Tom Heinz, president and co-founder of Coffee Cup Fuel Stops, has a long history of supporting the truckstop and travel plaza industry, his employees and his community. More than 30 years ago, Heinz co-founded Coffee Cup Fuel Stops and has grown the business, which today has multiple locations in North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. He has been a member of NATSO for more than 20 years and has spent countless hours volunteering for both NATSO and The NATSO Foundation.
In recognition of his service, the NATSO Foundation presented Heinz with the Hall of Fame Award, the industry’s highest honor, during The NATSO Show 2017. Lisa Mullings, NATSO’s president, presented Heinz with the award.
“Tom is passionate about giving back and constantly commits his leadership skills to benefit those around him,” Mullings said. “In talking with Tom, he will tell you that one of the things he is the most proud of is the difference he has been able to make in the small, rural communities where his stores are located.”
Coffee Cup Fuel Stops not only provides good job opportunities, but also offers a chance to grow with the company and potential for advancement. Heinz has established a wellness program for all of the team members, providing yearly health screenings and activities throughout the year, and he is currently working on putting together quality affordable housing for employees and families.
“He always says your first guest is your team member. We can put the right buildings in the right place and make it gorgeous and put the right franchises in, but if we don’t have the right people or take care of our people, it won’t be successful,” said Ericka Schapenkahm, Heinz’s daughter and director of human resources and special projects at Coffee Cup Fuel Stops.
In addition to giving back in the community, Heinz is active in the South Dakota Petroleum Marketers Association, and he currently serves on the St. Christopher Fund board of directors. For many years he was on the Dakota Hospital board of directors and the University of South Dakota Foundation board of directors.
He has also devoted time to NATSO and has held numerous positions on the board, including chairman of both NATSO and The NATSO Foundation. He always attends NATSO’s Day on the Hill and uses his voice to benefit the industry as a whole.
Jimmy Haslam, CEO of Pilot Flying J, said, “Tom is well-deserving of this tremendous honor from NATSO. He has run an outstanding group of truckstops in the Midwest for many years and has been a tremendous leader for NATSO during this same time. Tom has worked tirelessly for NATSO and its many causes.”
Many of Heinz’s colleagues congratulated him on the achievement. Roger Cole, former NATSO chairman, said, “Tom is truly the embodiment of our industry’s values. He has built an impressive and successful business. He has committed his leadership skills with various organizations in his community, and he has surrounded himself with a wonderful family that will carry on Tom’s legacy of excellence.”
Jim Goetz, vice president of Goetz Company, said, “Tom Heinz is a terrific balance of being professional, being a visionary and always a humanitarian.”
Dan Alsaker, president of Broadway Flying J, said Heinz’s knowledge and widespread reputation of honesty and true gentleman behavior are his key ingredients to making his organization and family standout as NATSO’s best. “Tom Heinz is competitive, never missing an edge. He is competent, always studying his industry and his accelerating plan,” Alsaker said. “He is conscientious in his dealings and sharing his knowledge, and he is a principled collaborator of business facts and figures.”
In presenting Heinz with the award, Mullings said, “Our industry, NATSO’s members and so many more have benefitted from Tom’s generous wisdom and guidance. He truly embodies all that the Hall of Fame Award stands for and I am honored to present him with it.”
Photo credit: Brittany Palmer/NATSO
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