APCA was formed to unite independent gasoline and convenience store owners. APCA is a group of business owners who are in the convenience store industry to learn, grow, and succeed! Based on a cursory survey of independent owners of gasoline service store and convenience store owners we found that these owners were being under-represented at regulatory institutions in city, County and State agencies. Decisions are being made, and laws being created at various regulatory institutions that are affecting the business model of these owners without adequate input in the proposed regulations and rules. Current market place associations appeared to be focusing on the needs of larger grocers or oil companies, rather than smaller independent retailers. In 2012, a few leaders within the business community came together to evaluate the need for such an organization and realized the need for APCA. APCA hopes to be a grass roots organization providing representation to small independent gasoline and convenience store owners.
APCA will strive to improve the business environment and community relations of the independent retailers and become a resource for its members in all their business transactions. APCA will provide political information and updates, keeping everyone aware and in the loop of policies and laws that affect us directly. APCA provides connections to vendors for better pricing and stronger relationships. The members of this great organization are able to participate in trade/buying shows, where they can test new product before investing in it. APCA educates its members so those with experience can continue to grow and those who have less experience can be empowered to take their business to the next level! Here, at APCA, we believe in networking and becoming family with other APCA members.
- Leaders within Convenience store industry from through out the state.
- Founding members have combined industry experience of more than 200 years.
- Actively involved in several non-profit and other organizations.
- Committed to serving APCA and empowering its members.
- Complete democratic organization with heavy emphasis on grass root movement
- State is divided in 10 chapters
- Each chapter is represented at state level
- Local elections will be used to determine chapter leaders.
- Quick and efficient communication mechanism with members
- Common Voice – Loud and Clear
Founding Member Backgrounds
Sanjiv Patel – After graduating from USC in Computer Engineering Sanjiv Patel has been involved in several startups. He has been a serial entrepreneur, who has started several companies in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Publishing, Semiconductor, Internet and Petroleum. His varied background from different industries gives him unique perspective to see existing businesses and identify their hidden potential. This expertise has helped Sanjiv put his company as one of the fasted growing company in America for four years in a raw in an industry with no growth. Sanjiv is a San Jose resident for almost 10 years with business interests throughout the bay area. Sanjiv is a big proponent of small businesses and passionate about helping fellow small business owners.
Jagjeet S. Kapoor – After graduating from Khalsa College in 1977, Jagjeet S. Kapoor immigrated to the United States where he embarked on learning the grocery industry. In 1982 he opened his first Stop ‘N’ Save convenience grocery store and is currently the President of Stop ‘N’ Save, Inc. Mr. Kapoor acquired a competing 22-store chain known as Bonfare Markets and he is the Chairman/CEO of Bonfare Markets, Inc. These stores currently operate under independent identities comprising a total of 34 locations. In addition, Mr. Kapoor is TIE Charter Member.
Jeetander P. Sethi – Mr. Sethi moved to the United States in 1976 in hopes for a brighter future for his family. Upon his arrival he started working for his uncle as a restaurant manager while attending college in Mississippi. In 1980, he moved to California to start his own venture. Mr. Sethi began his business with convenience stores and later expanded to hotels, restaurants, and real estate. Convenience stores and gas stations is where it all started for Mr. Sethi and with over 30 years of experience, he plans to continue his growth in retail. His desire is to not only grow himself in this business but also to educate and empower others to do so. Mr. Sethi is always looking for new challenges and is highly active in local community projects such as the Hindu Temple of Fresno, Crime Stoppers of Fresno, Clovis Unified School District, Interfaith Alliance of the Central Valley, and the Fresno Police Advisory Board. He also serves on the Board of Directors for The Security First Bank of Fresno. Mr. Sethi constantly seeks to grow his knowledge and experiences through his business and by volunteering his time and resources to his community.
Gowri S. Kowtha – Mr. Kowtha, a licensed Civil Engineer and Contractor, came to the United States in 1990 and pursed a master’s degree in civil engineering. Upon completion of education in 1993, Mr. Kowtha worked for a large consulting firm based in San Jose, California. In 1999, Mr. Kowtha started Stratus Environmental, Inc., a full-service environmental engineering and consulting firm with offices in Sacramento, Huntington Beach, Ventura and Carson City. Stratus has been serving clients throughout Northern and Southern California for more than 14 years to a variety of clients including major and small oil companies, independent retailers, public agencies, Fortune 500 corporations, school districts, municipalities, land development companies, and small businesses. We are currently involved in more than 200 UST sites, distributed over 33 counties in California and Nevada.
Manraj Natt – Worked as Director, Supplier Engineering at Harmonic Inc., managed all aspects of outsourcing from Americas to Asia and inter-Asia. Principal Engineer at IBM Corp, instrumental in bringing product from startup stage to market needs. Alumni and ex Professor of Genco (Guru Nanak Engineering College, Ludhiana India), widely respected as research fellow. Presently managing and successfully running gasoline service stations in the bay area and in the central valley. Personally participating in religious projects at San Jose Sikh temple, well regarded in the local business community. Involved in public community development and founding member of APCA (American Petroleum and Convenience Store Association).
Joe Johal – Began his career at Hewlett Packard in 1983, and his responsibilities included, Risk Management, Environmental, Health and Safety for five sites and over 12 thousand employees world wide. Member of Hewlett Packard’s world wide training and Education Council (one of ten members for 120,000 employees); Wendy’s of the Pacific Inc, 2002 to Current, CEO, responsibilities include operating multiple facilities, president of Nor Cal DMA, trustee of Wendy’s National Advertisement Program, also franchisee for BP Arco and T-Mobile. Founding board member for Tri-Valley Bank, founding board member for Old Fashioned Franchise Association (Franchise association for Wendy’s), founding board member Service Station Franchise Association (Arco BP Franchise Association), founding board member for American Petroleum and Convenient Store Association.
Jivtesh Gill – Finished undergraduate study at Chandigarh, India and traveled to USA in 1990 for MBA. After the completion of MBA in 1993, worked as a consultant for an electric utility consultants company in Southern California. Procured first 7-Eleven store in 1998. Currently franchise of 7-Elevens, Chevron, 76, ARCO AM/PMs. President of Central Valley 7-Eleven Franchise association. Executive Vice Chairman of NCASEF with 400 members.