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Home   About   Membership   Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only April 2, 2010
Executive Briefing

President's Message

Spring is in the Air:
The trees are beginning to come back to life, the birds are beginning to build nests and the dues renewal notices are on the wire and in the mail. This year you can renew by mail or electronically and in the land of going green we encourage you to use the e-mail option as much as possible. Your membership in the ALA is important. Your support for our troops and their families is demonstrated by your support and participation. We will continue to strive to improve your return on investment. An investment that has been in the market place for over 90 years….

Dramatic increase in the use of food stamps:
Although there has never been a direct nexus drawn between a particular economic state and the use of food stamps on the part of the military, it is significant to note that the increase in 2009 vs. 2008 is nearly 70 percent and that certainly is a signpost that must be looked at. The preliminary numbers for 2010 show a continuing increase. Congress has always viewed the use of food stamps by the military as an alarming benchmark that reflects on the adequacy of military compensation. We are attempting to research this issue and will provide you additional details and analysis as it becomes available, but it is an alarming situation to see these levels of usage among our troops and their families.

Two items that we are watching:
For those of you old enough to remember, the last time there was a "deficit commission" the results led to significant emotional distress. The key at this point continues to be education about the value of the resale benefits and their return on investment for the taxpayer. We will continue to press this message at the hearings scheduled for 23 April.

Secondly, the administration position on outsourcing and what functions are viewed as inherently governmental also revives some old battle scars. Granted the thrust of late has been more towards insourcing than outsourcing but one can never take anything for granted.

Roster for Deficit Commission is Complete
Click here for the full story
By Humberto Sanchez, CongressDaily
Commission will present its proposals to Congress by Dec. 1; 14 of its 18 members must agree on the final package.

Obama to Seek Input on Rules for Federal Work
Click here for the full story
By Ed O'Keefe, Washington Post
Recently, the Obama administration will begin seeking formal input from stakeholders on a knotty pair of questions: What kind of tasks should be performed by federal workers, and which ones can be handled by contractors?

Patrick B. Nixon
President, ALA

Washington Update

Defense chief urges Hill action on supplemental by early spring
Government Executive    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that he wants Congress to approve by early spring $33 billion in supplemental spending to cover military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan for the fiscal year. More

Ex-TSA pick Harding's firm got Army deal after he cited sleep apnea disability
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on
LinkedinE-mail article
The firm owned by the decorated general who withdrew his nomination to lead the Transportation Security Administration had received a consulting contract worth almost $100 million from the Army after certifying he was a "service disabled veteran," according to documents and interviews with government officials. More

North Korea on the edge
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Kim Jong Il may be increasingly wizened and frail, with fingernails white from kidney disease, but his propaganda apparatus is as vigorous as ever. On a current wall poster a worker gestures toward the slogan, "A strong and prosperous nation is coming into view!" In the background, fireworks explode over brightly-lit buildings, a pile of rice and potatoes, three-spanking new missiles, and a bulldozer. More

Another T.S.A. nominee withdraws
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
President Obama's choice to lead the agency that guards United States airports abruptly withdrew his nomination amid questions about his work as a defense contractor, the second time the White House has lost a nominee for the critical security post. More

U.S. told to move base off Okinawa
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Japan told the U.S. that relocating a controversial U.S. military facility in Okinawa was impossible, setting a stage for more thorny discussions that could further erode the popularity of the six-month-old government of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama. More

Camp Pendleton to open barracks for wounded
The San Diego Union Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Marine Corps officials will celebrate the opening of a $25 million barracks for wounded troops, cutting the ribbon on the first phase of a $54 million expansion of the Wounded Warrior Battalion West campus. More

Marines lift social media ban
Stars and Stripes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
The Marine Corps lifted its ban on social media sites allowing Marines from Japan to the States to sign on to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter and other sites. More

