One Voice: Joe Zietlow

This month, NACS talks to Joe Zietlow, industry and trade association manager for Kwik Trip Inc.

One Voice: Joe Zietlow

March 2022   minute read

Joe Zietlow, industry and trade association manager Kwik Trip Inc.,
La Crosse, Wisconsin

What role do you think convenience stores should play in the community?

Our industry stepped up and demonstrated the important and essential role we played when the COVID-19 pandemic began in March of 2020. Our front-line workers at all of our c-stores kept our country moving forward, by providing gasoline for essential workers to get to work, diesel fuel, food and a place to rest for truckers so they could deliver medical supplies to hospitals, and food and supplies to people in their homes due to the stay-at-home orders around the country. We “Truly Made a Difference” in every community our businesses call home! 

This has also provided a huge opportunity for convenience retailers. We have and will continue to be where community members can find essential food all day, such as a hot meal. Our stores fill the food desert void as convenient places for many of our less fortunate customers who depend on SNAP to shop for food for their families. 

Convenience stores take pride in supporting our communities every way we can.

What does NACS political engagement mean to you, and what benefits have you experienced from being politically engaged?

As a member of the NACS Political Engagement Committee, I have made a commitment to being engaged and involved in all the issues that affect our industry. By building relationships with every representative and senator we have and by educating them on our business and industry, we have become a respected and trusted resource in the states we operate in. Through our grassroots efforts, we also provide education to our colleagues on the issues that affect our company and industry. Additionally, we encourage those colleagues to contact their elected officials, thus making a difference for our company, industry and state we live in. 

What federal legislation or regulatory issues keep you up at night?

Currently, the government chooses winners and losers in the future of transportation fuels and energy. Government is essentially trying to eliminate fossil fuels and ICE engines, while favoring incentives for EVs and EV infrastructure.

We need to keep building our congressional relationships in order to educate them on our industry and advocate for a level playing field to let the consumers and market determine what the future of trans- portation looks like—not a government agency or policy mandate! 

What c-store product could you not live without?

No question, it would be our Karuba Columbian Coffee with cream. Great start to my day!

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