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Home   About   Membership   Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only Jan. 13, 2012
Executive Briefing

President's Message

How 'joining forces' can help your company:

American Industry has been repeatedly recognized by the White House for their support of hiring veterans and military family members. ALA wanted to ensure that our industry and the resale agencies were recognized for its contributions as well.

In August 2011, the ALA, with support from the Military Resale Commands entered into a dialogue with the White House on the contributions that the military resale system makes to quality of life. We told them of the tremendous benefits from commissaries, exchanges and MWR programs in providing savings for our military people.

We also advised them of the hard work and dedication of the thousands of commissary employees and exchange associates that each and every day work hard to improve these programs. We told them of our industry's commitment to hire veterans and pledged to work with the White House to employ 25,000 more veterans and military family members in ALA member companies in addition to the thousands that already work in our member companies.

This resulted in the White House's Joining Forces Executive Director coming to the ALA Annual Convention in Orlando and recognizing the military resale system for its contributions to military quality of life and affirming industry's commitment to support hiring of military family members.


Uniweb shelving provides cost effective solutions to upgrade your existing shelving while allowing more product facings in the same merchandising space which will enhance sales volume for your stores! In addition to retail fixturing, Uniweb can create modular spaces which include cash or manager’s offices, secure rooms, and back offices.

The military resale leadership is behind this effort and have pledged to work with industry to help ensure that these hiring goals are met. ALA, working with the military resale entities and the White House and the Department of Defense, will recognize companies that excel in hiring veterans and family members at its annual convention in Washington this Fall. An additional incentive was the recent addition of support in the form of tax breaks for companies that hire veterans. We would like to get this information to our member company's human relations specialists so they can take advantage of these new incentives.

Hiring veterans makes good business sense:

ALA and its member companies are proud to be recognized for their understanding of the challenges facing our military members with the unemployment and under employment of veterans and military family members. Recently passed legislation has provided incentives to help that can make this "good deed, good business." Click here to view details of the hiring Heroes Act. We are in the process of putting a program together to assist companies in getting credit for hiring veterans and for better understanding the benefits of the law.

Welcome back Admiral Rear Admiral Bianchi, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

Congratulations and welcome back to Robert J. Bianchi, Rear Admiral, Supply Corps, U.S. Navy (Ret.) who was selected as NEXCOM's first civilian Chief Executive Officer and reported to duty this week. He re-joins his NEXCOM family after retiring from the Navy having served in various leadership positions including the 27th Commander, Navy Exchange Service Command and brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and leadership. He will be a tremendous asset to the NEXCOM team, and we are all looking forward to working with him again.

As you know this leadership change is consistent with civilian leadership changes across other military service retail activities. We are excited and confident the NEXCOM organization will continue to deliver exceptional goods and services to our military members and their families around the world as they have for the past 65 years.

Patrick B. Nixon
President, ALA

Washington Update

Panetta: Ready to release first budget numbers Jan. 26
Bloomberg News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is scheduled Jan. 26 to release the first details of the Obama administration's fiscal 2013 defense budget, according to a U.S. defense official. The date might change and the venue and level of detail haven't been settled, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity in advancement of an announcement. More

In Richmond, Michelle Obama announces effort to aid veterans
Richmond Times-Dispatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Michelle Obama announced a new commitment by medical colleges to bolster veterans' mental health care during a visit to Virginia on Jan. 11, that was bookended by fundraisers in Richmond and Charlottesville. The first lady unveiled the initiative at Virginia Commonwealth University, in a state that is home to about 800,000 veterans and expected to be battleground turf in her husband's 2012 re-election effort. More

Young vets' jobless rate rises to 13.3 percent
Army Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Young veterans continue to have problems finding jobs even as the overall economy is improving, according to a recent employment situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent in December and 200,000 jobs were created, continuing a trend of slow but steady improvement since August. More

DoD cuts could hit civilians hard
Defense News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Pentagon's renewed focus on reining in personnel costs could ripple throughout the U.S. government, resulting in reduced pay and benefits for all federal civilian employees. DoD's new strategy, which President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta unveiled Jan. 5, calls for "reducing the rate of growth of manpower costs" and cutting overhead, headquarters and other support spending, though it does not propose specific cuts. The eight-page strategy, titled "Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense," is meant to help guide more than $450 billion in cuts to planned defense spending over the next decade. More

Force numbers in Europe: Answers expected in February budget proposal
Stars and Stripes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta unveiled a military strategy Jan. 5 that foresees shifting security challenges to the Asia-Pacific region, both men avoided the word "cuts" when it came to what the changes will mean for the U.S. role in Europe. More

