Effective category management can help retailers and suppliers in the convenience channel drive sales, reduce out-of-stocks, and deliver new and exciting products and categories to the 165 million shoppers who frequent a convenience store each day.

NACS and Impact 21, its Category Management partner, are excited to present the webinar, “Looking Through a New Lens at Convenience Category Management,”. A veteran panel of experienced Category Management Leaders from Circle K, Maverik, and Newcomb Oil Co, LLC will share real-world insights, solutions, and best practices.

Each of these category management leaders have successfully navigated their businesses, not only through the past year, but for many years, positioning their teams to continually evolve and pivot through a focus on strong category management disciplines.

The webinar will focus on Shopper Insights, Operational Capabilities, and Returns – Does the customer want it? Can the stores execute it? Does the ROI justify it? Topics include:

• Incorporating new data sources into your category strategies
• Implementing best practices and metrics for space and assortment optimization
• Measuring price and promotional effectiveness
• Fully leveraging loyalty program capabilities – data, promos, communication, brand

These experienced category leaders will provide deep insights on the webinar topics as well as how they utilize data and technology to intimately know their business and customers, create new metrics to drive performance, collaborate with suppliers on innovative solutions, and empower their teams to drive results.
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    Kim James
    Head of Global Center of Excellence, Merchandising and Marketing, Circle K
    With the endless number of advertising and marketing tools at our disposal, it’s easy to get caught up in trends and lose sight of a marketer’s core purpose: to understand, connect and motivate the customer. From her high school days as a yearbook layout artist to Senior Director of a Global Center of Excellence in Marketing and Merchandising for of one of the world's largest convenience store operators, Kim James has been hard at work finding new ways to create indelible connections with people.

    Kim saw a career in advertising as a path to exploring the art and science of communication. This emerging passion led her to the advertising program at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. It proved a perfect fit for her love of advertising and curiosity for business.

    She got her start via an internship with a drug store retailer which quickly led to a full-time position. The defining moment was a private label cosmetic brand launch that saluted women as being beautiful on the inside and out. It was a huge hit and spurred Kim’s 25+ year career that has taken on her a journey of bridging brand and retail. And, this is where passion turned to obsession.

    From here, Kim landed in the convenience retail channel. This is where she has refined her expertise in balancing the pragmatic and the dramatic of retail marketing. Multi-national retail is a fast, bottom line-oriented culture where pennies are optimized. Today, Kim has a deep understanding of the levers and dials that need constant fine-tuning to find the perfect bit of magic. This relentless refinement is how you stay relevant. But in order to gain customer trial and loyalty, Kim fully realizes it goes beyond mechanics.

    You have to find a way to relate, connect and inspire customers. That’s a skill you develop by having an interest in people; their personalities, their habits, their behaviors. And what makes Kim special is her ability to bring humanity to a bottom line business.
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    Lindy Smith
    Senior Category Director, Maverik
    o Great Place to Work
    o Great Operator for our Customers
    o Great Growth Company

    A charismatic, data-driven professional with outstanding management, communication and interpersonal talents, big-picture vision and meticulous work ethic. I lead the company’s strategic direction for customer insight, product categories, and vendor supply chain to grow profit and margin.

    I enjoy learning everyday and have achieved a Computer Science degree from Valparaiso University, MBA from Indiana Wesleyan, Six Sigma Green Belt, Certification in Quality and Regulatory Systems, and CPCA. The early years of my career was in the computer industry where I developed databases and developed financial reports. These math and technology skills I later brought over to the business side in roles of marketing, operations and global product labeling for a medical diagnostics company. The economic recession of 2008 landed me in retail and I’ve loved it ever sense with a work history in grocery then C-store chains of Family Express, Murphy USA, Bucee’s, and now Maverik.
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    Tim Young
    Category Marketing Manager, Five Star (dba Newcomb Oil Company, LLC)
    Tim Young, Category Marketing Manager at Newcomb Oil Co., LLC, has been in Category Management within the fuel and convenience channel since 2004, working for several well -respected retailers. In his current role, Tim is operating as a brand ambassador for Newcomb Oil to initiate customer beneficial programs for its stores, negotiate with Vendors to maximize profitability, develop a marketing plan/calendar to deliver these programs to the stores, establish measurable targets to analyze the impact, monitor implementation and communicate to improve effectiveness, and meet or exceed sales and margin targets. With a focus on Candy, Snacks and Edible Grocery, Tim assists in the development of new store layouts as well as facilitates space allocation recommendations for existing stores to maximize sales and profits.

    Prior to Newcomb Oil, Tim held several different Category Management roles at Thorntons, Tom Thumb and Speedway. In addition to his roles in category management, Tim held several District Sales Manager roles with fuel and convenience retailers as well as Director of Marketing. Tim started his career as a store manager at Finish Line and Thorntons. This combination of category management and operations provides Tim a unique perspective in how to create category plans and marketing programs that will resonate with consumers, but also be able to be executed by store operators. Tim considers himself a true C-Store “Gym Rat” and enjoys bringing his own unique passion and energy to help drive the business and to motivate others to reach their full potential.
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    Lucia Crater
    Executive Vice President, Sales & Business Development, Impact 21
    As a sales and marketing leader, Lucia is charged with leading Impact 21’s Fuel and Convenience Business Development. Her 25+ years in the convenience store industry, with a track record and proficiency in driving growth and market share gains, serves her well in this role. She specializes in developing new business connections, recruiting and training superior achievers, and closing innovative and profitable sales.
    Prior to joining Impact 21, Lucia was the Director of Convenience at Jack Link’s, where she successfully led the implementation of Go-to-Market strategies to surpass top line sales budgets while delivering the bottom-line gross profit budget. As Director of Sales, Convenience at KIND Healthy Snacks, she was instrumental in driving convenience store market share. Most notably, Lucia was Director of Sales, Convenience at US Nutrition where she developed and directed the strategy to raise the profile of the MET-Rx brand to the #1 High Protein product in the channel. Her Convenience Store career began at GSP as Vice President of Sales where she built key retailer relationships that led to the company’s focus in the channel.
    Lucia is a past Chairman of the NACS Supplier Board, served on the NACS Retail and Supplier Board’s Manpower, Membership, and Exhibitor Advisory Committee and is a founding member of the Network of Executive Women (NEW).