General Merchandise/HBC

CSP Announces 2018 Category Manager of the Year Finalists

Suppliers asked to vote for the best in 6 categories

CHICAGO --CSP is proud to announce the finalists of the 2018 Category Manager of the Year Awards, nominated by their supplier community. They are the best of the best from independent, midsize and large chains.

Between now and Feb. 5, CSP is asking supplier partners to cast their votes at to elect the c-store industry's finest category managers. Winners are chosen in five key c-store segments, as well as a new segment, the "multiple" category, which highlights those category crusaders who juggle more than one. Winners will be announced during the 2018 Convenience Retailing University conference, held Feb. 21-23, and will be featured in a special section of CSP's 2018 Category Management Handbook.

"Category managers are the eyes and ears of what's really driving traffic and delivering sales for the c-store industry," says Abbie Westra, editor-in-chief of CSP magazine and director of retail content at Winsight, Chicago. "It's always a great honor to celebrate these industry leaders—and a blast to announce the winners from the stage at Convenience Retailing University."

Suppliers nominated potential finalists in early 2017 and, with the help of CSP editors, finalists were chosen based not only on bottom-line results, but also on the knowledge and forecasting of these extraordinary category managers, who arguably know more about today's consumer than anyone else.

The honor of Category Manager of the Year will be bestowed on one person from each of six key categories:

Foodservice/Dispensed Beverages

  • Greg Lorance, Cumberland Farms
  • Shawn Barnes, 7-Eleven Inc.
  • Brian Donoghue, Weigel's

General Merchandise/HBC

  • Richard Ginther, Kum & Go
  • Shane Vasel, Mapco Express
  • Ron Dunlap, TravelCenters of America

Packaged Beverages

  • Bob Gulley, Circle K Coastal Carolina
  • Josh Campbell, Sheetz Inc.
  • Whitney Simpson, Pilot Flying J


  • Hilary Freedman, RaceTrac Petroleum Inc.
  • Kurt Fraschetti, Circle K Great Lakes
  • William Slattery, Circle K Midwest


  • Kraig Knudsen, Circle K Heartland
  • Anna Bettencourt, VERC Enterprises
  • Peter Cain, Wallis Oil

Multiple Categories

  • Aaron Mace, The Wills Group Inc./Dash In
  • Beth Reina, AU Energy
  • Suresh Bhatia, Graham Enterprise

Suppliers can cast their votes between now and Feb. 5 at

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. Winsight also offers a suite of digital products, including websites, e-newsletters, webinars, video products, mobile and tablet apps, and custom marketing solutions. In addition to more than 12 major EduNetworking conferences and advisory meetings, Winsight also produces seven exclusive, large-scale executive-level conferences: Restaurant Leadership Conference, Global Restaurant Leadership Conference, Outlook Leadership Conference, Convenience Retailing University, FSTEC, MenuDirections and Restaurant Directions. Winsight acquired Technomic Inc., a provider of primary and secondary market information and advisory services for the food industry. For more information on Winsight and its brands, go to

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