Kyle Krause, owner, president and CEO, Kum & Go L.C.

Kyle Krause, owner, president and CEO, Kum & Go L.C.

WINNER – Retail and Consumer Products

Kyle Krause

owner, president and CEO

Kum & Go L.C.

Growing up as the “boss’ son,” Kyle Krause knew he’d need to work 10 times harder than any other employee at Kum & Go L.C. to earn the respect of his co-workers.

So from the time he started pumping gas at the company’s first convenience store — owned by his father and grandfather — Krause was constantly asking himself what he needed to do to one day take their place as an owner of the business.

As the owner, president and CEO of Kum & Go today, Krause continues to think big as he applies the lessons and coaching provided by his father and grandfather to lead the company’s expansion and growth.

His vision is to make Kum & Go the No. 1 convenience retailer in the United States by 2021.

But while he knows that expansion is critical in reaching this milestone, Krause says that the ultimate goal isn’t about being the biggest business.

It’s about being the best. That’s one of the reasons why he’s abandoned the company’s previous growth-through acquisition strategy to focus on growing through new store construction and new markets.

In 2011, Kyle unveiled his KG Vision, a 10-year plan to reach the 2021 goal, which includes rolling out new “5K” store models designed around customer convenience and needs.

To develop the new store design, Krause had three full-size mock-up stores built in a warehouse, asking select employees and customers to visit them and provide feedback on how to create the very best customer experience.

Under Krause’s leadership, Kum & Go continues to raise its standards for service and quality, driving toward the vision to be No. 1.

Currently, the company is the fifth-largest, privately held, company-operated convenience store chain in the U.S.

HOW TO REACH: Kum & Go L.C.,