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International Study Tour to Showcase Innovation and Business Acumen

Posted in: Truckstop Business, International, Leadership & Strategy

This year the NATSO Foundation is taking truckstop operators to Santiago, Chile September 7 - 11 for the International Study Tour.

Attendees, including myself, will tour facilities and meet with executives of Copec, one of Chile's most successful companies. Copec has maintained a 50 percent fuel market share in Chile over the past two decades, despite formidable competitors including Shell, PetroBras and others. Other Copec highlights include:

  • Excellence in network planning, investment and innovation;
  • Self-serve food ordering kiosks and fuel dispensers that accept cash in addition to credit cards;
  • Sustainability initiatives such as wind energy and solar energy use; and
  • Innovative branded vending.

The tour facilitator was kind enough to share a few Copec photos with us. I know I can't wait to see these in person. I would encourage you to join me in learning by attending this year's International Study Tour.

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Register to Attend the 2014 Tour
For years field trips have provided hands-on experiences to make learning come to life, but the in-depth opportunities aren’t just limited to kids in school. NATSO members that attend are gaining valuable business insights by visiting some of the most innovative international retail and petroleum locations while also learning about food service and retailing techniques they can apply to their operations back in the United States. 

Register and learn about the Sept. 7 - 11 International Study Tour here.

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Photos Courtesy of Jeff Murphy/The Murphy Group

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About the Author

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte

Darren Schulte serves as Vice President of Membership at NATSO. In this role, he directs recruitment, retention and customer service for truckstop and travel plaza members. He is also responsible for developing NATSO products and programs, particularly those relating to education, research and training for truckstop and travel plaza operators.

Schulte also leads NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program. A Profitable Retail Review is a custom assessment of your truckstop, including recommendations for every aspect of your facility, from actionable ideas to improve revenue to tactical ways to improve your net operating costs. Learn about NATSO's Profitable Retail Review program here.

Schulte joined NATSO with nearly three decades of experience in truckstop and travel plaza operations and merchandising. Schulte has worked for: 

  • Love's Travel Stops and Country Stores,
  • HESS Corporation, 
  • Petro Stopping Centers, and
  • TSC Global/Barjan LLC.