ALA Executive Briefing
March 25, 2011

Defense cuts a tough sell in bid to curb deficit
The Washington Times
Congressional leaders have spent months telling voters that all spending must be on the table, but so far the rhetoric is ringing hollow on Capitol Hill, where defense cuts remain a tough sell. That was clear after Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul recently presented his Republican colleagues with military cuts as part of a broader effort to balance the budget within five years.More

First job losses from JFCOM closure
Norfolk Virginian-Pilot
The first substantial job losses resulting from the dismantling of the U.S. Joint Forces Command occurred March 18. About 30 contract workers at the command's Joint Irregular Warfare Center left JFCOM upon completion of their current contract, according to Kathleen Jabs, a spokeswoman for the Norfolk-based military command.More

Second flight with military family members departs Japan
Stars and Stripes
The first military-assisted flight out of the Navy's Tokyo-area air base lifted off about 12:40 p.m. March 21, with 153 family members bound for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The flight was the second to leave since plans for military-assisted flights out of Japan for families of service members recently were announced, leaving some wondering if the leisurely pace of flights would lead to fewer people leaving than anticipated.More

Seeds of success
Supermarket News
Mustard Seed Market & Café, an icon of natural and organic food retailing in northeast Ohio, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year with a remodel, and a tighter focus on its already strong prepared food program. One big change is an increase in space for presenting the company's in-store cooking, and its increased variety of all-natural deli meats.More

Fresh & Easy introduces new line of frozen pizzas
Convenience Store News
Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market expanded its gourmet product range with a new line of specially handcrafted frozen artisan pizzas from Italy, selling for $3.99 each. The pizzas join other gourmet products introduced in February, which the company said quickly have become a hit with customers looking for unique and original products. Fresh & Easy's team of chefs created the gourmet range to cater to those seeking more affordable, restaurant-quality products to serve at home.More

Child boosts grocer's Facebook fan base, raises $2,000 for charity
Gourmet Retailer
What started out as a challenge between the manager of community-based independent Ring Bros. Marketplace and 11- year-old Elizabeth Kirby to get a few Facebook fans snowballed into a lesson of the power of social media and a windfall of support for a local food pantry. More

USDA wants input on certain vegetables for nutrition standards
The Packer
Red and orange vegetables found new prominence in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and now the U.S. Department of Agriculture wants to recognize that in proposed nutrition standards for school meals. The USDA published a request for comments March 21 (deadline April 13) on how to incorporate the 2010 Dietary Guidelines into the proposed updated nutrition standards for school meals.More

Higher food prices may be here to stay
The Washington Post
Agronomist Roger Elmore suspected trouble in July, when Iowa's cool summer nights didn't get as cool as usual. The evening heat, he knew, could mean a smaller corn harvest at a time when global food markets are so tight that anything less than a bumper U.S. yield can send prices higher. The world now faces a crisis in food prices that has its roots in those warm Iowa evenings.More

Walmart moves back to core pricing message
Advertising Age
As Walmart increasingly returns to strategies that made it Earth's biggest retailer — everyday low prices, broad selections, cluttered aisles and shelves piled high with discount merchandise — some critics and early data suggest that what once worked may not anymore. Walmart-style big boxes may be giving way to a return of smaller stores as a variety of smaller formats thrive. More

Kroger opening Kentucky store
Business First
The Kroger Marketplace Store in Shelbyville, Ky., will include specialty departments such as furniture, home decor, bed and bath items, kitchen, office and school supplies, toy department, baby world, an expanded Hispanic section, specialty cheese shop, salad bar, fresh sushi, beverage bar, floral shop, a wine and spirits shop, Fred Meyer Jewelers and a pharmacy.More

Evening commute proves popular with c-store shoppers
Convenience Store News
Pinpointing the busiest time for a convenience store may not be that easy, but research does show that "super heavy users" tend to visit more during the morning and evening commutes. In addition, moderate and light users can be found during the evening commute. The NPD Group's Convenience Store Monitor, which tracks the buying behavior of more than 51,000 c-store consumers in the United States, defines super users as those consumers who visit a convenience store 22 times a month on average.More

Gas pains, Midwest farmers' gains?
The Washington Times
Rising gas prices could be just what Midwest farmers need to compete with larger food producers out west. As transportation costs go up, more East Coast restaurants and grocers are trying to limit shipping miles, thereby cutting expenses. Instead of buying from California — the nation's largest agricultural producer — they are turning to states closer to home, such as Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin.More

Walmart updates sustainable seafood policies
Progressive Grocer
Walmart Stores Inc. and its Sam's Club subsidiary updated its corporate seafood sourcing policies, foremost to which is expanding the policy to require that all of its wild and farmed seafood, including items such as lobster, crab and other species, be sourced from a third-party certified by the Marine Stewardship Council or the Global Aquaculture Alliance's Best Aquaculture Practices, or by equivalent standards. The world's largest retailer's previous seafood sourcing policy included only wild seafood, and also has added GAA certified aquaculture products as meeting Walmart's standard for sustainability.More

Social media: Retailers reach older buyers in a new way
Hartford Business Journal Online
The common perception that older consumers do not use social media has been turned on its ear by new research from retail and technology experts and authors Bernie Brennan and Lori Schafer on the increasing use of social media by older age groups and the opportunities this presents for retailers.More

