Convenience-store and car wash company The Wills Group has named Julian B. (Blackie) Wills III, who has served as president and chief operating officer, to the position of president and chief executive officer, a unanimous decision by the board of directors.
“Blackie’s impact on the company culture, innovation, and the future direction of the business is discernible,” said Lock Wills, executive chairman of the Wills Group, a family-owned company based in La Plata, Maryland. “We value his leadership and are confident he is the right leader at the right time to continue to guide the Wills Group’s growth and expansion.”
Lock Wills served as president, CEO and chairman of the board for the Wills Group until Blackie Wills’ appointment as COO in 2021. He remains executive chairman.
- Dash In is No. 130 in CSP’s 2023 Top 202 ranking of c-store chains by total number of company-owned retail outlets.
The Wills Group has nearly 300 retail locations across the Mid-Atlantic region, including Dash In, Splash In ECO Car Wash and SMO Motor Fuels.
As president and CEO, Blackie Wills continues to lead the Wills Group’s efforts to transform Dash In and Splash In ECO Car Wash with a focus on customer experience. The Wills Group will also move forward with its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts as it expands its commitment to community engagement through its two signature programs, Nourishing Children and Families and Reimagining Outdoor Spaces, the company said.
For the past two years, as president and COO, Blackie Wills has led a number of transformative efforts, including the opening of the first of Dash In’s “third-generation” convenience-store concept, which it said reimagines the c-store experience and boasts a new menu, in Chantilly, Virginia, in March.
Also under his leadership, The Wills Group received Great Place to Work certification two years in a row, which the company said is a top priority that reflects its ongoing investments in building culture, employee and community engagement, career opportunities and expanded employee benefits as part of the Wills Group’s continued investment in its employees.
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“The Wills Group remains committed to reimagining the customer experience across our Dash In and Splash In ECO Car Wash lines of business, informed by innovation and creating an environment where everyone feels welcome,” said Blackie Wills. “Today’s announcement is a reflection of our collective commitment to invest in each other as we work together to build a great culture, provide rich benefits and support our purpose—keeping ‘lives in motion’.”
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