Greetings from Louisville and the 2010 Soldiers Family Action Plan Symposium:
I decided to head down to Louisville, Ky., this week to delve into the world of Army MWR and get a glimpse at its "State of Affairs." First, I learned they have a superior leadership team starting with LTG Rick Lynch, IMCOM Commanding General. LTG Lynch kicked off the Symposium with a spirited view of family readiness from the perspective of a combat commander. His passion and transparency about the issues facing the Army MWR programs can not help but to motivate and produce results. One issue he wanted to quickly defuse is the funding profile of the Army MWR programs. He stated clearly that the Army Family Covenant and its agreed upon levels of support is fully funded at a "green" level of performance. That is not to say there is not some opportunity for fiscal improvement. LTG Lynch has a team of professionals traveling around to various installations showing them where they can "save." Kind of like the IG, "Hi, we are here to help!" I used to always view the IG as that group of masked individuals that would ride down from the hills after a battle and stick pitch forks in the wounded. I am sure that has changed. LTG Lynch was clear about the importance of family wellness to family readiness and ultimately troop performance. Of equal energy was MG Jones, the Commanding General of FMWRC and I could not not mention the rock solid executive behind it all in Rich Gorman in the role of COO.
What did I learn? This business model is about as complicated as they get. Every area has their own target audience and desired interface with industry. There is no one single event that could ever meet the education and product exposure needs of this diverse group of service providers. I also learned that there is a huge opportunity for collaboration between the commissary, exchange and MWR activities because they all focus on the same customers and they all desire the same outcome. The Army has a Force Generation Model (ARFORGEN) that tracks the life cycle of a unit through deployment to return to dwell to retraining to ready to deploy and then finally back to a deployed state and to their credit they attempt to capture the family programs that need to be highlighted at each stage of the model. No where is there a mention of the commissary or exchange in support of these important family programs. If there is a role for the ALA to play in the MWR arena it may be to facilitate this modeling in an environment that could drive win-win-win solutions for an installation and the military families.
Patrick B. Nixon
ORC will be issuing the three year FiXs credentials at the AFCEA West show on February 2 and 3 in the San Diego convention center Room 13. If you or your colleague needs a FiXs credential and your company is already a FiXs member, please have them contact email@example.com as soon as possible so that we can get their information processed in time.
Dear Prospective Member,
This year the ALA is offering a unique partnership opportunity to attract new members and demonstrate the benefits of the association. We are allowing non-member companies to attend one of our key business meetings held between now and the end of June with the payment of the registration fee and an additional premium(1) that will be applied to the 2010/2011 membership dues if the company applies for membership prior to July 1, 2010(2). The meetings include:
2010 Exchange Roundtable, March 15-17, in Norfolk, Va. This segment of the military market represents nearly $14 billion in sales from a mass merchandise type format to gas stations and Convenience stores. Meeting includes key updates and topic specific breakout sessions providing insight into this $14 billion business channel.
2010 DeCA/ALA Worldwide Partnership Summit and Training Event, June 7-11, Atlanta, Ga. This meeting will be attended by all DeCA store directors world wide along with all key decision makers in the agency. Business base is over $6 billion in a supermarket like assortment with the opportunity for world wide distribution and sales. Includes an opportunity to learn how to do business with the government and develop your business approach.
2010 ALA Congressional Caucus, June 15 in Washington, D.C. The ALA is the recognized advocate in the nation's capitol when addressing issues impacting the military resale channel. This Capitol Hill symposium is attended by all of the senior members of military resale and focuses on the key issues facing the military business channel. Topic specific presentations are made by subject matter experts along with timely presentations from key members of Congress and the Administration. This day long event includes a "power" reception in the evening with members of congress and their staffs.
This presents a great opportunity to learn about this great business opportunity, experience the partnership opportunities membership in the association provides and see the impact the association has on Capitol Hill. The ALA has been supporting world class quality of life for our troops and their families through strong resale benefits for over 90 years. The staff of the association consists of senior executives with demonstrated records of performance. This is your opportunity to join us. For additional information about the specific agendas and registration for these meetings or any other information you need about the association, please visit our Web site at ALA-National.org. I look forward to seeing you at one of our events.
Patrick B. Nixon
Norfolk Waterside Marriott
Online Registration is now open!
Register by Jan. 31 to receive the Early Bird Rate, and don't forget to make your hotel reservations! The headquarters hotel is the Norfolk Waterside Marriott. You will find detailed hotel information, as well as a link to the hotel Web site (to make your reservations online) on our Web site.
A preliminary agenda is also posted to our Web site.