Military fighting force strategy set, but what will it mean?
Stars and Stripes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Pentagon officials unveiled their sweeping new strategy for the future of the military fighting force on Jan. 5, but troops won't get a good idea what that smaller, more agile fighting force means for them until the annual defense budget is released early next month. More

Pentagon braces for a future of shrinking forces
The Washington Post via PressDisplay    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. military will steadily shrink the Army and Marine Corps, reduce forces in Europe and probably make further cuts to the nation's nuclear arsenal, the Obama administration said Jan. 5 in a preview of how it intends to reshape the armed forces after a decade of war. More

Military faces historic shift
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama on Jan. 5, proposed a historic shift in the U.S. military's size and ambitions, scaling back its ability to wage the type of war and occupation that just concluded in Iraq as the administration seeks to cut defense spending over the next decade. Under the proposal, the Army would face a 14 percent reduction in troops — leaving it with too few to conduct two grueling ground wars at once, long a strategic imperative of the Defense Department. More

US plans for troop reduction to affect South Korean security
Yonhap News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. planned troop reduction will also have security implications on the Korean Peninsula, as Washington will likely be forced to cut the size of its contingency reinforcements here, experts said Jan. 6. Following the announcement earlier in the day of the new U.S. defense strategy, with President Barack Obama calling for a "leaner" military, experts here said South Korean forces will have to take up a bigger role in defending their turf. More

Amos pushes for more help on the home front
Marine Corps Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Commandant Gen. Jim Amos calls for improvements to the Corps' family readiness programs in a December letter sent to general officers and senior civilian officials. Stronger family readiness will equate to stronger units, Amos said, and improvements can start at the top. More

Commissary News

Groceries hire companies to score foods' nutritional value
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Walk into one of 143 King Soopers supermarkets in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, and you'll find nutritional rating numbers on the shelves, right next to the prices. Since October, the grocery store chain, a division of Kroger, has included nutrition ratings by NuVal, one of the nation's largest rating companies. More


Beginning January 2012 Judy Johnson’s Military Family Mailbox will mail coupons to active duty families living in base housing. Reach directly into the homes of military families with your coupons, sales offers or messages of support. DeCA vendors should contact MORE

Photo gallery: Conventional milk sales sour, alternatives grow
Supermarket News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While high prices contributed to this year's sales decline, Hartman Group Culinary Director Melissa Abbott said consumers are concerned about lactose sensitivities and the artificial bovine growth hormone rBGH. The selection and quality of milk alternatives have also been improving. More

Dole dares consumers to 'go bananas' in 2012
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Dole is determined to get Americans to go bananas every day. Although nearly 90 percent of U.S. households already buy bananas on a regular basis, the Westlake Village, Calif.-based produce giant wants all Americans to make bananas part of their daily routine in 2012. The year-long initiative aligns with Dole's long-time goal of bettering the public's nutritional health through greater consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. More

Grocery chains adopt healthy food ratings
United Press International    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A growing number of U.S. supermarkets are contracting with food ratings firms to assist in evaluating and ranking food for nutritional content, officials say. More

What's in store at your supermarket: Top 10 food trends for 2012
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Last year's high grocery prices had many Americans looking for ways to save at the supermarket. The upswing in prices over the past 12 months may have you wondering what will happen this year at your local grocery store. More

Commissary Announcements

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Website as of 10 a.m., 12 Jan 12.

DP #4, CONUS Promotion & Shipper Quantities.
DP #6, Far East Shipper & Promotion Quantities.
DP #7, WW Promotion Package, Earth Friendly Savings/Month of Military Child.
Easter, Update #1.
Easter Ham, Far East & Alaska Quantities.
Suncare, Far East & Alaska K2 April — June Quantities.

12-20, Store Reset Dates — Fort Meade.
12-23, Diapers & Training Pants. CANCELLED by DeCA.
12-25, Superbowl Preparations. CANCELLED by DeCA.
12-26, Diapers/Training Pants & Salad Dressings Live Test Set Dates.
12-27, Can Bean Category Review.
12-28, Reset Schedule for CY 2012 (Updated 12 Jan. 12.)
12-29, Diapers & Training Pants.
12-31, Super Bowl Preparations.
12-33, Store Reset Dates — Fort Riley.

Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 12-2.
Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
CRV Values.

ALA Announcements

There is still time to update your contact info!
ALA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
We are currently compiling the 2012 Worldwide Directory and will go to print in the coming weeks. The 2012 Directory will hit the streets in early March, debuting at the Exchange Roundtable in Norfolk.

Please take this opportunity to ensure that ALA has current and correct contact information for you.

If you have already logged in and updated your contact info we THANK YOU!!

Click here for more information.