Commissary News

America's favorite brands: With SKU reductions underway, which will survive?
NRF Stores    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Americans have an ongoing love affair with brands. Threaten to take away their Dawn dishwashing detergent or their Kleenex and you'd better be ready for a knock-down, drag-out fight: Those items, along with Bounty paper towels and Crest toothpaste, are among the products shoppers choose most often when they roll their carts up and down the supermarket aisles. While there are undeniable brand favorites in some categories, it's not as straightforward to pick a winner in others. More

Spartan stores launches new price programme
KamCity    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Spartan Stores has announced the launch of a new pricing policy at its stores in the state of Michigan, highlighting the continued demand for low-priced food in the U.S. More

Valassis defines 'new normal' shopping behavior
Market Watch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Valassis, one of the nation's leading media and marketing services companies, announced greater insight into consumer savings habits with coupons - what they are buying, where they are shopping and how the economy is defining a new "normal" when it comes to shopping behavior. More

Beverage category declines for second straight year
AdAge    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fortified waters and sports drinks saw steep volume declines last year, while the carbonated soft-drink category saw some rebound amid declines as consumers continue to shun packaged beverages. Overall, the beverage category declined 3.1 percentage in volume in 2009. A year ago, the beverage category saw volume drop by 2.1 percentage, the first decline on record. More

Nestlé takes a beating on social-media sites
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For nearly two weeks, environmental activists have been using social media to wage war against Nestlé over its purchases of palm oil for use in KitKat candy bars and other products, catching the Swiss food giant off guard. More

Red Bull gives you ... a new 19-ounce can
CSP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a category driven by demand for varying sizes of energy boosts, Red Bull is adding to its energy-drink line with a new 19.2-ounce Red Bull Racing Team special edition can launching in April. More

Trader Joe's adopts sustainable seafood standards
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Trader Joe's has announced that it will sell only sustainably sourced seafood by the end of 2012. In announcement posted on its Web site, the grocery chain would remove species condemned by environmental groups from its shelves, establish a transparent sourcing policy and leverage its buying power to change the seafood industry. The phase-out applies to all fresh, frozen and canned seafood. More

Commissary Web Posts

The following commissary items were posted to the ALA Web site as of 10 a.m., 1 April:

  • DP #11, Far East Shipper and Promotion Quantities
  • 10-67, Store Reset Dates – Ft. Leonard Wood
  • 10-68, Store Reset Date – Scott AFB
  • 10-69, Store Reset Date - Fallon NAS
  • 10-70, Store Reset Date – Los Angeles AFB
  • Adds/Changes/Deletes for week 10-13
  • Guard & Reserve On-Site Sale Schedule updates
  • 31-10, Home cooking takes the edge off of a tough economy
  • 32-10, Everyone has a role to play in food safety

Exchange News

Restaurant chains roll out small bites at small prices
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some of the nation's most familiar casual-dining chains are suddenly thinking smaller. They're rolling out tapas-like small plates of shareable items that typically are cheaper than appetizers by a buck or two — or even three. More

Shoppers emerging with Best Buy sales signal revival
Bloomberg    Share    Share on
FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Companies from Saks Inc. to Best Buy Co. are growing more confident that the recent revival of consumer spending is more than just a blip. More

Subway joins breakfast Battle of Titans
Marketing Daily    Share    Share on
FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The already intense competition for the declining but high-margin breakfast market is about to be pushed up several notches, as the nation's second-largest restaurant chain, Subway, joins the fray. More

Technomic ranks fastest-growing chains
fare    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The 500 largest U.S. restaurant chains registered a decline in sales, posting 0.8 percent annual sales decline in 2009. According to data released by Technomic Inc. in its annual Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report, U.S. systemwide sales for the Top 500 declined to an estimated $230.0 billion in 2009, down almost $2 billion over 2008. More

Retailers testing out the drive-through lane
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
You can pick up a hamburger at McDonald's, your allergy pills at Walgreens, your extra foamy latte at Starbucks and the cash to pay for it at your bank — all without leaving your car, thanks to an American invention called the drive-through. But when it comes to weekly shopping, aside from regional convenience stores like the Dairy Barn, staying in your car hasn't been an option. More

