Featured Speakers

Thursday, April 25
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Business Meeting and General Session 

Congressman Brian Mast (R-FL)

Congressman Brian Mast is in his second term representing the 18th Congressional District of Florida.  Prior to his election to Congress, Congressman Mast followed in his father’s footsteps by serving in the U.S. Army for more than 12 years, earning medals including The Bronze Star Medal, The Army Commendation Medal for Valor, The Purple Heart Medal, and The Defense Meritorious Service Medal. While deployed in Afghanistan, he worked as a bomb disposal expert under the elite Joint Special Operations Command. The last improvised explosive device that he found resulted in catastrophic injuries, which included the loss of both of his legs. While recovering at Walter Reed Medical Center, his father gave him advice that has stuck with him to this day—to ensure the greatest service he gave to our country and the best example he set for his children was still ahead of him. Brian took this advice to heart and dedicated himself to finding new ways to serve our country and his community. 

Brian remained on active duty following his injuries and provided expertise to the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms during his recovery process. After his retirement from the Army, he continued working in counter-terrorism and national defense as an Explosive Specialist with the Department of Homeland Security. Brian subsequently received a degree from the Harvard Extension School and volunteered to serve alongside the Israel Defense Forces. 

In Congress, Brian strives to serve as he did on the battlefield: without regard for personal gain or personal sacrifice. He is a member of two committees: 

  • The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over all modes of transportation: aviation, maritime and waterborne transportation, highways, bridges, mass transit, and railroads, as well as the transport of resources by pipeline, disaster preparedness response, and hazardous materials transportation; and
  • The Foreign Affairs Committee, where he uses his military expertise to help strengthen the safety and security of the United States.

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Panel Discussion

Panelists: Max McBrayer, RaceTrac, Rachel Moses, Electrify America, and Philip Sheehy, ICF
Moderator: John Eichberger, Fuels Institute

There are few who doubt that electrified vehicles will gain market share and need access to the electricity grid. Where will consumers of these vehicles charge? What is the potential for traditional fuel retail facilities to service these customers? How quickly might the infrastructure need to be built and when might retailers be able to profit from this emerging business?  This session will include a sneak peek into a soon-to-be-published report by the Fuels Institute.

Education Highlights

Tuesday, April 23
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Opening General Session
Internal Combustion Engines
John Eichberger, Fuels Institute 

With the excitement surrounding electric vehicles, and headlines about aggressive electrification by some automakers, there remains significant question about the future of liquid fuels. There are a variety of efforts being explored to enhance the viability of these engines, including optimizing engine design with high octane fuel properties or introducing new combustion systems. What is the potential for these strategies, what impact might they have on the long-term viability of the liquid fuels market and how do they compete with emerging electrified powertrains? 

Wednesday, April 24

8:00 AM - 8:50 AM

Breakfast Education Session

How Centralizing Retail Fuel Pricing Can Impact Company Profits

Panelists: Tony Castro, Circle K- Alimentation Couche-Tard, John Ragunas, The Wills Group, Gabe Olives, Impact 21, Allison Wroe, PriceAdvantage
Moderator: Jeff Deatherage, Professional Energy Group 

A shift is happening. Steadily, fuel retailers are progressing from a decentralized to a centralized fuel pricing strategy – removing store clerks/managers and even district managers from the fuel pricing process as much as possible and relying upon a designated individual/team to optimize and execute fuel prices in order to hit volume, margin, and in-store goals. This centralized team considers at all the factors that impact both fuel profits and overall corporate profitability – not just reacting to competitor street prices. Note: having one person in charge of fuel pricing doesn’t necessarily mean you have a truly centralized process. 

Join this session to learn how a centralized pricing strategy can benefit your business, both from a financial perspective and staff allocation. Panelists will share how they made this shift, common pitfalls, and most of all – how it impacted gross fuel profits.

