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-matter experts in a series of Learning Labs— all of this will be available exclusively in the Experience Zone.  Navigating through each presentation is easy, simply follow the icons which designate each track: Fuels, Retail, and Trends.

On May 16th, 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.


12:30 – 1:15 pm
Financing and Merger & Acquisition Activity in Today’s Dynamic Market
Dennis L. Ruben, Executive Managing Dir., NRC Realty & Capital Advisors, LLC
Jeff Kramer, Managing Dir., NRC Realty & Capital Advisors, LLC

Markets are changing rapidly, and alternatives for petroleum retailers and distributors are more important than ever. How will a softening, yet highly competitive, economy affect interest rates and money availability for marketers wanting to grow?  At the same time, what is the latest outlook for purchase price multiples in the M&A market generally, and in the Texas and Southwest region specifically, and how does it impact marketers for critical “buy or sell” decision making and new store construction decisions even as competition remains diverse and intense?

1:00 – 1:30 pm
Upcoming Changes in DOT Regulations
Tom Hartman, Vice President of Safety Compliance, Commercial Fleet Data Systems (CFDS)

Major changes are underway for when it comes to transportation safety.  Investing 30 minutes of your time in this session will leave you better prepared in complying with a host of new U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations; including:

  • IRT to replace CSA
  • National Drug and Alcohol Clearing House
  • Changes to Interstate HOS
  • Reptile Theory with Plaintiff’s Attorneys

1:00 – 1:30 pm
The Case for Using IoT to Monitor Food Safety
Kendall Anderson, Marketing and PR Manager, Facility Solutions Group
Steven Babb, IoT & Monitoring Solutions, Facility Solutions Group

Learn how convenience stores can protect their biggest revenue drivers by ensuring compliance and eliminating human error associated with collecting temperature data.

1:30 – 2:00 pm
Top Issues & Trends Impacting Retailers Today and Over the Next 5 Years
Bo Sasnett, CEO, D&H United Fueling Solutions

In this fast-paced session participants will gain high-level insight into retail operating, fuel management, and national industry changes that impact how business is done in Texas.  Topics covered include:

  • EMV- An Important Update with only 15 Months Until the Liability Shift.
  • The Aging the Underground Storage Tank Infrastructure and Updated UST cCompliance Rules
  • Fuel Quality and Corrosion
  • Electric Vehicles
  • The Good News- Fuel Margin Outlook

2:00 – 2:30 pm
Now Hiring! — Secrets for Recruiting and Retaining Star Employees
Sam Moore, Account Executive, Federated Insurance

Uncovering what great talent really looks like can be a challenge.  Once you capture top talent, how do you keep them? Learn the secrets behind hiring the right people, putting effective processes in place, and new ways for employers to think about employee retention.

2:00 – 2:30 pm
Protect the Pump: How to Spot and Stop Skimming at Your Store
Wes Nance, Director of Service, Petroleum Solutions, Inc.

Protecting customer data has become a top priority as retailers and manufacturers have had to adapt their operations and technology in wake of the recent spike in credit card skimming across the country.  Get an inside look at a fuel dispenser during this hands-on presentation and leave with tools to prevent theft, who to call in case of a data breach, and how to properly train employees to check for signs of tampering. Then you’ll want to attend this presentation which is guaranteed to leave you with:

  • Hands-on training to identify different types of skimming devices
  • Resources to share with your colleagues and employees
  • Better understanding of law enforcement response to capture fraudsters

2:00 – 2:30 pm
The Impact of New State Laws on Texas Retailers and Fuel Marketers
Texas Food & Fuel Association

The 86th Texas Legislature convenes in May, ending a 5 month run in which thousands of bills were filed, discussed, and if lucky enough, signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.  Gain insight into new laws that impact how convenience stores respond to fuel quality complaints, credit card skimming incidents, fuel management, and more! Understanding how advocacy is transforming the retail fueling industry in Texas starts by attending this presentation by TFFA.  Don’t miss it!

2:30 – 3:00 pm
Fueling Forward: Making the Choice to Offer Biodiesel
Andrew Lewis, Sales — 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.

2:30 – 3:00 pm
The Transformation of Tobacco
Jackie Sierra, Senior Manager of Accounts, Altria Group, Inc. USA
Miguel Lopez – Vergara, Regional Manager, Industry Engagement, Altria Group, Inc. USA

What is the future of tobacco? Join us as we share updates on the transformation the tobacco category is taking. We will discuss the big picture trends in total tobacco and deeper insight into the vapor category. Additionally, we will share the latest on the regulatory and legislative landscape that impacts the tobacco category.

2:30 – 3:00 pm
Got Leaks?
Doug Reske, PST Team Lead, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)

All retail facilities in Texas who sell fuel products to the public are required to perform a 30-day walk through inspection.  Staying on top of your fuel tanks can help c-stores manage fuel inventory while saving time and money.  In this presentation, TCEQ will review the most common causes of underground storage tank leaks in Texas and what you can do to help prevent them!

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

The U.S. market for fully electric vehicles (EVs) reached record volumes in 2018.   Today’s gas station could be lined up to attract this growing demographic with high speed charging stations.  Hear from EV experts ChargePoint who will present 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.

3:00 – 3:30 pm
CBD in Texas: A Cash Crop for C-Stores
Lisa Pittman, Special Counsel, Tannenbaum, Trost & Burk

With Texas’ removal of hemp from the definition of marijuana under the Texas Controlled Substances Act, hemp-derived products are now legal to buy and sell in Texas, as long as they come from a licensed industrial hemp producer and the THC content is < .3% THC.  Lisa Pittman, a Texas attorney who has been working in the cannabis and hemp industry since 2014, will provide a look at how changes to hemp regulations could generate big profits for retailers.

  • Recent changes to the Texas Controlled Substances Act pertaining to hemp derived CBD extract products
  • Upcoming legislative changes that could create a fully legal hemp program in Texas
  • The status of hemp CBD product seizures and raids in Texas
  • What the legislative changes mean for carrying hemp derived CBD products in your stores and what to look for from a product distributor.

3:00 – 3:30 pm
The Do’s and Don’ts When Investing in Your Business
Michael Borelli, Vice President of Sales, Patriot Capital
Emily Cain, Territory Manager — Southwest, Patriot Capital

Retailers and wholesalers are facing unprecedented investment demands over the next year. EMV pump upgrades, EPA tank regulations, 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.

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