5 Things You’ll Learn at CSP’s Convenience Retailing University

CRU to feature retailer, industry experts from Yesway, McLane Co., Stinker Stores, more
Photograph by CSP Staff

Convenience-store category managers attending CSP’s Convenience Retailing University (CRU) will learn about navigating foodservice trends, moving beyond buzzwords, how to understand the electric-vehicle (EV) consumer and more at the three-day conference.

This year’s event will be held Feb. 28-March 1 in Nashville. C-store retailers from Yesway, EG America, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, Circle K and more will be in attendance as CSP announces the Category Manager of the Year winners and hosts more than a dozen educational sessions.

Here’s some of what attendees can expect to learn.  

How to Navigate Foodservice Trends

Jessica Williams, founder and CEO of Food Forward Thinking LLC, will guide retailers on how to navigate foodservice trends. Williams will help unravel the journey from innovation to execution when it comes to foodservice in the c-store channel and quick service restaurants. Williams helped launch Curby’s, a c-store in Lubbock, Texas, and it is not her first time speaking at CSP events.  

For those interested in foodservice, Jason Read, director of store operations with Wawa, will also lead a panel on the category with the three Category Manager of the Year finalists in foodservice: Matt High of Sheetz, Leanna Marett of 7-Eleven and Kate Weisman of EG America.

How to Get Beyond the Buzzwords

Buzzwords such as KPI, disruptor, synergy and more are often thrown around—but what do they really mean? Jeffry Harrison, co-founder and president of Rovertown, will moderate a discussion on getting beyond the buzzwords.

The panel will discuss the substance behind these topics, and attendees can discover what industry leaders have to say about going beyond the buzzwords to share practical insights, experiences and strategies for tangible success.

Panelists will be Nathan Arnold, director of marketing for Duchess; Kim Cuellar, director of trade marketing for BeatBox Beverages; and Derek Gaskins, chief marketing officer at Yesway.

How to Understand the EV Customer

Anila Siraj, principal consultant at Impact 21, will help attendees understand the EV consumer. The traditional “fuel” customer is changing from an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle driver who may be in and out in a few minutes, to EV drivers who will need to stick around for at least 20 to 30 minutes, and in some cases longer.

What will those divers do while charging? This is where what’s on offer at the destination becomes even more important, Siraj said. Understanding those consumer habits, preferences and behaviors and tailoring the offer will be key to success.

How to Gain More Insights From Goldman Sach’s Nicotine Nuggets Survey

Bonnie Herzog, managing director and senior consumer analyst at Goldman Sachs, will dive deep into the revelations from the latest Nicotine Nuggets survey. Herzog will provide her perspective on the evolving category landscape and unpack key findings derived from feedback collected from retailer and wholesaler contacts representing 60,000 locations nationwide.

Attendees will gain unique insights into emerging trends, shifting consumer preferences and other factors shaping tobacco.

How to Unleash the Power of Digital and Technology Transformation

Art Sebastian, founder and managing partner at Nexchapter LLC, will delve into the potential of digital and technology transformation within the c-store industry. Sebastian will explore how c-stores have an unprecedented opportunity to adapt and thrive in a digitally driven world as technology rapidly advances.

This is a small sampling of the three-day conference. For more information, including the times and days each speaker will present, visit

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