National Vice President of Sales & Operations, Murphy USA
Renee Bacon describes herself as a committed student and lifelong learner. She’s got the skins on the wall to verify her claim. Bacon graduated early from high school and the University of Texas. After starting her career marketing ExxonMobil’s fuel products, she completed the executive MBA program at the University of Houston. She moved on to Taco Bell, where she was a region and market manager, in east-central Tennessee. There, while balancing her family responsibilities, she earned a juris doctorate from the University of Tennessee, beginning law school when her youngest child went to kindergarten. Before going to law school, she launched a franchise of Marble Slab ice cream stores and opened four locations in five years. She joined a law firm before moving on to Dollar General, where she was division vice president for store operations. Today, she is national vice president of sales and operations at El Dorado-based Murphy Oil USA.
Hometown: I have lived in 14 different places, so I don’t really identify with one hometown. Since 2016, I have split my time between El Dorado and Nashville.
First job: Bagger at a grocery store
Favorite food: My mom’s spaghetti and meat sauce
What was your first big break? I wouldn’t say I had a big break. Instead, I believe I’ve had a series of fortunate events. My parents taught me the value of education and hard work. Teachers, friends, colleagues and mentors have helped my growth and development. I’ve also worked with bosses who believed and invested in me and provided me challenging, rewarding career opportunities.
What accomplishment are you most proud of? Outside of my children, I am extremely proud of the people I’ve had the privilege to mentor. Second, I consider my law degree a big win. I was called a “non-traditional” student when I entered law school because I was older, running my own business and raising two children.
What do you love most about what you do? I love all the moving parts and pieces of running a business, especially the complexities that come from leading teams. I am energized by bringing together people of different backgrounds or experiences and collaborating with them to get to the root cause of challenges. When the group helps bring solutions to those issues and then sees the impact of their decisions on people and processes within the business, it’s almost magical.
What quality do you most admire in other women? One of my favorite quotes is “Well behaved women rarely make history.” I most admire women who emulate this phrase–authentic, tenacious, and courageous women who are willing to take a stand for their beliefs and passions, such as Rosa Parks, Miep Gies and Malala Yousafzai.
Person, past or present, you admire most? I greatly admire my mother. She never planned on going to college but graduated with a degree in social work in three years. She then earned master’s degrees in reading and administration, retiring as an elementary school principal.
Personal motto: “Show up, work hard, be kind.”
Hobbies: My career requires travel and being on my feet constantly, and my back feels it. Someone recommended Pilates to help with my aches and pains, and I fell in love with it.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? I would love to live “down the street” from my children, who are currently at college. In my dreams, I’d love for us to be close enough to have a standing weekly dinner.