This message contains images. If you don't see images, click here to view.
Click here to advertise in this news brief.

  Mobile version    RSS    Subscribe    Unsubscribe ALA Business Resource:     
Home   About   Membership   Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only Jan. 28, 2011
Executive Briefing

President's Message

Passing of a loved one:

It is with deep sadness that we inform you of Catherine Casella's passing. Catherine is the wife of AAFES Commander Major General Bruce Casella.

Mrs. Casella passed away peacefully last weekend in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. General Casella currently resides in Arlington, Texas, as a geographical bachelor while his wife, Cathie, and daughter, Heather, held down the fort in Rancho Cucamonga. Funeral services will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Jan. 29. There also will be an urn viewing at Draper Mortuary in Ontario, Canada.

Expressions of sympathy can be sent to:
Major General Bruce Casella and Heather
c/o Draper Mortuary
811 N. Mountain Ave.
Ontario, Canada 91762

Please keep General Casella, his daughter, Heather, and their family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

ALA supports military family initiative:

Earlier this year, Steve Rossetti and I met with Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Robert Gordon and discussed the opportunity to capture the synergy of the military resale and MWR programs to develop a model community for America with the military family at the heart of the model. Recent White House guidance has added the necessary details to an outline to allow this initiative to move forward. ALA looks forward to working with the resale commands to make this a benchmark event for America, and in turn increase support for our troops and their families.

White House beefs up support for military families
Read the Full Story
Politico, Amie Parnes and Abby Phillip
In an East Room announcement, President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and second lady Jill Biden said the unified, government-led effort — which features participation by nearly 50 federal agencies — will ensure that troops and their families get "the support they deserve" for serving the nation.

State of the Union proposes a freeze on discretionary non-security spending but DoD may not get a pass:

Obama pledges massive overhaul of government
Read the Full Story
Government Executive, Emily Long
In addition to a five-year discretionary spending freeze, President Barack Obama recently announced a reorganization effort to consolidate duplicative federal programs and reduce government waste. "We need to think bigger" about merging, consolidating and reorganizing agencies, said the president in his State of the Union address.

Different views on the 'how,' but cuts are necessary:

Pentagon officials defend proposed military cuts
Read the Full Story
The Associated Press via Yahoo News, Donna Cassata
Top Pentagon officials recently defended Defense Secretary Robert Gates' proposed multibillion-dollar cuts in military spending in the face of tough questions from Republicans about slashing too deep and jeopardizing U.S. forces.

Obama warns more DoD cuts may be needed
Read the Full Story
Army Times, Rick Maze
President Barack Obama laid out a big year for the military in his State of the Union address. In a speech that talked about the need to cut federal spending — but not so deeply to eliminate things that aren’t wasteful — Obama said $78 billion in cuts in defense spending already proposed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates may not all of the belt-tightening the military is asked to make.

Obama, GOP clash on spending
Read the Full Story
The Washington Post, Shailagh Murray and Lori Montgomery
The debate that will define this year and is likely to set the terms for the 2012 elections began in earnest over the past weekend, with President Barack Obama and Republican leaders presenting competing visions for reducing the deficit and expanding the economy.

Obama plans $42 billion cut in war costs with Iraq, Afghan troop reduction
Read the Full Story
Bloomberg News, Tony Capaccio
The Obama administration’s plan to reduce the number of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan will cut the Pentagon's war budget by $42 billion — a 26 percent decrease from this year's level, according to government officials. The proposed $117 billion for fiscal year 2012, which begins Oct. 1, would be the lowest expenditure for the wars since fiscal 2005.

Lack of a spending bill will harm DoD:

Pentagon faces 'severe problems' without defense spending bill
Read the Full Story
The Hill, John T. Bennett
A senior Pentagon official recently pleaded with lawmakers to pass a 2011 defense appropriations measure, saying failure to do so would "cause severe problems."

Cuts target the federal workforce:

New GOP deficit plan eyes federal workforce
Read the Full Story
The Washington Post, Lisa Rein
A series of measures proposed Thursday by House conservatives to shrink the federal deficit included several that would fall heavily on the federal workforce. It would extend President Barack Obama's pay freeze on federal employees from two years to five, cut the civil service by 15 percent through attrition over a decade, and prohibit federal workers from serving as union officials on government time.

Military pay, benefits top federal civilian compensation
Read the Full Story
Government Executive, Emily Long
AMilitary personnel receive higher salaries and better benefits than most federal civilian employees, according to the Congressional Budget Office. In a Jan. 20 study requested by Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the CBO found the average enlisted service member receives higher cash compensation — made up of basic pay, housing and food allowances, and tax benefits — than 75 percent of civilian workers with comparable education.

New DoD leadership will have to hit the ground running:

Advisory board: Pentagon needs a plan for life after Gates
Read the Full Story
The Hill, John T. Bennett
Defense Secretary Robert Gates needs to leave his successor with a game plan for keeping the Pentagon on the path to a leaner budget, a Pentagon advisory board says. Gates last year launched an internal DoD cost-cutting drive, an effort that has unearthed $150 billion in savings so far.

