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CSW Industry Perspective: Glennie Bench

Cooking with gas
Glennie Bench
Photograph courtesy of Glennie Bench

My husband, Steve, is a retired high school football coach. Throughout his career, when things were going well—when his entire team was in sync or when the play-calling by the coaches was perfect for the situation—he would always say, “Now we’re cookin’ with gas!”

As leaders and rising stars in the convenience industry, women find themselves “cookin’ with gas” as well. We are in a uniquely pivotal time where women have the authority, skill and experience to drive their company to greater success, to call the plays and to build a team that is in sync with our mission/vision/values. That is exciting! Women have always had these skills, but more and more women are in the position to put those skills into action—delivering a unique and positive impact on the convenience industry as a whole.

The Convenience-Store Women conference was the perfect vehicle for exploring how to fill these roles with productive ideas, proven strategies and powerful messaging while networking with some of the most successful women in our industry. Those attending the conference, whether as a leader or rising star, had the chance to hone their skills and focus on the “how” for taking their department, division or company to new heights or maybe in a totally different direction.

As president and COO of Southwest Georgia Oil Co., I often find myself up to my eyeballs in emails or trekking from meeting to meeting, with little time to think or reflect or plan. That’s why I was excited to attend this year’s CSW conference. And it did not disappoint!

If our company is going to be “cookin’ with gas” next year—or in the next five or ten years—I need to make time to focus on what our company needs. What are the plays I need to call? Where are the gaps in our team? Is our strategy aligned with our mission and vision? And how do I work with the rest of our management team to accomplish our goals? The CSW conference allowed all of us in attendance the opportunity to dive into those questions.

I can’t wait to implement the strategies that were sparked at the CSW conference so that our team will be “cookin’ with gas” as we move into 2024 and beyond.

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