Chris Gheysens is President & CEO of Wawa, a chain of more than 840 convenience stores located in six states and Washington, DC. Wawa is known for their fresh food and award winning coffee. Wawa is a family and associate-owned, privately-held company. Approximately 33,000 associates provide convenient, friendly and inviting experiences for over 1.6 million customers every day. The company began in the early 1800’s in New Jersey with an iron foundry and a cotton and textile mill, and eventually migrated to Pennsylvania with the opening of a dairy plant in 1902. As supermarkets became more abundant in the early 1960’s, the concept to design and open Wawa convenience stores became a reality with the first store opening in Folsom, PA on April 16, 1964. Today, Wawa ranks 25th on Forbes’ annual ranking of Largest Privately Held Companies and also ranks among the top ten Employee Stock Ownership Programs in the country.
Chris is proud to have served Wawa associates for more than twenty one years, previously holding the position of Chief Financial and Administrative Officer from January 2007 to December 2011, with responsibility for all Financial, Legal and Human Resource functions. As President & CEO, Chris is committed to protecting and fostering the Wawa culture of private ownership and shared ownership, and carrying on the strong tradition of servant leadership. Prior to joining Wawa, Chris worked in the audit practice at Deloitte and Touché, LLP in Philadelphia. During his four years with Deloitte, he focused primarily on the retail industry, serving clients such as Reading China and Glass, The Wall Music, Pep Boys, and Wawa.
Chris graduated from the Villanova University School of Business with a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy in 1993. He obtained his Master of Business Administration from Saint Joseph’s University and was a Certified Public Accountant in New Jersey. He graduated from Saint Augustine Preparatory School located in Richland, New Jersey. Chris was appointed in 2013 to the Board of Directors for the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). He also is the chairperson of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Villanova School of Business and serves on the WSFS Bank Board of Directors. Chris joined The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Foundation Board of Overseers in 2014 and has led the formation of their first Corporate Council. In 2018, he was appointed to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Board of Trustees.