Work begins on 2012 defense budget:

HASC to get head start on 2012 budget plans
Read the Full Story
Army Times, Rick Maze
The House Armed Services Committee plans a quick start to its oversight of defense programs. Formal discussions about the 2012 defense budget cannot begin until Feb. 14, when the Obama administration unveils its detailed plans, but Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., the armed services committee chairman, said that does not mean the panel must idly wait.

Patrick B. Nixon
President, ALA

Washington Update

US military takes tough line against tobacco
Sacramento Bee    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sgt. 1st Class Malcolm Russell has lived the horrors of war, but it is his addiction to cigarettes, he said, that has been the toughest battle of all. When it comes to quitting, "I'm trying to win the war. Sometimes it feels like I'm losing the battle," said Russell, who is back home and recently began a smoking cessation class at Mercy General Hospital, where he oversees security. The U.S. military vowed to join the national fight against smoking, saying it is stepping up its efforts to help military personnel kick their tobacco habits. More

Oversight subcommittee leaders unveiled
FedBlog via Government Executive    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
House Republicans and Democrats recently unveiled their selections for the top slots on the newly restructured subcommittees of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., announced the GOP's selections for committee chairmanships Jan. 18. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the committee's new ranking member, issued a list of Democrat ranking members Jan. 20. More

The State of the Union and the military: Balancing defense with debt
Politics Daily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Just as stunning as America's non-participation in its wars is the cost the country is running up in the name of national security: more than $700 billion this year — twice as much as in 2001 and more than the rest of the world combined spends on defense. To paraphrase Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, never have so few people taken personal responsibility for the nation's defense — and not since World War II have Americans paid so much for it. More

Forbes: After JFCOM, a push for reform
Newport News Daily Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After any fight or encounter, the U.S. military is fond of taking a step back to discuss what are commonly called "lessons learned." Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., has done the same thing after the messy battle over saving Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, and recently he discussed a series of reforms with members of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. More

Commissary News

Tests find high levels of lead in reusable bags
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Twenty-one reusable bags sold as alternatives to disposable plastic or paper bags had dangerous levels of lead, according to new test results provided to USA Today. The non-woven-polypropylene bags bags, sold by chains including Safeway, Walgreen's and Bloom, all had lead content above 100 parts per million — the highest level that many states allow in consumer packaging. More

Kroger expands gas rewards to fuel customer loyalty
The Dallas Morning News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Kroger Co. recently opened gas station No. 1,000, a milestone that underscores the growing link between groceries and gas in the drive to build customer loyalty. The nation's largest traditional grocery chain has nearly doubled its number of gas stations in the past five years, after having just more than 100 a decade ago. Kroger also rapidly is expanding a customer rewards tie-in with Shell Oil. In less than a year since its pilot launch in five markets, that program has grown to nearly 5,000 Shell stations in 26 states. More

Food industry unveils plan for nutrition labels on package fronts
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The food industry rolled out Monday what it called a "monumental and historic" effort to put nutrition facts on the front of packaging for processed foods and beverages, a change executives said is designed to help consumers make sound nutritional choices at the supermarket. "We developed this as an effective way to bring nutrition to the front of panel, so consumers can begin to build a healthy diet right from the start," said Pamela G. Bailey, president and chief executive officer of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents the majority of processed-food and beverage makers as well as retailers. More

Package perfect
Supermarket News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many supermarket prepared food departments have enjoyed resurgence in recent years. Responding to consumer demand for inexpensive, convenient meal solutions, those departments arguably attracted shoppers away from casual dining restaurants and takeout food during the recession. But, as the economy improves, these departments could start to feel the impact of renewed competition from restaurants in their area. It's a good time to take stock of ways a department's offering could be enhanced or tweaked. More

Panel discusses food safety, produce to schools
The Packer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Worries about implementing the new food safety law and the proliferation of social responsibility audits were hot topics at a panel discussion with United Fresh Produce Association's board members representing different market segments. "The small farm exemption was the one topic that really got out blood pumping," said Will Steele, president of Edinburg, Texas-based Frontera Produce Ltd. Steele, vice chairman of the United Fresh grower-shipper board, and other members of the supply chain talked about the exemption, outlined in an amendment to the food safety bill. The amendment, from Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., exempts smaller growers from some of the bill's mandates. More

Safeway introduces Open Nature natural foods lineup
Progressive Grocer Store Brands    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a recent press release, Safeway Inc. officially announced the introduction of its Open Nature line of 100 percent natural foods, following up on an announcement published Jan. 12 on its official blog. The first Open Nature items — fresh beef and pork, fresh chicken, chicken sausages, bacon and beef hot dogs — now are available in Safeway's meat departments. The new line eventually will include more than 100 products, all made with 100 percent natural ingredients from natural sources, with nothing artificial added, Safeway said. Additional products will be introduced throughout the year across categories that include bread, yogurt, ice cream, salad dressing, frozen foods and many others. More

Commissary Announcements

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA website since 10 a.m. Jan. 20 and as of 10 a.m. Jan. 27:

  • DP #5, CONUS Promotion and Shipper Quantities.
  • DP #7, Far East Shipper and Promotion Quantities.
  • DP #8, WW Promotion Package.
  • Easter Update #2.
  • Winter Club Pack, Update #3.
  • DP #3, Update #2.

