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About Kokott, Wood & Associates

Kokott, Wood & Associates (KWA) represents the pinnacle of professionalism and ethics among executive search firms in the convenience store and petroleum marketing industries. Within these sectors, our executive search services have benefitted a multitude of retailers, distributors, manufacturers, wholesalers, IT and OEM businesses. KWA's executive placement expertise is focused on presenting our clients the most qualified candidates from mid-management to C-level executives.

Our unparalleled approach to the executive search process is what separates KWA from other recruiters. Our experienced staff of c-store and petroleum industry veterans has created a proprietary system which we consistently utilize to match superb candidates with today's executive, managerial and other key leadership positions. KWA is truly unique when compared to other executive search firms in that our search process begins with a rigorous, comprehensive analysis of our clients' business tailored to develop a clear understanding of their short and long term executive needs, their objectives and expectations for personnel in key positions, in addition to the all-important aspects of company culture and management style. This is followed by the use of extensive screening, proprietary evaluation tools and qualifying techniques administered to only the upper echelon of candidates to ensure a long-term fit for the position. Only candidates who match the organization's dynamics in all areas of our qualifying process are recommended to move forward to the interview phase with our clients.


KWA was founded in 2011 based upon shared core principles of honesty, integrity, quality and long term results. Over the years, Klaus Kokott and Dick Wood observed critical gaps and deficiencies in the executive search and recruiting industry. Poor business ethics and flawed, 'high-volume' recruiting mentalities seemed to be the modus operandi of search firms operating in the convenience store and petroleum channel. In these areas, Klaus and Dick identified an opportunity to utilize detailed methodology and the principles of ethics and quality to ensure long term client and candidate success, thus presenting a clear alternative to the status quo.

With several decades of actual executive experience in the industry, the partners vowed to deliver an unrivaled, value focused executive search service driven by honest commitments of time and effort and enhanced by a true dedication to differentiating their services, not simply focusing on the bottom line. To that end, KWA takes the time to assess and understand the qualities, traits, and needs of its clients and candidates. Their levels of repeat and referral business, as well as the long term tenure of their placements (stick rate), are a testament to this approach and rank far above any organization that simply collects and forwards resumes.


Klaus' unprecedented qualifications and skills come from a 25+ year span of domestic and international experience in the petroleum and convenience store sectors. In every aspect of KWA's operations, Klaus shares his insight into the aptitudes, qualities, skill sets, experience and accomplishments candidates must display to flourish in our clients' organizations. He has served the industry in a great number of roles, from an accounting role at a major US oil firm to VP of Sales and Marketing with a preeminent international organization in the C-store industry. Throughout his professional career, Klaus has either managed or collaborated with top professionals from every major department, thus enabling him to utilize his functional understanding and knowledge to ensure candidates comprehend the accountabilities, objectives and interdependencies of their roles.

Furthermore, Klaus' experience in executive roles enables him to provide clients with executive recruiting counsel in the areas of retail (operations and marketing), fuel (commercial, industrial, dealer, contract supply, logistics, operations), project management, strategic plan development and implementation, succession planning, market expansion, accounting, and IT. His long-term relationship approach, business orientation and retention-focused mindset provide key value to KWA's distinguished clients.


Dick's expansive and highly successful professional and industry consulting experience have equipped him with the knowledge and abilities to position KWA for growth and success, as well as assisting client companies accomplish their business objectives. Dick's experience, leadership style, exceptional business acumen, unparalleled attention to detail, and exemplary skills in identifying operations, marketing and technical talent have proven invaluable in providing clients with insight into their own long term business and personnel objectives.

His retail career dates back to the 1960's where he was employed as a box-boy for an independent grocer. Soon thereafter, Dick earned his Bachelor's Degree from the University of Southern California in Food Distribution and Marketing. Dick entered the Convenience Store sector in 1972 and advanced to the role of Senior Vice President of Marketing for a 1,125 store chain in the Southeast. In 1987, he left the corporate world and launched his own successful consulting firm, continuing to serve the C-store industry domestically and internationally by offering operations, marketing, and supply chain expertise. More recently, Dick ventured into executive recruiting in 2004 and quickly developed a strong client following based on his personal commitment to providing clients and candidates with an unwavering approach to honesty and ethical service.


