Casey’s General Stores president and CEO Darren M. Rebelez was unanimously elected as the next chair of the board, the c-store chain announced on Tuesday.
In the vote held on June 1, the board also elected Judy A. Schmeling to the role of lead independent director.
Both took over these new posts effective June 2, replacing former board chair H. Lynn Horak along with board member Diane Bridgewater, who are both retiring on Sept. 6.
Rebelez has been at the head of Casey’s since 2019, according to his LinkedIn profile. Prior to that role, he spent four years as the president of IHOP Brands, a division of restaurant company Dine Brands. He also spent seven years in multiple roles for 7-Eleven Inc. — serving as executive vice president and chief operating officer from 2009 to 2014 and as senior vice president for store operations from 2007 to 2009.
Schmeling has been serving as a director at Casey’s since 2018, and also currently serves on the boards for beverage company Constellation and cannabis company Canopy Growth Corp., according to her LinkedIn profile.
The lead independent director’s duties were also enhanced as of June 1, according to the press release. Casey’s current corporate governance guidelines say that in addition to board leadership tasks, the function of that position includes succession planning and compensation for the CEO, acting as a spokesperson for some stakeholder engagement meetings and overseeing internal communications and board culture.
“I am honored by the confidence the Board has placed in me to serve as its Chair, and I look forward to working closely with Judy, as our new Lead Independent Director, for years to come,” said Rebelez in the announcement. “On behalf of the Board and the entire Casey’s team, I also want to extend a sincere thank you to both Lynn and Diane for their combined 30 years of distinguished service and leadership on the Board.”
The latest board changes are part of what’s been a busy couple of months for the Ankeny, Iowa-based convenience retailer. The company made several leadership changes in April, promoting Brad Haga to senior vice president of prepared food and dispensed beverages and Chris Stewart to vice president of merchandising. The goal of the changes was to bring the food and insights teams closer together, a spokesperson said.
Casey’s also released its refreshed app in May, an update that has been in the works since late 2022. The update centered around making the app more engaging and user-friendly.
Casey’s operates more than 2,400 c-stores in 16 states and is the third-largest c-store chain in the U.S. by store count.