Casey’s, a convenience store chain based in Ankeny, Iowa, celebrated National Pizza Day by announcing the hiring of its first-ever “chief pizza & beer officer.” Joe Cruz from Lincoln, Nebraska, was selected out of more than 500 candidates to take on the enviable position. And it’s no small task: With more than 2,600 convenience stores built over 50-plus years, Casey’s is now  the third-largest convenience store retailer and also touts itself as the fifth-largest pizza chain in the United States, although we think Marco’s Pizza would disagree.

According to Casey’s execs, Cruz stood out “thanks to his clear communication skills, leadership experience, pizza stamina—and love for the brand.” In this new position, “Joe will serve as the utmost authority on sampling, researching and pairing Casey’s pizzas with the best beer combinations,” the brand noted. “He will also be responsible for creating compelling social content to inform fans of his research findings and attending public events to spread awareness.”

Understandably, Cruz is celebrating his achievement as the new chief pizza & beer officer for Casey’s. “I love pizza and beer, as cheesy as it sounds,” Cruz told the Des Moines Register. “So I’m really anxious to share some Casey’s pizza and beer content with the world….I’m an entertainer through and through. So this opens a whole new window for me.”

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A man standing on a porch with American flag shorts holds up a beer while leaning against a stack of coolers.

Joe Cruz

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“As The Official Pizza and Beer Headquarters, it was extremely important for Casey’s to add the position of chief pizza & beer officer,” adds Tom Brennan, chief merchandising officer at Casey’s. “Eating pizza and sampling beer is more challenging than it sounds, especially when you have the pizza and beer pairing curiosity and enjoyment of Casey’s Country resting on your shoulders. We’re confident that Joe is the right person for the job, and we’re thrilled to welcome him to the Casey’s family.”

Casey’s consulted with former NFL defensive tackle and well-known content creator Anthony “Spice” Adams to review the pool of candidates according to the job requirements, in order to identify the perfect pizza and beer connoisseur. Applicants were assessed on their passion, communication skills and leadership traits.

“As a proud resident of Casey’s Country and a self-proclaimed pizza and beer aficionado, I’m honored to be the first person to take on this coveted role,” Cruz says. “We all have thoughts about our dream job, and when I saw Casey’s was looking for a chief pizza & beer officer, I knew I had found the best job ever. I’m ready to get to work bringing the most delicious pizza and beer combinations to Casey’s guests.” Casey’s looks forward to releasing content on its social channels, including pairing recommendations and other surprises from its new chief pizza & beer officer, in the months ahead.

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