ALA Executive Briefing
Oct. 19, 2012

Andersen may house Marines: Northwest Field could be firing range site
Pacific Daily News
The military is reconsidering the placement of a proposed Marine base, but most of the Marines will rotate through Andersen Air Force Base, so the military likely prefers to keep the base on the island's north end, said a local buildup expert.More

A transition fraught with new challenges
The Washington Post via Press Display
The withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 will conclude a chapter of expensive and unpopular war in that country and in Iraq that began more than a decade ago and led to the deaths of more than 6,000 American troops. The new army, senior military leaders say, must become more nimble, its officers more savvy, its engagements more nuanced and almost certainly shorter. The lessons of the Arab Spring weigh heavily on war planners, with an array of threats looming in the Middle East and elsewhere. A high premium is being placed on devising the proper use of Special Forces, drones and cyber capabilities. More

Manufacturers to train veterans for factory jobs
Four of the largest U.S. manufacturers recently unveiled plans for a new group committed to train military veterans to work in the manufacturing sector. General Electric Co, Alcoa Inc, Boeing Co and Lockheed-Martin Corp said they would provide financial support to the "Get Skills to Work Coalition." It will initially aim to train 15,000 veterans, who will be hired by the four companies or matched to other jobs. Open jobs will be listed on LinkedIn.More

LP gas service for Dahlgren NSWC Commissary
Federal Business Opportunities
The period of performance will be for a base period of Dec. 1, 2012 through Nov. 30, 2013, and will include four one-year options periods that may extend performance through Nov. 30, 2017. This Request for Quotation was issued on Oct. 12.More

Safeway's Just for U loyalty platform, shopping app driving optimism at the chain
Drug Store News
Safeway's approach to multichannel retailing — a shopping app fielding personalized, targeted promotions to members of its growing Just for U loyalty program — represents the foundation for future growth, executives recently noted during a conference call with analysts.More

Shelf stocking, receiving/storage/holding area and custodial operations
Federal Business Opportunities
Furnish all supervision, personnel, equipment and supplies necessary to perform shelf stocking, receiving/storage/holding area and custodial operations for the Defense Commissary Agency, Port Hueneme NS Commissary, located near Oxnard, Calif., in accordance with the Government's Performance Work Statement. The solicitation includes a base period (April 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014) and four one-year option periods. This acquisition is a 100 percent set-aside for small business concerns.
Note: The following notice was originally posted under solicitation number HDEC08-12-R-0009; however it has been changed to HDEC08-13-R-0001.More

How grocery shopping got personal
The Boston Globe
We hop from store to store, searching for the best deal and the best quality. The following article discusses how the business of selling groceries is changing — and improving — to suit us.More

H-E-B listed as 15th most-frequented grocer
San Antonio Express-News
About 1,000 consumers from across the U.S. named San Antonio-based H-E-B as their 15th most-frequented grocery store in a survey conducted this summer. King Retail Solutions, a retail design firm based in Eugene, Ore., released recently the results of a consumer research survey, with respondents equally representing three different generations. More

Tyson to roll out holiday savings
Progressive Grocer
Tyson Foods Inc. will roll its "Arthur Christmas" promotion this holiday season, offering savings on Wunderbar Bologna, Tyson Chicken Tenders and the "Arthur Christmas" on Blu-ray Combo Pack, available from Nov. 5 through Dec. 31. The holidays are a busy time for families, and the "Arthur Christmas" promotion offers consumers a simple solution for snacks and meals with savings of $1 when they purchase 1 pound or more of Wunderbar Bologna and Tyson Chicken Tenders from their grocer's deli.More

Store-bought pasta options: You may think you're eating 'healthy'... but are you?
The Huffington Post
Everybody loves pasta. Can you imagine the excitement and promise that flew through the country when a string of "healthy" pasta options hit the grocery store shelves? Some were low in carbohydrates, others made with real vegetables, and some made with whole grains to offset the sugar high that is associated with refined carbohydrates. Yes — our pasta has evolved, and you can be certain that the pasta aisle in your store today has a lot more options than ever before. But new varieties bring a new level of confusion. Is your pasta really as healthy as you think it is, or are you being fooled by front-of-package claims? The following are some popular pasta varieties and what to look for to ensure you're making the healthiest choice.More

