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Home   About   Membership   Meetings   Government Affairs   Members Only Dec. 23, 2009
Executive Briefing
President's Message

New DeCA director named:

Joseph Jeu has been selected to serve as the new Director and CEO of the Defense Commissary Agency. His scheduled report date is on or about 3 January 2011. Joe is no stranger to the military resale system and brings a passion for the contribution the military resale benefits bring to the troops and their families. Joe has demonstrated exceptional leadership over a career of achievement. I had the good fortune to work with Joe for many years when he was serving at Headquarters Marine Corps. Joe attended his first Commissary Operating Board meeting this week and will arrive just in time to grapple with the budget pressures facing DeCA. He is a proven professional clearly up to the task. We can not welcome Joe without passing our kudos to Tom Milks for his distinguished and recognized leadership during this period of transition. Tom's expertise and leadership will be a key to the continued success of DeCA. Here is some additional background on Joe Jeu:

Joseph Jeu was named the Assistant Commissioner for General Supplies and Services for the Federal Acquisition Service on Oct. 30, 2006. In this position, he leads GSA's acquisition of a wide range of general supplies and services used by Federal agencies. He is responsible for the management of supply operations, most of the non-information technology multiple award schedules program, and the disposal of Federal personal property, including public auctions. Mr. Jeu leads an organization of over 1,500 Government employees and contractors with $23 billion in annual business volume.

From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Jeu served as the Assistant Commissioner for Global Supply in the legacy Federal Supply Service. He was responsible for the FSS stock and special order program and other programs supporting Federal activities worldwide, with special emphasis on support for the U.S. military, Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Forest Service wildfire suppression program. Joining GSA from the U.S. Marine Corps in 2000, he became the Assistant Commissioner for Transportation and Property Management and was responsible for FSS program management of Federal government excess and surplus personal property and travel and transportation solutions, such as the City Pair airline contract program for all Federal agencies and discounted freight and relocation services for civilian agencies. Mr. Jeu joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1984 to head its commissary program, and in 1987 he was promoted to head of the Services Branch, where he oversaw worldwide management of personal property, the vehicle fleet, and food services. From 1978 to 1984, Mr. Jeu served as a commissary specialist with the U.S. Army in Germany and then at the Pentagon with the Headquarters Army Staff. Mr. Jeu received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the College of William and Mary in 1975, and completed the Harvard University Senior Officials in National Security Program in 1991. He was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 2000. He has received many awards throughout his career, including the Department of the Navy's Distinguished and Superior Civilian Service Awards. Mr. Jeu is a recipient of the 2009 Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive.

Passing of a friend:

We are sad to relay the news on the passing of John McGowan, a long standing and respected leader in the military resale system. John completed a stellar career with the Air Force Commissary System and was one of the key architects of the Defense Commissary Agency. I had the good fortune to call John a friend and colleague for many years. John received several noteworthy awards during his career and in 1999 was recognized with the ALA Distinguished Service Award. He was the first CEO appointed at the Defense Commissary Agency and his contributions to the improved quality of life for our troops and their families will continue to be recognized for years to come. John had been fighting cancer for years. During the early hours of Saturday morning last week John succumbed to the disease. He had been in hospice for about a week. The plans are that he will be cremated and interred in the Military Cemetery in Sarasota. The details will be forwarded to you when I learn them.

Wilson opposes passing defense bill this year

Republican lawmaker, Joe Wilson of South Carolina, who is expected to lead the House panel to oversee military personnel issues next year, doesn't want Congress to pass the 2011 defense authorization bill until next year. Wilson doesn't want the bill passed because it is laden with potential provisions he doesn't support. Dispute over provisions sited by Wilson is the chief reason why the Senate has been unable to pass its version of the annual defense bill. The annual defense bill, passed every year since the 1960's includes provisions extending authority for the services to pay recruiting and retention bonuses and many special pays and incentive bonuses that will expire on Dec. 31, 2010. To learn more, please view the Army Times article.

Budget pressures build:

Debt panel backs off on specific military cuts
Read the Full Story
Army Times, Rick Maze
A presidential commission looking for ways to trim federal spending is considering a revised plan that no longer includes specific military cuts, but would still require defense spending to be cut by the same percent as domestic spending.

