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Customer Service Sales

Elkridge, MD
January 13, 2020

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Peter Gragnano • Laurel, MD • 443-***-****

Operations and Management Specialist

Multi-Industry Business Coach with experience delivering in-depth assessment and advising that has helped organizations improve processes and planning. Advising and Guidance for: Operations Management Leadership

Strategic Planning Sales and Marketing Customer Service Summary

To use my experience and expertise in small business and the corporate arena to make a positive and profound contribution to corporate culture and the bottom line. The unique combination of my background, personality, character, and persistence are the driving forces of my success and enable me to be a valuable asset to my employer. Experience is the best teacher, as long as it’s someone else’s experience. Let me put my experience to work for you.


Manhattan College, Bronx, NY

• B.S. Degrees in Mathematics and Economics

Adelphi University, Garden City, NY

• M.B.A. Degree in Economics


The Growth Coach Capital Beltway (April 2018 – Present)

• Provide business coaching to small- to mid-size business owners, executives, and professionals on either a one-to-one basis or in a group setting. Focus is on the development of a mindset of thinking strategically: thinking and acting as a CEO instead of an employee; being the architect of their business vs. being the laborer; and working “on” their business versus working “in” their business. Peter Gragnano

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• Facilitate workshops of cross-functional owners, executives and professionals on topics such as strategic mindset, time management, sales and marketing, leadership and people management, operations, performance measurement, and business planning and implementation.

• Stress the importance of developing policies and budget formulation, monitoring their implementation, measuring performance, and emphasizing customer service, while concurrently hiring good people, letting them work, holding them accountable, and giving timely positive feedback.

• Assist entrepreneurs in the launching and/or market expansion of products such as essential oils and drink mixers.

• Work with owners to develop business plans for startup, expansion, or acquisition. 7-Eleven Franchise Owner (July 2003 - February 2018)

• Serve Safe Certified Food Service Manager of a Moderate HAACP Facility responsible for the operation of a 24/7/365 convenience store and management of 15-18 male/female employees comprised of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds.

o Developed and trained several employees to manage store in my absence, while training others in product ordering and customer service.

o Averaged an annual employee retention rate of 90 percent during my tenure compared to nearly 75 percent for my peers and approximately 50 percent for the convenience store industry. Accomplished this by not furloughing employees during slow periods and paying them competitive wages. While my compensation to sales ratio was higher than most of the stores of my peers, my employee turnover and inventory shrinkage were significantly less.

o End result was a high performing team in terms of consistent monthly sales increases, customer service, and productivity. Achieved by delegating responsibilities, soliciting opinions, coaching them to become better employees and people, and providing timely positive feedback. o The store’s KPIs (overall profitability, profit margins, customer experience, cleanliness, and inventory management) were generally in the top tier of categories measured by 7-Eleven, Inc.

• Grew sales from $1.4M annually to $2.1M annually, while increasing gross profit margin from 38% to 41%. o Purchased from suppliers outside of 7-Eleven’s recommended vendor network to lower my cost of goods.

o Found alternative cigarette supplier which met 7-Eleven’s recommended vendor criteria, causing existing supplier to reduce cost, thereby saving 7-Eleven, Inc. and Maryland franchisees nearly $2 million annually since 2014.

• Continually revised product mix to changing customer base by observing market trends, listening to consumer, vendor, and employee suggestions, and adapting to the continual evolution of convenience store industry.

o Focus was always on meeting customer needs and expectations. o Willingness to try new ethnic products led store to gain attention on both a local and national level at 7- Eleven, Inc. in the areas of hot food, packaged bakery and beverages, and resulted in the corporation recommending a number of these items be sold in our stores locally.

• Strategic planning, budget formulation and execution were a routine part of daily operations. o SWOTs (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), were routinely reviewed, particularly in light of changes in the economic, competitive or regulatory landscape. Marketing strategies, staffing requirements and budgets were adjusted accordingly. Budget versus actual revenues and expenses were reviewed, at a minimum, on a monthly basis, with more frequent analysis during slow seasons or economic downturns

o Adapted to the 2008 recession (reduced daily customer counts as a result of a slowdown in housing, construction and services) by engaging my peers, mentors and employees to develop alternative Peter Gragnano

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strategies which underwent quantitative and qualitative analyses under different scenarios (for example, cost of goods, product pricing, labor intensity, sales projections).

