Kim Bowers, the CEO of San Antonio based CST Brands, has been named one of the Fifty Most Powerful Women in American Business, in a new fisting by Fortune Magazine.
Bowers, 49, was the long time General Counsel of Valero Energy before being named CEO of the spin off company which owns and operates Valero's 1900 branded corner store locations.
CST Brands has $13 billion in revenue.
Bowers credits her employees for her success.
"Clearly it's our 12,000 team members who make CST successful," Bowers told 1200 WOAI news. "Every day they are greeting customers, we get over 10 million customers in our stores every week in our stores in Canada and the U.S."
Bowers has led the reinvention of the convenience store, converting what were formerly grubby outposts were people ran in to pay for gas and maybe buy some overpriced chips into stand alone retail marketing hubs, where fully 60% of customers don't buy gas at all. Bowers says CST stores are the antidote to increasingly huge grocery stores, which intimidate customers who just want to 'run in' to buy some bread.
"The future of convenience retailing is inside the store," Bowers says. "Our focus at Corner Store is to constantly innovate in terms of our food offerings and product mix. That includes Corner Stores' own signature Fresh Choices line. We are looking to craft more products that folks can't find anywhere else, and at the same time, provide convenience and value to our custoemrs."
"Clearly I had a lot of help along the way," Bowers says of her success. "I had many great mentors over at Valero, in particular (Valero CEO) Bill Klesse has been a great mentor and advisor to me for my many years at Valero."
She said the opportunity to head CST Stores, which was created earlier this year, was the 'opportunity of a lifetime.'
Bowers grew up in Ohio, but came to Texas to attend the University of Texas School of Law.
She says CST Brands, which is the third largest public company in San Antonio, will continue to 'grow along with San Antonio.'
Bowers has also adopted the Valero Model of community service, which was introduced by Valero founder, currently NuStar Energy CEO Bill Greehey, which includes everything from organizing diaper drives for women's shelters to raising money for flood and wildfire victims in Colorado.
This is Bowers' first year on the list of the most powerful women in business. The list is headed by the CEO's of IBM, Pepsi, DuPont, and Lockheed-Martin.