ALA Executive Briefing
March 4, 2011

Short-term spending deal doesn't lessen pressure on rest of year
Government Executive
The short-term deal on a continuing resolution that seems to have alleviated the threat of a government shutdown might do little to soften positions over a broader spending measure for the rest of the fiscal year. Senate Democrats have stopped just short of fully accepting a two-week GOP proposal that cuts spending $4 billion below current levels.More

Boeing bid beats Europe for tanker
The wall Street Journal
The Pentagon awarded Boeing Co. a contract worth more than $30 billion for aerial refueling tankers, closing a chapter in a tortured bidding contest, but potentially launching a fresh trans-Atlantic political controversy. The award preserves Boeing's decades-long position as supplier of refueling aircraft to the Air Force, and shores up its standing as a U.S. national champion. More

General is said to order effort to sway US lawmakers
The New York Times
The American commander in Afghanistan will order an investigation into accusations that military personnel deployed to win Afghan hearts and minds were instructed over their own objections to carry out "psychological operations" to help convince visiting members of Congress to increase support for the training mission there, military officials said recently. A brief statement issued by the military headquarters in Kabul said Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander in Afghanistan, "is preparing to order an investigation to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the issue."More

Army secretary: Keep commissary open
The fight to keep the commissary at Fort Monmouth open past the post's closure date in September has received some significant backing. In a pair of letters addressed to Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, Secretary of the U.S. Army John McHugh said he has directed the assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment to send an official request to the under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness to keep the commissary open for a two-year transitional period following the fort's closure in September.More

Costco stops selling 12 imperiled fish under pressure from Greenpeace
Wallet Pop
Costco says it has stopped selling about a dozen imperiled fish in a move toward selling consumers more sustainable seafood. Greenpeace, which pressured the retailer, declares this a victory for oceans, but says Costco could go further.More

Oil prices squeeze small businesses as transportation costs rise
The Huffington Post
Sharon James, co-owner of a carpet-cleaning company in the San Francisco Bay Area, thought her business was finally recovering from the Great Recession. Then, oil prices soared. "Every day that I see on the news that it's gone up over a hundred dollars a barrel, I cringe," James said. "That's coming out of our profit line."More

SN whole health: All-natural sugar alternatives
Supermarket News
All-natural sweeteners have been integral to the growth of health and wellness. Without them, tabletops and cupboards would be limited to granulated sugar, and an entire generation of functional and new age beverages would not exist.More

Discount grocery opening
Online Athens
Southern Family Markets will try out a new concept store as the Birmingham, Ala.-based grocery chain opens Buy 4 Less Discount Foods in the North Avenue space formerly occupied by Piggly Wiggly in Athens, Ga. "This is the first store of its kind within our banners and we're very excited about that," Southern Family Markets President Max Henderson recently said.More

Food Lion adding coupon kiosks
Progressive Grocer
Based on increased in-store coupon usage, Food Lion is planning to add more MVP Savings Center kiosks inside its stores to help customers immediately start saving money on their grocery bills. "In these difficult economic times, Food Lion is committed to providing our customers with the lowest prices on the best brands," said David Palmer, director of customer relationship management and interactive marketing.More

Is your child safe in a grocery store buggy?
Daily Comet
A University of Arizona researcher says you may want to grab one of those disinfectant wipes right before you grab a grocery cart. Professor Charles Gerba, the lead researcher, swabbed the handles of 85 carts in four states for bacterial contamination. Gerba says 72 percent of the carts had a positive marker for fecal bacteria. When they examined some of the samples, they found Escherichia coli, also known as E. coli, on half of them.More

Stop & Shop celebrates Frozen Food Month
Supermarket News
Stop & Shop has kicked off Frozen Food Month with a promotion offering $25 in savings. Frozen Food Month is an annual March promotion from the National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association. This year's theme is "Bringing Families Together with Easy Home Meals."More introduces auctions
Kantar Retail
The Sam's Club website is now offering live auctions, with all of the auctions starting at $1. The categories offered range widely, including health and beauty, jewelry, electronics, home, auto, media, pet and sporting goods. Purchases can be returned within 30 days, and the products are described as "brand new" and in "original packaging." More

