Education Sessions



We’re shaking up the way you learn by bringing education to the exhibit hall floor in a never before seen format at the Southwest Fuel & Convenience Expo!  Explore new ideas, see what’s trending, and gain regulatory insights from subject matters experts in a series of Learning Labs— all of this will be available exclusively in the Experience Zone.  Navigating through 26 presentations is easy, simply follow the icons which designate each track: Fuels, Retail, Tech & Trends, and Wholesale & Transportation.

Throughout the 2-day event, non-promotional 30 minute Learning Labs will cover everything from business marketing, c-store design, transportation safety, environmental compliance, state of the industry, and much more!  Be present, be in the moment, and be the one who walks away with the competitive edge in today’s booming convenience retailing and fuel marketing industries.


11:30 am – 12:00 pm
How Good Lighting Design Can Increase Your Traffic
Amy Hotchkiss Kerby, Photometric Specialist, LSI Industries

Understanding how lighting works and how to use the available tools is critical to a good site design.   This session will help you discover the lighting tools available to help to create the perfect interior and exterior design to increase traffic at your location. Whether you are constructing a new site or retrofitting an existing one, the strategic use of lighting can aid in cultivating the perfect shopping experience for your customer.

11:30 am – 12:00 pm
Corrosion Risks in UST’s Storing Diesel Fuel
Brian Boezi, Technical R&D, VP Racing Fuels

Today’s ultra-low diesel fuel is causing storage tanks to corrode at an alarming rate! When the EPA revealed the results of a recent study on the increasing presence of substantial corrosion in diesel fuel tanks, it proved that the problem is much larger than anyone anticipated.

This 30 minute presentation will cover:

  • A history of the diesel tank corrosion problem
  • Findings of the EPA study and Speculative Causes
  • Liability risks for tank owners, including clean-up costs
  • Solutions to mitigate corrosion and extend the life of your diesel fuel tank

11:30 am – 12:00 pm
Surviving a DOT Audit: Tips for Making Compliance Reviews ‘Positive and Peaceful’ Events
Tom Hartman, VP of Safety Compliance, Commercial Fleet Data Systems (CFDS)

Maintaining a good compliance, safety, and accountability (CSA) score is the best way for trucking companies to avoid a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) audit. When a fuel marketer is singled out for an audit, having a good attitude and being able to provide the required documentation can also go a long way toward passing the audit with flying colors.

Join Tom Hartman as he guides you through new and existing regulations, top audit violations, and shares tips for making compliance reviews ‘positive and peaceful’ events.

12:00 – 12:30 pm
Embracing A Changing America
Justin Jahnke, Founder & Director of Brand Development, El Norteño Foods

America’s population is rapidly changing and young consumers are much more powerful than you may realize. Learn why it is crucially important to be flexible, nimble and take risks with your product selection to meet regional and local tastes. Learn how to speak directly to your bi-cultural customers from the perspective of a growing brand that is inspired by the power of culture AND great taste.

12:00 – 12:30 pm
Doing Inventory Control Right for Petroleum Storage Tanks (PSTs)
Doug Reske, PST Team Leader, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)

All retail facilities who sell fuel products to the public are required to perform inventory control.  In just 30 minutes, a TCEQ representative will walk you through the ins-and-outs of module g of the PST Super Guide.  You’re guaranteed to leave this presentation with a clearer understanding of the TCEQ Regulatory Guidance for inventory control and ensure that you are in compliance with one of the most commonly cited and often penalized PST violations in the State of Texas!!

  • Learn how to best determine fuel inventory
  • Know the all the items and the required steps to ensure your inventory is conducted properly and accurately
  • Know the early indicators of a potential leak
  • Get a step-by-step look into inventory control methods for non-blended and blended-fuel systems

12:30 – 1:00 pm
The Impact of Local Tobacco Ordinances
Steve Kottak, Senior Director External Relations, Reynolds American Trade Marketing Services Company

Local governments across the country proposed more than 700 tobacco ordinances in 2017 aimed at raising tobacco taxes, increasing the legal age to purchase tobacco products, establishing minimum prices, reducing the number of tobacco retailers, restricting flavored tobacco sales, and banning menthol. This presentation focuses on the increasing activity at the local level and the efforts responsible retailers can take to ensure city leaders have the facts when making decisions.

12:30 – 1:00 pm
Who’s Behind the Wheel?
Linwood Tatro, Account Executive, Federated Insurance

If you’re carrying freight on U.S. roadways, there are specific rules you must follow, as stipulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), to ensure that you are employing qualified drivers and running a safe and compliant business.

Prior to hiring, carriers must do the following, and keep copies for their files:

  • Obtain motor vehicle records
  • Investigate the driver’s past three years of safety performance history
  • Verify any previous drug or alcohol violations
  • Conduct a pre-employment drug test
  • Verify that that the driver has been certified by a medical examiner

This must-attend presentation will help all carriers increase productivity, decrease risk, and stay compliant.

