Chris Gheysens, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Wawa Inc.
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This profile was last updated on 5/11/15 and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.
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Chris T. Gheysens

Wrong Chris T. Gheysens?

Vice President and Chief Financia...

Wawa Inc.
260 West Baltimore Pike
Wawa , Pennsylvania 19063
United States

Company Description: Wawa, Inc., a privately held company, traces its roots back to 1803 as an iron foundry in New Jersey. Owner George Wood started a dairy processing plant in Wawa,...   more
Background

Employment History

Education

  • Bachelors of Science in Accountancy , Commerce and Finance
    Villanova University
  • Master of Business Administration , Finance
    Saint Joseph's University

Certifications

  • Certified Public Accountant
    NJ
130 Total References
Web References
Chris Gheysens, CEO of ...
www.naplesnews.com, 11 May 2015 [cached]
Chris Gheysens, CEO of Wawa, Inc., said a sunny business climate encouraged him to build new stores in Florida, speaking via Skype at a regional economic Summit on May 11. (June Fletcher/Staff)
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Chris Gheysens, president and chief executive officer of the company, said via Skype that the chose to build 65 stores in Florida - including three that opened in April in Lee County - because the state had a favorable business climate, accelerating growth, and strong demographics.
He said every store his company builds brings $6 million to the local economy, and about 40 new employees are needed to run each of the stores round-the-clock.
He said he's "very eager" to expand into other places in Southwest Florida, including Naples.
"We are, in many ways, an ...
www.csnews.com, 2 May 2015 [cached]
"We are, in many ways, an outsider," explained Wawa President and CEO Chris Gheysens.
Food Industry Advisor
www.pfma.org, 1 Nov 2001 [cached]
* Wawa's Retail Accounting Manager Chris Gheysens spoke to a very attentive audience on what qualities constitute an excellent and organized project manager and to reviewing key aspects for managing cross-functional projects involving system selection and implementation.
Submitted Photo Wawa CEO ...
www.delcotimes.com, 10 Dec 2014 [cached]
Submitted Photo Wawa CEO Chris Gheysens will talk at the next Delco Press Club meeting.
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Wawa president and CEO Chris Gheysens will speak at the Delaware County Press Clubs monthly luncheon at noon Wednesday, Dec. 17 at the Towne House Restaurant, 117 Veterans Square in Media.
In addition, the Press Club will raffle an assortment of gift baskets, with proceeds benefiting student scholarships.
Gheysens will discuss his role leading Wawa, a chain of more than 650 convenience stores located in six states in the Mid-Atlantic region and Florida. Wawa is a family and associate-owned, privately held company with approximately 23,000 associates serving more than 1.5 million customers daily.
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Gheysens has been with Wawa for more than 16 years, previously serving as chief financial and administrative officer, managing the financial, legal and human resources functions.
Prior to joining Wawa, Gheysens worked in the audit practice at Deloitte and Touche, LLP in Philadelphia, where he primarily focused on the retail industry.
Gheysens is a graduate of Villanova University and Saint Josephs University. He serves on the board of directors for the Southeastern Pennsylvania chapter of the American Red Cross and the board of directors of the National Association of Convenience Stores.
"To be honest, when I was ...
www.csnews.com, 2 May 2015 [cached]
"To be honest, when I was first given the news [of the change] in August 2011 and [told] it was going to be Jan. 1, 2013, my first reaction internally was 'Wow, that's a long time.' But it was exactly the right time, the right process," Gheysens said.
Now four months into his new role as president and CEO, Gheysens sat down this morning with CSNews Online before the grand opening of Wawa's Elizabeth, N.J., store. The new northern New Jersey location marks the company's 617th store overall and its second most-northern site after the Wawa in Kearny, N.J., which opened in January.
While Gheysens took the baton during a busy time for the company, he did not come unprepared. Specifically, he began his tenure as CEO armed with a six-point plan for year one.
"We have a pretty aggressive plan this year," he said.
...
"We are focused on growth, but at the same time, we have to be focused on being more efficient; being more productive so we can reinvest those dollars back into the business," Gheysens explained.
"At the end of my first year in this role, I want the organization to achieve our financial goals, which we have set with our budgeting process. But more importantly, I want to look at our culture and our people and make sure, even with the transition of leadership, what remains steadfast is our focus on our cultures and our values," he added.
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That's an area where we are pushing forward, to really build our brand outside our four walls," Gheysens said.
At the same time, he acknowledged that this will take some time. "The initiatives around mobility and loyalty will be a multi-year journey. We want to put a stake in the ground this year in defining those initiatives and getting leeway, and we are probably looking at next year to implement them."
Chris Gheysens (center), President and CEO of Wawa Inc.
...
Gheysens admitted that one challenge he faces is that he likes to do a lot, to do it all now and to do it right. In that respect, he has something in common with Wawa. The company, he said, "has a lot of great ideas and tremendous opportunities for growth and other ways to improve the experience. However, at the basis of it all are pride in ownership, shared ownership and servant leadership.
"These are the three foundational items to our core values that have been with every leader in some way, in some form for decades," he said. "The worst thing I can do is achieve the six-point plan and nail it, and let the culture pass me by or fade. That won't happen."
Wawa is unique in the convenience store industry because it offers an employee shared ownership program. Forty percent of the company is owned by its associates, giving them "a line of sight" to their financial success, according to Gheysens. "When they make a hoagie, serve a customer or greet a customer, that is going to improve their financial future personally. And when you are also one big family, that is a competitive advantage and that is tremendous," he said.
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Speaking of legacy, Gheysens believes it's too early to say what he wants his legacy to be at Wawa. Even though his business cards read "Lead Goose," he stressed that the strategic planning process at the company is the result of teamwork.
"The Florida entry and the idea of fast casual to go with world-class convenience was a collaborative effort. There is plenty of runway on both of those for us to work on," he told CSNews Online. "Between Florida and northern [New] Jersey, our geographic expansion is right on track, and it's going to take us a while to penetrate and get the critical mass we want in those markets. Fast casual to go is really a journey."
With all this on his plate, Gheysens has taken the first four months of his own new journey to settle in, assess the future talent of Wawa's associates and build on the communication within the company.
The biggest adjustment for him has been realizing now he's "the guy" in charge.
"You just can't understand that until you are in that seat, it's official and you look at your business card and it says president and CEO -- actually Lead Goose," he said.
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