New DeCA director hits the ground "sprinting":
I recently had the opportunity to spend some quality time with Joe Jeu, SES, DeCA's new director and CEO, and the passion he always has had for the troops and their families, and the grocery business came through loud and clear. In his first day at the office faced with a staff meeting on his schedule two hours after his arrival he told his executive officer that there will be plenty of time for staff meetings, he wants to see the Fort Lee Commissary and off he went.
Jeu said the visit was "worth the trip." The store looked great and the employees were enthusiastic and warm with their welcome. He noted that DeCA has improved the commissary benefit every year and there is more to come. Jeu is no stranger to supporting the troops, and in his previous life at GSA he visited and controlled many of the procurements in lands you read about in the news but find extremely hard to spell.
Jeu also was quick to point out the fact that he liked stretch goals for his executives and his first hero is Chris Burns, DeCA director of sales. In the middle of his desk, Jeu has a copy of the E&C News with Burns on the cover where he lays out the projection for a $6 billion sales year in 2011. In fact Jeu calls Burns in every day to see how DeCA is doing. You see, sales are important to Joe Jeu!
National Military Families Association sets 2011 agenda:
2011 issues and actions
Our association is committed to responding to the ever changing needs of military families. This year, we will champion three major issue areas in 2011: family readiness, family health and family transitions. Find out how we plan to secure a firm foundation for these families.
Budget issues mount:
Republicans coming to grips with debt ceiling
Read the Full Story
Government Executive, Billy House
GOP House members are signaling they will go along with raising the limit, but will use the move as leverage for spending cuts.
GOP moves to cut spending to 2008 levels
Read the Full Story
Government Executive, Humberto Sanchez
Proposed measure would give Budget Committee chair unprecedented power to set spending levels.
Congressional oversight fine tuned:
New armed services chair plans reorganization
Read the Full Story
Defense News, Kate Brannen
An upcoming reorganization of the subcommittees of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee will shift oversight of certain weapons programs, including Navy and Marine Corps tactical jets, according to committee staff.
Local military stores win reprieve
Read the Full Story
The Times Record, Seth Koenig
Brunswick Naval Air Station officials recently announced that they'll stop the process of closing the Mid-coast commissary and Navy Exchange, low-cost shopping options for local military personnel, veterans and their families.
Patrick B. Nixon
DoD begins planning for new performance appraisal system
Federal Times Share
The Defense Department will start work in February to create a new, departmentwide performance-appraisal system. Pentagon officials plan to hold discussions Feb. 23 with various stakeholders, including unions, on how best to evaluate employee performance, award bonuses and raises and attract and retain people for hard-to-fill jobs. More
Big retailers fill more aisles with groceries
The New York Times Share
For dinner tonight, pick up some sushi and salad at Walgreens. Or maybe some Target chicken. Reflecting a major shift in the way Americans shop for food, retailers better known for selling clothes or aspirin, including Walgreens, CVS/Pharmacy and Target, are expanding in a big way into the grocery business, with fresh produce, frozen meats and, yes, even sushi. More
Product image data bank launched
Supermarket News Share
A co-founder of the Peapod Internet grocery has launched a new venture providing retailers with free high-quality product images and information for use in e-commerce applications, circulars and planograms. The new company, ItemMaster, last month began providing images and product data for all new items to the Peapod.com website and for Ahold's U.S. retail banners. More
Time to rethink your message: Now the cart belongs to daddy
Ad Age Share
Mom is losing ground to dad in the grocery aisle, with more than half of men now supposedly believing they control the shopping cart. The implications for many marketers may be as disruptive as many of the changes they're facing in media. Through decades of media fragmentation, marketers of packaged goods and many other brands could take solace in one thing at least they could count on their core consumers being moms and reach them through often narrowly targeted cable TV, print and digital media. But a study by Yahoo based on interviews last year of 2,400 U.S. men ages 18 to 64 finds more than half now identify themselves as the primary grocery shoppers in their households. More
Consumers hit with higher food prices
The Tennessean Share
Consumers will have to dust off creative cost-containing measures this year as food prices escalate after two years of very low inflation. The cost of food is expected to go up 2 percent to 3 percent, according to government economists. Some items, such as meats and dairy products, could see much steeper percentage increases probably in double digits compared with late 2009. More
Why supermarket stocks are getting squeezed
The Washington Post Share
Orange juice isn't the only thing at your supermarket that's been squeezed. Rising food prices mean grocery store chains must absorb extra costs on items like meat, seafood and produce, or they try to pass them along to customers. But many of those consumers are unemployed or have less money to spend, even on essentials. For now, the big chains mostly are choosing to absorb. As a result, profits are falling, and so are their stocks, making them one of the few dim lights in the market in 2011. More