Kroger honored with energy efficiency award
Yahoo News
The Kroger Co. received the Alliance to Save Energy's top award, the "Galaxy" Star of Energy Efficiency, at the organization's annual awards dinner recently. "We are honored to receive this recognition from the Alliance to Save Energy," said David B. Dillon, Kroger's chairman and chief executive officer. "This is a real tribute to Kroger's 339,000 associates who bring our energy saving programs to life every day. We will continue to work tirelessly in all areas of our business to reduce energy consumption." More

Survey: US holiday spending to show a scant rise in 2012
Chicago Tribune
Consumers plan to spend an average of $749.51 on gifts, decorations and other holiday items this season, a mere 1.2 percent more than a year ago, according to a survey conducted for the National Retail Federation. The rise would be the smallest since 2008-2009 when holiday sales fell 1.8 percent after the financial meltdown.More

Trouble in Toyland: Sales slowing heading into holidays
As retailers gear up for the busy holiday shopping season, there's trouble brewing in Toyland, according to research from Goldman Sachs. Toy sales have been on the decline for some time, but Goldman suspects the trends may be accelerating, and recently the firm cut the industry's rating to "cautious" from "neutral." More

Holiday shoppers to splurge on themselves this year
Holiday shoppers plan to deck the halls and splurge a bit more on themselves this year, but overall spending will remain cautious this holiday season as shoppers hunt out the bargains they know they'll find this time of year, according to the results of a new survey.More

Women's apparel prices rise
Women's Wear Daily
Apparel retailers regained some pricing power in September after losing ground in August, the Labor Department's Consumer Price Index recently showed. (Subscription required.) More

Wal-Mart outlines strategy
The Wall Street Journal
Wal-Mart U.S., the largest unit of retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said it is confident about its momentum heading into the holidays, as it outlined a strategy that includes more emphasis on smaller-format stores and more e-commerce. For the first time since it began online sales in 2000, Wal-Mart broke out its e-commerce goal: Speaking at the annual analyst meeting, executives said the company targets world-wide online sales of $9 billion by fiscal 2014. More

Toys R Us to open holiday pop-up shops in Macy's
Los Angeles Times
Toys R Us and Macy's, two major holiday shopping destinations, are teaming up for the Christmas rush by opening pop-up stores from the toy giant within the department store. On average, each toy section will be roughly 1,500 square feet and will include items such as dolls, action figures and puzzles.More

Retail Sales Outlook: 4th quarter 2012
National Retail Federation
NRF's Retail Sales Outlook is a quarterly report on industry sales, providing a thorough overview of the current retail climate and projecting retail industry sales for the year. More

Best practices to turbo charge your email marketing program Blog
Ross Kramer, CEO of Listrak, challenged the audience at the 2012 Annual Summit's Digital Retail Boot Camp in Denver to reinvigorate their email marketing programs. Using the nearby Rocky Mountains as something of a metaphor for how retailers can and should "ascend" the rungs of email marketing sophistication, Kramer first laid out "Base Camp" fundamentals — such as benchmarks, list growth, calendar and deliverability. More

Army spouses head to the field during Army Wife Network's Field Exercise™
Our service members aren't the only ones who spend time in the field. This past month, Army Wife Network's Crooks and Henderson did what they have been doing for years: They headed out to meet up with 300 other family members for their Field Exercise™ which combines two days of seminars, connection and networking for military families.More

Target to match online prices, following Best Buy
The Wall Street Journal
Target Corp. became the latest big-box chain to offer to match the online prices of some rival retailers in what is shaping up to be a fiercely competitive holiday shopping season. Like Best Buy Co., which recently announced similar plans, Target is seeking to combat "showrooming" by shoppers who check out products in its stores but buy them on competitors' websites, often at lower prices.More

Gap reorganizes executive ranks
Women's Wear Daily
Building upon its solid performance this year, Gap Inc. recently announced a new global brand structure designed to fuel the company's long-term growth. Gap Inc.'s five brands and over 3,200 stores are currently located in more than 40 countries worldwide, up from just eight countries in 2006. (Subscription required.) More

OpenTable to build mobile-friendly sites for restaurants
One of the frequent laments of mobile marketers is a lack of mobile-optimized sites to encourage usage and pave the way for mobile advertising. Restaurants and other small businesses are especially unlikely to have a mobile-friendly Web presence. To help change that, OpenTable recently announced a free new service allowing restaurants it works with to create sites tailored to mobile devices. The goal is to bring restaurant owners in line with the consumer shift toward mobile by making their sites more appetizing on smartphones.More

