COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association and the Ohio Association of Convenience Stores will merge to create the Ohio Energy and Convenience Association (OECA). The new group will officially debut in January 2022.
“We are thrilled the members of the Ohio Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association (OPMCA) endorsed the merger with the Ohio Association of Convenience Stores (OACS). This monumental merger will allow the industry to speak with a single, unified voice about top priorities in a changing paradigm. Together, we will become a more forceful advocate for Ohio’s energy and convenience industry,” said Ryan Howard, chief operating officer of Truenorth Energy and board chairman for OPMCA.
The new OECA, he said, will deliver value to both organizations’ members and will build an agile trade association focused on tomorrow’s transportation fuels challenges.
“We pulled together key energy and convenience leaders from across Ohio. We rolled up our sleeves and mapped out a modern organization to promote public policy initiatives that will accelerate long-term industry growth,” said Jeff Erb, general manager of Saneholtz-McKarns Inc., president of the OACS Board of Directors and member of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants Board of Directors.
“This new association will have access to the strategic direction and political acumen of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants and, as a result, will be positioned to become one of the most influential energy and convenience trade associations in the country,” Erb said.
The Ohio Energy and Convenience Association will become an affiliate member of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants. The council will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the association.
“The Ohio Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association and the Ohio Association of Convenience Stores were trailblazers,” said Gordon Gough, president and CEO, Ohio Council of Retail Merchants. “Decade after decade, these statewide trade groups distinguished themselves with steadfast advocacy, superior education and valuable research. The energy and convenience industry is vital to our state’s economy and is essential for all Ohioans. The council is eager to serve this new, forward-looking group.
“We have great respect for OPMCA and its achievements under the leadership of Jennifer Rhoads. We are humbled to take the reins for OECA.”
Rhoads, the longtime OPMCA president and CEO, will pursue other professional opportunities following the initial merger transition.
The Ohio Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association aims to advance and protect the interests of Ohio's small businesses in the petroleum and convenience industry. The Ohio Association of Convenience Stores represents issues of importance to independent family-owned enterprises, regional chains and national chains. Both are based in Columbus, Ohio.