Professional summary

I have owned or operated convenience retail organizations ranging from 1 to 1,200 stores. Positions held include Exec. VP of Marketing and Operations, President for a publicly trade c-store company, and General Manager of C-stores for a major oil company. I am a member of the National Association of Convenience Stores and a former member of its Retailer and Supplier Boards. I have been President of a c-store consultancy since 1994 with clients ranging from single store operators to the major oil companies.

Our retail clients have ranged from single site operators, to small chain, fuel jobbers, and the major oil companies. Clients Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and the United States.

Retail services cover a very wide range of areas including

Engagement overview

Our engagements included phone calls, hourly, daily, retainer (3 to 12 months) and flat rate projects depending on the nature of the project and the needs of the client.


Supplier Clients have included the following:
• Anheuser-Busch, Inc.
• Brookwood Financial Partners, LLC
• General Mills
• Hunt Brothers Pizza
• Kellogg's
• National Association of Convenience Stores
• Oberto-Smokecraft Meat Snacks
• Lekkerland (Switzerland) Ltd.
• M&M/Mars
• Krispy Krunchy Chicken
• Odysii
• Prime Time International
• Westec Interactive

Retailer Clients have included the following:
• Arco Products Company
• Ampol
• Ashland Petroleum
• British Petroleum
• Chevron USA Company
• CENEX Petroleum, Inc.
• Hamilton Farm Bureau
• Huck's Convenience Stores
• Irving Oil Company
• FasMart
• Pacific Convenience and Fuels, LLC
• Shell Canada Products Limited
• Southwest Convenience Stores, Inc.
• United Dairy Farmers
• Woodman’s Food Market, Inc.


One year ago it seemed that we had a lot more questions than answers. We called on b2b Solutions for consultation. They designed and facilitated a strategic planning process. They didn't pronounce the answers to our questions, but instead guided us to our own unique solutions.

In the process, we learned to strengthen and better integrate our Wholesale, Bulk, Transportation, C-Store and Technical divisions. Now the dynamics of each business unit contributes to the growth of the others, and to the growth of the whole.

We still have lots of questions, but we have a great partner in the search for the answers: b2b Solutions.

Phil Near, President Crescent Oil Company, Inc

b2b Solutions consultants combined business experience and broad marketing knowledge make them an excellent choice for any business. Their consultants are very detailed and right on task with the operations and marketing assessment they performed on our company. Their team helped us to develop, and implement, a new operational and marketing plan for our business. It's a pleasure to work with b2b Solutions and their hard work has given us great results!

Lee Malone, President Lazy Lee's One Stop

b2b Solutions worked with us for more than a year. They struggled to make us understand, and we resisted. At the end of the day, our entire team took away valuable insight into the industry and our company, which we use now use daily. We were a very new company at the beginning of our time. b2b Solutions helped us grow up.

Robert D. Mahlstede, President Loma Catalina Company

When we sought someone to help us with our c-store business, the National Urban League recommended b2b Solutions. We were looking for someone to help us with developing a strategic plan for growth and a going forward business strategy. They did both. In addition, they remain in contact with us providing valuable information on the industry. We would recommend them to others seeking help in the c-store industry.

Michael McKenna, Sr., General Manager Infinity Fuels

We contacted b2b Solutions to assist us in evaluating several operating convenience stores owned by our bank. Their Operational Assessment process provided us a detailed report on each location's opportunities and potential. b2b Solutions' straight forward insights positioned Fox River Bank to make informed strategic decisions on these assets. It was a great investment.

Keith E. Pollek, President and CEO Fox River State Bank

This past summer, East West Resorts contracted Steven Montgomery of b2bSolutions, LLC to advise us on improving the competitive edge of our multi service Edwards Station property located in Vail Valley in western Colorado. He displayed a high level of professionalism during the process and was easy to work with.

His recommendations helped us develop a more efficient convenient store layout, a more effective pricing strategy, an improved customer communications program and a far more lucrative primary distributor and vendor program. We were able to implement many of his suggestions within a six month time frame and have enjoyed improved market share among our competitors. Most importantly, we have surpassed our projected net income goals.

Paul Golden, Vice President, Property Management Edwards Station, LLC

We contacted b2b Solutions because one of our c-store borrowers had not been meeting their financial obligations to us. They worked with us to evaluate the business, manage the property once the operator had vacated, contact potential buyers and sell the site. b2b Solutions kept us informed of various options available to us throughout the process. I would recommend them to other lenders should they find themselves in a similar situation.

Tom Bessler, Vice President, Real Estate Property Consultant Harris Bank

Using b2b Solutions for the first time was quite a learning experience but I must say the information that was provided through the RFP process enabled us to make the right choice for a wholesale distributor. Steve and his team worked and were always available to help with any questions. I am confident the increased profit will justify the expense of the project.