Social media uses content marketing to shop
Content marketing feeds social media, especially when it comes to shopping. Regardless of where they buy, most consumers start their purchase process online with research, whether it's finding out more about the product or getting the best deal.More

Study: Companies missing opportunity to utilize social media
Many companies are missing an opportunity to utilize social media channels to drive sales growth because of a misunderstanding of what consumers want out of those channels, according to a recent study. Conducted by International Business Machines Corp., the study found a majority of consumers say the top reasons they interact with companies via social sites are to receive discounts and make purchases, but companies rank those as the least likely reasons customers will follow them.More

With sales flabby, Wal-Mart turns to its core
The Wall Street Journal
After attempting to appeal to a wider variety of shoppers backfired, discount giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. now is mired in its worst U.S. sales slump ever. But William Simon, the former Navy officer put in charge of the flagging U.S. division last June, says he is confident that the lumbering giant can reverse its fortunes after seven consecutive quarters of domestic sales declines at stores open at least a year.More

Hollywood's shelf-help plan
Hollywood is supersizing its time-honored tradition of striking exclusive deals with retailers as more stores, from brick-and-mortar outlets to e-tailers, line up to partner with studios for product. As much as Hollywood needs these promotional partnerships, retailers need the excitement of exclusive merchandise from blockbuster movies to drive more traffic into their stores as they slowly recover from the recession.More

Designers gin up fashions with less cotton
New York Post
Cotton prices are coming off their fantastic highs, but consumers will continue to see the effect on store shelves, at least through the holiday shopping season at the end of the year, analysts warn. World cotton prices more than tripled since last summer and hit a major high this month, then backed off slightly on higher yield estimates. But the higher prices still are working their way through the supply chain, and apparel makers are struggling to come up with alternative designs.More

Commanding general position to become senior executive service civilian

As a joint military organization of the Department of Defense, the Exchange implements decisions made by the Secretary of Defense. On March 14, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates issued a memo "designed to reduce duplication, overhead and excess, and instill a culture of savings and cost accountability across the Department of Defense."

In accordance with this memo, the Exchange is directed to convert the commanding general position from that of a major general to a senior executive service civilian, a paygrade of the civil service, effective April 2012. Our remaining leadership structure remains unchanged per the memo.

We will proactively plan to make this transition as smooth as possible and provide updates as more information is available.

Bruce A. Casella
MG, U.S. Army CommanderMore

2011 Exchange Roundtable

March 28-30
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.

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

GSA building its brand as government's consulting agency
Government Executive
Maybe the General Services Administration should consider changing its name to the General Consulting Agency. Faced with a host of new green buildings regulations, and driven by the steep governmentwide budget crunch, federal agencies frequently are turning to GSA for help on making their dollar go further, according to agency Administrator Martha Johnson.More

Morale, Welfare & Recreation: Military MWR specials

MWR exists because the U.S. military is committed to the well-being of the community of people who serve and stand ready to defend the nation.

MWR is a comprehensive network of support and leisure services designed to enhance the lives of soldiers (active, reserve and guard), their families, civilian employees, military retirees and other eligible participants. More than 37,000 MWR employees worldwide strive to deliver the highest quality programs and services at each installation — from family, child and youth programs to recreation, sports, entertainment, travel and leisure activities.

Their mission is to serve the needs, interests and responsibilities of each individual in the Army community for as long as they are associated with the Army, no matter where they are.

MWR contributes to the military's strength and readiness by offering services that reduce stress, build skills and self-confidence and foster strong esprit de corps. MWR services also help the military attract and retain talented people. MWR is proof of the military's commitment to caring for the people who serve and stand ready to defend the nation.More

Redstone pilots new family service model
U.S. Army
Redstone Arsenal is among 22 Army installations that have been chosen as a pilot site for enhanced delivery of services provided by Army Community Service that will make it easier and faster for soldiers and their family members to get the help they are seeking. The pilot program, which began in February and continues through March 31, is the first step in an initiative that will transform ACS as directed by the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff of Installation Management.More

Governor, military leaders sign covenant
U.S. Army
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback hosted senior military leaders from around the state for the signing of the Army Community Covenant and the continuation of the Governor's Military Council on Feb. 24 at the state capitol in Topeka. The signings, which were Brownback's first as a first-term governor, were part of the annual Kansas Military Appreciation Day celebration.More

Wiesbaden celebrates opening of new state-of-the-art Army Lodge
U.S. Army
Long in the making, the grand opening of the Wiesbaden Army Lodge marked the completion of a project that went through its share of challenges, including unanticipated water damages near the project completion, Internet connection problems and contractual issues. "We have many projects ongoing — some more difficult than others," said Roger Gerber, USAG Wiesbaden's Transformation Stationing Management Office director, during a tour of the facility during the grand opening.More

DoD helps spouses compete for federal jobs
U.S. Army
It's no secret that military spouses make sacrifices. They raise children while their spouses are deployed and leave behind jobs when it's time to relocate to a new duty station. The Department of Defense wants to ensure their sacrifices aren't to the detriment of future career opportunities. More

Burbelo: Model tactics of world-class athletes to build strong minds
U.S. Army
The Army Center for Enhanced Performance wants soldiers, leaders and basic trainees to build strong minds and bodies by tapping into the science behind an Olympic training model, the organization's director said recently. Lt. Col. Greg Burbelo said the U.S. Military Academy-based agency is "evolving the training paradigm" by leveraging some best practices from sports psychology and resilience to optimize performance across the Army.More