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Innovation Research Manager - Pittsburgh, PA

Location: Sheetz Corporate - PITTSBURGH, PA


Sheetz, Inc. is a fast-growing, family-owned, food/convenience company that has been in business since 1952. Sheetz has over 600 locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. 


At Sheetz, we continue to reinvent ourselves and bring innovation to our industry. In fact, our Vision is to create the business that will put Sheetz, as we know it today, out of business. The Sheetz Incubator supports this vision by developing market-based opportunities to enhance, or disrupt the needs of the convenience-demanding customer.





The Innovation Manager – Research, will provide a significant impact to the Incubator through driving a customer-centric concept development approach to innovation, where the customer’s voice is at the center of designing and developing new business opportunities for Sheetz. This is a crucial role in the application of Human-Centered Design, which is the driving methodology used by the Incubator.





•Contribute to the execution of the Innovation strategy as established by the business.

•Work collaboratively with a multi-disciplinary team to deliver expected results of the Incubator.

•Leverage technical expertise to contribute to concept development and execution.

•Actively participate in innovation processes on behalf of the Incubator and the company, including leading efforts to integrate technical expertise to the processes where appropriate.

•Work with key stakeholders to establish best practices around innovation processes, dependable concept hand-off and integrated project plans for utilizing expertise, information and functionality.

•Work collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders as appropriate, to execute or integrate innovation concepts and ensure successful implementation and realization.

•Foster a culture of innovation and learning within the incubator and across the organization.

•Foster relationships outside of the company to introduce new avenues towards innovation development.





•Develop and manage strategic research deliverables, focused on visually telling the story and identifying actionable insights on behalf of the Incubator.

•Design and manage early-stage design and product definition activities, including field studies and contextual research, interviews, personas, workshops, focus groups, etc. on behalf of the Incubator.

•Engage in collaborative sessions with other team members to translate research results into personas, prototypes, usage scenarios and workflows.

•Constantly monitor the “research space” to identify new, relevant innovation research techniques, tools, etc.

•Develop relationships in professional research to procure additional support for research functionality within Sheetz or through outside relationships as required.

•Establish research strategies and conduct studies using a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods to be implemented by the Incubator.

•Manage consumer panels, screening and recruiting for research initiatives on behalf of the Incubator.







(Equivalent combinations of education, licenses, certifications and/or experience may be considered)



Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing or related field required.

MBA or graduate degree preferred.





•Experience in innovation, R&D, or product development with project success required.

•Experience with Design thinking methodology or other innovation frameworks required.

•Minimum 5 years’ experience in consumer-oriented or human-centered research required.

•Minimum 3 years’ experience executing intercept-style research or facilitating structured and unstructured discussions with consumers required.

•Survey developing process required.

•Experience managing cross-functional teams and contractors preferred.

•Focus Group Moderator experience desired.




•Qualitative Research Proficiency Certification preferred

•Design Thinking Certification preferred




Sheetz, Inc. is a fast-growing, family-owned, food/convenience company that has been in business since 1952. Sheetz has over 600 locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina.

Our mission at Sheetz has been to meet the needs of customers on the go. Of course, things have changed over those nearly 70 years. Life is faster and busier, and customers expect us to be there when they need us most. One thing that hasn't changed is our commitment to our customers, our employees and the communities in which we operate. Sheetz donates millions of dollars every year to the charities it holds dear.

Sheetz Award

Nearest Major Market: Pittsburgh

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