1:00 – 1:30 pm
6-Myths about the EMV Liability Shift
Bo Sasnett, CEO, D&H United Fueling Solutions

As the forecourt (outside) EMV liability shift looms, retailers across the U.S. have been scrambling trying to make sense of it all. Safeguarding payments at the pump starts by differentiating fact from fiction — a complicated task for many in the convenience retailing industry, especially considering that there are over 8.1 billion transactions processed by convenience stores each year in Texas.

Helping debunk some myths about the EMV liability shift is Bo Sasnett who brings more than 30 years of industry experience. This myth-busting EMV session will provide need-to-know details that will keep you in compliance while saving time and money.

1:00 – 1:30 pm
Your First Response to a Tanker Rollover
Kim Credeur, P.G., KB Environmental, Inc.

Get the tools you need to establish a strategy and plan to anticipate outcomes before, during, and after a rollover crisis.  In this session, attendees will learn how pre-planning is critical for managing a rollover crisis.

As you can imagine, when you get the call that a rollover has occurred, the crisis begins and there is no time to think about what you should do, who you should call, and hiring clean-up contractors.  During this session, you will learn all the essential steps to minimize risk and reduce the cost of a rollover.

1:30 – 2:00 pm
Tour of Texas
Mike Lawshe, CEO & President, Paragon Solutions

Discover the convenience retailing excellence of Texas! Ride along with Paragon Solutions and the Texas Food & Fuel Association across the Lone Star State as they showcase standout c-stores who are pushing the envelope to differentiate themselves from the competition.

1:30 – 2:00 pm
Fuel Quality & Dispenser Meter Calibrations Q&A with the Texas Department of Agriculture – Part 1
Stuart Strnad, Director for Consumer Product Protection, Texas Department of Agriculture

Get to know the regulators who have a direct impact on convenience store business in Texas. This two-way session features a town hall setting where members of the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide input on new rules affecting fuel quality testing and meter calibrations in Texas.

2:00 – 2:30 pm
Where’s the money?
Geoff Smith, Director of Sales – West Region, Patriot Capital

Retailers and wholesalers are facing unprecedented investment demands over the next two years. EMV pump upgrades, EPA tank regs, brand image updates, food service and many other demands compete for your money. This seminar will:

  • Present an overview of the trade-offs between using cash, bank loans or equipment financing. You’ll learn what the right use of each form of borrowing is.
  • Once you’ve invested, how do you measure success. Learn why ROIC is more important than cash flow in understanding your profitability.
  • What do the recent tax code changes mean, and how can Accelerated Depreciation help pay for your investment.
  • Why upgrading to EMV now may be worth over $50,000 in profit to you compared to waiting until 2020.

2:00 – 2:30 pm
Electronic Logging Devices (ELD’s) – Understanding the ELD Transition
Tom Hartman, VP of Safety Compliance, Commercial Fleet Data Systems (CFDS)

It takes the effort of an entire team to ensure your commercial transportation fleet is in compliance with new Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Electronic Logging Device (ELD) technology policies. Now that the second phase of the ELD compliance rules are in effect, investing your time and energy in this session will leave you with:

  • Tips for training employees so that drivers are knowledgeable and comfortable using ELD technology
  • Key requirements of the ELD Rule
  • Minimum device specifications
  • Real cost of ELD implementation
  • Benefits of transitioning to ELD’s
  • ELD checklist

2:30 – 3:00 pm
EV Charging Stations: The Next Fronteir for C-Stores
Dave Aasheim, Sales Director – South Central US, ChargePoint

An EV Industry update that will touch on the current state of electric vehicles on the road today and the forecasts for upcoming higher range electric vehicles that will be making more frequent road trips across the US.  Today’s gas station could be lined up to attract this growing demographic with high speed charging stations.

2:30 – 3:00 pm
Tour of Texas — Part 2: Foodservice Fundamentals
Mike Lawshe, CEO & President, Paragon Solutions
Jim Kolkhorst, President, Kolkhorst Foods, LLC

The revenue streams for convenience stores are shifting, with foodservice providing the greatest profitability, followed by beverages, then tobacco. See how retailers in Texas both small and large are maximizing their foodservice ROI by focusing on great taste, design, and service. Tantalize your taste buds as Mike Lawshe brings Tour of Texas guests on-stage to share their recipe for success!

3:00 – 3:30 pm
Anco-Mid Continent Talk Tank Insurance and TOMIC Acquisition
Lynn Marchbank, Sr. Manager – West Region, Mid-Continent Group

Mid-Continent Insurance Group purchased Tank Owners Mutual Insurance Company in January 2018.  Come find out what this will mean for current policy holders and for renewals after January 1, 2019.  Mid-Continent will be marketing a new policy in Texas through it’s affiliate, ANCO Insurance and will offer pollution coverage for tanks up to 44 years of age.  The new policy will also have new credits available for upgrades on tank systems.