Exchange News

Hostess files for bankruptcy, again
The Christian Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hostess Brands Inc., made famous by those golden cream filled treats, is once again preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection later this week, according to a The Wall Street Journal report, which cited multiple sources familiar with the company. More

Best Buy posts disappointing December
Chain Store Age    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Best Buy Co. reported Jan. 6, that December sales were less than the company anticipated, as fewer-than-expected shoppers filled the retailer's stores over the holiday selling month. More

Why Best Buy is destined to fail
MSN Money    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Disappointing earnings and a falling stock price show the big-box retailer is in serious trouble. The following are some of the reasons. More

Tax prep on the cheap? Wal-Mart to offer free 1040EZ filing
CNBC    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Believe it or not, tax time is rolling around again, and while many dread it, there are others who view their income tax refund as the biggest cash bonanza of the year and they are rushing to cash in. This hasn't been lost on Wal-Mart Stores. The world's largest retailer has been taking steps to broaden the financial services it offers to its customers who are underserved by traditional banks and financial institutions. More

Home Depot piloting new PayPal point of sale system
Kantar Retail    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Five Home Depot stores are running a pilot of a new PayPal in-store point of sale system that would allow shoppers to pay without using their traditional credit or debit cards. Using the program, customers' credit card and bank information would be stored on one PayPal card that they can use to pay. More

Target to host Apple store-within-a-store
Kantar Retail    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Target will develop 25 Apple store-within-a-store sites within Target stores in 2012. The stores' markets to be selected are those considered too small to support a full Apple store. More

McDonald's features farmers in new marketing program
Supermarket News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Local farmers' markets may be the hot trend right now, but McDonald's believes that U.S. consumers are becoming more interested in where their food comes from, regardless of the size of the farm. The QSR giant recently launched a national "field-to-fork" ad campaign that emphasizes the sources of the food it serves. More

Fuel prices likely to hit record highs in 2012
Convenience Store News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Although the average price of a gallon of gasoline has declined in recent months, it is still 21.3 cents higher than the average price one year ago, reported the International Falls Journal. According to GasBuddy Organization Inc., which operates's listing of up-to-date gas station pricing information, that's a bad sign for 2012. More

January is bargain season at Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Wendy's
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There's only one thing more common in January than maxed-out credit card bills: fast-food bargains. The fast-food business typically takes a dive in January as folks who overspent on holiday gifts opt to eat at home on the cheap. So it takes special lures from the fast-food giants — from Taco Bell to Pizza Hut to Wendy's — to get financially drained folks spending again. More

Top 10 restaurants across the country for a power lunch
Forbes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When you're traveling for business and the location for lunch is up to you, where you decide to eat can be just as vital as what you talk about between bites. After all, sitting in a dining room full of other thriving movers and shakers just may help you seal the deal. The following is a coast-to-coast list of 10 top restaurants with profiles as high as the clientele who dines there. More

Exchange Announcements

2012 Exchange Roundtable

Government per-diem rate for the Roundtable expires Feb. 6, 2012!

Joining forces to give back
March 7-9, 2012
Sheraton Waterside
Norfolk, Virginia

Registration is now open!

Click here for more info.

Washington Update

Army selects new camouflage patterns    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Army uniform officials have tapped five finalists to develop the service's new family of camouflage patterns. The Jan. 10 announcement is the result of the Army's exhaustive Phase IV Camouflage effort. The five vendors have been awarded contracts to make camouflage-patterned material for uniforms and equipment that will be field-tested later this year, uniform officials say. More

'Fit Plate' gives Airmen healthy option
Air Force Services Agency    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Look out, waistlines! There's a new tool for keeping Airmen "Fit to Fight," changing the eating habits of Team McChord each day. This new tool is called the "Fit Plate", and it can be found everyday during breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Olympic Dining Facility on McChord Field. Prominently displayed near the front entrance, the Fit Plate makes it easier for customers to identify the healthiest possible food options for that particular meal. More

CNIC building inventory
Navy Morale, Welfare and Recreation    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Navy regional representative:

1. Please review the "CNIC Regional MWR Installation Building Inventory" and "Fitness Facilities Assessment".

2. The information was developed centrally so the information may no longer be current or may not be entirely accurate. Please check the Category A, B & C Activity building or facility within your region. Email any corrections or updates to He will make the changes to the spread sheet.

3. For RV parks, auto skills shop, cabins & cottages, bowling centers, golf courses, marinas, also please check the number of pads, bays, cabins & cottages, rooms, lanes, holes and slips, etc. and include that information in your email.

4. For the Fitness Facilities Assessment excel spreadsheet, please check each the information for facility type and email any changes to

5. In the future, we hope to be able to allow you to make changes, updates and corrections with out having to send the information here. Thank you for your help.

Executive Briefing
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601  Download media kit
Lisa Smith, Senior Content Editor, 469.420.2644   Contribute news
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