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CSP’s Retail Leader of the Year 2018: Kyle Krause

Top executive has driven chain’s innovation and community dedication

LAS VEGAS -- Winsight and CSP are pleased to honor one of the industry’s leading family-run convenience chains by naming Kyle Krause, chairman and CEO of Kum & Go LC, as its 2018 Retail Leader of the Year.

“Kum & Go stands as a beacon to the c-store industry for several reasons, including the chain’s innovative store designs and retail models, as well as its long standing as a family-owned retail chain that reflects the roots of the industry,” said Steve Holtz, content director for Winsight’s convenience group. "And the chain’s recent growth and development has happened under Kyle Krause’s watch since taking the reins of the company more than a decade ago.”

CSP’s Retail Leader of the Year award has a 16-year legacy for recognizing convenience-retailing executives for their excellence in leadership, innovation and perseverance within his or her company, positively transforming the organization to new and higher levels. Past honorees include Ari Haseotes, Cumberland Farms; Bob Myers of Casey’s General Stores; Tony Kenney, president of Speedway LLC; Sam L. Susser, chairman of Susser Petroleum Partners; John MacDougall, president and CEO of Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes; Don Zietlow, CEO of Kwik Trip; and Joe DePinto, president and CEO of 7-Eleven Inc.

On Oct. 9, CSP, Krause family and friends, and Kum & Go team members celebrated his leadership and achievements at the Keep Memory Alive Event Center in Las Vegas.

After taking over the family business in 2004, Krause dramatically altered the chain’s direction from a mergers-and-acquisitions philosophy to strictly building ground-ups, fashioning a state-of-the-art network that would thrive in a dynamic, constantly evolving retail environment. Today, the bulk of the stores in the West Des Moines, Ill.-based chain are large-format locations focused on foodservice and innovative fuel options.

With more than 430 stores across 11 states and a workforce in excess of 4,700 associates, Kum & Go continues to grow, ranking as the fifth largest privately-held c-store chain in the U.S. It is also highly philanthropic, donating 10% of its annual profits annually to various charities.

That’s not surprising. Krause inherits a family faith of giving back. He follows in the tradition of his late father, Bill, whom he succeeded as president and CEO in 2004. And Krause is now enshrining Kum & Go’s family structure, having recently named his son, Tanner, as company president, while he retains the role of CEO and chairman.

Watch for complete coverage of CSP’s Retail Leader of the Year award ceremony on CSP Daily News and in CSP magazine.

Based in Chicago, Winsight LLC is a recognized leader in business-to-business media and information services for the convenience-retailing, foodservice and grocery industries. Winsight has an extensive media portfolio, including five publications: CSP, Restaurant Business, FoodService Director, Convenience Store Products and Winsight Grocery Business.

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