Value, price compete with free shipping for the hearts of holiday shoppers
Internet Retailer
While free shipping continues to be "the carrot driving shoppers to buy online," says Lauren Freedman, president of consultancy The E-tailing Group Inc., this holiday season shoppers are looking for value over price. More

Fast food aspires to 'fast casual'
The Wall Street Journal
In the hope of appealing to more-sophisticated consumers, fast-food chains are moving beyond simple cheeseburgers and tacos, adding fancier ingredients such as portabella mushrooms, citrus-herb marinated chicken and pepper bacon. The move is driven by a growing foodie culture as well as the success of chains like Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and Panera Bread Co., a category known as "fast casual," where customers still order at a counter but are paying for something up a notch from a burger, fries and a shake.More

Benefit luncheon

Click here for flier to the Hampton Roads ALA Benefit Luncheon for AREA & NEREAMore

AF Aide Society and Charity Ball donation options

I'm proposing something a bit different that might involve, for example, 10 companies interested in "advertising" their support for military families by displaying a business logo and limited business information at the Charity Ball, in return for a donation to the Air Force Aid Society. Please allow me to explain further.

Each year, volunteers combine with the Air Force Aid Society to develop and run a black tie dinner and silent auction (The Charity Ball) at a major venue in the Washington D.C. area. Generally 600-700 people attend, including virtually all Air Force 4-star general officers, other general officers and senior members of the civil service, and senior members of the Department of Defense, the corporate defense industry and the international Attache community. Prior to the dinner and for a brief period following, guests are given the opportunity to bid on donated items offered throughout the venue. These donated items cover the spectrum of cost and variety with things like gift baskets at a starting bid of $20 to international trips valued in the thousands.

This event is the most significant annual fund raising event for the Air Force Aid Society, providing funds that help support Airmen and their families through a variety of programs throughout the year. As a former wing commander and general officer, I've seen firsthand the impact this organization can have on the lives of Airmen in distress. Their website ( offers additional information:

"The Air Force Aid Society is the official charity of the United States Air Force, incorporated in 1942 as a private, nonprofit organization. For over 70 years, the Air Force Aid Society has supported the Air Force mission by providing worldwide emergency assistance, sponsoring education assistance programs and offering an array of base community enhancement programs that improve quality of life for Airmen and their families."

This year, the Charity Ball will be held in April and planning in earnest has already begun. Generally, in the past, volunteers relied almost exclusively on corporate donations from defense contractors. While it is easy to understand why we would focus on companies that have equity in supplying the equipment our Airmen use to defend our country, this year we came to realize we were missing an equally crucial set of industry partners which support military members and their families in other ways. Companies associated with AAFES, for example, play a vital role in military communities worldwide. We know it, and we appreciate it.

So, that is where I come in. I am a Charity Ball volunteer responsible for working with a contractor called BidPal. This company works with nonprofit organizations like ours to ensure a highly professional silent auction and event. Their website ( offers additional information:

"BidPal improves charitable fundraising by helping nonprofits use technology to more efficiently run their events from start to finish. BidPal's event management solutions, automated mobile auctions, payment processing, online fundraising and consulting services help make charitable events more fun and more profitable."

A key aspect of their business model is the use of iPad like devices often referred to as "paddles." Although I was not involved, the Charity Ball used them last year and everyone was completely sold. These paddles quickly became the focal point of the event, facilitating rapid electronic bidding from anywhere in the venue on items of interest. Among their many features is instant notification of a bid by a guest that exceeds the bid of another guest, streamlined billing processes and the opportunity for companies to advertise in a corner of the BidPal paddle for select period(s) of time throughout the evening. Last year, a major defense contractor bought the entire night. This year, we hope to expand our advertising/donor base with other industry partners interested in taking advantage of this opportunity. I contacted the BidPal representative and she provided the following brief explanation of how this works:

"We have an area where sponsorship logos may be shown on the BidPal devices (paddles). Time may be sold on the devices. What we normally see is organizations enter a logo and keep it on the device for 1-3 minutes, with donor logos rotating throughout the evening. Only one logo will be shown on the devices at a time; you may also add text about a certain sponsor that can be accessed if a guest clicks on the logo."

