2018 Conexxus Annual Conference

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At the Conexxus Annual Conference, Technology Professionals Create Solutions for the Convenience and Fuel Industry

The Conexxus Annual Conference is the only event that focuses on new technologies and technology standards to improve business processes reduce costs and increase profitability in the convenience and fuel retailing industry.

Be a Part of the Process That Sets the Industry Technology Standards

Over four days, attendees will join Conexxus business and technical committees to discuss critical technology issues that are changing the way companies in our industry do business. From the latest on data security, to advances in payment technologies, attendees will be a part of the process that creates and sets technology standards.



    April 29 - May 3, 2018

    Loews Chicago O'Hare

    Chicago, IL






Download the 2018 Conexxus Annual Conference agenda.

2018 Annual Conference Registration 

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Full Conference Registration Fees

  Conexxus Member Non-Member
  $2045 $3299


Spouse/Partner Registration Fees

  Conexxus Member Guest Non-Member Guest
  $675 $850



Registrations may be transferred to another person from the same company before April 15, 2018 for an administrative fee of $250.  Transfers will not be allowed after April 15, 2018.
There will be a $250 administrative fee for any registration canceled before March 31, 2018. After March 31, the full amount of the registration fee will be forfeited.

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Speakers Announced


Jeffrey "Skunk" Baxter

Grammy Award Winning Musician

National Security Expert

2018 Conexxus Annual Conference 

Keynote Speaker


You may be cool, but you'll never:

  • Be an expert on missile defense & strategy
  • Play bass for Jimi Hendrix
  • Be in Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers
  • Win a grammy
  • Have the nickname "Skunk"
  • Have a Muppet modeled on your cool
  • Be a keynote speaker at the Conexxus Annual Conference in Chicago on April 30, 2018

Remember when Elvis asked Nixon if he could be in the DEA? A rock musician with high-level security clearance – ridiculous. Unless, of course, you are able to outthink our nation’s enemies with “steely” resolve, experience and strategies. Only one such musician/national security consultant has the confidence and talent to step onto this world stage: Steely Dan co-founder, Jeffrey Baxter.

You may be asking, how in the world does a rock musician wind up as a national security expert? As it happened, it only took a few issues of Aviation Week magazine to peek Jeffrey’s interest in military technology and missile defense systems in particular. He became self-taught in this area, as many geniuses do, and then wrote a paper that proposed converting a ship-based anti-aircraft missile system into a rudimentary missile defense system. He passed on this paper to a local congressman, and his career as a defense consultant began. A consultant to the Department of Defense with a high-level security clearances in the Pentagon, he now advises top military and civilian groups on asymmetrical warfare, next-generation technologies and unconventional strategies.

Baxter believes that it was an unconventional approach to thinking about terrorism, coupled with a keen interest in technology that led to his recruitment by the government. "Conventional thought assumed that record turntables were for playing records until rappers began to use them as actual musical instruments, and we thought civilian airplanes were for carrying passengers and cargo until terrorists realized, by substituting a complicated and expensive inertial guidance system with a human zealot, they could be re-configured into a very effective cruise missile," Baxter has said. "My approach has been to look at existing technologies and try to envision other ways they can be applied, which happens in music all the time and happens to be what terrorists are incredibly good at, as well." Having the ability to leverage the ability to improvise in your thinking is essential to finding answers to the unconventional crises of today. In this way, his thought process is akin to jazz, where one must think on their feet and and operate in a non-linear, real-time environment consisting of rhythms, lyrics, chords, melodies and human interaction. At one time, with his rock n’ roll hairstyle and horseshoe moustache, Baxter certainly caused a few double-takes in the corridors of the Pentagon. However, as Baxter will tell you, “Eventually you have to walk the walk and be relevant to stay in the game.”

In addition to being a consultant with dynamic ideas, Baxter was the Grammy Award-winning guitarist for The Doobie Brothers and one of the founding members of Steely Dan.


Vish Ganapathy

Retail Futurist

2018 Conexxus Annual Conference 

Keynote Speaker


Vish Ganapathy is a Managing Director and Retail Technology Leader globally for Accenture Consulting.  In this role, he is focused in technology and innovation solutions serving the retail industry. Prior to joining Accenture, Ganapathy led the Tech & Data Strategy practice and served as the CTO for Retail and Consumer Goods industries for IBM Corp.  