None to date.

  • Adds/Changes/Deletes for Week 11-03, 2nd Corrected Copy and Week 11-04.
  • Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates.
  • Reset Schedule, Update #3.

The annual ALA/DeCA Appreciation Day Golf Event has been scheduled for Ft. Lee, Va., golf course for May 10. Watch for more information.

Exchange News

Do we expect too much from fast food?
ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
At Taco Bell, 99 cents gets a customer a beefy five-layer burrito: layers of seasoned ground beef, beans, real cheddar cheese and reduced-fat sour cream wrapped up in a nacho cheese-sauce-smothered tortilla. But a California woman is suing the fast food chain for false advertising, claiming its beefy filling is only 35 percent ground beef. "We are asking that they stop saying that they are selling beef," a representative from the California law firm Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, which is representing the woman in a class action, told the New York Daily News. More

EBay partners with retailers
Supermarket News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Over the past year, retailers and eBay have become allies in the fight against organized retail crime, transforming a relationship that had been contentious at times. EBay, along with other online auction sites, has been a conduit through which ORC gangs have been able to sell stolen goods, often getting 70 cents on the dollar, according to the National Retail Federation. NRF and its retail members criticized eBay for not providing retailers with the names, addresses and e-mail addresses of eBay sellers suspected of e-fencing on eBay. EBay countered that it was being unfairly blamed. More

QuikTrip says no to new ethanol blend
Convenience Store News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The federal government has raised the limit on how much ethanol can be mixed into gasoline, allowing up to 15 percent ethanol. But QuikTrip, Tulsa's largest gas retailer, said E15 won't be sold at its pumps anytime soon because it hasn’t been proven safe for all cars, News On reported. The convenience chain's leaders said they don't feel they can stand behind the new fuel blend without a lot more testing to make sure it's going to work in all cars and its pumps. More

Restaurant industry sees slow recovery
Chicago Sun-Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
The restaurant industry appears on the road to recovery, but it will remain a slow, bumpy ride, according to the NPD Group, which expects restaurants will continue to offer deals to lure customers. Traffic to restaurants was basically flat last year, NPD said, but visits to restaurants fell from 62 billion in 2007, the year the Great Recession began, to 59 billion in 2010. More

Exchange Announcements

2011 Exchange Roundtable
ALA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
March 28 to 30 (66 days from now!)
Omni Mandalay
Irving, Texas

Online registration is now open! Click here to register now! Register by COB Jan. 28 (TODAY) to receive the early-bird rate!

(ALA has extended the early-bird registration rate to COB Jan. 28.)

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.

2011 Exchange Roundtable golf tournament
ALA    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Dallas/Ft. 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 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 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.

Coach to move production from China
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Leather-goods maker Coach Inc. plans to gradually move some production out of China, where labor costs are rising, and into lower-cost countries, such as India and Vietnam. At the same time, China is proving a boon to Coach's sales, as residents who have become more affluent buy the retailer's status-symbol bags. Comparable store sales grew by double digits in China, which Chief Executive Lew Frankfort called "our fastest-growing business." More

Washington Update

Michelle Obama impressed with military families
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
First lady Michelle Obama says whenever she's feeling bad or sorry for herself she thinks of America's military families. In quotes provided Jan. 26 by Harpo Productions, Obama says "I suck it up because of these families." The first lady says she's impressed by the strength, pride and courage of military families. She says their "willingness to sacrifice without complaint" moves her. More

Agencies outline efforts to support military families
Government Executive    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Obama administration recently touted steps federal agencies have taken to offer military families stronger support. "We are here today because nearly a decade of war has been taking place, and our Armed Forces — you and your families — have done everything you've been asked to do," President Barack Obama said, during a press conference to unveil a report highlighting nearly 50 agency commitments to improve support services. "You've been everything we could ask you to be. You have done your duty. And as a grateful nation, we must do ours." More

Grunt Apparel, Inc.

Grunt Apparel specializes in original military inspired designs in silk screen & embroidery at low prices. Licensed by all military branches.
More info

Hubert Company

Stimulate Holiday sales and create a festive atmosphere with Bountiful Thanksgiving kits and fall prop and décor. More

Tyson Foods, Inc.

Tyson Foods is dedicated to bringing you quality, service, and support you need to drive sales. More


Executive Briefing
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601  Download media kit
Lisa Smith, Content Editor, 469.420.2644   Contribute news
This edition of the Executive Briefing was sent to ##Email##. To unsubscribe, click here. Did someone forward this edition to you? Subscribe here -- it's free!
Recent issues
Jan. 21, 2011
Jan. 14, 2011
Jan. 7, 2011
Dec. 24, 2010

7701 Las Colinas Ridge, Ste. 800, Irving, TX 75063