The New York Association of Convenience Stores announced that Dennis Kemmeter and Marcia Russo have been elected to the New York Convenience Store Hall of Fame.
NYACS will induct them at its fall conference on Sept. 22 in Clayton, New York. Friends and industry colleagues are invited to attend by registering at the NYACS website, nyacs.org. The Hall of Fame honors individual retailers and suppliers for exceptional achievement in, and distinguished service to, New York’s convenience store industry.
Kemmeter retired in 2019 as assistant VP of United Refining Company’s Kwik Fill/Red Apple division, overseeing the operation of nearly 300 convenience stores in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. He began his retail career in 1965 as a clerk with Victory Markets/Great American Food Stores.
After graduating from Albany Business College, he returned to Victory Markets and entered their management training program before becoming a store manager in several high-volume locations. In late 1980, Kemmeter was recruited by NYACS co-founder Bob Seng to join his team at Busy Bee Food Stores. He soon became district manager for the Syracuse market.
United Refining Company of Pennsylvania, after acquiring the Busy Bee chain in 1990, hired Kemmeter as regional manager, overseeing more than 80 locations. Heis served on the NYACS Board of Directors for eight years, including two as chairman. Kemmeter and his wife, Nancy, live in Vestal, New York.
Russo is a national client development manager for Acosta Sales & Marketing, a full-service sales, marketing and service company, representing leading manufacturers of consumer-packaged goods products sold in the convenience store channel, as well as all other classes of trade.
Based in Syracuse, New York, Russo manages several of Acosta’s leading national clients including Campbell’s, Procter & Gamble, Edgewell Personal Care and Spectrum Brands. She currently manages key accounts in Central New York and Pennsylvania, and has worked with many accounts in the Northeast and nationally throughout her career. Russo has served on the NYACS Supplier Advisory Board for 15 years, including two as chair, as well as multiple NYACS committees.
Prior to joining Acosta in 1998, she rose through the retail ranks and into a similar business and key account management capacity for Pezrow Food Brokers, a regional broker. During her tenure at Pezrow she was first introduced to NYACS through its annual trade show.
Graduating summa cum laude, she earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Buffalo’s D’Youville College. She grew up in Marilla and Cheektowaga in Erie County. Russo and her husband Gus reside in Camillus, where she enjoys gardening, boating, volunteering with the Camillus Erie Canal Society,and bowling (she’s in the Central New York Bowling Hall of Fame).
Russo and Kemmeter will be the 53rd and 54th inductees in the New York Convenience Store Hall of Fame, which was founded by NYACS in 1996. The other members are listed at nyacs.org/hall-of-fame.