Features

Amy Guzzy – Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores 

Showering the company with legal Love 

Imagine you’re an over-the-road long-haul truck driver finishing up a 1,000-mile stretch deep in the heart of the Midwest. You’re hungry, tired and feeling a little unclean, so you’re scouring the landscape for a place to solve all three of those things. What’s that on the top of a hill? It’s a Love’s Travel Stop, where weary travelers can find solace and take a break from the road.  

Amy Guzzy | General Counsel & Director, Legal Services | Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores 

Amy Guzzy | General Counsel & Director, Legal Services | Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores

But Love’s is more than just a convenient location to fill up a tank with fuel and a belly with food. It is a 60-year-old family-owned business with over 600 locations in 42 states. And behind the scenes, Amy Guzzy does a lot to make everything across the company run smoothly.  

Guzzy was hired as Love’s first in-house counsel when the company had about 150 locations and was heavily outsourcing legal services. With expertise in real estate acquisition and development, she initially focused on those areas but gradually expanded her role to cover a wide range of legal matters.  

“Since I started in 2005, Love’s legal department has grown to include 30 people, including 12 attorneys and four paralegals. There are 10 people in licensing, and the rest work in legal operations, administration, and contracts and records,” Guzzy says.  

Guzzy oversees all legal matters for the Oklahoma City-headquartered company, founded in 1964 by Tom Love. She also takes charge of other important areas such as corporate governance, the enterprise due diligence program, information governance, records management, enterprise contract management and is working to enhance the government affairs function. 

That means Guzzy has been and continues to be involved in key initiatives and notable projects at Love’s, which, in addition to the travel stops everyone knows, also has businesses Gemini Motor Transport, Musket Corporation, Trillium Energy Solutions, Speedco and others working in related sectors, including for example, financial services, fuel transportation and distribution, alternative fuels, and commercial truck care.  

Feeling the Love 

In early February, Love’s opened its 641st location and first of 2024 in Cortez, Colorado. According to Guzzy, the company has been growing by 20-25 stores per year, and her legal team is involved from the beginning of the process for each location by providing real estate legal support and other legal functions facilitating retail and wholesale operations.  

Within the company, which has about 40,000 employees, there are over 50 departments that work in different areas of the business.  

Amy Guzzy | General Counsel & Director, Legal Services | Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores 

“Everything we do supports the core business, the travel stops,” Guzzy explains.  

With a company as large as Love’s, some might expect it to be hard to maintain a family environment. But that is precisely what Guzzy says her team and others in leadership across the company work to provide.  

The company’s founder, Tom Love, died in March 2023 at age 85, but his children and other family members remain very involved with the business. Tom and Judy Love’s sons, Frank and Greg, are co-CEOs, and their sister, Jenny Love Meyer, is the company’s chief culture officer. The next generation of family leaders is making their mark, too, Guzzy says—Greg Love has three children who work for the family business.  

“Everyone appreciates how deeply the family is engaged in the business, and they are serious about keeping it family-owned,” Guzzy notes. 

One of Love’s main strategic priorities is around culture. There are programs for sending applause to colleagues, points given for achievements that can be spent at the company’s award store and other ways to recognize small and large victories.  

A hearty legal operation 

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the company adapted to employee preferences regarding working at the company’s central Oklahoma City headquarters. Some continued to work full-time in the office, while others chose to take advantage of a more flexible 3-2 hybrid schedule, meaning working three days in the office and two days from home.  

Amy Guzzy | General Counsel & Director, Legal Services | Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores 

Within the legal department, Guzzy has worked hard to keep the group engaged by ensuring there are paths to career advancement and ways for attorneys to work on matters outside their general scope of expertise. For example, an attorney hired initially to handle contracts and litigation now works primarily on labor and employment law.  

“This approach allows our team to grow and lets us be proactive in handling a diverse plate of legal work,” Guzzy says. “It is a fun workplace because we never know what we will do daily.” 

Guzzy believes her team’s ability to grow in their career and change or expand their professional focus has led to more people remaining longer with the company. In-house lawyers are often looking for their next job, but Love’s legal team places importance on tenure.  

Aside from Guzzy, who will celebrate her 20th year with the organization in early 2025, the department has a lot of longevity. There is a lawyer with nearly 18 years of service and another on the team for 15 years.  

“It makes for a stable work environment, and there is no competition amongst us because everyone has room to grow,” Guzzy says.  

Loving the law 

After earning a business degree from Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth, she started managing GAP stores in the area and was promoted several times. At 23 years of age, Guzzy was offered her own store in Amarillo, Texas—she realized she was at a career crossroads.  

“Did I want to work in retail for my career and be a district manager overseeing stores throughout a region? I decided that wasn’t want I wanted to do,” Guzzy recalls.  

Amy Guzzy | General Counsel & Director, Legal Services | Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores 

Guzzy moved back to her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, to regain her state residency and enrolled at the University of Oklahoma College of Law the next fall, where she earned a J.D. While there, she very quickly knew she did not want to be a litigator—instead, she fell in love with commercial real estate and making an impact in the business world in that field. Being a transactional attorney and being put in challenging and sometimes uncomfortable situations made her comfortable, and her retail experience and the varied types of law she has practiced have made a big difference in her legal career.  

After spending nearly a decade in private practice, Guzzy joined Love’s in January 2005 to handle primarily real estate matters, but the company quickly realized she was proficient in many kinds of law that could facilitate different areas of the business.  

“I started as a team of one, but in the past 19 years, we’ve blossomed into a fully functional, sophisticated legal department,” she says. “My job is much different and bigger than when I started.” 

As a female general counsel, Guzzy says it is very important to help provide opportunities for other women in the company. The two highest-ranking attorneys on her team are women—not necessarily intentionally—and there is a lot of opportunity to grow and learn throughout the company.  

Finding a mentor is something Guzzy encourages female employees to do. At Love’s, a women’s employee resource group is where members can be open and work together to provide support, inspiration and empowerment for female employees.  

“I’ll always do everything I can to help younger attorneys, especially women, see there is a path for growth and success here at Love’s,” Guzzy says.  

View this feature in the Vanguard Spring I 2024 Edition here.

Published on: March 13, 2024

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