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Carl Bolch Jr. Appointed Chairman Emeritus After More Than 5 Decades With RaceTrac

Leader grew the convenience-store chain to more than 800 stores across 13 states
RaceTrac convenience store
Photographs courtesy of RaceTrac

The RaceTrac board of directors has voted Carl Bolch Jr. into the role of chairman emeritus after his 56 years with the convenience-store chain that his father founded. During the same board meeting, the company appointed Natalie Morhous, Bolch’s daughter who in January became RaceTrac’s CEO, as chairman of the board.

Carl Bolch Sr. founded what became RaceTrac in 1934 with the opening of Carl Bolch Trackside Stations in Missouri. Carl Bolch Jr. (pictured below) became CEO of RaceTrac in 1967. Bolch Jr. led RaceTrac's transformation into a high-volume, retail fuel discounter and leader in the c-store industry, including pioneering self-service fueling in the South, the company said.

Carl Bolch Jr.

Bolch Jr. also led RaceTrac to become Georgia’s second largest privately held company and 18th largest in the United States. He grew the RaceTrac and RaceWay brands from 100 stores in two states to more than 800 stores across 13 states. RaceTrac, based in Atlanta, now employs more than 10,500 team members across its two divisions and affiliated companies including Metroplex Energy, Energy Dispatch and Gulf Oil, RaceTrac said.  

“RaceTrac was transformed because of Carl's incredible foresight, insatiable intellect, business acumen and what he somewhat reluctantly would call ‘vision,’” said Max Lenker, a board director at RaceTrac. “It is impossible to summarize the indelible mark Carl has made on RaceTrac, the fuel and convenience store industries and society as a whole. He truly is an inspiration to us all.” 

  • RaceTrac is No. 17 on CSP’s 2024 Top 40 Update to the 2023 Top 202 ranking of U.S. c-store chains by store count. Watch for the full 2024 Top 202 ranking in the June issue of CSP magazine and in CSP Daily News.

Bolch Jr. earned countless appointments and acknowledgments during his career, RaceTrac said, including as CSP’s 2009 Retail Leader of the Year (RLOY).

"The toughest job is to meet the customer every day," Bolch Jr. said in 2009 at his RLOY awards dinner in Las Vegas. He noted how the chain's leadership "suffers no fools... and is a proponent of a free exchange of ideas."

Fourteen years later, Morhous accepted the same award in Atlanta. In January, she became CEO after being president of RaceTrac since February 2019.

Carl Bolch Jr.’s eldest daughter, Allison Moran, also held the CEO role in the family-run company from 2012 to 2017. His children Melanie Isbill and Jordan Bolch also work with RaceTrac as the chief brand officer and board member, respectively.

“It is the honor of my life to carry on my father’s legacy and steer the growth and development of RaceTrac into the future,” Morhous said. “My family and I have so much confidence in our exceptional board and leadership team and know that RaceTrac will continue to flourish and evolve to meet the needs of our guests.”

Bolch Jr. also made a substantial impact on his community, RaceTrac said, including as a member of the Atlanta Rotary Club for more than 25 years and as a member of the Board of Directors of Camp Sunshine. He serves on the Patient Council for The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and is a pivotal reason RaceTrac and its customers have contributed more than $8 million to MJFF over the past decade, the company said.

Bolch Jr. and his wife Susan Bass Bolch founded the Bolch Judicial Institute at Duke University School of Law in 2018. It provides unique educational opportunities for sitting judges in the U.S. and around the world.

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