Tyler Lecture with Chris Gheysens, President & CEO, Wawa

This is a past event

The Wawa Way

Wawa Lead Goose, Chris Gheysens, talks about Wawa’s history and growth from a single store in Folsom, PA, to now more than 800 stores across six states and DC and how Wawa’s unique culture, values and purpose have driven that growth now and into the future.


Chris Gheysens is President & CEO of Wawa, a chain of more than 790 convenience stores located in six states and known for their fresh food and award winning coffee. Wawa is a family and associate-owned, privately-held company. Approximately 30,000 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 36th 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 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.


The Chaplin Tyler Executive Leadership Lecture Series brings leaders from the business, non-profit and government sectors to the UD campus to share their experiences and insights with students, faculty and the business community. Several times each year, the Lerner College’s Graduate and Executive Programs office invites these leaders to spend a day engaging in an open exchange of ideas and perspectives.

The series, which is supported by the Chaplin Tyler Endowment Fund, is dedicated to the memory of Chap and Elizabeth Tyler, their commitment to education and their determination to help young people achieve success in the business world.


This event is open to the public.  No registration is required. 


The University of Delaware has photographers and videographers at this event. By attending this event, you grant the University of Delaware permission to publish or display photographic or video images of you. Images may be used in any promotional material, publications or other applications

Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 3:30pm to 4:30pm

Purnell Hall, Room 115
Purnell Hall, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA

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