Ireland's only specialist magazine for the Forecourt & Convenience Retailing Industry
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Dame Kelly Holmes, Keynote Speaker

Nothing is Impossible

Double Olympic Champion Col. Dame Kelly Holmes is one of the world’s most popular athletes, respected throughout the globe as a role model and an inspiration. As an Olympic, Commonwealth, and European champion that has achieved seven Gold, eight Silver, and four Bronze medals throughout her career, Kelly Holmes is an inspiring motivational speaker who shares how she overcame adversity to achieve her lifelong dream.

Before Col. Dame Kelly started winning gold medals, her career was overshadowed by injury and disappointment. At Ireland’s Convenience Retailer Summit she will draw on how she found the determination and dedication to overcome this as she emphasises that we can all overcome our hardships, especially in the workplace, just as she did. She will be exploring how to build a winning mentality in business to achieve goals and smash targets.

Ivan Yates


Newstalk and TV3 presenter, columnist, and political pundit, Ivan Yates is renowned for his unique and forthright style, robust views, and compelling delivery. He is an expert on business, Irish and international politics and has become a vibrant voice in the heady and turbulent world of political analysis. A businessman, writer, and former Minister for Agriculture, Ivan is a household name with top-rated shows, and will be using his knack for searching questions and entertaining presentation to host the Ireland’s Convenience Retailer Summit 2019.

Stuart Fitzgerald

Managing Director, Leon Ireland

The Evolution of Naturally Fast Food

As managing director and co-founder of the company that operates Leon in Ireland, Stuart has facilitated the opening of the first globally renowned, healthy fast food brand, Leon in Dublin’s Temple Bar area. Coined ‘Naturally Fast Food’, and with stores in the UK, US and Europe, Leon’s eclectic menu is inspired by the flavours, variety and natural healthiness of Mediterranean cooking. Having worked with a range of franchised concepts in food and beverage, and general retail, Stuart has in-depth experience of the elements that are required to build, manage, and control a successful franchise estate. He is proud to be part of a team that will make it easier for the people of Ireland to eat well and live well by making natural fast food convenient and affordable.

Gray Taylor,

Executive Director, Connexxus

Digital Disruption in Convenience

Gray Taylor is a leading global expert in everything technology. As the executive director of Connexxus, based in Georgetown, Texas, Gray has been involved on a variety of projects, including heading global product management for three of the world’s largest retail petroleum equipment and systems suppliers. He is also vice president of research & technology for the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). In his presentation, Gray will explore how technology is destroying the convenience retail industry’s “moats” at an accelerated pace and focus on key technology developments that can threaten or strengthen our industry’s ownership of convenience. To succeed, Gray will explain how the convenience industry must think and innovate like a start-up, while maximising returns from existing operations.

Travis Sheetz

President / Chief Operating Officer, Sheetz Inc

Building a convenient Food-To-Go Brand

The first chief operating officer in Sheetz’ history, Travis Sheetz is responsible for the day-to-day operations of one of America’s fastest growing convenience brands; Sheetz. With over 600 locations across the USA, Sheetz is well known as a pioneer for the food service industry providing an award-winning menu of made-to-order sandwiches and salads. Utilising cutting edge technology, customers can order food electronically through a touch screen or online anywhere they want. Over the course of his presentation Travis Sheetz will take delegates through an exciting account of how the Sheetz family turned one store into a national brand that employs 18,000 people with an annual revenue of $7.2bn.

Eric Dzwonczyk

Executive Director, Connexxus

Turning Food Margins into Profits

Eric Dzwonczyk is a managing director at AlixPartners and co-leads the restaurant, hospitality and leisure sectors globally. As a global expert, he has over 25 years of consulting and industry experience in the restaurant, convenience store, CPG and food industries. His efforts have delivered significant operational improvements and large-scale transformation programmes in a number of different environments. Functionally, he focuses on profitability improvement though sales growth, marketing strategy, procurement, supply chain management, labour efficiency, lean SG&A, and information technology enablement. Eric earned a MBA from The Darden School at the University of Virginia. His work in the restaurant and food industries has been profiled in leading news publications.

Terry McShane

Co-Director, Casey Retail Group

Navigating Rapid Industry Change

Local businessman from Ballina, Terry McShane opened his first store in Castlebar with co-founder Gerry Casey in 1998. Since then the retail group has grown to operate five Londis stores and four Circle K forecourts as well as Freshly Chopped, Supermac’s, and Four Star Pizza franchises. Leading the way for innovation in Irish food-to-go, the group’s number one brand and key driver is the Kitchen at Casey’s which covers all areas of foodservice. Developed in 2017, Kitchen at Caseys has seen significant growth over the past 24 months. In his presentation Terry will delve deeper into the process of taking a food-to-go brand the whole way from an idea to a fully-fledged concept.

Katie Cantwell

Managing Director, KC Peaches Ireland Ltd

Finding Your Niche in Food-to-Go

Katie Cantwell traded in her career in corporate consulting and founded KC Peaches in 2006. KC Peaches is the first whole foods cafe and catering company in Dublin, serving only all-natural food – free from additives, preservatives, artificial flavours or colours. What started as a simple business idea has turned into four thriving KCP stores in Dublin city with 150 employees. The team recently opened two new original concepts, Proof Pizza and Cafe Bombo. With a passion for food developed in her native Seattle and nurtured in France, Katie yearned to bring naturally flavourful, hand-crafted food to the masses. KC Peaches along with its new concepts continue to drive the spirit of the KC Peaches Group. In addition to brick & mortar locations, KC Peaches Group provides a unique catering service. KC Peaches Catering is uniquely placed and experienced to cover all catering requirements from corporate boardroom breakfasts to large scale onsite preparation.

Jerry Gamez

CEO Le Pain Quotidien

Navigating Rapid Industry Change

As CEO of global bakery and award-winning eatery business Le Pain Quotidien, Jerry Gamez has a wealth of global experience when it comes to achieving sustainable success in the food-to-go industry. With over 240 stores worldwide, Jerry has recently opened stores in Dublin and Kildare Village. Before taking on his role at Le Pain Quotidien, Jerry was the co-founder, CEO and member of the executive board of Consumer Investment Partners. Prior to this role, Jerry was a partner at Burger King and also executive at Walmart Corporation.