Ganapathy has 27 years of consulting; focusing in technology in the business domains of digital, merchandising and supply chain.  He has worked with retailers globally; in North America, Europe, South America; including 8 of the top 10 retailers worldwide.  He is a trusted advisor in transformational engagements in areas of enterprise architecture, digital platforms, supply chain design, merchandise planning and operations, hybrid cloud design, microservices, server-less computing, blockchain, advanced analytics, reinforced machine learning and holds US Patents for his work in creating a metrics-based Service Integration and Realization Model for Services and API based architectures.  

Dae Kim, VP Research, NACS

2018 Conexxus Annual Conference Speaker

Trends in the US Convenience & 

Fuel Retailing Industry


Dae Kim is vice president of research for NACS, the association for convenience and fuel retailing.  In this role, he oversees the development and implementation of initiatives that help NACS members maximize their effectiveness and profitability.   

Dae and his team develop and disseminate key industry metrics that provide retailers and suppliers with performance benchmarks, and NACS with information that is critical to the industry’s advocacy efforts on a range of issues including payment methods, motor fuels and tobacco. 

Beyond his role at NACS, Dae is a study group facilitator and he is a member of the Coca Cola Retailing Research Council.  Dae currently serves on the board of directors for CSX and Conexxus, and he is a former board member of POPAI.  

Sunday Welcome Event

Watch the Chicago Cubs take on the Milwaukee Brewers from an exclusive rooftop view of Wrigley Field at the Lakeview Baseball Club.  Event and group transportation to/from the game is included in your registration fee.  Game time is 1:20 PM (subject to change per MLB).  Meet in the lobby of the hotel at 11:15 AM.

Sponsored by 

Conexxus Technology Hall of Fame Awards Reception

Wednesday 5:15 PM


The Technology Hall of Fame was founded in 2011 to recognize how far technology and the convenience store industry have come.  Recipients of the Technology Hall of Fame Award are industry pioneers who advanced the cause of the convenience and fuels retailing industry through the development and use of technology standards.  Please join us Wednesday night at 5:15 PM for a reception honoring all our past inductees and to honor our 2018 inductee:

Ms. Lisa Stewart


Lisa Stewart is the Co-founder and President of Impact 21. She has over 27 years of practical and technical experience in the petroleum/convenience and retail industries. Lisa has been focused on working with retailers, suppliers, manufacturers and solution providers on building business infrastructure and leveraging returns on investment for corporate and store level technologies. 

Lisa is an industry expert in Retail Automation, Inventory and Price Management. She has a strong focus on learning and development and is a frequent contributor, facilitator and speaker for NACS and other industry trade organizations and publications.  Lisa served on the board of Conexxus/PCATS for 6 years and prior, served on NACS Technology Standards committees since 1996.  

Hotel Information

Participants are responsible for their own hotel accommodations.  Conexxus has arranged for a special conference rate of $189 plus tax per room per night at the Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel. This rate will be honored from April 26 - May 6, 2018 for reservations made and guaranteed by April 6, 2018.  We are pleased to be able to offer Conference attendees the following:

  • Self-parking at a 50% reduced rate of $13.00 per day, Valet parking is $36.00 per day.
  • Complimentary in room internet
  • Complimentary access to the fitness center
  • Complimentary Shuttle to and from O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

Reservations may be made by calling the hotel directly (847-544-5300), by calling the Loews Reservations Center (877-868-9134) or by following https://www.loewshotels.com/chicago-ohare/conexxus-annual-conference-2018   The special conference rate will only be available for reservations made and guaranteed prior to April 6, 2018.When calling for reservations, please be sure to mention you are attending the 2018 Conexxus Annual Conference and use group code CON419. 

Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel
5300 North River Road
Rosemont, IL 60018
Phone: 847-544-5300
Website: www.loewshotels.com/chicago-ohare

Attendees are responsible for arranging their own air and ground transportation needs. Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel is located approximately 3 miles from O’Hare International Airport.  The Loews Chicago O’Hare Hotel provides a complimentary airport shuttle service. 

Thank you to our 2018 Conexxus Annual Conference Diamond Sponsors



Thank you to our 2018 Conexxus Annual Conference Gold Sponsors







Thank you to our 2018 Conexxus Annual Conference Silver Sponsors







About Conexxus

Conexxus is a non-profit, member-driven technology  organization dedicated to the development and  implementation of standards, technologies innovation and  advocacy for the convenience store and fuel market. Conexxus  membership collaborates on key present and future industry  challenges and innovations. Our work efforts improve profitability by reducing the cost of IT ownership and  improve the competitiveness of our members.