president for the northeast division. In the northeast division, he was responsible for 420 stores and more than 100,000 employees.

He also worked as president and general manager for Wells Fargo Merchant Services from 2002 to 2007 and as a brand manager for Luvs and Pampers and assistant brand manager for Pampers at Proctor & Gamble from 1995 to 2002.

"Joe is a proven leader with an impressive blend of operating and brand management experience," said The Pantry's chief executive officer Dennis Hatchell. "He is ideally suited to lead operations at The Pantry with a successful track record of growing retail and consumer goods sales."

Venezia served as a captain and company commander in the U.S. Army from 1986 to 1995 and received a Bronze Star Medal for his bravery during Operation Desert Storm.

Williams, who held the position of senior vice president of operations since 2008, joined The Pantry in 1998. He is currently senior vice president of operations for Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores (MACS), Richmond, Va.

The company has seen a series of executive exits since Peter Sodini retired from the post of CEO in August 2009. He was succeeded by Terry Marks, who left the company in October 2011 to take the top spot at the Hooters themed restaurant chain. He, in turn, was succeeded by Hatchell in March 2012 after Edwin J. Holman served for a time as interim CEO.

Other departures included Dave Henninger, marketing vice president, who joined The Pantry shortly after longtime friend Marks, then followed him to Hooters in March 2012. And chief financial officer Mark Bierley stepped down from The Pantry in May 2012.

See Related Content below for previous CSP Daily News coverage of The Pantry personnel changes.

Based in Cary, N.C., The Pantry Inc. is a leading independently operated convenience store chain in the southeastern United States and one of the largest independently operated convenience store chains in the country. As of Aug. 6, 2012, it operated 1,589 stores in 13 states under select banners, including Kangaroo Express, its primary operating banner.