Progressive Grocer Share
After years of eroding market share and crouching in the shadows of its formidable, fast-growing Southeast U.S. market rivals, Winn-Dixie's best days appear to be long behind it. Peter Lynch, however, begs to differ, believing firmly that the best is yet to come for the regional retailer. To be sure, Lynch, chairman, CEO and president of the Jacksonville, Fla.-based supermarket chain, is bent on putting the pieces in place to win back customers lost to rivals in the past two decades, with a dedicated, all-hands-on-deck drive to restore consistency to store operations, transform the retailer's aging store base and focus on customers' needs on a market-by-market basis. More
Giving up gluten
Supermarket News Share
Lisa Garza's love affair with PCC Natural Markets is one that even Puget Sound can't suppress. Working in doctors' appointments and other errands to help justify the $26 ferry fare, she travels from her home on Bainbridge Island twice monthly to the nearest store in Seattle. Sure, Garza could fulfill her grocery list closer to home, but other retailers don't understand her needs like PCC. Garza is a celiac consumer. More
Dole offers on-board banana ripening
The Packer Share
After years of searching, Dole Food has adopted a technology that ripens bananas on shipping containers allowing clients to distribute the fruit without putting it in ripening rooms, the company said. New Hampton, N.Y.-based Balchem Corp. developed the device a briefcase-like metal box containing ethylene release canisters. Balchem makes the units and together with Dole offers them to the grower-shipper's customers. More
Grocery co-ops report rise in sales even in tight times
News & Observer Share
Cooperative grocery stores, once viewed as new age alternatives, are gaining ground in an age of recalls, food safety scares and eating local. Despite the depressed economy, Triangle co-ops reported strong sales in 2010 a sign that some shoppers are shifting spending even though money is tight. That feat is even more impressive when you consider the grocery business is particularly competitive, with profit margins for the big chains often running about 1 percent. Unlike a traditional grocery store, co-ops are partially owned by the people who shop there and emphasize local products. More
Oversupply, increasing costs put strain on grocery stores
The News Journal Share
Amid increasing competition and operational costs, Bear, Del., lost its Safeway recently, and market forces threaten to do further damage to the region's grocery stores. The closure of the store, which opened 15 years ago and was smaller than its younger competitors in the area, comes amid considerable tumult in the grocery industry. Higher food commodity prices, higher energy and labor costs and a saturation of supermarkets in some areas is taking its toll on the stores, which are used to operating on small profit margins, industry officials say. More
The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Web site since 10 a.m. Jan. 13 and as of 10 a.m. Jan. 20:
NOTICES TO TRADE
MARK YOUR CALENDAR:
The annual ALA/DeCA Appreciation Day Golf Event has been scheduled for Ft. Lee, Va., golf course for May 10. Watch for more information.
Starbucks enters mobile pay arena
Retail Technology Share
Starbucks Corp. has been on a headline making roll this year. First came news that the locally headquartered coffee retailer has redesigned its logo then came the introduction of its 31-ounce drink, the Trenta. Now, Starbucks has rolled out a mobile payment option at all its U.S. locations. More
In South Los Angeles, new fast-food spots get a 'no, thanks'
The New York Times Share
Driving along Crenshaw Boulevard, it is not difficult to find a place to grab a bite. At some intersections, there is a fast-food joint on each corner. If the restaurant chains had their way in some parts of town, city officials say, no street would be without its own fast-food outlet. Los Angeles is making one of the nation's most radical food policies permanent by effectively banning new fast-food restaurants in South Los Angeles, a huge section of the city that has significantly higher rates of poverty and obesity than other neighborhoods. More
US restaurants to benefit as grocery prices rise
Rising grocery prices are driving more U.S. diners back to restaurants, which saw traffic fall when the recession sent supermarket food prices down sharply, NPD Group Inc., a market research firm, said recently. "Right now, supermarket prices are rising faster than restaurant prices," said Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst at NPD and author of "Eating Patterns in America. "The advantage is to the restaurant," said Balzer, who expects restaurant menu price increases to lag price hikes in the grocery aisle for all of this year. More
Barclays sees gas prices remaining around $4 this year
Bloomberg Businessweek Share
U.S. natural gas prices may remain at about $4 per million British thermal units in 2011, according to Barclays Capital. While gas may slide to as low as $2 per million Btu in the short term, "concerted demand and supply reactions would restore prices" to near $4, Barclays said in a research note recently. Power plants may substitute coal with gas as the fuel turns cheaper, arresting the slide. More
2011 Exchange Roundtable
March 28 to 30 (66 days from now!)
