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Chicago 2017
October 17-20
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General Sessions

Tuesday, October 18 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm
Merit Gest
Imagine a future where every employee at every level of the 154,000 plus convenience stores that account for nearly $575 billion in sales was worthy of a Most Valuable Player award. Imagine a future where everyone you interacted with, from truck drivers and cashiers to sales reps and managers, treated you like an MVP and owned their role with the passion and commitment that MVP winners bring consistently. Now, imagine laughing and learning as our opening speaker, Merit Gest, kicks off our conference and shares what’s possible for our future… MVPs everywhere!

Wednesday, October 19 10:15 am – 11:30 am
Steve Gross
Steve Gross, M.S.W., is the Founder and Chief Playmaker of the Life is good Playmakers, a 501(c)(3) public charity. In order to make this vision a reality, the Life is good Playmakers partners with frontline professionals — such as teachers, social workers and child life specialists — who dedicate their lives to helping children overcome poverty, violence and illness. These Playmakers use the power of play to build healing, life-changing relationships with the children in their care. He has devoted his career to the service of our most vulnerable children. At the heart of his work, Steve helps others access their own playfulness so that they can build resilience and bring greater joy, connection, courage and creativity to their work and their lives.

Thursday, October 20 10:15 am - 11:30 am
Ideas 2 Go
The Ideas 2 Go video is unique to the convenience store industry. Retailers from
around the country invite us into their stores and provide a video tour of their best ideas, whether quick ideas you can implement tomorrow or those to consider in your next strategic planning session. There also is a special segment on exceptional retailers in Ireland.

Friday, October 21 8:00 am – 9:00 am
Peyton Manning
Legendary quarterback Peyton Manning, the NFL’s only five-time Most Valuable Player and a 14-time Pro Bowl selection, has earned his place among the greatest quarterbacks in league history as the active leader in nearly every statistical passing category. For his actions off the field, Manning was honored as the recipient of the Byron “Whizzer” White Humanitarian Award and the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2005 as well as the Bart Starr Award in 2015. Manning serves as a member of the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet and The Pat Summit Foundation Advisory Board. He and his wife, Ashley, established the PeyBack Foundation in 1999 to promote the future success of disadvantaged youth by assisting programs that provide leadership and growth opportunities for children at risk.