What does a brand mean for you? A brand is the cultural, emotional and intellectual associations linked to a name, mark or symbol. A brand means a competitive advantage and a logo which incorporates visual and social elements. A brand means a reputation that creates and builds trust because customers value the benefit you provide and are willing to pay for it. They see your brand as best providing those benefits. The message conveyed shows you believe in delivering a quality product. This demonstrates that your core ethics are consistency, fairness, performance and transparency. A great brand adds up to a better reality.
The government is attempting to mandate an increase in the amount of ethanol required in gasoline from ten-percent to fifteen-percent. At first glance it doesn’t look like a big deal; but when you consider the repercussions of what this actually means, it can have serious ramifications.
Some of you may have experienced difficulties when changing from pure gasoline to a ten- percent ethanol blend. Ethanol is a powerful volatile solvent. Ethanol is one of the oldest recreational drugs known to man, sometimes called “Moonshine.” Because of its makeup, ethanol is not suitable for older automobiles as it can damage carburetors, valves and other aspects of the engine.
More importantly to you, ethanol is incompatible with many of the components of your station’s tank pumping system, including pumps, tanks, lines, meters, rings and valves. Because of this governmental proposed increase of ethanol from ten to fifteen-percent, we anticipate even more problems developing with tank pumping systems.
The United States produces seven-billion gallons of ethanol annually and that figure is predicted to double in the next two years. The main ingredient of America’s ethanol is corn, and this predicted increase in ethanol production creates the potential for a decrease in the availability of corn to the consumer and as animal feed, which could have a rippling effect on every part of the food industry, including cost to the general public at the grocery store. Therefore, as a leading wholesale gasoline supplier, we are not endorsing this proposed increase to fifteen-percent ethanol blend.
According to Bob Owens, President and CEO of Sunoco, “We completed our merger of Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco and have now officially started down the road of creating the best retail company in America. We look forward to traveling that road with you. In the past few months there has been a lot of inaccurate media noise. We have no intention of selling the business, and here’s why: Sunoco is one of the strongest brands in America. Sunoco means performance and reliability and Sunoco’s racing partnerships as the Official Fuel of NASCAR demonstrates this every week more powerfully than any other brand can and those partnerships are set to last for years to come. Sunoco is strong and stable. Sunoco is committed to being an excellent business partner that has delivered outstanding financial results with a high degree of consistency over the long term. This performance provides a great platform for continued growth. We intend to continue to do that to grow a bigger and better Sunoco branded network with every passing year.”
Countywide Petroleum Company wants its current dealers and prospective customers to know that due to a regional pipeline project, the Sunoco Youngstown Terminal is scheduled to shut down by the end of January 2013. There are no plans to convert this terminal to a natural gas facility. At the conclusion of the Allegheny Pipeline project in the later part of 2014, the Youngstown Terminal will open again as a gasoline terminal serving our branded customers. Sunoco’s supply department has adjusted supply to meet demand by adding access and inventory at the terminals in Aurora, Akron and Cleveland.
In different ways, BP, Valero and Sunoco all demonstrate good will by community involvement. When you brand your station, you echo these commendable sentiments. Confirming their commitment to the community, here are just a few of the recent charitable endeavors in which Countywide Petroleum Company took the lead.
Countywide was a principal sponsor of “Teal Ribbon Comedy,” an Ovarian Cancer Research Benefit starring Billy Gardell of the hit show “Mike and Molly,” to support the Magee-Womens Research Institute in their goal to find a cure for Ovarian Cancer. Countywide Petroleum tried to do their part to help fight this dreaded disease.
Countywide Petroleum also supported “Hearts for the Hungry,” a relief effort to feed and care for starving children in Haiti. With food, medical care and educational services, this charity offers opportunities to the children of a nation that has many difficulties, but endless possibilities. The main goal of this worthy charity is to provide these children with hope and courage for the future
Countywide also provided funding for the “Holy Family Dining Project,” to benefit a Pittsburgh Institute that incorporates Residential Programs; Family Counseling, Substance Abuse Services; Specialized Schools; Mental Health Counseling; Youth Workforce Development; a Parent-Child Literacy Program; a Nutrition Program and Energy Assistance Programs. Holy Family Institute takes care of children who are alone in this world, and who need a helping hand. Through its own efforts and others, including BP and Valero, Countywide Petroleum built a beautiful dining facility to brighten the lives of these children, and the staff who care for them.
Brand your station and take a lively helpful role in your community. Countywide Petroleum Company proudly chooses to take a dynamic constructive role in the world in which we live.
Countywide Petroleum Company Dealer, BP Marketer Erma Dodd lives by several philosophies. One is “Separate Principal from Personality.” For Erma, “Principal” means the job has to be done right, honestly and fairly. “Personality” means when conducting business, personalities do change but her “Principal” still has to be followed. Another value Erma lives by is “she appreciates her integrity too much to lose it.” A wonderful person, ultimately, Erma’s life is guided by her faith.