Amid deficit fears, Obama freezes pay
Read the Full Story
The New York Times, Peter Baker and Jackie Calmes
President Obama recently announced a two-year pay freeze for civilian federal workers as he sought to address concerns over high annual deficits and appealed to Republicans to find a common approach to restoring the nation's economic and fiscal health.

White House bows to political realities on military pay
Read the Full Story
National Journal Daily PM Update, Megan Scully
The White House recently sidestepped the politically volatile issue of military pay by exempting troops from a two-year federal pay freeze that will affect all other federal employees. Had military pay been included in the Obama administration's deficit-cutting proposal, it would almost certainly have been met with stiff resistance on Capitol Hill, where efforts to rein in military benefits have long been dead on arrival.

Military families continue to be squeezed:

Food stamp use in commissaries rises nearly 40 percent
Read the Full Story
Army Times, Karen Jowers
Food stamp redemption in commissaries shot up nearly 38 percent in fiscal 2010, continuing a trend of sharp increases over the last three years. Since 2007, the dollar amount of food stamp redemptions in commissaries has nearly tripled — from $24.9 million to $73 million — while it doubled nationwide. Defense officials and family advocates caution that it is unclear how many of those using food stamps in commissaries are active-duty families, and that the upward trend is not necessarily an indicator of inadequate pay.

Gates seeking to contain military health costs
Read the Full Story
The New York Times, Elisabeth Bumiller and Thom Shanker
Of nearly 4.5 million military retirees and their families, about three-quarters are estimated to have access to health insurance through a civilian employer or group. But more than two million of them stay on Tricare. As the costs of private health care continue to climb, their numbers are only expected to grow. Now, as part of a broad offensive to cut Pentagon spending, that group is once again in the sights of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who is seriously considering whether to ask for Tricare fee increases in next year's budget — and perhaps start one of the last fights of his public career.

Patrick B. Nixon
President, ALA

As 2009 comes to a close, ALA wishes its members and industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. The news brief will resume publication January 8, 2010.

Washington Update

Billions in earmarks inflate defense bill's cost
San Francisco Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Department of Defense didn't ask for money to update the old officers club in San Francisco's Presidio into a visitors information center and exhibition space. Neither did any other member of Congress - except House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. More

Senate sends Defense spending bill to Obama
Government Executive    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Senate passed the fiscal 2010 Defense spending bill 88 to 10, sending the measure to President Obama for his signature and closing out work on the fiscal 2010 appropriations process. More

HQ to Marines in Afghanistan: sleep in a hole
Afghanistan Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Yes, "sleep in a hole," was essentially the response of Gen. James Conway, commandant of the United States Marine Corps, when asked whether the he has enough "infrastructure" to feed and house the 20,000 Marines who will be in southern Afghanistan by early summer. More

Commissary News

Burnstad's receives Green Grocer certification
The Tomah Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Burnstad's Market is one of the first grocery stores in the state to achieve 'Green Grocer' certification, under a Wisconsin Grocer's Association program which assists grocery stores in achieving energy savings and enviromental standards. More

Shoppers may be the biggest winners as Costco, Sam's Club go head to head
The Billings Gazette    Share    Share on
FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On a recent frozen Friday, longtime Costco member Barbara Stewart of Crow Agency plopped down $40 for a membership to Sam's Club. She was willing to double up on dues to see what selection and savings Sam's Club will offer when Wal-Mart's wholesale discount store opens in Billings Jan. 21. More

New Web site helps grocers comply with COOL laws
PR Newswire    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Shoppers like knowing if their salad is from the United States, Mexico or Argentina. But grocers have found it burdensome to implement the recent Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) laws requiring them to provide the information at point of sale. A task specific website at for easily making grocery and produce signs debuts today. More

Price Chopper makes $54M bid for 22 P&C stores
The Business Review    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Golub Corp. wants to extend its reach in central and northern New York by purchasing 22 P&C supermarkets for $54 million and converting them into Price Chopper stores. More

Snow disrupts online grocery orders
Retail Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Supermarket groups have battle to fulfill orders because of the cold weather, forcing them to hire more vans and necessitating drivers' overtime. More

