Gross is committed to Krause Gentle
A month ago, Dan Gross underwent surgery to remove a pituitary gland tumor.
“I was back to work in two weeks,” he said. “My wife yelled at me, but I came back.”
Gross said he learned his work ethic from his parents, who raised him (and his nine older siblings) to set goals and work hard. Those tenets helped Gross rise through the ranks from working behind the counter at a convenience store to becoming vice president of operations for Krause Gentle Corp., parent company of the Kum and Go convenience store chain.
Gross, who was born in Jefferson, started working for a convenience store, Pester Derby, at age 15. After graduating from high school, he approached his supervisor, saying he needed a full-time job. Three days later, Gross had the job and was moving to Webster City, where he served as a store manager.
He then worked for Heartland Pantry chain as a store manager and supervisor for two years until it was purchased in 1994 by Krause-Gentle. Gross’ new employer offered him job as supervisor, which he accepted. He was promoted to vice president in January 2003. When Gross was given his first managerial position in 1986, he knew he wanted to stay with the industry, to grow with it, he said.
“I’ve been in the convenience store industry for 20 years,” he said. “It’s the only thing I know how to do. I’ve always liked the people I’ve worked for, but this is a great company to work for. I’m ticked to death to be working for them.”
In his current job, Gross oversees the overall operations of one of the company’s three divisions, which consists of seven districts, or 100 stores. He says in the coming years, the convenience store industry will become more competitive, technologically savvy, and leaner and more efficient. He looks forward to helping his company achieve these changes, especially because the company has been so supportive of him.
Gross says facing cancer was initially a scary experience, but the support of his family and co-workers helped ease his anxieties.
“I’m still going through radiation treatment,” he said. “[My employers] give me all the time I need. It helps to have the support of your family and your bosses, the company.”