Military budget impact unclear for Guam
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Japanese PM vows to rethink U.S. base deal
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Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama pledged to "start from scratch" in re-examining a key military deal with Washington on relocating U.S. troops. More
Analysts: Defense budget likely to receive increased scrutiny
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Pentagon budget seeks to kill seven arms programs
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Supermarkets take stock of their 2010 risks
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Supermarket chains, ground down by a year of price wars aimed at keeping hard-pressed customers, are starting 2010 wondering how much longer they can go without further harming their share prices. More
New recyclable poultry packaging packs a powerful climate punch
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Global Green USA, Mountaire Farms, and Interstate Container announced completion of the conversion of the largest poultry plant in the U.S. to recyclable, wax-alternative boxes, thereby reducing costs and environmental impact, and assisting its customers in cost-effectively meeting their environmental goals. More
The lost art of the loss leader
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2,880,000 pounds of beef and sausage recalled since November 2009
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Daniele International, Inc., food companies have recalled at least 2,880,000 pounds of meat products since November 2009 due to contamination by E. coli or Salmonella. More
Marvin's Food Stores adds digital shopper planning to their Web site
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Marvin's Food Stores has announced the addition of Grocery Shopping Network's digital shopper planning platform to the Web site for their 21 stores located in Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma. The new Web site for Marvin's Food Stores will have applications designed to save their shoppers time and money by assisting in pre-shopping planning. More
Safeway gets seafood help from FishWise
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Safeway announced it will join forces with FishWise - a non-profit organization focused on improving the sustainability and financial performance of seafood retailers, distributors, and producers - to develop and implement a more comprehensive sustainable seafood policy. More
New-look grocery: Changes await Ukrop's patrons
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Walking into the Martin's Food Market is not unlike the experience of a Ukrop's grocery store. More
Grocers Supply acquires K Enterprises assets
Grocers Supply Co. Inc., an Indianapolis-based wholesale distributor of grocery products, has purchased the assets of K Enterprises in Danville, Ind., according to a report by The Indianapolis Business Journal. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. More
Costco honored for sustainability efforts
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SustainableGrocer.com, an organization which manages sustainability practices within the food and grocery retail sector, has named Costco as the 2009 Sustainable Grocer of the Year. More
Why shopping may never be the same again
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A façade of calm may be returning to the consumer landscape as a thrashing recession finally subsides. But behind the cheerful window displays are deeply worried retail executives who fear that shopping may never be the same again. More
Retailers try new survival strategies for 2010
USA Today Share
The recession pushed shoppers to pick necessities over discretionary items, discounts over luxury. But retailers hope to shift such behavioral changes further in coming months, affecting what consumers will buy, pay and experience at stores. More
Five hot concepts from NRF's big show retailers can't ignore
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The retail industry has some game-changing trends emerging right now - mobile, social, omni-shopper, automated upsells and pricing differentiation - to name a few. With online spending outpacing brick and mortar in fourth quarter 2009, it's clear that the in-store experience is not the only place to emphasize customer touch points. More
Kohl's achieves 100 percent green power
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Kohl's Department Stores announced that the company has purchased enough green power to meet 100 percent of its purchased electricity use with an annual green power purchase of nearly 1.4 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh). More
Stores within bigger stores seem to pump up sales
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It seems almost counterproductive. A grocery store with shelves of coffee for sale offers a Peet's Coffee & Tea stand selling fresh-brewed java and coffee beans. A department store with yards of makeup counters installs a ministore selling handmade soap and natural cosmetics. Turns out, the more the merrier. More
Restaurants to rebound amid economic recovery in 2010
The Wall Street Journal Share
The restaurant industry is expected to report slightly higher sales in 2010, benefiting from the gradual economic recovery, according to the National Restaurant Association's forecast. More
Wal-Mart cuts 11,200 jobs
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First Lady: More funding for military families
The Washington Post Share
First lady Michelle Obama delivered a promise of more federal money dedicated to supporting military families - the first tangible results of her many visits to bases and hospitals, as well as conversations with veterans and their loved ones in 2009. More
Silent Warriors - extreme fitness with the Navy SEALs
Well, you know the Navy SEALs have this almost mythical, James Bond-like reputation. They pride themselves on keeping a low profile, but over the last six months, we were given amazing access to active SEALs and their training bases. We wanted to find out what makes these guys tick. A look at their pursuit of extreme fitness, and suffice it to say, SEAL training is not for the faint of heart. More
The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Web site as noon, 28 January 2010:
AAFES continues to install the AAFES Radio network (EXRN) music and announcements in the Army and Air Force DeCA commissaries. There are over 40 operational and another 40 that are a work in progress. Besides the capability of the Commissaries using EXRN for their announcements, AAFES also offered announcements to all of the MWR facilities. This means that announcements for the Exchange, Commissary, and MWR now play in both the Exchange and the Commissary. The Army and Air Force customers are the winners in this communication partnership!
The Army Training Expo was held in Louisville, Ky., this week and ALA provided two excellent speakers, Mr. Brian O'Rouke and Dr. James Sallis who spoke in four sessions. Our thanks go out to the sponsors: Brown-Forman Beverages, Coca Cola, Gino Morena Enterprises, General Nutrition Center, Unilever, and Patriot Retail Services for making ALA participation possible.