Celebration and Exhortation

Paul Reuter, Founder and former CEO, CSP

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In an age of self-congratulations and self-centeredness, modesty demands that those who do good deeds or exceptional work seek not recognition but rather accept their accomplishments as their rewards.

Yes, these could easily be the words of a preacher from the pulpit. And they would be true.

I’ve been thinking a lot about praise and ego of late.

We have bad praise, such as when New York Jets receiver Santonio Holmes flapped his arms in a December game, mocking the Philadelphia Eagles players near him even though Holmes had been largely responsible for the Jets trailing 28-10. Holmes was less interested in his team and certainly couldn’t care less that his two costly mistakes put his team in a bind they would never overcome. Instead, Holmes was about himself, and he was determined to make it on that evening’s ESPN highlight reel. And he did.

There is, however, good praise, one we can be very proud of. It is rooted in respect, anchored in effort.

Such praise took place recently at the year-end business event of a strong and continually improving operator who, frankly, flies under the radar.

Dash In Food Stores, the Mid-Atlantic retail arm of The Wills Group, directs nearly 50 Dash In stores, run mostly by franchisees, along with a 300-dealer network. The company is coming off a very successful year, one it shared with its franchisees as part celebration and part exhortation for an even better 2012.

In short, the company has rolled out a new prototype that is attractive and family- friendly, a ramped up car-wash offering called Splash In, and expanded foodservice menu. (For more, read our CSP Daily News story at www.cspnet.com/news/ corporate/articles/dash-performance.)

In sharing the good news, the company also shared the rewards, presenting numerous cash gifts, plaques and other prizes to their franchisees and even recognizing some of their key vendors, most notably 2010’s vendor of the year, McLane Co., and Dash In’s 2011 vendor of the year, Utz Quality Foods.

We at CSP were particularly flattered to be recognized for our service in the industry.

“CSP,” said Larry Bullis, the company’s director of merchandising and marketing, “has led this charge with information that helps our organization and all c-store and petroleum operators make better decisions to take care of the customer. They offer the same information for one-store operations to the largest chain. From CSP magazine to the daily news feeds, you get instant information that keeps you informed.

“CSP events, such as Convenience Retailing University, FARE and the Outlook Leadership Conference, are second to none,” Bullis continued. “It also allows for fantastic networking. In fact, Dash In has introduced many new products and processes gained from CSP events.”

While we were the recipient of praise, it is even more important that Dash In was the receiver of well-deserving accolades. As group editor Mitch Morrison said on behalf of our company, “In the economic backdrop we’re living in, when the U.S. Postal Service is talking about contracting services, retailers across the spectrum are dissolving or cutting back and the middle class is shrinking, it is refreshing to be honored by a company of Dash In’s high quality. Dash In and CSP embrace a shared culture of growing people and enhancing the consumer experience.”

Let this be a year of growth and a great year for Dash In and the entire c-store industry. Happy New Year! 

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