Finding a dynamic woman to headline the GPSolo Present & Powerful Speaker series at this year’s ABA Midyear Meeting evoked a bit of nostalgia for Kellye Moore, co-chair of the Women’s Initiative Network committee.
“The whole point of our Present & Powerful series is to find a woman who has a compelling story to tell,” Moore said. “And Stephanie Stuckey’s story about taking the reins and turning around her family’s business to become profitable again is a very powerful story.”
Moore, a partner at Walker Hulbert Gray & Moore in Perry, Georgia, said she has fond memories of piling into the car for family vacations as a kid and stopping at Stuckey’s roadside convenience stores to fill the tank and buy snacks.
“There weren’t 10,000 places to stop back then,” Moore said, recalling a time before the internet and smart phones made technological distractions part of everyday life. “I remember the American road trip and stopping at Stuckey’s stores where you could get some snacks in a family friendly atmosphere. I think a lot of people – especially after the pandemic – are ready for a more relaxed pace.”
Stephanie Stuckey is the granddaughter of W.S. Stuckey, who founded the brand in 1937 in Eastman, Georgia, and oversaw the growth of the Stuckey’s chain to over 350 stores in 40 states by the 1970s. The business was sold and was in decline for decades under outside ownership before Stuckey, a lawyer and former Georgia state representative, bought the chain with her business partners and was named CEO in 2019. Today, Stuckey’s owns and operates a manufacturing facility in Wrens, Georgia, that makes the iconic pecan log rolls and other snacks that Stuckey’s made famous.
The theme of Stuckey’s speech is resiliency, Moore said. “We all have times in our lives when we experience setbacks, and the whole idea of keeping your head down and working hard to get through challenges is very relevant now. I’m excited to hear what she has to say about it.”
The Present and Powerful Speaker Series is now in its eighth year. “When we started this, the goal was to create a legacy event that features a successful woman in a leadership role,” Moore said. “We’ve really tried to step outside the legal community to find speakers when we can, since we hear about successful women lawyers a lot through the ABA, so we’ve tried to expand our pool of speakers to include other professions as well.”
“Surprise” treats will be offered at this year’s event, which takes place at 4-5:30 p.m. Feb. 2 in Ballroom 6 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. “Attendees will get a taste of sweet nostalgia.”