Online registration is now open! Click here to register now! Register by Jan. 24 to receive the early-bird rate!
We have an exciting agenda planned that you will not want to miss! One of our guest speakers will be Denise Austin! Denise is a pioneer in the exercise and sports industry. A 5-foot-4-inch dynamo, she has sold more than 20 million exercise videos and DVDs, authored more than 10 books on fitness and starred in the longest running fitness show in the history of television. Denise's trademark zest for life, positive outlook and can-do attitude have endeared her to millions of fans across the country — and around the world — and earned her the reputation as "America's favorite fitness expert." A multimedia talent, Denise is a top-selling author and a highly sought-after speaker and TV personality. Her upbeat energy and unique ability to make people feel that she's right there with them, cheering them on, have inspired the millions who watch her on television, read her books, or follow her videos and DVDs.
Industry hotel reservations
The Omni Mandalay, 221 East Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, Texas, 75039, is the headquarters hotel for this meeting. The Omni Mandalay is offering a discounted group rate of $149, plus tax. To receive the discounted group rate, contact the hotel at 800-843-6664 and identify yourself with the American Logistics Association 2011 Exchange Roundtable. Reserve your room by March 5 to secure a reservation at the discounted group rate. Hotel rooms are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis, and attendees are encouraged to make reservations as soon as possible for best availability.
Government/Military hotel reservations
The headquarters hotel for this meeting is the Omni Mandalay Hotel, 221 E. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, Texas, 75039. The prevailing government per diem rate is $107, plus taxes. Instructions on reserving a government/military hotel room will be provided when your registration is received by ALA. GPD rooms are available only to those persons who work in a government agency involved in the military resale system, and you will be asked to present proper ID upon checking in. All GPD reservations must be completed by March 5.
Cancellation requests must be submitted in writing. Cancellations received by Feb. 28 will receive a 100 percent refund. Cancellations received after Feb. 28 but before March 14 will be subject to a $150 processing fee. No refunds will be issued for cancellations received after March 14 or for "no-shows." Cancelled registrations may be transferred to individuals within the same company, upon written request. Cancelled registrations may not be transferred to another ALA meeting. Any cancellations because of a family or medical emergency must be submitted in writing by March 18 to receive a refund. Cancellation refunds will be processed post-meeting by original method of payment. More
USO volunteers greet troops without fail: Veterans, others at airport to welcome service members
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Share
When Mark Steele and other Vietnam veterans came home from their combat tours, it was "one at a time and nobody noticed" at airports, "and we didn't expect anyone to."
But now Steele and other Vietnam vets, and volunteers of all stripes, from military to religious organizations, do notice, greeting and shaking hands with every camouflage-wearing troop they can corral.
Volunteers are assigned regular shifts at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to greet troops who are returning home from or heading back to Afghanistan and Iraq.
You see the volunteers standing at the top of the escalators, in the area where all returning travelers must pass, standing behind a podium. All are unpaid USO volunteers.
The instant they spot a serviceperson, they start clapping like cheerleaders, and then others waiting for loved ones quickly catch on. Sometimes the applause becomes thunderous.
And it often is baffling to the troops.
"The men and women in uniform will often look over their shoulders to see who we are clapping for," says Steele, 63, of Atlanta. "Some see we're clapping for them, and tears roll down their faces. They are touched. And so are we."
Steele is part of a 61-person contingent from the Atlanta Vietnam Veterans Business Association, which sends a half-dozen volunteers to the airport every other Friday for daylong shifts. Not only do they greet troops and answer questions, but they also cook and serve hot dogs, soft drinks and other goodies in the USO's spacious upstairs lounge.
New guys rotate in just like they did in Vietnam.
"As Vietnam vets, we realize the importance of telling our troops how much we appreciate them," says Max Torrence, 64, of Duluth. "We feel honored to do it."
Mary Lou Austin, president and CEO of USO Georgia Inc., who started with the organization 42 years ago, says there is no shortage of people who want to volunteer, night or day. She says no one should just show up, but should visit usogeorgia.org, pull down the needs list and be prepared to wait.