Rickey Carter, Executive Vice President Garvin Oil Company

I view b2b Solutions as not only a great resource for information but also, Steve is friend and confidant when it has anything to do with the industry. I have consulted with Steve for 10 years on everything from category management to payment systems and business values. He and his team at b2b Solutions are a complete industry solution.

Robert M. Razowsky, CEO Rmarts LLC

One of the best decisions we made in a difficult economy was having b2b solutions perform an Operational Assessment on our c-stores. It provided us with a clear understanding of our strengths and also our challenges.

Steve and his team did an excellent job of showing us how to look at our c-stores in a new light. They were kind and courteous and at the same time were able to give us straight answers on how we could improve. Our Operational Assessment consisted of a 125 page report filled with detailed analysis, pictures, and best practices comparisons. We refer to our OA on a regular basis. b2b Solutions has a wealth of knowledge and continues to provide valuable information long after their engagement is complete. We highly recommend them to anyone in the c-store industry.

David Jardine, Vice President Harts Gas & Food LLC Rhinehart Oil Co., Inc.

When I first met Steven Montgomery, our stores were struggling and I was fearful that we would need to close, lease, or sell all of our convenience stores. I have been thrilled with the results from our Operational Assessment performed by b2b Solutions, I spent 8 months working diligently to implement the top 10 suggestions. Now that we have accomplished the most critical tasks, I am ready to hire b2b Solutions again to work with us each month in order to gain expertise and improve our operations and marketing. I sincerely believe that we would no longer be in the retail business without the guidance from b2b Solutions.

J. Rucker Leake III, President Leake Oil Company

"We contacted b2b Solutions because we wanted an independent third party to evaluate potential primary distributors. They handled the entire RFP process for us — contacting a number of potential wholesalers, securing information about their offers, developing and analyzing a comprehensive market basket and arranging for us to meet with representatives of the distributors. b2b Solutions helped us identify a distributor who offered us a substantially reduced cost of goods. I would recommend them to other c-store retailers looking to select a primary distributor."

Don McNutt, President Midwest Petroleum

We were looking for a company that had expertise in reviewing C-Store businesses and one that would also provide recommendations in improving operations. After reaching out to a prominent C-Store Magazine Editor we were referred to b2b Solutions. We contacted b2b Solutions and within a short amount of time they were on-site and performed an Operational Assessment of our C-Store business.

Their knowledge and expertise was readily apparent during their hands-on review. Every aspect of our operation was studied and their recommendations for improvement have helped us increase our performance and revenues.

Frank Tecumseh, Director of C-Store Nation Station

b2b Solutions was a tremendous help with our wholesale distributor selection. We were able to make a good decision based on the RFP that Steve and his Team as b2b Solutions performed. We are very satisfied with our decision and would recommend b2b Solutions to other companies.

Nathan Long, President Cheers Food And Fuel

We had engaged b2b Solutions to conduct an Operational Assessment of our truckstops and were very pleased with their work. Due to some internal constraints our team was not making the progress implementing their necessary steps to address the issues as quickly as we would like. I engaged b2b Solutions to assist us in the process.

We agreed that the object was to get the issues addressed but also to educate our team so they could continue to do so in the future. The agreed upon process was for b2b Solutions to periodically spend time working with us on site and to monitor the results and help guide us remotely between visits.

One of the areas of concentration was foodservice. They guided us in recipe development/documentation, arranged for a mini-trade show bringing a number of product suppliers together and consolidated our foodservice supply chain to lower our COGS.
After the engagement they continue to follow up on our progress and provide us with valuable industry information. I recommend b2b Solutions to retailers seeking help with improving their stores.

Beau Goudeau, President Goudeau, Inc.

As a new COO for Stafford Foods Management, LLC, I was very familiar with the Wendy's business but having to feel my way around the C-Store side of things. When b2b solutions came to our locations and completed their Operational Assessment I finally felt like I had a roadmap to get me where I want to go.

I still refer back to the Assessment and use it to help my team improve in areas that we are working to build our knowledge. b2b Solutions sends me emails to keep me informed of new industry information and they are always available to answer any questions I may have. I would recommend b2b solutions to anyone in the c-store industry.

Jennifer Scarberry, COO Stafford Foods Management, LLC.

We hired b2b Solutions to help with our Primary Distributor Evaluation. We did this because we felt we did not have the time to devote to a full analysis of the different bids. Once b2b Solutions got involved they took the ball and ran. They were very good about communicating with us throughout the process.

We received a great breakdown of the differences between the distributors, both with their services and their monies. We felt that with the analysis we were better equipped to make the best decision for our company. The whole process was very professional and we would certainly hire Steve and his team again in the future.

Seth Blanks, Vice President of Sales and Marketing Highland Corp. / Fast Stop Markets

We contracted b2b Solutions to do an Operational Assessment of our single store in the spring of 2012. The economic downturn seemed like it had a firm grip on our store as well.

