General Merchandise

Voting Open for CSP’s Category Manager of the Year Awards

Winners to be announced at Convenience Retailing University

CHICAGO -- CSP is proud to announce the finalists of the 2019 Category Manager of the Year Awards, nominated by the supplier community. These are the best of the best from independent, midsize and large convenience-store chains.

Between now and Feb. 11, CSP is asking supplier partners to cast their votes at to elect the c-store industry’s finest category managers. Winners are chosen in six key c-store segments, as well as a “multiple” category, which highlights those category crusaders who juggle more than one. Winners will be announced during the 2019 Convenience Retailing University conference, held Feb. 25-28, and will be featured in a special section of CSP’s2019Category Management Handbook.

“Category managers keep c-stores current. By choosing the products that line a store’s shelves and determining where they’re positioned, they can drive a store’s sales and help a supplier make a name for a new product,” said Steve Holtz, content director for CSP. “It’s a great honor to celebrate these industry leaders and announce the winners in front of a live audience on the main stage at Convenience Retailing University.”

Suppliers nominated potential finalists in late 2018 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 seven key categories. The finalists are:


  • Jerome Hunsinger, Wawa Inc.
  • Tom Seaman, Giant Eagle Inc.
  • Frank White, Yesway

General Merchandise/HBC

  • Karl Beem, GPM Investments (Fas Mart)
  • Kelley Gutierrez, MAPCO
  • Tai VanNewkirk, Jackson Food Stores

Packaged Beverages

  • Nick Meyer, Circle K
  • Terry Messmer, Tri Star Energy LLC
  • Dana Sump, Casey’s General Stores Inc.


  • Ryan Morton, Maverik Inc.
  • Tim Young, Newcomb Oil Co. (FiveStar)
  • Emily Stegman, 7-Eleven


  • Joe Bortner, Rutter’s
  • Andrew Lee, 7-Eleven Inc.
  • Frank Schilling, Royal Farms


  • Tim Greene, Smoker Friendly
  • Brian Tisdale, Pilot Flying J
  • Kathryn Dalton, BP West Coast Products LLC (ampm)

Multiple Categories

  • Aaron Mace, The Wills Group Inc./Dash In
  • Suresh Bhatia, Graham Enterprise
  • Ruth Ann Lilly, GPM Investments (Fas Mart)

Suppliers can cast their votes between now and Feb. 11 at

CSP magazine is the leading source of information for the $600 billion convenience-retailing industry. Award-winning editors provide actionable solutions and data-driven trends to key decision-makers who rely on this information to make to combat disruption. CSP annually hosts Convenience Retailing University and the Outlook Leadership conference, which are two large-scale leadership events, as well as 15 small-format meetings in its EduNetworking series. The CSP team also delivers insights via our print publications, website and daily newsletters. Click here for more information on CSP and its properties.

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