Volunteers include World War II and Korean War vets, Lockheed-Martin employees, folks from Mount Bethel United Methodist Church in east Cobb County and Temple Sinai in Sandy Springs, and groups from Coca-Cola, the American Legion and the VFW, among others.
Austin, who lives in Sandy Springs, works tirelessly, including most holidays, "and is always here," Torrence says.
But she wants no kudos.
"I'm just the vehicle," Austin says. "I get to direct the orchestra composed of all these wonderful volunteers." She says "the greeting job requires training and orientation" and everyone is thoroughly checked out.
"Our USO volunteers have met every one [trooper] since 2004, no matter what time of day or night," she says. "It developed as an adventure and turned into a mission. Where else can you thank people, and have people thank you?" Korean War vet Urban Rump, 79, says GIs from his era feel honored to take part.
"We get down to the airport at 7 in the morning," he says. "We meet them and greet them and shake their hands and answer any questions they may have. We watch their luggage, get them lunch, do whatever they need done. We feel very fortunate. Guys break doctor's appointments to have a chance to volunteer."
Austin says her volunteers recently greeted the 1 millionth serviceperson.
Torrence, a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, is in charge of the AVVBA's volunteers. On one recent day, the USO lounge was packed with troops returning to Afghanistan or Iraq. Pfc. Derek White, 20, of Massachusetts, a machine-gunner in Afghanistan, said he was grateful for the greeters. Staff Sgt. Michelle Pettway, 29, said "it feels good to be appreciated." And 2nd Lt. Courtney Marulli of Charlevoix, Mich., marched straight up to Steele to shake his hand. "This is really appreciated," she told him. "It makes going back a lot easier."
Help for Haiti celebrity golf event in Dallas
Please join us for the American airlines/American Eagle hosting of HELP for HAITI, a celebrity golf tournament in support of Medical Wings International (www.medicalwings.org) on March 12. Funds are being raised to expand a medical clinic in Lamardelle, Haiti. Would you be interested in helping to support this initiative with a sponsorship and/or the donation of goods and services that can be auctioned off or included in the golf "goody" bag?
There will be a dinner and entertainment event on Friday, March 11, at the Hilton Southlake Hotel in Southlake, Texas. The golf event is Saturday morning, March 12, at the Sky Creek Ranch Golf Club in Keller, Texas.
We have a number of celebrities scheduled to attend (Steve Harvey, Magic Johnson, Sinbad), and we have the Burrell Communications Agency working to bring in other celebrities for the event on Friday evening and the golf tournament on Saturday morning.
Individuals, community and corporate support is welcomed to participate in this fundraising effort by purchasing sponsorships or making a donation/contribution of product, merchandise or support that you deem appropriate.
If you have any other persons or companies that would be interested in this event, please let me know and we can coordinate the appropriate contact.
Please feel free to contact me if any other information or coordination is needed.
Coast Guard MWR activity categories
United States Coast Guard Share
The Coast Guard is the only military service now organized under the Department of Homeland Security. The Coast Guard's MWR program is similar to that of the other Services, but on a smaller scale. The mission of the Coast Guard MWR program is to uplift the spirits of the Coast Guard Family and be an essential element of Coast Guard readiness and retention through customer-owned and driven MWR programs and services around the world. The MWR programs play a vital role in support of mission readiness and retention of not only our military members but also the entire Coast Guard family through a diverse group of activities and programs.
The MWR program is divided into three categories of activities: A, B and C.
Category A, Mission Sustaining, contains activities that are considered most important for the health and well-being of the military member.
Category B, Basic Community Support Activities, contains activities closely related, in terms of supporting the military mission. These programs satisfy the basic physiological and psychological needs of service members and families.
Category C, Business Activities, have the highest capability to generate revenue through the sale of goods and services to authorized patrons for use in specific morale programs.
To contact the program staff, click here.
United States Coast Guard Share
The Coast Guard's Morale, Well-Being, and Recreation commercial sponsorship program is an advertising avenue for your company's product or service with the opportunity to reach nearly 300,000 potential customers. These potential customers are comprised of active duty, reserve, civilian employees, Auxiliary members, retirees, family members and other authorized MWR patrons. Let us help you achieve your marketing goals through professionally managed sponsorship and advertising programs. To request information about commercial sponsorship, please click here.
Neither the Coast Guard nor any other part of the Federal Government officially endorses any company, sponsor, or their products or services. More