If you could use a single word to describe the NACS/PEI show that word would be encouraging. Attendance in a weak economy was strong – nearly 22,000 representatives of the global convenience and petroleum retailing industry turned out according to attendance figures released by NACS. Overall, 21,983 attendees were at the NACS Show, including 1,328 international attendees. Other shows have been hit or miss this year and mostly closer to miss. Also, anecdotally, feedback from the exhibitors indicated that good business was being conducted at the show.
The NACS Show took place Oct. 5 to 8 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. It is ranked as one of the 50 largest annual trade shows in the United States.
The NACS Show featured a 370,000-plus net-square-foot exposition floor with 1,300 exhibiting companies — including 330 companies new to the NACS Show. In addition, the event featured a record 75 educational workshops and five training sessions, drawing a cumulative 7,500 attendees, and three days of standing-room-only general sessions, including a Closing General Session address by President George W. Bush.
“Our solid attendance numbers demonstrate that the convenience and petroleum retailing channel remains strong, while many other channels have struggled during the economic downturn,” said NACS Vice Chairman of Convention Steve Loehr, vice president of operations support for Kwik Trip Inc. “The NACS Show continues to be embraced by both retailers and suppliers who come to the show to grow their businesses as they find new products and services, make new business connections and share new ideas in our educational workshops.”
“The success of this year’s NACS Show goes beyond the numbers,” said NACS Supplier Board Chair Tom Joyce, vice president of customer industry affairs for The Hershey Co. “The buzz on the expo floor and feedback from exhibitors has been tremendous.”
NACS has held an annual meeting every year since its founding in 1961, but it wasn’t until 1976 that the meeting included an expo, which was part of the meeting every two or three years. From 1986 on, the annual meeting included an expo, although those early years featured a greatly scaled-down expo every other year until the early 1990s. The Petroleum Marketers Association of America has held its Fall Meeting as part of the NACS Show since in 1995 and the Petroleum Equipment Institute has held its annual meeting as part of the NACS Show since in 2002. Today, the NACS Show is rotated between three cities: Chicago, Las Vegas and Atlanta.
The NACS Show also is a business meeting. At the conclusion of the show, Jeff Miller, president of Norfolk, Virginia-based Miller Oil Co. Inc., became the association’s 2010-11 chairman of the board, succeeding Jay Ricker. In this role, Miller also oversees the NACS Executive Committee. Also named to the NACS Executive Committee were the following NACS retail members:
* NACS Vice Chairman-Treasurer: Tom Robinson, president of Santa Clara, California-based Robinson Oil Corp.;
* NACS Vice Chairman of NACSPAC: Dave Carpenter, president and CEO of Urbandale, Iowa-based J.D. Carpenter Companies Inc.;
* NACS Vice Chairman of Technology: Patrick Lewis, partner of Twin Falls, Idaho-based Oasis Stop ’N Go Convenience Stores;
* NACS Vice Chairman of Government Relations: Brad Call, general counsel and executive vice president of human resources, public relations and adventure culture of North Salt Lake, Utah-based Maverik Inc.;
* NACS Vice Chairman of Member Services: Jack Kofdarali, president of Corona, California-based J&R Oil Company;
* NACS Vice Chairman of Research: Fran Duskiewicz, senior executive vice president for Canastota, New York-based Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes Inc.; and
* NACS Vice Chairman of Convention: Steve Loehr, vice president of operations support for LaCrosse, Wisconsin-based Kwik Trip Inc.
NACS also named five new members to its Board of Directors:
* Rahim Budhwani, CEO of 6040 LLC (Hoover, Alabama);
* Wendy Chronister, CEO of Chronister Oil Co. (Springfield, Illinois);
* Frank Gleeson, retail director of Topaz Energy Group (Dublin, Ireland);
* Jeff Parker, president, Kwik Shop Inc. (Hutchinson, KS);
* Peter Tedeschi, president & CEO of Tedeschi Food Shops (Rockland, Massachusetts).
On the supplier side, Tom Joyce, vice president of customer industry affairs for The Hershey Company, was named 2010-11 chairman of the NACS Supplier Board. Scott Hill, vice president of convenience sales, Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, was named chair-elect and will succeed Joyce as 2011-12 chairman.
PEI at the Show
This show was Petroleum Equipment Institute’s 60th Anniversary Convention. PEI has partnered with NACS to assist with the Petroleum Equipment & Services area of the trade show and it additionally provides a range of education and business meeting for its members.
Economist Philip Verleger was the association’s keynote speaker for the 2010 Industry Lunch and Membership Meeting. Verleger was the first economist to write of the emergence of petroleum as a commodity. Verleger is currently president of PKVerleger LLC and the David Mitchell EnCana Professor of Strategy and International Management at the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary. He spoke to PEI members on the future of petroleum motor fuels and trends in the current fuels market.
The convention also provides a venue for the association’s leadership elections.
Dennis Rethmeier, president of Western Pump, Inc., San Diego, California, was elected to serve as president of the organization. Rethmeier has served as the president of Western Pump since 1988.
Joey Cheek, president of JMP Solutions, Inc., Tampa, Florida, has been elected to serve as vice president of the organization. Cheek most recently served as PEI’s treasurer.
Terry Cooper, president of Acterra Group, Inc., Marion, Iowa, was appointed treasurer by the association’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. Cooper has served as the president of Acterra Group since 1998.
“Dennis, Joey and Terry have been active advocates for the Petroleum Equipment Institute and its activities for many years and, as such, will make great officers,” said Robert Renkes, PEI’s executive vice president. “We welcome them to their new positions and are convinced that their time as officers will provide long-term benefits for PEI and its member companies.”
PMAA at the Show
PMAA’s fall meeting set a record for board attendance, with a record 45 of the 47 state/regional associations represented. Member attendance was important because the board had a number of important issues to discuss and vote on. Among those was a plan to amend the by-laws to create three committees and adjust the responsibilities of executive committee members. The board approved the by-law changes to establish the Convenience Store Committee, the Motor Fuels Committee, and the Heating Fuels Committee.
Marketers and state executives that attended the lunch on Oct. 5 were treated to a presentation from PMAA Partner World Pay and a video highlighting PMAA’s involvement in the fight for debit card swipe fee reform and derivatives trading reform. The video included clips from PMAA leaders in the media and in congressional hearings.
The 2011 NACS Show will take place Oct. 1 to 4 in Chicago.
NACS 2010 Products Review:
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