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Congratulations to Joe Sheetz '89, who was recently named President & CEO of Sheetz, Inc. In this Q&A, he shares how Sigma Chi helped him in his career success, gives a glimpse into the Sheetz vs. Wawa showdown, and shares the secret of what sauce makes every MTO taste that much better...

Why did you join Sigma Chi as an undergraduate?
I joined because of the people I met.  Not only did I feel an immediate bond with the other freshmen who rushed that year, I also made an instant connection with Matt Millan '87 and Jeff Bukowski '87 who were already brothers at that time.

How did the values you learned at Sigma Chi help you in your career success?
I think it was a combination of values and business skills learned at Sigma Chi that have helped me. We learned about teamwork and respect as pledges and brothers.  We also found an appreciation for philanthropy during Derby Days and learned leadership skills through national workshops.  On the business side, I was Steward (ran the kitchen) and Quaestor (treasurer)

Tell us a little bit about your career path that led to your current role.
After Penn, I worked in pension & benefits consulting in Philadelphia for seven years.  I then returned to my family business to handle the pension, benefit, and compensation plans and eventually moved in the role of CFO.  After overseeing accounting, finance, IT, real estate, and risk management, I became President & CEO this past October.

Describe your typical day.
No two days are alike.  I chair the Executive Committee at Sheetz, I am a member of the Executive Committee for the National Association of Convenience Stores, I serve on several local non-profit boards, etc.  So...I am in a lot of meetings.  I also spend 2-3 days per month in our retail outlets talking to employees and customers to see what we can do better.

What are your goals for Sheetz as the new CEO?
To continue to grow the business through building new stores, remodeling or rebuilding older stores, and continuing down the path of changing the convenience store industry into the convenience restaurant industry.

It's no secret that there's a Sheetz vs. WaWa showdown among Pennsylvanians. What would you say to your Philly-area brothers to convince them that Sheetz is king?
No need to go there!  Actually, Chris Gheysens (Wawa CEO) and I are friends.  We recently joined forces to feed the attendees at the commissioning of the USS Somerset in Philadelphia.  In the markets where we both operate (which is a very small percentage of our respective totals), I think we make each other better and help the industry by showing customers how modern convenience stores are very different than the stereotypes you see on television.

What is your go-to MTO?
I eat lunch at our stores 3-4 days per week...almost never get the same thing twice.  However, I do get Boom Boom sauce on just about everything.
[Editor's note: an MTO is Sheetz' "made to order" sandwich, which comes in a number of customizable varieties.].

What is your favorite Sigma Chi memory?
Too many to pick just one, but I always enjoyed Homecoming.  It was great to meet the alums who came back year after year.  I still stay in touch with several of them even though they are 15-25 years older than me.

How do you stay involved with Phi Phi Chapter as an alumnus? Who have you recently reconnected with? Who would you like to see?
I wish I had more time to be involved with the actual chapter but I don't get to Philly very often.  I do continue to contribute funds since I know how important that is to the chapter.  I stay in touch with Matt Millan (he actually designed my new house) and Jeff Bukowski (we play golf from time to time).  As far as the guys I pledged with, we stay in touch via email and all plan to get together in May for our 25th reunion.

What is your advice to current undergraduates and new alumni as they start on their career paths?
Work hard, work smart, never stop learning, be yourself.  Try to find something you absolutely love to do.

Reconnect with Joe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..