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Frank Gleeson Named NACS Chairman

Frank Gleeson, president of Aramark Northern Europe, became the 2018-19 NACS Chairman and the first European-based chairman in the association’s 57-year history.

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“It’s a long way from my home in Dublin, Ireland, to Las Vegas” for the 2018 NACS Show, said Gleeson, who accepted the gavel to become the new NACS Chairman during the conference’s closing general session from Joe Sheetz, president and CEO of Altoona, Pennsylvania-based Sheetz Inc., a convenience retail company with more than 575 stores in six U.S. states.

Gleeson began his retail career as a teenager in his family’s general goods store in Ireland, selling everything from clothing to food, and progressing into coffee shops and restaurants. In his mid-20’s, Gleeson worked in Irelands leading video and entertainment business, adding that as fast as the video-rental industry grew, is could not overcome the disruptive challenge from Netflix. As dominant as Netflix has become in the online streaming and entertainment space, its approximate 130 million Netflix users worldwide, convenience store industry serves in the United States alone serves 165 million customers per day.

“And that’s not even counting the rest of the world,” said Gleeson. “As innovative as Netflix is, our industry is right there. We’ve caused enough disruption of our own but in doing so, we’ve never lost sight of our customers: Exceeding their expectations before they even know what they need and continuing to be innovators in our stores.”

Having started his convenience store career with Statoil Ireland and then Topaz Energy Group, Gleeson joined Aramark in 2014 and is now the president of the company’s Northern Europe operations, leading operations of Aramark’s convenience stores in hospitals, universities, leisure spots, and off highways like most traditional convenience stores today.

“In Northern Europe alone, we serve over one million meals a day,” said Gleeson of Aramark’s foodservice offer, which he describes as “foodvenience” in the company’s innovative food hall concepts.

Whether it’s Aramark Northern Europe changing food concepts at its food halls, other convenience retailers throughout the world continue to innovate and transform their operations.

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