Entrepreneurs keep the local food movement hot
BrandWeek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Entrepreneurs are flocking to local food, starting businesses devoted to producing and delivering food within their communities. Just as consumers focus new attention on what we eat and where it comes from, farmers, foodmakers, restaurateurs, retailers, distributors, and processors are rethinking the business models behind it. More

C&S Wholesale to get 'super' tax break
Times Herald-Record    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
C&S Wholesale Grocers has committed to hire more local construction workers for its warehouse expansion in Chester, and the Orange County Industrial Development Agency rewarded C&S with the agency's first-ever "super-enhanced" tax break. More

Consumer/health groups push for 'meaningful change' in alcohol label regulation
Progressive Grocer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
The coalition, which consists of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Consumer Federation of America, the National Consumers League, and Shape Up America!, noted that, despite three decades of governmental inaction, strong public support exists for a standardized "Alcohol Facts" panel on all beer, wine, and distilled spirits products. More

Exchange News

Democrats To Seek Higher Limit On The Federal Debt
The Patriot News Network    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the national debt projected to soar by nearly $1.4 trillion this year, congressional Democrats are planning a year-end push to dramatically increase the legal debt limit so they don't have to revisit the politically uncomfortable issue before facing voters in November. More

Most U.S. retail sectors show improved holiday results
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Most retail sectors are showing improved year-over-year holiday shopping results so far this season, with eCommerce, electronics and jewelry all posting gains, according to MasterCard Advisors in its SpendingPulse report. More

O'Reilly Auto adds two Western distribution centers
Springfield Busines Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Springfield-based O'Reilly Automotive Inc. has added two more distribution centers in its recently acquired Western territories. More

EventPORT "Branding" from WeatherPort
Attractive, versatile, easy to erect, our EventPORT line is designed to meet the needs of the company or individual hosting events, forums or gatherings in outdoor spaces. Call a WeatherPORT representative today to discuss the benefits of owning a durable EventPORT structure. More info

U.S. retailers hope for last-minute gift buying
Financial Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With only a few shopping days left before Christmas, the US holiday shopping season is shaping up to be in line with most retailers’ conservative forecasts. Stores are avoiding last year’s desperate discounting, but seeing at best only small improvements in sales. More

P.F. Chang's sets $100M buyback
Restaurant News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The board of directors at P.F. Chang's China Bistro Inc. has authorized a share repurchase program that will allow the company to buy up to $100 million in its common stock through Dec. 15, 2011. The company said it would use cash on hand for the repurchase program, but that it would also need to amend its credit agreement, which had restricted future share repurchases. More

Walmart's holiday ad voted No. 1
BrandWeek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Walmart has ranked No. 1 on the National Retail Federation's annual "Shoppers' Favorite Holiday Ads" survey, displacing rival retailer Target for the first time in three years. More

Universal Announces Change in Retail Relationship
PR Newswire    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Universal Security Instruments, Inc. announced that it will be changing its current relationship with a large national retailer which has purchased smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms from the Company for sale in the retailer's stores since 2006. Effective approximately April 1, 2010, this retailer will continue to sell the Company's products only online and through the retailer's professional contractors' desk. More

A new spin on retail
The Boston Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
By 8:30 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving, when the frenzy of Black Friday besieged other malls, Legacy Place was deserted. But the managers at this new shopping center insisted they weren't worried as sheets of rain fell across the empty parking lot. More

Moleskine Ruled Notebook
This reliable travel companion has a cardboard bound cover with rounded corners, acid free paper, a bookmark, an elastic closure and an expandable inner pocket that contains the Moleskine history. MORE

Washington Update

Officials Seek Feedback on Family Programs
U.S. Department of Defense    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Defense officials have launched virtual "listening sessions" in hopes of gaining more insight into the effectiveness of military family programs, a Pentagon official said. The anonymous, online survey solicits feedback from servicemembers and their families on the military's educational programs, support networks and other services. More

Army Announces Force Structure Actions
U.S. Department of Defense    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Department of the Army announced today a series of planned unit activations at three installations. These force structure actions will result in an increase of 70 soldiers and 164 civilians at Fort Gordon, Ga., and an increase of 90 soldiers and 92 civilians at two different locations: Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and Fort Eustis, Va. Implementation of these changes is scheduled to be completed in January 2010. 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


Executive Briefing
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