Consumer spending slows, factories roar
U.S. consumer spending barely edged up in January as households took advantage of tax cuts to rebuild their savings; suggesting spending would only offer a modest lift to the recovery in the first quarter. Other data painted a bullish picture of the manufacturing sector, with a gauge of factory activity in the country's Midwest hitting a 22-1/2 year high in February, which should help the economy weather rising oil prices and maintain its steady growth momentum.More

What retail's rebound means for shoppers, investors
Daily Finance
Recently, the National Retail Federation put out its 2011 economic forecast, predicting that retail sales will increase 4 percent over 2010. This projection seems to fall in line with other economic indicators: consumer confidence is up, home prices are starting to stabilize in many markets and unemployment is shrinking, albeit slowly.More

Using Facebook to capture customers
The Conversation via Harvard Business Review
A central tenet of retailing is to put stores near customers. Now that 600 million potential customers are on Facebook, retailers are flocking to the site and aggressively experimenting with new communication strategies. The following are five ways they're connecting with customers on FacebookMore

Weighing Wal-Mart
Supermarket News
When the Environmental Defense Fund set up an office in Wal-Mart's hometown of Bentonville, Ark., in 2007, staff members spent several hours each week answering the same question from donors: Why are we working with Wal-Mart? It was a legitimate question at the time. Wal-Mart hadn't become the world's largest retailer by playing nice.More

Healthier breakfast items order of the day
Progressive Grocer
Faced with economic uncertainty and reduced consumer spending, the most important meal of the day — aka breakfast — has been a challenge for restaurants over the past few years. In order to lure back customers to an already overcrowded breakfast marketplace, restaurant operators will need to give consumers what they want — and according to latest research from Mintel, that's a healthy breakfast, as 66 percent of restaurant-goers say they are interested in healthier breakfast options.More

Valero-branded stores launch effort to fight hunger
Convenience Store News
Valero will launch the "Fill Up to Fight Hunger" program at participating locations on April 4, the company reported. For each 8-gallon fuel purchase made at a participating Valero outlet, the company will donate $1 to the local food bank in that area. Total amounts donated to each food bank will depend on the amount of fuel purchases in that area.More

Lowe's posts $285 million profit in latest quarter
Building Online
Lowe's Companies Inc., the world's second largest home improvement retailer, reported net earnings of $285 million for the quarter ending Jan. 28, a 39 percent increase from the same period a year ago. "We delivered solid results for the quarter, including earnings that exceeded our guidance," commented Robert A. Niblock, Lowe's chairman and CEO.More

Social media-savvy manufacturers
Gourmet Retailer
Retailers who are new to Facebook or Twitter can take some cues from manufacturers who are successfully utilizing social media themselves. American Roland Food Corp., who recently joined Facebook and Twitter, is active on both, and currently has 521 fans and 308 followers, respectively. "All of our posts on Facebook and Twitter are designed to keep the reader engaged, informed about what's going on at Roland, and let them be the first to know about new products and food and ingredient trends," says Director of Public Relations Lisa Kartzman.More

2011 Exchange Roundtable

March 28 to 30
Omni Mandalay
Irving, Texas

Online registration is now open! Click here to register now!

Agenda highlights
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 policy
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

2011 Exchange Roundtable golf tournament

The Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the American Logistics Association will be hosting a golf tournament in conjunction with the Exchange Roundtable on March 28.

Spend a day of fun with more than 100 golf enthusiasts from industry and government at the Hackberry Creek Country Club on March 28. Registration starts at 10 a.m. with a noon shotgun start. Space is limited to the first 144 golfers that register and pay.

Hackberry Creek Country Club is an 18-hole private country club designed by the legendary Byron Nelson. It recently celebrated its 25th year of providing a beautiful setting for family fun and upscale business entertaining. Hackberry Creek has enjoyed critical acclaim with Avid Golfer magazine's "Best of Private Clubs." Visit for directions and more information about the club.