Erma father Tony Saveikis was the son of Lithuania immigrants. At age fourteen, Tony began work as a butcher in the West Park section of Pittsburgh. Five years later, at nineteen, Tony bought the shop. Tony met the love of his life when his future bride Lurline came into his store. In the early 1940s when Erma was two years old, Tony found a thirteen acre farm, ten miles west of Pittsburgh. Reluctantly, Lurline agreed to move to the “country.” A short time later, a new Route 22/30 cut through their property and that meant traffic and travelers. Tony built one of the first motels west of Pittsburgh. Would they name it Tony Town or Tonydale? Their second daughter was named Toni so they decided to name it Tonidale. Motel business operates around the clock so it was logical that a twenty-four hour a day gas station so the Tonidale Gas Station was born. Tony decided the gas station’s midnight shifts would keep an eye on the motel and rent the rooms during the night. The guests needed somewhere to eat so a small diner came next.
In 1961, the “Superhighway,” the new Route put the gas station out of the main stream of traffic. Tony bought a piece of land down the Pike and literally picked up the gas station and moved it to the better location. Tony bought another piece of cloverleaf shaped land nearby that had a little house and Tasty Freeze ice cream stand on it. On that property, Tony built the Tonidale Barber and Beauty Shop.
In the 70s, Tony built the Tonidale Self-Serve Station that was visible from the Superhighway and the first kiosk was so small it did not have a bathroom. The employees had to run across the street and use the restroom in one of the other businesses. In 1985 that station was branded Amoco and it was slightly enlarged to include an employee bathroom.
Erma fondly recalls a joyful childhood with a brother, sister and a doting mother and father, who were industrious, loved people and treasured each other. On Saturdays when Erma was in 7th grade, she worked with her dad at Tony’s Market. She weighed produce and put it in a brown paper bag and wrote the price on the bag for customers. She dusted shelves and kept the products facing properly. In the 8th grade, she remembers wearing an apron and working at the Tastee Freeze. The next few years Erma worked Saturdays cleaning rooms at the Tonidale Motel. In the summer after her junior year, she worked in a bank. In 1957 Erma graduated from West Allegheny High School and received the honor as “Most Outstanding Student,” and she was State President of the “Future Business Leaders of America.”
After high school, Erma and her husband owned the Tasty Freeze and began their family. They moved into the little house next to the stand and operated the Tasty Freeze, and raised three sons who came to know all of their customers. After eleven years in the ice cream business, her dad helped Erma and her husband buy the Fort Pitt Motel. They moved into an apartment next to the motel office and worked there from 1969 until her marriage ended in 1987.
Months later, Erma went to the bank and a stranger opened the door for her. Two years earlier, Chuck Dodd, a contractor, had become a widower. Chuck noticed that Erma did not wear a wedding ring and Cupid hit him hard. Simultaneously, Erma noticed this gentleman. After learning she was single, Chuck sent a note to the Bank Manager and asked him to give it to Erma. The bank manager passed the note and arranged a meeting. From then on the bank manager’s nickname became “Cupid.” When they became a couple, the Bank Manager retrieved an image from a security camera that showed the two of them looking at each other that very first day. To this day, it is one of Erma’s most treasured photos. Erma calls Chuck her “Prince Charming.” After they wed, Erma moved from the motel to Chuck’s farm and home atop a hill with no neighbors in sight. She thought she had died and gone to Heaven. No more getting up in the middle of the night to rent rooms. Together in 1992, they bought four acres next to the motel and Chuck, his brother and sons and Erma’s sons built the Aqua Jet West Car Wash. In 2000, Chuck designed and completely rebuilt the original Tonidale Gas Station from the ground up and was on sight when the first shovel of dirt was turned until completion. Married for twenty-five years their combined family consists of seven sons, one daughter, their spouses, twenty-seven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
In 1977, Erma lost her mother; with tears spilling from her deep blue eyes, she recalls raising a glass of wine with her father to toast her precious mother’s memory. Lurline’s untimely death suddenly ended Tony’s drive to expand his business ventures and he was content to just care for and enjoy his family. Sadly, in 1986, after a lifetime of laughter, friendship, love and accomplishments, Tony died and Erma said, “joined Lurline in Heaven.”
In the late 90’s Amoco was purchased by BP. In 2008, Erma signed a contract to become part of Countywide Petroleum Company’s growing family. For years it was known that the bridge on the original Steubenville Pike had to be reconstructed. Finally in 2010, the bridge closed and traffic was cut off. Customers had a detour of two miles to get to the BP Station from the east and local customers from the west had to drive around road blocks to get their BP gas.
Erma has immense gratitude for the help Milo and Countywide Petroleum Company provided during the long fourteen-months that the bridge was closed and that it will still take years to recover from that loss. During the time of the bridge closure, Countywide re-imaged the Tonidale BP which included new dispensers, fresh paint and repairs to the parking lot; and Countywide also extended Erma other financial considerations. Erma says that her BP Station could not have made it without Countywide Petroleum Company’s kindness, understanding, help and support.
To this day, Erma misses her cherished parents and she often wonders what her life would been like without them. Erma knows she is blessed to have been Tony and Lurline’s daughter.