  • Coverage is tank specific, not location, meaning specified tanks are insured at a scheduled location (facility)
  • Retroactive dates will be location (facility) specific
  • Deductible options: $5,000, $10,000, $25,000, $50,000
    • Deductible will be location (facility) specific
  • Optional Coverage for repair or replacement of tanks, subject to a $25,000 limit, will be available (a covered pollution incident must occur to activate this option)
  • Extended reporting period of 1, 2, or 3 years are available

3:00 – 3:30 pm
EMV Live on the Forecourt
Chris Headrick, Training Manager, Petroleum Solutions, Inc.

Are you EMV Ready?  This session will walk you through the necessary requirements to get you EMV Live at the forecourt.  Chris Headrick brings years of hands on technical experience and will discuss the steps needed to get your dispensers ready to process EMV chip cards before the outdoor liability shift date approaches.


9:30 – 10:00 am
Texas Legislative Preview
Matt Burgin, Director of Government Relations, TFFA

  • What is on the horizon for our industry in the 2019 Texas Legislative Session? What is important to you and your business? What should TFFA be fighting for at the State Capitol?
  • Implementation of House Bill 2174 – Moving forward with the Texas Department of Agriculture
  • Legislative Topics for 2019: mobile refueling, local option fuels taxes, Tobacco 21+, alcohol regulation in Texas, petroleum storage tank program deadlines, and property/sales tax reform

10:00 – 10:30 am
Why the Overall Customer Experience Matters for Fuel Sales
Frank Beard, Analyst/Evangelist, Convenience Store and Retail Trends, GasBuddy

In today’s marketplace, it’s not enough to have cheap gas and a good location. The customer experience has become a key concern for consumers, and many will go out of their way to avoid issues such as dirty restrooms and forecourts. GasBuddy’s Frank Beard will dive deep into this issue by sharing foot traffic data, industry trends, and discussing specific steps that retailers can leverage to create a destination-worthy experience.

10:00 – 10:30 am
Fuel Quality & Dispenser Meter Calibrations Q&A with the Texas Department of Agriculture – Part 2
Stuart Strnad, Director for Consumer Product Protection, Texas Department of Agriculture

Get to know the regulators who have a direct impact on convenience store business in Texas. This two-way session features a town hall setting where members of the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide input on new rules affecting fuel quality testing and meter calibrations in Texas.

10:30 – 11:00 am
Making EMV Pay
Steve Van Vlack, Business Development Manager, Wayne Fueling Systems

With the EMV payment requirements, many dispensers will need to be replaced or upgraded. In this session we will discuss how to leverage media to drive in-side sales to create a return on the EMV investment.

10:30 – 11:00 am
How to Spot and Avoid Credit Card Skimmers
Owen DeWitt, President, Flintloc Technologies

Thieves know every trick in the book and will stop at nothing to capture credit card data at fuel dispensers. Retailers and manufacturers have had to adapt their operations and technology in wake of the recent spike in credit card skimming. Protecting your business and customers starts by knowing what tools are available to prevent theft, who to call in case of a data breach, and how to properly train employees to check for signs of tampering. Can’t watch every dispenser, every minute? Then you’ll want to attend this presentation which is guaranteed to leave you with:

– A better understanding of PCI Standards
– Best practices for skimming prevention
– An update on legal initiatives for harsher penalties for criminals

11:00 – 11:30 am
C-Store Mergers & Acquisitions in Today’s Red Hot Market
Jeff Kramer, Managing Director, NRC Realty & Capital Advisors

Fuel margins may be soft, sales volumes may be flat, expenses may be increasing, and competition is increasing too. But you wouldn’t know it from the red hot prices and purchase price multiples being paid by various cash rich companies in today’s red hot mergers and acquisitions market for convenience stores, gas stations, wholesale operations, terminals, lube oils, and any oil related businesses.

Learn why and what could stop this trend dead in its tracks by hearing Jeff Kramer, Managing Director at NRC Realty & Capital Advisors, whose decades of experience can help retailers become better equipped in today’s red hot market.

11:00 – 11:30 am
Advantages of Using Biodiesel
Adam Sander, Senior Manager, South Region, Renewable Energy Group

Fuel retailers nationwide are beginning to understand the advantages of integrating biodiesel into their fuel lineup. By increasing fuel margins, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving engine performance, biodiesel is an excellent product for retailers to offer. In addition, Texas offers a state tax incentive of 20 cents per gallon for B100 biodiesel. Now is the time to better understand the advantages of using biodiesel.

11:30 am – 12:00 pm
The Rapidly Advancing World of Truck Safety and Technology
Scott Parten, Vice President — Southwest Region, Volvo

Heavy commercial vehicle technology for safety has developed in capability and application and is having a positive impact on truck safety. During this rapid fire presentation, you will learn how transformational technology is accelerating the rate of change, what OEM manufacturers are doing to stay ahead of the curb, and how transportation companies can leverage new advances to increase safety and profitability.

11:30 am – 12:00 pm
Common Causes of Releases from UST Systems
Doug Reske, PST Team Leader, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)

Ever wonder what the most common causes of UST system releases are?  Is it the piping? The tanks? Other? Well wonder no longer. In this session, we will review the most common causes of LPST cases in Texas and what you can do to help prevent them!

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