Jeff Rogut will retire from leading the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores after close to a decade as CEO.
The AACS CEO this afternoon announced he would be stepping down from the role at the end of November.
Mr Rogut has steered many important developments in the industry during his time at AACS, and has been a strong advocate and his successful lobbying has seen many improvements within the industry.
This has been especially evident during the pandemic, where his tireless advocacy resulted the industry being declared an essential service. No doubt the industry would be in a poorer position had it not been for his efforts.
Mr Rogut has always been a strong voice for safety within the industry, and helped co-ordinate the first ‘businesses against crime’ forum, bringing together industry, police and politicians to work to combat crime.
Through his vision, AACS has focussed on working towards the goals of Advocacy, Connection and Knowledge and has significantly grown its membership and built a strong revenue and financial base for its future.
Under his tenure, AACS has also come to be seen as the voice of the industry, both by the media and when liaising with government bodies. Many in the industry would also know him from his work leading annual leadership summits, galas, awards dinners and overseas studies tours, as well as the highly regarded AACS Downunder Study Tours.
Mr Rogut has also ensured the industry is provided essential and industry specific data through the annual AACS State of the Industry Report, which has seen an improvement and evolution under his leadership.
In a statement announcing the news, Mr Rogut said he was proud of the achievements during his time at the association and looks forward to his next chapter.
“I am extremely proud and feel privileged to have led the Association on behalf of, and in support of, the amazing retailers, suppliers, business owners, operators and teams that make up this dynamic industry,” Mr Rogut said.
“Throughout my career in convenience, I have been consistently struck by the high quality, highly capable people that the industry attracts.
“I am grateful to have met so many passionate and committed individuals in Australia and the many other countries in which AACS has forged relationships. There are professional relationships I’ve built which have become firm friendships, and these will continue.”
Other essential research Mr Rogut has steered has included the Convenience 2020 and Convenience 2030 report. As well as fresh research commissioned on consumer attitudes and usage.
Mr Rogut said he was particularly proud of how the industry had banded together throughout the pandemic and he had been consistently impressed by the resilience of the businesses within the industry during his time in the role. “AACS has always emphasised that convenience is a dynamic industry and the last few months have certainly reinforced this point. Obviously, the future will look different, further evolution will be required, and AACS is well-positioned to evolve as well,” Mr Rogut said.
“As you know, AACS is not a large organisation. In fact, it is a small business representing many large businesses, retailers and suppliers to our industry. But we punch above our weight. We could not have achieved many of the things we have without the support of our external partners.”
In his statement, Mr Rogut also thanked AACS chairs Julie Laycock, Rob Anderson, Peri Hunter and Karim Sumar for their support, as well as the AACS membership base
Safa de Valois C&I Retailing Publisher and Commercial Director would like to extend his congratulations to Mr Rogut for his time at AACS and appreciation for his tireless advocacy for the industry.
“It’s been my pleasure to have worked closely with Jeff over the last few years and I know well how tirelessly he has worked for our industry. He campaigned hard to implement measures to reduce fuel theft, to combat illegal tobacco and most recently the battle to get wine and beer into P&C. The benchmark is high for his successor and we will continue to support them and AACS for the great work they do,” Mr de Valois said.