SAVANNAH, Ga. (May 19, 2021) – Parker’s, a nationally acclaimed convenience store company and food service leader that was named the 2020 Convenience Store Decisions Chain of the Year, recently hired two new team members to strategically strengthen the company’s internal operations in light of continued expansion plans across coastal Georgia and South Carolina.
Award-winning training expert Kara S. Hardiman serves as the company’s new Director of Learning and Development, and acclaimed convenience store industry veteran Johnny Wood, Jr. is the new Controller.
“At Parker’s, we understand the importance of providing world-class training opportunities for our team members as well as conducting detailed financial audits to support operations,” said Parker’s founder and CEO Greg Parker. “I’m delighted to welcome Kara and Johnny to the Parker’s family and know their experience and leadership skills will help us grow strategically as we expand the Parker’s corporate footprint.”
The latest Parker’s new hires include:
KARA S. HARDIMAN, Director of Learning and Development – A learning and operations excellence leader, Kara S. Hardiman joins Parker’s after serving as the Marketing Learning Lead for Marriott International, where she partnered with internal stakeholders to organize performance-based learning strategies for more than 90 hotels across five states. Hardiman brings more than 17 years of experience in the hospitality industry and previously served as the Director of Americas Learning for Marriott International’s Luxury Brands throughout the U.S. and Canada, Senior Manager of Americas Learning Delivery for Marriott International’s Premium Brands and Director of Room Operations at the Westin Charlotte in North Carolina. As the Director of Learning and Development at Parker’s, Hardiman optimizes team member performance through training initiatives, accountability practices and career coaching. A MBTI® Certified Practitioner, Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst (DISC®) and Enterprise Certified Gallup® CliftonStrengths® Coach, Hardiman has earned four Manager of the Year titles for her exceptional leadership at hotels in Boston and Charlotte, N.C. Originally from Boston, she currently resides in Bluffton, S.C.
JOHNNY WOOD, JR., Controller – Johnny Wood, Jr., an experienced convenience store industry accountant and U.S. Army veteran, serves as Controller at Parker’s. In his new role, Wood manages the accounting team, oversees the monthly closing process, verifies financial data and directs the year-end financial audit process. Prior to joining Parker’s, Wood served as the Senior Accounting Supervisor and Fuel Analyst for 7-Eleven in Irving, Texas, where he successfully managed fuel inventory for all U.S. and Canada 7-Eleven locations. During his tenure in the U.S. Army, Wood served for four years at Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska as a Stryker Unit Vehicle Commander. Originally from Covington, Ga., Wood earned a Bachelor of Business Accounting from the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas and currently lives in Savannah, Ga.
Since its founding in 1976, Parker’s has grown from a one-store operation in Midway, Ga. to an award-winning company with state-of-the-art convenience stores located throughout Georgia and South Carolina, serving delicious, award-winning Southern-inspired Parker’s Kitchen food that’s made from scratch on-site. Parker’s was recently named the 2020 Convenience Store Decisions Chain of the Year, which is the convenience store industry’s highest honor, and was voted one of America’s top 10 gas station brands by USA TODAY readers. The company also earned a 2020 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Award, which is presented to the top 10% of restaurants across the United States.
Currently celebrating its 45th anniversary, Parker’s has been included on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing companies for five years and has been honored by Food and Wine as one of America’s Best Convenience Stores, by The Shelby Report as the Southeast Retailer of the Year and by Convenience Store News as the Foodservice Leader of the Year. The Parker’s Rewards loyalty program, which includes more than 210,000 members, has saved customers more than $15 million to date.