• Elected President of the Suburban Washington Area Franchise Owner’s Association. Served in that capacity for over 8 years, with significant interaction with the franchisor on local and headquarters levels. o Acted as an intermediary in disputes between franchisor and member franchisees, and generally was able to resolve conflicts amicably by diffusing tensions between the parties. o In many cases the dealings became contentious, as personalities became involved, along with the business issue. Through a calm and reasoning approach, as well as being fair (franchisees weren’t always right), I was able to help a number of store owners to either keep their store (when 7-Eleven, Inc. was in its legal rights to take it) or enable them to sell their store for goodwill rather than lose their investment if 7-Eleven, Inc. took the store back.

• Submitted written and verbal testimony before state and local governmental bodies in the areas of tobacco taxation, minimum wage, paid sick leave, age-restricted products, and 24-hour operations. o Analyzed proposed federal regulations regarding the definition/criteria of an “exempt” employee, classification of franchisors as “co-employers” of franchisee employees, and “independent contractor” classification.

o Reviewed proposed state and local regulations in the areas of minimum wage and paid sick leave. o Organized meetings and presented findings to local franchisees on these topics. Brought in outside counsel to advise franchisees on wage and hour laws.

• Served on local task forces as a subject matter expert in the area of convenience store operations. Developed and maintained collaborative relationships with personnel in peer or senior positions in other organizations, departments, or agencies.

o Worked with outside organizations to persuade the Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD) to make apprehending the criminals responsible for a rash of robberies a high priority, and the Maryland State Lottery to revise its policy on stolen instant lottery/scratch-off tickets. While I was unable to get the Lottery to retroactively reimburse retailers for their losses due to these robberies, it did help all Maryland Lottery retailers going forward.

o Served on several local task forces regarding 24-hour businesses. The first task force was able to incorporate some best practices (for example, lowering cash levels, increased lighting of parking lots, enhanced police patrols) which led to a reduction in overnight crime. Better relations among the police, community associations, and local franchisees turned out to be a collateral benefit of our work. o The second task force was assembled to discuss implementation of a proposed Prince George’s County bill that would have had a devastating financial impact on 24-hour businesses. Working with gasoline dealer associations, corporate lobbyists, and convenience store employees, as well as appropriate County Council and departmental staff, we were able to reduce or eliminate many of the most burdensome components of the bill, and yet still satisfy the sponsor’s intent.

• Served on the Board of Directors of the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisee Associations (NCASEF).

o Due to impartiality amongst the diverse group of my peers, was appointed by the NCASEF Chairman to serve on the Election Committee to ensure integrity in the process of electing organizational leaders. o Along with the NCASEF Executive Vice Chairman, coordinated franchisee proposed revisions to the development by 7-Eleven, Inc. of the 2019 Franchise Agreement.

• Selected by my peers to be a member of the court-appointed Franchisee Selection Committee. o Analyzed supplier contracts to ensure that franchisees were getting their appropriate share of cost of goods savings.

o Initiated the review of 7-Eleven, Inc. procurement of hot beverage supplies (coffee, creamers, condiments, etc.) and their distribution methodology that is still ongoing. Peter Gragnano

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Signarama Franchise Owner (May 2000 – October 2002)

• Responsible for daily operation of a sign and graphics business, and management of a diverse staff in terms of gender and ethnic backgrounds.

o Provided sales and customer service training to all employees, and trained graphic designer in basic business operations and management to run the store in my absence.

• Company was predominantly a business-to-business entity versus a business-to-consumer enterprise, yet coached staff that everyone was a customer and was to be treated with the same level of service and professionalism.

o Duties included design, production and installation of signs, banners, vehicle lettering and other assorted graphics.

o Advances in technology (e.g., digital printing) shifted some of the focus away from the traditional application of single-color vinyl media being applied to various surfaces (windows, vehicles, signs, banners, etc.), causing a change in both operations and marketing strategies.