In closing, I suspect you are curious about the amount of donations we are seeking for his initiative. While nothing is firm, here is what I was thinking: over the course of the evening, I expect approximately four hours (240 minutes) of paddle operation. If we obtained ten donors, each company would receive 24 minutes of logo time on the paddles throughout the course of the evening (we would probably use three minute increments as BidPal suggests, meaning each company would receive eight, three minute blocks). For this, I'd probably target a donation of $3000 for each interested company.

Again, many thanks. Please let me know your thoughts at your convenience.

Brig Gen Dan Woodward, USAF (Ret)
Charity Ball VolunteerMore

NEX Web store expands its selection, adds merchandise
America's Navy
The Navy Exchange Service Command announced on Oct. 15 that it will add a number of new products to its NEX Web store over the next several months to further enhance customer shopping experience at "We are constantly looking to add new products to our Web store," said Tess Paquette, NEXCOM senior vice president, chief merchandising officer. More

The Exchange partners with Feds Hire Vets
Public Affairs
As part of an ongoing effort to recruit and hire veterans, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service is teaming up with Feds Hire Vets to highlight employment opportunities in military and veteran communities. More

USS Enterprise (CVN-65) homecoming and decommissioning

The USS Enterprise (CVN-65) is the world's first nuclear powered aircraft carrier and the eighth United States naval vessel to bear the name. She is nicknamed the "Big E" and is the longest naval vessel in the world. She has a crew of some 4,600 people. The only ship of her class, Enterprise is the second oldest commissioned vessel in the United States Navy.

The beginning of November will be the final homecoming for the Enterprise into her home port at Norfolk Naval Station before she is decommissioned in December. This homecoming event will provide a unique marketing opportunity for our business partners. There are various things planned to make this event special for our returning sailors. One of which are goody bags that will be handed out to the returning service members.

If you are interested in participating in this one-time event, we are looking for approximately 500 of each item that can be put into bags to hand out.

Please confirm your participation by contacting the following POC:

Lynn Grayson
Services Operations Manager
Norfolk NEX
757-440-2000, ext. 2006

All items need to be received by the Norfolk NEX no later than Oct. 29 to the following address marked "USS Enterprise Homecoming."

NEX Norfolk
1560 Mall Dr.
Bldg CD 13
Norfolk, VA 23511
Attn: Lynn Grayson

We thank you in advance for your participation and support.More

"Big E" celebrates Navy birthday underway for the last time
America's Navy
USS Enterprise (CVN 65) did its part in celebrating the Navy's 237th birthday with its own unique flare Oct. 13. For over 200 years, the United States Navy has stood the watch as the shield of the republic. It has protected the country and its interests around the world.More

Officials seek input to update MWR services
Defense Department officials intend to use input gained from customer satisfaction surveys to bolster morale, welfare and recreation programs and meet the up-to-date needs of service members and their families, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy recently said.More

Army MWR Corporate Partnerships overview

The U.S. Army Family and MWR Command's Corporate Partnerships division assists corporations interested in targeting the military market by offering an array of sponsorship and advertising opportunities that deliver a measurable return on investment for clients. The Corporate Partnerships Division partners with marketing agencies, brand managers and entertainment properties to bring exciting promotions and events to more than 100 Army installations and more than 3.7 million soldiers, family members, civilians and retirees around the world.

The FMWRC Corporate Partnership Division can customize an advertising or sponsorship package to achieve your corporation's goals and objectives. Packages may include visual identification on event/promotional collateral, sponsor acknowledgements through press releases, radio and cable television; event hospitality; and onsite activation which provide product/service tie-ins, displays, demonstrations, promotional giveaways and sampling opportunities. Join the ranks and associate your brand with the strength of the U.S. Army.

Benefits to Partnering with MWR

Increase your corporation's awareness, sales and ROI by targeting the viable military market. Reach the military market through sponsorship of our flagship entertainment properties (Army Concert Tour, U.S. Army Soldier Show and Operation Rising Star), customized marketing promotions, film and DVD releases, video game tournaments and advertising opportunities on Army installations. Cultivate existing brand awareness and enhance business image and visibility through:

U.S. Army partnership

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For latest MWR news and information click here.More