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ACS/PRA Forecourt, Power & Convenience Conference 2024

King Power Stadium, Leicester
10:00am - 1:00pm
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The ACS/PRA Forecourt, Power and Convenience Conference brings together experts in the fuel and convenience sectors to outline the next steps for this changing market. With the ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles being delayed to 2035, will this have a major impact on the forecourt sector? How will alternative power provision develop in the coming years? What growth opportunities in convenience are there for forecourt operators? All of this and more will be discussed on the day. 

Joining Instructions for Delegates

The ACS/PRA Forecourt, Power and Convenience Conference will be held in Walkers Hall at King Power Stadium, Filbert Way, Leicester, LE2 7FL. Leicester Train Station is approximately 1.2 miles from King Power Stadium and there is plenty of parking available at the stadium, details to which can all be found here.

There will be tea and coffee served from 9:30am before the conference commences at 10am. Lunch will be served at 1:30pm and the event is due to conclude at 2pm.

If you have any dietary requirements or other special needs, contact [email protected].

Dress code for the event is smart casual.

Information about our Standards and Dignity Charter can be found here.

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Event Speakers

Michael O'Loughlin, industry expert and MD at 360 Degrees Retail

Michael is a well known figure in the UK forecourt & convenience sector. During 20 years with Applegreen he served as Retail Director with the Irish business before locating with his family to the UK in 2008. As MD he would lead Applegreen UK to a network of 85 sites before departing in 2017. Next he joined MFG as Managing Director with special responsibility for acquisitions & business development. After a short spell with Simply-Fresh/Sainsburys in 2021 he founded 360 Degrees Retail with the mission to provide senior executive capacity to companies wishing to grow within the sector. He currently serves on a number of industry boards such as Eurotank, Forum Insurance, Cheshire Retail and Freshly Chopped. He also provides consultancy services to a growing number of retained city clients covering the ever changing forecourt landscape and various property services. Other acclaims include serving on the ACS Independent Board and being voted Retail Champion by the readers of Forecourt Trader. In recent years he is the retained chair of Retails Best & Refuel UK while also representing the sector at overseas events. 

Wayne Harrand, MPK

A highly motivated, innovative, and resourceful Director within the retail and hospitality sectors with over 28 years’ experience. Having worked in both the corporate & independent sectors (Whitbread, Premier Inn, M&B, Tesco One Stop franchise, M&S, Londis)  A proven track record in delivering the best from a brand and providing exceptional sales growth and profitability. Specialising in turning around under-performing businesses and instilling key culture changes to drive performance. Over the last 5 years I have been working with private equity partners developing MPK Garages estate of PFS in the Midlands integrating the latest technology and retail techniques to build a extremely robust and profitable portfolio

Ian Cawley, Park Garages

Having moved to the UK from Ireland in 2016, Ian started working for AF Blakemore as a national account manager. Ian remained at AF Blakemore for 6 years predominantly working with large forecourt groups. 

Park Garages became one of his accounts and whilst working closely with Park Garages, Ian was offered the opportunity to become part of the team. Ian started working for Park Garages 2 years ago as Head of Operations. 

Brian Donaldson, CEO, Maxol

Mr. Brian Donaldson appointed in 2016 serves as the Chief Executive of The Maxol Group and formerly as its Chief Operating Officer. He joined Maxol Oil Limited in September 1986 as a Graduate Trainee and has been actively involved in the development of Maxol's retail network in Northern Ireland, he quickly progressed to Area Manager, then to Retail Manager and was appointed General Sales Manager for Northern Ireland in 1995. A year later he was promoted to the position of Group Marketing Manager for all Ireland. Commencing 2002, he served as a General Manager of Marketing and Retail at The Maxol Group and was responsible for developing its extensive retail network, maximising.non-fuel income streams, development of food partner alliances with Mace/Spar and coordinating its marketing, sponsorship and PR activities throughout Ireland. From June 2004 to September 2011, he served as the Managing Director of the ·Group's Northern Ireland Home Heat Division, Maxol Direct while retaining his then retail responsibilities. He serves as a Founder Director and member of the Northern Ireland Oil Federation. He has been instrumental in raising the standards and profile of the local oil distributor and retail market, together with lobbying local politicians and Westminster on retail service station. matters relating to fuel duty tax and planning. Since 2006 he served as the Chairman of PLATO Belfast, a voluntary body of blue-chip companies which provide top executives to assist and mentor SME's on specific business requirements. He is a former Co-Chair of Efficient Consumer Response Ireland and also a former Chairman of Retail Ireland. He is a member of the International Board of NACS. He is a former Chair of Irish Petroleum Industry Association, a member of the CBI NI Council and Chair of the CBI EV Infrastructure working group. He received an Honours Degree in Business Studies at the University of Bradford.

Patrick Sewell, Managing Director, Sewell Group

Patrick is a Sewell Group main board director and managing director of Sewell Retail Ltd. The Sewell Group in varying guises has been a Yorkshire based company for over 148 years. The company are a multi-disciplined organisation with expertise across Investment, Development, Consultancy, Construction, Facilities Management and Retail. 

The Group have consistently been recognised in the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work for in the UK. Furthermore both Patrick and his Company have been awarded Retailer Champion of the Year 2010 and twice Forecourt Trader of the Year 2009/2016. 

He completed a construction and management degree at Leeds in 1994 before pursing a career in construction. In 1997, he departed the UK for Malaysia and gained a job working for the then largest Malay construction firm, returning to the UK in 1998 but first via travelling around much of Australasia and North America. 

Patrick has further involvement as a director of the Association of Convenience Stores and trustee of Sewell Estates employee ownership trust. 

Edward Woodall, Government Relations Director, ACS

Ed joined ACS in September 2009 having graduated from Roehampton University in 2007. As Government Relations Director Ed is responsible for communicating ACS’ policy positions across Westminster, Whitehall and the devolved nations with civil servants, parliamentarians and external stakeholders. Ed consults with ACS members through ACS’ Policy Committee and Expert Policy Groups to develop policy positions and the organisation's public affairs strategy.

Ed has given evidence to numerous parliamentary committees in Westminster and devolved nations and contributes to policy developments across a range of government working groups including the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Home Office.

Ed completed the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Diploma in Public Relations in 2013. Ed is currently studying for his MBA at Surrey Business School.

Gordon Balmer, Executive Director, PRA

Gordon has extensive experience in Downstream Oil working in several roles with BP. During his 30-year career Gordon managed sales teams, fuel card operations, strategic projects and was UK country manager for European Fleet Services.  Gordon left BP and started his own business specialising in payments and in 2014 joined the PRA as Commercial Manager. During this period, key successes were building the membership, improving digital services, and reaching an out of court settlement with the major credit and debit card issuers returning a significant sum back to PRA members. 

In 2022 Gordon was appointed Executive Director of the Petrol Retailers Association succeeding Brian Madderson. Gordon is a director of the Retail Motor Industries Federation (RMI) the UK's leading automotive trade body, representing franchised car and commercial vehicle dealers, independent garages, bodyshops, motorcycle dealers, petrol retailers, auction houses and cherished number plate dealers, who provide sales and services to motorists and businesses across the UK. 

The Car Wash Association was absorbed into the PRA as an affiliate and Gordon is also Executive Director for this trade body. The CWAs’ objective is to establish a level playing field in the industry ensuring all businesses operate on a safe and compliant manner. This includes eradicating the scourge of modern-day slavery and compliance with business and environmental laws. 

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