• Grew annual sales from $95K to $130K, despite downturn in local economy due to 9-11 and an economic recession.

o Concurrent with the change in technology, modified operations due to normal business circumstances (a large customer scaling back their historical purchase quantities) and the abnormal (September 11th). o Developed goals and formulated strategies to mitigate the impact of these external forces by utilizing quantitative and qualitative analyses under multiple scenarios (for example, adding an additional salesperson, target marketing, cost of goods, product/service pricing, revenue projections). The hiring of an additional outside salesperson and the focus on a specific target market were the strategies developed. o Solicited employee opinions to gain their “buy in” into the strategies being implemented and agreed upon mutual accountability areas. The end result was increased revenues and even better customer service, as one of their suggestions was to follow up a completed job with a thank you card and a gift as a means of cementing the relationship.

o Continual monitoring of budget versus actual, with programmatic changes as necessary. T&C Enterprises (April 1990 – April 2000)

• Manager of a gasoline and automotive repair facility under the Shell brand for 5 years.

• Grew monthly automotive repair revenue from $15k to $50k, concurrent with an increase in gasoline volume from 60k gallons to 85k gallons.

o Empowered my employees to satisfy the customer in varying degrees, based upon their position level.

o Developed two employees who later became managers upon corporate expansion.

• General Manager of five gasoline stations, each with automotive repair and convenience stores, under the Mobil and Shell brands.

o Management of five direct reports and 35-40 employees. o Multi-unit P&L responsibility of $22 million annually. o Worked in tandem with the owner to develop policies and programs in the areas of human resources, customer service, accounting and inventory management. o Coached individual station managers and developed succession plans at each location. o Instituted a strict dress code policy to stress the “professional” nature of the operation and distinguish us from our competitors. Cleaner facilities, safer working conditions, better operational and financial performance, and customer service (dress code requirement resulted in hiring better people) were collateral benefits.

o Reviewed budgets developed for each service station and monitored them on a regular basis. o Active contributor in discussions with ownership regarding strategic planning decisions, such as the purchase of additional service stations, expansion of products and services at the existing facilities Peter Gragnano

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(e.g., convenience stores, auto insurance photos), or the diversification into related areas (e.g., used car sales). Performed quantitative and qualitative analyses to aid in decision making. New York Power Authority (September 1980 – March 1990)

• Performed load research and rate analysis for public entities for 5 years.

• Transferred to Strategic Planning, where duties included analysis and preparation of documents used in the development of the Corporate Strategic Plan.

o Team leader for the first two editions of the Strategic Plan briefing book, working with two other colleagues on its preparation. As a result of employment vacancies, unilaterally developed subsequent editions.

o Given access to staff and management at every level of the corporation to acquire the materials necessary for its completion. This included gathering annual and forecast budget information from all corporate departments (including manpower requirements), working with management teams to develop SWOTs (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) for their respective areas, and soliciting their goals and strategies.

o Consistently developed and sustained cooperative working relationships with peers, as well as senior level management within the organization.

• Organized and facilitated retreats of senior to executive management for Strategic Plan development. o In conjunction with my supervisor gave presentations on the strategic planning process and facilitated breakout groups of executive management on various topics to develop the Corporate Strategic Plan.

o Upon adoption of the Plan, my supervisor and myself participated in Departmental retreats, comprised of middle management and our peers, to describe the planning process and show how their input was incorporated into the final document. American Electric Power (September 1978 – February 1980)

• Performed load research at the corporate office to support rate development and operations of electric utilities serving residential, commercial and industrial customers in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and West Virginia.


• Strategic Planning

• Small Business Management, Administration and Operations

• Business Coaching

• Multiple Franchise Ownership

• Entrepreneurship

• Emotional Intelligence

• Written and Verbal Communication

• Leadership and Performance Management

• Certified DISC Behavioral Analyst

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