John possesses over 35 years of experience in the petroleum and convenience store industries and serves the professional recruiting efforts of KWA through his vast expertise in retail operations management and marketing. John has also served in national category management roles in both the franchise and company operated aspects of the business. After a vibrant career in various roles with ARCO, John successfully transitioned to Sunoco in 2006, where he achieved exemplary results in a number of marketing roles. He was awarded Sunoco's Mark of Excellence award multiple times.

Calling on his long, committed and progressive career, John has refined a unique capacity to pinpoint the indispensable professional and personality traits needed to identify candidates best equipped for productive and long term relationships. Having served as a successful hiring manager for many years, John's qualifications offer KWA's clients the peace of mind that only candidates demonstrating an excellent fit for the company and opportunity will be presented.

Diane Gunlogson - Executive Search Consultant

Diane has more than 25 years experience in retail management, primarily in the convenience store industry. As a previous owner, she is a recognized expert in her ability to increase sales and profits by successfully identifying and recruiting top quality management personnel. She understands what a company needs in its employees to increase business and what skills candidates must demonstrate in order to be successful in the industry. Let Diane's expertise in our channel help your company address its long term recruiting needs.

Kokott, Wood & Associates, LLC. is dedicated to providing innovative, comprehensive and impactful solutions to the Petroleum and Convenience Store industries.


Kokott, Wood & Associates provide a collection of proprietary articles sharing facts and suggestions modeled around industry trends, corporate cultures, changing markets, as well as tips for interviewing and improving resumes.

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Why Kokott, Wood & Associates

Kokott, Wood & Associates specializes in placements of executives, management, IT, and other professionals in the C- Store and Petroleum Industry. With over 75 years of actual industry experience, our executive search professionals have the knowledge and insight to identify the right candidate to excel within your organization.

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  • Testimonials

    “Now that everyone is settled in, I have a few minutes to say thank you for your assistance in helping me land this position. Prior to my job search, I had never worked with recruiters and didn’t think I would ever need to. As you know, I had my resume with several other companies, but I’m glad your posting worked out for me. For starters, your description of the company, the hiring manager (now my VP), the pay plan and the area were so correct. This really helped us in deciding to pursue this opportunity and was especially helpful when we moved here. It was as we expected (hoped) it to be.

    Thank you so much!

    Wholesale Fuel Manager, Midwest Fuel Wholesaler / Distributor

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  • Testimonials

    "Klaus carefully orchestrated an action plan geared to differentiating my unique talents from the rest of the crowd. He readily made himself available to offer guidance and conduct thorough mock interviews designed to bring out my personal strengths and value to the hiring company. His focused approach not only helped prepare me for the interview process, but gave me the confidence that I was the right person for the job. Klaus is a top notch recruiter committed to strategically preparing clients for positions he has deemed are a strong fit. He truly cares about the success of his clients and the contributions they will make to the organization."

    Category Manager, Southwest US Retail Company

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  • Testimonials

    "I wasn't sure of the value of your Retained Search process when you first proposed the concept to me. I can now tell you (and others), it is the only way we'll ever conduct another search. You told me it would save me time, eliminate frustration, and provide me with a selection of 3-5 very qualified Candidates. I was truly impressed with the detail of Candidate information and your qualifying process; it was as if I knew the Candidate before I ever interviewed them. The time you spent with us, learning about our business, our culture and what this key position would be responsible for was time well spent. The most difficult task for us was that of making the final selection... "

    Fred - President/CEO - Retailer - East Coast

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  • Testimonials

    Having been a part of the recruitment process on both sides of the table I can definitely say that my experience with Kokott, Wood & Associates was a privilege. From the initial stage of describing the role & the company to the final negotiation stage - Kokott, Wood & Associates made sure all parties were well aware of the situation at hand. There wasn't one point in the process where I wondered where things stood and what next step(s) needed to take place. Their ability to communicate their client's expectations, company culture, and need(s) for the role could not have been better. It was a pleasure working with Kokott, Wood, & Associates, and I would highly recommend working with their professional team. I look forward to the next time I deal with them as a client.

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