Prior to the visits, they had requested many different types of paperwork and information so that he could become familiar with our store before coming on site. b2b Solutions noticed a particular area that warranted further investigation and we uncovered a problem that had been occurring for about eight years. This problem was of such magnitude, that had it continued for much longer, we probably could not have continued our operation.

It was a direct result of b2b Solutions observation that gave me the insight to pursue this particular avenue. Sometimes it is always in the last place you look. b2b Solutions provided us a complete OA report with many actionable points. We will look to them for help in implementing some of the recommendations. b2b Solutions were prompt and professional. They performed as they said they would and we are grateful for their input that inevitably put money back in our pockets!

Michael Howald, Owner Bunker Hill Short Stop

I contacted b2b Solutions because I was looking for someone to help us select a primary distributor. Our contract was ending with the current supplier and we wanted to make sure we were selecting a distributor who met our needs financially and offered the services we needed.

b2b Solutions handled the RFP process, did the analysis of the responses and arranged for us to meet the potential distributors. With their help, we were able to select a distributor who met our needs and significantly lowered our cost of goods.

David Hutchinson, President Hutchinson Oil Company

b2b Solutions provided solutions that our company wasn't even looking for. Originally they were hired to assist us in market position for our growth and they encouraged us to complete an Operational Assessment first. They provided the market intelligence that allows us to make the positive changes we needed to enhance and grow our business before expanding. b2b Solutions answered our question about market positioning and helped our team identify and suggested ideas on how to improve the weakness areas in our business.

b2b Solutions brought added value by introducing us to unique industry group that we may be able to connect with to share strategies and best practices in our similar environment. Steve and his team understand today's business demands, trends and metrics that will help us position ourselves to become more competitive and become more aware of the industry.

I would highly recommended Steve and his team on anyone's next convenience store project and are looking to work with them in the future.

Mark Laguador, Vice President, COO Tarbell Management Group

We contracted b2b Solutions to help us determine if we were properly allocating our marketing budget. Steve Montgomery and Greg Jones came to visit our sites and analyze our allocation of marketing resources. They provided great feedback by not only giving us an answer to our question, but by providing us with tools and methodologies so that once they left, we could answer that question for ourselves in the future. Both Steve and Greg were a wealth of knowledge and great to work with.

Kyle Lawrence, President SpeedyQ Markets

b2b Solutions was an excellent resource for getting a fresh set of eyes to review areas we identified for improvement including food service. Their team took the time to learn our business, our people and brought practical, constructive recommendations to the issues at hand. Their industry contacts opened many doors and gave us insight into best practices that were instrumental in developing our future planning.

David Lindner, VP of Marketing United Dairy Farmer

We contacted b2b Solutions because our truckstop locations were not generating the sales and profits we wanted. We had tried working with another consultant but found that they were not able to help us.
b2b Solutions analyzed our historic and current results, and visited and worked with our internal team on site to determine the reasons why we were not generating higher sales and margins. Before leaving they documented the top steps we could take to quickly improve our results.

b2b Solutions provided us with a very through Operational Assessment report. It documented issues and recommended solutions for all aspects of our truckstop business, including image, operations, marketing, foodservice, accounting, etc. We would highly recommend them to others seeking to improve their results.

Beau Goudeau, President Goudeau, Inc.

On behalf of Leadership Network I want to thank you for attending the 2006 Convenience Retailing Conference. Knowing how busy you are, and how valuable your time is, I greatly appreciate that you elected to be an important part of this great event and honored group of professionals.
Steve, a special thanks to you for personally taking a leading role in the conference as one of the co-facilitators in the Innovation Forum. I have heard nothing but rave reviews from the participants. You have made an important contribution to this event and we are proud to have you as a valuable friend to the conferences.

Bryn Cotton, Vice President VIP Relations Leadership Network Corporation

Thank you for presenting the "Managing Key Categories" session at the 2007 NACS Show in Atlanta. Feedback indicates that the program was of significant value to attendees. We could not have accomplished this without your enthusiasm and insight.
As an expert in your field, your participation was especially valuable and was much appreciated. Without people like you who offer their time and expertise, we could not have achieved the success we did. We hope we may be able to call on you in the future to participate in a similar capacity.

Jenn Makarsky, Retail Member Services Coordinator

Steve's presentation at the NASM 2012 Retreat, "How to Buy Right," was a great lesson in how big companies manage to keep their merchandise costs low. Attendees took a lot of useful information away at the end of the day. Steve presents on a wide range of relevant topics that our members could benefit from; we will definitely consider him as a future speaker!

Jennifer Richards, President National Association of Shell Marketers

The Southwest Fuel & Convenience Expo was pleased to have Steven Montgomery of b2b Solutions as part of the expanded education offering. His program on "Buying Like the Big Guys" provided excellent information for independent c-store operators, as well as small chain convenience retailers. I would highly recommend including Steve in your next educational program.

Doug DuBois, Jr., Director of Member Services and Governmental Affairs Texas Food & Fuel Association