9:15 AM - 10:00 AM
Advocacy Education Session

Carbon Tax, Cap & Trade, the Green New Deal…What Does it all Mean for SIGMA?
Doug Kantor and Eva Rigamonti, Steptoe & Johnson 

With Democrats in control of the House and increasing pressure from environmental advocacy groups, climate change will be a defining issue in Washington, DC for the foreseeable future. As legislators propose and evaluate various proposals aimed to address climate change, SIGMA members must understand those proposals and how each might impact the motor fuel marketing industry. Please join SIGMA counsel, Eva Rigamonti and    Doug Kantor, as they walk through the plans in existence today and what they anticipate may be coming in the future.

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
Lunch Education Session

In Partnership with the National Association of Tobacco Outlets


Updates on the FDA’s Tobacco Regulatory Issues
Mitch Zeller, Director, FDA Center for Tobacco Products 

In 2013, Mitch Zeller took the helm of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, returning to the FDA almost 20 years after his first appointment in the early 1990's.  Drawn back by the rapidly evolving tobacco marketplace, Zeller now works on the changing regulations around tobacco and nicotine, as well as considerations for regulations on e-cigarettes.  Hear his insights and updates on these pertinent topics and how they may affect your own stores.

Breakout Education Sessions

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Are You Prepared for the Digital Search Revolution?
Panelists: Frank Beard, Convenience Store Trends, GasBuddy, and Kelly Benish, VP Strategic Partnerships NA, Uberall
Moderator: Mike Flebotte, Business Accelerator Team

How we search for local businesses is radically different than a decade ago - even just a year ago! We ask, "What's open? Where can I buy what I need? Where's the best gas price nearby?" And we get immediate answers. According to Google, 46% of all searches are seeking local information; 76% of people who search for a local business on a smartphone visit within a day, and 28% of them make a purchase—all within a few miles of the search. Habits continue to evolve as consumers rely on the simplicity of voice search or smart speakers—like Amazon’s Echo Auto device, which brings Alexa to your car.

Are you currently positioned to capture all this traffic? This panel will take a deep dive into the digital search revolution. Attendees will learn the history and near-future projections of search trends, how fuel and convenience retailers can leverage it, lessons from restaurants and hotels, and more.

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Geopolitics and the Current Administration: Is it Creating Winners and Losers?
Denton Cinquegrana, OPIS

Geopolitics are always part of the calculus that influences oil and downstream petroleum product prices, but 2019 more than ever seems to outweigh other times in recent history. The markets have undergone many fluctuations and the current climate could lead to more. With unrest around the world in major oil markets, including Venezuela and the Middle East, the geopolitics of the global economy can have a direct effect on the US gasoline market. That effect gets the attention of the current administration and as a result there could be winners and losers in refining and retail.

2:45 PM - 3:45 PM

Ship to Shore: How Marine Fuels are Changing Diesel and Gasoline Markets
Beth Brown, S&P Global Platts 

The new low-sulfur fuel standards known as IMO 2020 may come at a $1 trillion impact to global trade, affecting consumers and the economy. With bunker fuels competing in the distillates pool, diesel margins have already started soaring. That high-margin diesel looks set to bring gasoline along for the ride, resulting in possible oversupply despite solid gasoline demand.

2:45 PM - 3:45 PM
Artificial Intelligence Applications You Can Take to the Bank Today

Panelists: John Nesbit, Dover Fueling Solutions. Daphne de Poot, ORTEC, and JJ Worthen, PROS
Moderator: Roy Strasburger, StrasGlobal

Everyone is talking about Artificial Intelligence (or AI). Do you know how it applies to your business? AI is becoming a larger part of how our industry prices, transports and sells motor fuel. In this session, attendees will hear the latest on trends in Artificial Intelligence adoption in downstream energy. We will discuss the challenges and benefits that come with using artificial intelligence and cover several of the technologies and strategies that marketers can leverage today to be more competitive and profitable.

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Selling Customer Contracts

James Burr, INTL FCStone

In this session we will cover various contracts that you can offer to your customers, these will include: Fixed Forward Contracts, Fixed Forward with a Rebate Contracts, Enhanced Price Contracts, Max Price Contracts and Collar Contracts. Not only will we discuss how you come up with the prices to offer to your customers but how you can vary the price and cost structure of the contracts to best fit individual customer’s needs.