Reasor's selects KSS Retail for price modeling, optimization
CSP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Reasor's has selected the KSS Retail PriceStrat solution for price modeling and optimization from KSS Retail, a leading provider of price optimization and customer insight solutions for retailers worldwide. More

Walgreens profits gain on expanded merchandise
Media Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Look for more beer, wine and food offerings at Walgreens, as the drugstore chain continues its efforts to optimize its product mix, and zeros in on the customer needs that it fills best. More

Forget about Twitter and Facebook - Why the American department store is the new social experience
DDi    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a world consumed with technology, where Twitter and Facebook are the new "hot spot" for social interactions, where - or rather how - does the department store fit in? More

Sell the way your customers buy
Chief Marketer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Every marketer's goal is to send relevant and engaging content to customers. But consumer buying behavior is evolving so quickly that the rules are constantly changing. More

Washington Update

Marine Corps MWR is commonly referred to as MCCS. Marines are renowned for their dedication to their country and their exemplary performance in tough situations. With the Marine Corps' active engagement in the Global War on Terrorism in Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, and Iraq, we owe it to them to provide the programs and services that make their daily lives a little easier. MCCS provides a wide range of services to help Marines do everything from developing financial responsibility, to continuing their education, to moving to their next duty station or preparing to return home after completing their obligations.

Military Families Gain Access to Free, Online Tutoring - The Defense Department has launched a free, online tutoring service for servicemembers and their families. The site – - offers round-the-clock professional tutors who can assist with homework, studying, test preparation, resume writing and more. Marine Corps and Army families have had access to the program for more than a year. Seeing the value, Defense Department officials decided to expand the service to encompass all service members and their families.

Navy MWR - The Navy Morale, Welfare and Recreation Division administers a varied program of recreation, social and community support activities on U.S. Navy facilities worldwide. Our programs provide active-duty, reserve and retired Navy personnel and their families with sports and physical fitness activities, child development and youth programs, and a variety of food and beverage services. Our mission is to provide quality support and recreational services that contribute to the retention, readiness, mental, physical, and emotional well-being of our Sailors.

Navy Community Service Coordinators - For information how to do business in the Navy MWR Food Programs, please sent an email to

MWR Fitness Links:
  • - Provides information and training from the Cooper Institute on the following subjects cardiovascular, strength, research, and healthy lifestyles (Password: Cooperelite)
  • - National Recreational-Intramural Sports Association. Excellent site for information on officials and rules for intramural sports
  • - National Strength and Conditioning Association. Excellent resource for updated research on strength and conditioning
  • - American College of Sports Medicine. Excellent source for fitness guidelines
  • - Presidents Council on Physical Fitness
  • - Government Nutrition Site. Excellent resource for nutrition related topics
  • - Dr. Westcott's Facility page. Look under Westcott Fitness. Excellent source for up to date strength research
  • - Runners racing information site

Military Personnel Subcommittee Hearing Schedule Posted:

April 13, 2010, Tuesday
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
2118 Rayburn House Office Building
Subject: DOD Medical Centers of Excellence
Witnesses: DOD Witnesses (TBD)

April 15, 2010, Thursday
2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
2118 Rayburn House Office Building
Subject: Supporting the Reserve Components as an Operational
Reserve – Key Military Personnel legislative initiatives
Witnesses: DOD Witnesses (TBD)

April 20, 2010, Tuesday
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
2118 Rayburn House Office Building
Subject: Implementation of the Requirement to Provide a Medical Examination Before Separating Members Diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and the Capacity of DOD to Provide Care to PTSD Cases
Witnesses: DOD (TBD)

April 21, 2010, Wednesday
1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
HVC-210, the Capitol (Tentative)
Subject: Defense Health Program
Witnesses: DOD Witnesses (TBD)

April 23, 2010, Friday
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
2118 Rayburn House Office Building
Subject: Military Resale and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Overview
Witnesses: Panel One: Under Secretary of Defense Personnel and Readiness, the Commanders of the Military Resale Activities, the Service Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Chiefs. Panel Two: American Logistics Association, Armed Forces Marketing Council


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Executive Briefing
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