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Fuel, financial background serves Duhrkop at Speedway

Shari Duhrkop has made a career of managing money and gas stations.

The combination will serve her well in her latest job at Ellsworth's Speedway convenience station and store. Duhrkop succeeded Kathymae Fletcher as manager of the business in the village's midway district last month.

"What doesn't a manager do?" she said Thursday should be the question when asked about her new duties. They include everything from scheduling employee shifts to ordering products, she added.

The Minneapolis native said she came here from the SuperAmerica in Newport, Minn., where she'd been manager since last July (SA and Speedway are under the same ownership, with headquarters in Eden, Ohio). Her new location is smaller than her previous one, and customer traffic has been slower. Two major snowstorms dominating her early days at her new site are likely a factor in that pace, she agreed.

"My DM (district manager) told me 'You're moving to Ellsworth'," she said of getting the news around three weeks earlier.

Comparing sales of merchandise at the two stores, she wasn't surprised to find beer and cigarettes are the top sellers at the Wisconsin version. Both operate 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, but while the local one employs approximately 10 people, the Minnesota outlet has more employees.

After high school in South St. Paul, Minn., Duhrkop got an accounting degree from Hennepin (Minn.) Technical College in 2001, she said. She'd long thought of going into accounting; her late father, Richard, was an accountant. (Her mom, Sharon, spends winters in Arizona and summers in Beaver Dam.)

She's worked for over 10 years in gas station management, she said. Among the stations where she's been employed are Kwik Trip as a shift leader for three years, Tom Thumb as manager for a year and a privately owned operation for over nine years.

She's been in accounting for three-to-four years, still doing monthly financials for a private firm, she said.

"I get my accounting work by word-of-mouth," she said.

Duhrkop and her husband, Richard, live in New Richmond. They have a son, Rich, age 22. In her free time, she enjoys taking walks and going for drives.