Frank Gleeson, president of Aramark Northern Europe, has been named the 2018 NACS European Industry Leader of the Year. The award, sponsored by Mondelēz International, will be presented during the NACS Convenience Summit Europe in London on June 6.
“I cannot think of a better leader to be recognized for this prestigious award. He has been one of the industry’s strongest advocates for decades, and his leadership is second to none,” said Rick Brindle, vice president of industry development at Mondelēz International.
Gleeson is highly respected in the convenience retail industry as an executive who thinks globally but acts locally. He is a firm believer that convenience stores can flourish under a “rule of three”:
- Be famous for good food and beverage
- Offer consistent and reliable customer service
- Keep all promises to customers and suppliers
Gleeson grew up in the foodservice and retail industries, working his first job in his brother’s coffee shop and restaurant business; his parents owned a clothing store. Gleeson also worked in the video store business, managing 16 Blockbuster stores before the age of 30. Currently, the president of Aramark Northern Europe, Gleeson joined the company in 2014 as managing director of food services Ireland and more recently as COO of its Northern Europe group.
Prior to Aramark, he served as vice president of retail for Statoil Ireland, and in 2005 became the retail director for Topaz Energy Group, the largest importer and distributor of transport fuel in Ireland, which was purchased by Circle K parent company Alimentation Couche-Tard in 2016. There, Gleeson led a team responsible for the successful development and rollout of the Topaz brand in 2008, an integration of Shell and Statoil service stations, and was responsible for the retail business of more than 340 sites.
In April 2018, Aramark Northern Europe launched a new 10-year partnership with British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to enhance food concepts and delivery across workplaces in Northern Europe, including the United Kingdom and Ireland. “We are passionate about the health and well-being of those we serve every day, so it was a natural fit for us to partner with Jamie Oliver,” said Gleeson about the new initiative. “Aramark serves hundreds of thousands of people in workplaces, schools and colleges every day, so we have a fantastic opportunity to work together where we can set the agenda for health and nutrition and have a real and lasting impact on people’s lives.”
Gleeson is the former chairman of Retail Ireland, a board member of Irish employers group IBEC and is the current chairman of IBEC’s energy policy committee. He is also a board member of Ireland’s National Transport Authority and a committee member of the Irish Government’s Labour Market advisory council. Gleeson also serves on the NACS Executive Committee as vice chairman, international.
“Frank Gleeson exemplifies outstanding leadership in our industry. He’s passionate, forward-thinking, loves to win and, most important, wants to make a positive difference in the lives of the people with whom he works and the customers and communities he serves,” said NACS President & CEO Henry O. Armour, Ph.D. “We are very proud to name Frank Gleeson as this year’s NACS European Industry Leader of the Year.” Gleeson will accept his award on 6 June at the International Convenience Retail Awards gala and deliver a keynote address on 7 June at the NACS Convenience Summit Europe, followed by in an interactive conversation with Armour.
The NACS Convenience Summit Europe (conveniencesummit.com) brings together convenience and fuel retailing industry professionals from around the world for new knowledge, new commercial connections and networking, and the opportunity to discover and discuss new ideas from retail store tours. A highlight of the event is the prestigious International Convenience Retail Awards, now in their 10th year, that recognize and promote convenience retailing excellence.
Based in the United States, NACS (convenience.org) advances the role of convenience stores as positive economic, social and philanthropic contributors to the global communities they serve. NACS has 2,100 retailer and 1,750 supplier members from more than 50 countries.