celebrating new beginnings

At the recent Anheuser-Busch symposium for trade journalists, Bob Lachky, executive vice president of global industry development, said among the many reasons for the brewer's success is innovation, aggressive marketing and keeping its product line fresh. Convenience Store Decisions is proud to share those same values. To kick off the new year, CSD has hit the ground running. We have planned a busy year to benefit the retailer and supplier community beginning this month with our new Buyer's Guide and an exclusive conference partnership with ECRM.

In subsequent months, we will build on the successes of these two products with our Reader Service Awards, the C-Store Foodservice Show, the Sales Trend Handbook, the Chain of the Year award and enough research and news data to keep retailers busy long after the work day ends.

The Buyer's Guide, beginning on page 17, was truly a collaborative effort spearheadedby managing editor Kate Quackenbush. Kate's tireless efforts in dealing withthe most picayune details are largely responsible for this product. I hope youfind it useful and informative. The Guide will also be updated regularly inan online version available at www.cstoredecisions.com.Please feel free to send us feedback or suggestions as to how we can makethis product your go-to source for supplier information.

After just a month on the job at CSD I am thoroughly impressed with the relationships, professionalism and commitment of my new staff. Elder statesman Jay Gordon serves as an influential industry authority and new publisher Shahla Hebets is making great strides to cement our position as the authoritative source for industry trends and analysis. I have been encouraged by the support I have received from them, and from the dozens of emails I've received from old friends in the retailer and supplier community, as we lay the foundation for an exciting year.

Like the competitive forces retailers and suppliers face everyday, the magazines that cover this industry face the same cunning competition, but on a much smaller level. CSD is gearing up for the fight and we urge readers keep an eye on us as we prepare to blanket the industry with news coverage and analysis you won't find anywhere else.

I look forward to working with as many of you as possible as we begin a newjourney down a familiar road. Please feel free to contact me with company news,comments, questions or suggestions as to how we can better serve you in themonths and years ahead. I can be reached at (201) 845-2468 or via email at jlofstock@penton.com

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