Reflecting the increasing importance of connections and technology, the Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) has been rebranded as Conexxus, announced today at the organization’s Annual Conference in Tucson.

The rebranding to Conexxus conveys how PCATS has evolved in its almost 20-year history — from the NACS Technology Initiative, then an association advocating for data interchange standards, now to a distinct organization that connects people, industries and systems, and serves as the nexus of thought leadership on future technology and related policy. As productivity, consumer technology, data security and EMV mandates continue to dominate the retail technology agenda for the convenience and fuel retailing industry, Conexxus is re-positioned to address all of these emerging challenges.

 “While serving the convenience and fuel retailing industry well for the past decade, the PCATS brand no longer encompassed the breadth of what we do or how essential our work is to providing industry leaders greater control of their IT agendas,” said Gray Taylor, executive director of Conexxus. “Our rebranding to Conexxus signifies the refocus of our mission as one that touches ever-changing disciplines within our retail segment, such as enterprise productivity, data security, mobile commerce and payments.”

Margaret Akins, business analyst at Pilot Travel Centers LLC and chairman of Conexxus, added: “I first got involved in [PCATS] because I was looking for a solution and the technical standards offered made the most sense. It has provided a platform for retailers, wholesalers and solution providers to come together to discuss the needs within our industry and enable solutions. We do much more than document standards. We are an interactive community that can make things happen and it is time we move forward as Conexxus.”

 “The shift in brand strategy for PCATS exemplifies changes that were well underway,” said Drew Mize, chief operating officer at The Pinnacle Corporation and chairman of the Conexxus Membership and Marketing Committee. “The Conexxus brand better describes the expanded activities and technologies innovation PCATS has been driving toward for some time, well beyond a general perception of focusing solely on data exchange standards, and best positions the organization to attract members both within and external to our specific industry that will help achieve and advocate those goals.”   

In additional news, Conexxus announced the election of four new Board of Advisor members during its Annual Conference taking place this week, April 28-May 1, at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz.

Rutter’s Director of Fuels Gabe Olives has been named as vice chair of Conexxus. Also named to the Board of Advisors were the following Conexxus members:

  • Jeff Toeppner, Secretary
  • Bill Wade, Chair, Technical Advisory Committee
  • Sue Chan, Chair, Standards Quality Assurance

Here are biographies of the newly elected Conexxus Board of Advisor members:

Gabe Olives, Vice Chair — Olives is the director of fuels for York-Pennsylvania-based Rutter’s. Formerly with Turkey Hill Minit Markets and Impact21, he is a 30-year veteran of the convenience store industry, serving in various capacities including operations, petroleum marketing, legislative affairs as well as his overall passion for technology. He is the current chairman of the Petroleum and Convenience Alliance SQA Committee and is a member of the board of directors and board of advisors. He is also active with the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association. Olives graduated from the University of Scranton with a B.S. in biochemistry and currently lives in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, with his wife and two teenage children.

Jeff Toeppner, Secretary — Toeppner is a 25-year Coca-Cola veteran who began his career as a merchandiser in Michigan.  After graduating from Michigan State University, he joined Coca-Cola’s Finance team and eventually managed multiple distribution centers. In 1996, he moved to Atlanta to work on projects that enabled the collection of sales across the Coca-Cola system, converted operations to night delivery and led the move to electronic commerce. In his most recent positions, he has held increasing levels of responsibility in eCommerce/EDI, order to cash, and other supply chain-related roles. He is currently leading a team of 40 eBusiness professionals who automate business transactions and facilitate Coca-Cola’s strong relationship with trading partners from an eCommerce perspective.

Bill Wade, Chair, Technical Advisory Committee — Wade joined PDI in 1989 as a software developer and has since served in a variety of roles, including integration services manager, PDI/RMS product development manager and vice president of customer service. He returned to development in 2006 to lead the point-of-sale integration development team for the PDI/Enterprise product suite. He previously served as vice chairman of the PCATS POS/Back Office Technical Committee.

Sue Chan, Chair, Standards Quality Assurance — Chan is a senior retail payment consultant for W. Capra Consulting. She has 20 years of experience in the implementation, management, testing and maintenance of retail technology and payment/loyalty transaction systems. She is an active participant in Conexxus committees and working groups and currently serves as chairman of the Point-to-Point Encryption working group. Chan earned an M.B.A. from DePaul University and lives in Chicago with her husband and daughter.