Who's Who 2012 - Scott Blank

Monday, March 19, 2012
LAURA SIMON ~ lsimon@semissourian.com

Scott Blank was born and raised in Cape Girardeau, and in his family business, Bi-State Oil Co. He started working at Bi-State in 1997 and bought the company from his parents in 2003. Blank keeps busy with his wife Lisa and baby Benjamin, and he's served on boards for the City of Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department, Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce and Old Town Cape. He currently serves on boards for the Missouri Petroleum and Convenience Stores Association, Southeast Hospital Foundation and St. Andrew Lutheran Church, and he's a member of the National Association of Convenience Stores.

What do you love about your work?

Each day is different and can change very quickly. I wear many hats during the day, but I enjoy the changes and fast-paced environment. ... I would be lying if I told you I enjoyed them all, but I do love what I do ... I love the tradition that is here with my family starting the business. It all started with my grandparents back in the late '30s, then my parents, and now my wife and me. I love hearing stories about my grandparents and parents and the relationships they have had throughout the years being involved in the business.

How is your career field growing or changing?

The convenience store industry is changing from a concentration on fuel to a more broad approach to the inside of the store. The store is expanding to offer quality food and beverage options and convenience items. As an industry we have come a long way to the offerings we have today. I think you will continue to see more food and beverages enter the convenience store.

What's the secret to your success?

My parents taught me a good work ethic. Many nights my mother worked into the early morning hours of the next day keeping financial components of the company on track. At the same time, my dad was getting up to deliver fuel or work at one of our stores. Being a small-business owner requires a lot of time, effort and energy ... A wise man once told me the harder you work, the luckier you get. I'm not sure if it's luck, but you have to be prepared to work hard and that requires some long and nontraditional work hours. ... In addition, learn all you can. Talk to people who are in your industry and have experience. Attend seminars. Form a study group to talk about the issues concerning your business and get different opinions. Get active in an association relative to your business.

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