Special guest golf pro Scotty Robertson will be on the longest hole to hit a drive for each team. Robertson's unorthodox style of play has led NBC's "Dateline Show" to describe his particular golf game as "Lightning in a Bottle." For more information, go to

The tournament will be a best ball/scramble format with first and second place prizes for two flights. Prizes for longest drive and closest to pin will also be awarded.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for lunch, dinner, the 19th Hole Awards Ceremony, hole sponsors, longest drive and closest to pin. Co-sponsorships are also available. Please see the registration form for more information.

Player fees for industry are $125 and the government rates are $75. This includes:

* Box Lunch * 19th Hole Reception & Dinner * Snacks & Beverages
* Greens Fees * Cart Fees * Range Balls

Please fill out the attached registration form and return it no later than March 25. Sponsorships are due by noon March 4.

Please join us after your spectacular round of golf for the awards reception and auction. Proceeds from the auction benefit the AREA Scholarship Fund. Donated items are always welcome and very much appreciated. If you're interested in donating items for the auction, please contact Julie Fox at or 469-221-4122.More

Leukemia and Lymphoma Golf Benefit
Golf Digest Planner
Please join us for the first annual Leukemia & Lymphoma Golf Benefit on April 11.

We will have a great day of golf at the beautiful Coyote Ridge Golf Club in Carrollton, Texas.

The event will include a four-person scramble, goody bags, luncheon, contest, prizes and awards at the luncheon. Goody bags include gift cards, a free round of golf and other great items with a total cash value that exceeds the individual entry fee.

Individual golfers: $125

four-person teams: $450 (You must register as a team to qualify for discount.)

Registration fee includes greens fee, cart and luncheon after the tournament.

Special offer: Included with your online registration is a one-year subscription to Golf Digest (a $10 value).

Register now and remember to invite your friends to play.More

First lady to launch effort to assist US troops
The Washington Post
Michelle Obama says a new campaign she's launching on behalf of U.S. troops and their families will encourage the public to step up to help make military families' lives a little easier. She says it's America's obligation to look out for the 1 percent of the population that's serving in the military. More

New England preps for next round of BRAC
Marine Corps Times
The next round of nationwide military base closings is likely several years away, but New England's business and congressional leaders say it's not too soon to begin protecting the region's bases from possible shutdown. The regional effort, known as the Defense Technology Initiative, emphasizes New England's brainpower over its military brawn. More

Shutdown's impact on military would be minimal
Army Times
Large portions of the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments are expected to continue operating under a government shutdown that could begin March 5. But processing of new veterans' benefit claims could be delayed and some initial benefits payments for new veterans could be reduced if the shutdown continues for more than a few weeks.More

DoD official outlines efforts to help families
Marine Corps Times
New Defense Department initiatives to help families include a broad review of education for military children, more employment and education opportunities for spouses, and expanded availability of child care, the department's chief of family policy told a meeting of the Congressional Military Family Caucus on Feb. 17. Defense officials are launching a 270-day educational review "to ensure a world-class education for all 1.2 million military children," said Robert Gordon, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy.More

Building on a concept
Navy Times
Joseph Johnson's heart started racing as soon as he read the e-mail. For most of the crew aboard the destroyer Carney, already four months into its deployment in early May, it was just another piece of junk mail as they plied the hot waters of the Red Sea. But for Johnson, a gas turbine systems technician first class, news of a military-only competition to customize a straight-from-the-factory Scion car — and a chance at claiming its grand prize of $14,000 — was like an invitation to try out for the chop shop Olympics.More

Germany-based GIs add yoga to PT program
Army noncommissioned officers are twisting themselves in knots to relieve stress and prevent orthopedic injuries downrange and in garrison. The soldiers, mostly from units stationed in Grafenwöhr and Vilseck, are doing Power Vinyasa yoga as part of Soldier 360, a two-week course that teaches resiliency skills NCOs can use to help troops overcome the challenges of repeat deployments and stressful events such as witnessing the combat death of a comrade.More