Circle The Wagons Group Purchasing Organization is committed to saving independent grocery retailers time and money.

We founded Circle the Wagons Group Purchasing Organization (CTW) in 2018, understanding that grocery retailers are under more pressure than ever.  We wanted to protect the profitability and viability of independent retailers by delivering lower costs and expenses for Not For Resale services and commodities. We don’t believe in expensive membership fees where you have to consider the benefit of our vendors versus your ROI. Instead, we get you the best deals through the combined purchasing power of the members of CTW. Our expert team has decades of experience in the grocery industry, specifically with cost reduction, purchase evaluation, and loss prevention areas. CTW is here for you. 

Barton Howard,
Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Randall “Barton” Howard is an entrepreneur, retail expert, and former head of loss prevention. Barton was deputized at 19 years old by the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office and served as a law enforcement Investigator in Mississippi until 2010. Howard was recruited to work as a Security Manager at Rouses Market, the 7th largest independent grocer in the United States where he rose through the ranks serving as Vice President of Asset and Profit Protection until July of 2021.

In early 2021, Barton partnered with Rocky Patel Premium Cigars to create Tubeaux by Rocky Patel, thus bringing his invention to the global, retail marketplace in partnership with one of the largest manufacturers of premium cigars in the world. Tubeaux is a global patent pending tech-enabled turnkey humidor service. Recognizing underserved needs for independent grocers, Barton Co-Founded Circle the Wagons (CTW) Group Purchasing Organization in 2018 to serve independent grocery retailers across the US and Canada. Barton is a serial entrepreneur, works closely with Callais Capital which have backed two of his ventures and is associated with several other well-known brands such as Gatr Coolers, Beast Brands, Mallard Bay, and Brewsy Products. He continues to serve on the Advisory Board of Emergency and Security Studies at Tulane University.

Brian Shillinglaw,
Chief Operating Officer

Brian Shillinglaw has over 23 years in the grocery and big box retail space. He’s led organizations, teams and billons in annual revenue. He experienced has landed him in roles within operations, merchandising and talent management in fortune 25 companies. He also owns a restaurant group and is a entrepreneur at his core.

Heather Russell,
Director of Administration & Finance

Heather graduated form Nicholls University with her bachelor’s in accounting. She has 10 years experience in industry accounting where majority of her focus was in oil and gas and grocery industries.

She has held many different roles in not only accounting and finance but also human resources and business development, where she received state wide commission to be a notary in the state of Louisiana.

Amy Francois,
Business Development Specialist

Amy has over 20 years of management and marketing experience. She has worked in various environments providing exceptional leadership and attention to detail. Amy is known for being extremely personable and is looking forward to providing excellent care to our clients as our business development specialist. She also teaches group fitness classes as well as leads coaching workshops within her community.

Adele Labat,
Strategic Development and Marketing Director

Adele, a distinguished graduate of LSU with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication specializing in Public Relations and Entrepreneurship, brings a wealth of experience in client communications, brand marketing, and media relations strategy. Her commitment to collaboration with leadership and diverse teams is evident, reflecting her passion for making a meaningful impact through non-profit initiatives. Leveraging her comprehensive understanding of market trends, consumer behavior, and emerging technologies, Adele consistently propels organizations to new heights through innovative marketing strategies.

Arianna Griffin,
Executive Assistant

Arianna has three years of experience in assisting with daily operations in various environments. She has interned as a social media marketing manager and anticipates using her combined experiences to provide excellent assistance to our clients. Arianna’s role at Circle the Wagons includes calendar planning, activity logs and maintaining an open channel of communication throughout the organization.

Chase Russell,
Director, Supply Chain Services

Chase Russell is a dynamic professional with a multifaceted career spanning the healthcare and logistics industries. With over a decade of experience in the medical field, where he has held various roles, Chase has honed his skills in leadership, organization, and strategic planning. During his tenure in healthcare, he demonstrated a steadfast commitment to delivering exceptional patient care and optimizing operational efficiency. 

In a bold career move, Chase transitioned to the world of supply chain management where he now serves as Director of Supply Chain Services at CTW. In his current role, Chases leverages his extensive leadership  experience and operational expertise to drive excellence in warehousing and fulfillment services. Under his guidance, CTW has established itself as a leader in the industry, delivering high quality services with unparalleled attention to detail, flexibility and accessibility.

Chase is a driving force behind CTW’s mission to redefine the standards of warehousing and fulfillment services. His strategic vision, coupled with his unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction, makes him a valuable asset to both CTW and the industries it serves.

Janet Barrios,
Accounting Specialist

Janet Barrios is an accomplished accounting specialist with a background in administrative roles in the technology industry. She previously served as an Administrative Specialist at a leading technology company in Louisiana for nearly two years. 

Janet brings extensive experience in accounting and sales management, business development, and overall business operations knowledge to her current role. She performs financial auditing and analysis, ensuring accuracy and compliance with regulations, while also assisting with accounts receivable tasks, balance sheet reconciliations, journal entries, and regulatory reporting requirements. 

Janet actively supports the month-end close process and collaborates with cross functional teams, gathering financial data and providing valuable insights to inform strategic decision making. Her dedication and expertise significantly contribute to the success and efficiency of her team at Circle the Wagons.