One Voice: Tony Gaines
ONE VOICE This month, NACS talks to Tony Gaines, CEO, Stewart’s Enterprise Holdings Inc.
What does NACS political engagement mean to you, and what benefits have you experienced from being politically engaged?
Engagement is knowledge as opposed to getting the information secondhand. Knowledge is our greatest asset in life and has benefited me personally and professionally. Professionally, it gives me the opportunity to understand what our customers’ pain points are and solve their issues with my products and services accordingly. Personally, I feel I make a difference by engaging on Capitol Hill and locally to drive change.
What federal legislative or regulatory issues keep you up at night?
The biggest for me is minimum wage and the public’s understanding of how our currency system works. People need to understand that we can raise wages all day long, but then prices go up as well. The employee’s disposable income remains the same, as items just cost more.
When prices go up as we’ve seen with this inflationary environment, the only ones who benefit are the largest networks and banks because they make more in credit card swipe fees, since they are a percentage of the total transaction cost.
What c-store product could you not live without?
Gas is the obvious item I could not live without. But as far as a personal consumption item, it would be fresh brewed coffee any time of day. The new bean-to-cup is my favorite, as I drink coffee all day long!