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An MLP Pioneer Passes the Torch

Topper to retire from CrossAmerica Partners; Bergeron makes move from CST Brands

SAN ANTONIO & ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- With the architect of one of the most stunning convenience store growth stories of the past two years planning to retire, CST Brands and its partner CrossAmerica Partners are preparing for their next phase of growth with a 6-month transition period that began Friday.

Joe Topper Jeremy Bergeron

That’s when Joe Topper, the chief executive officer and president of CrossAmerica, announced his plans to retire as CEO effective Sept. 30, 2015, and, in order to ensure a smooth leadership transition, resign as president effective immediately, as reported in a 21st Century Smoke/CSP Daily News Flash.

“We want to thank Joe for his tremendous leadership and for graciously giving us six months to make this a seamless transition,” said Kim Lubel, chairman, CEO and president of CST Brands. “With this strong leadership succession plan, we hope to continue to create value for our shareholders and unit holders. We are excited for the next phase in the growth of our integrated company.”

Topper has 25 years of management experience in the wholesale and retail-fuel-distribution business. In 1987, he purchased his family's retail fuel business and later founded Lehigh Gas Partners, which changed its name to CrossAmerica Partners after partnering with CST Brands.

In the meantime, Topper was a key figure in bringing the master-limited-partnership strategy to the convenience-store channel.

The new president of CrossAmerica Partners, Jeremy Bergeron, comes with nearly 20 years of experience with Valero and CST Brands.

Bergeron is senior vice president of integration and development for CST Brands. Prior to his current position, he served as vice president and treasurer for CST since its spin-off from Valero Energy Corp. Jeremy was with Valero for 17 years and held several positions, including corporate safety director and vice president of insurance.

“Without a doubt,” said Bergeron, “Joe’s shoes are big ones to fill, but my family and I are thrilled with the prospect of joining the Allentown community,” home base to CrossAmerica Partners.

Topper will continue the day-to-day management of CrossAmerica until Sept. 30. Bergeron will report to Topper until Topper retires as CEO. Topper will also continue to serve on the boards of both CrossAmerica and CST Brands after he formally steps down as CEO.

“I look forward to working side-by-side with Jeremy and introducing him to our great employees, as well as the Allentown, Pa., community,” said Topper. “One thing is certain, he will definitely need warmer clothes.”

David Hrinak, CrossAmerica’s current executive vice president and COO, will continue in his role and report directly to Bergeron.

CST Brands Inc., San Antonio, is one of the largest independent retailers of motor fuels and convenience merchandise in North America with nearly 1,900 locations throughout the Southwestern United States, New York and Eastern Canada.

CrossAmerica Partners, Allentown, Pa., is a leading wholesale distributor of motor fuels and owner and lessee of real estate used in the retail distribution of motor fuels. Its general partner, CrossAmerica GP LLC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of CST Brands.

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