NACS Emphasizes “The Power of One”

NACS PRESIDENT AND CEO Hank
Armour stressed a simple message
at the 2007 Opening
General Session. “We may not
look the same or operate the same, but
we are one. And our theme for this year’s
NACS Show perfectly reflects this mission
and where we are today—one industry, one
voice and one show.”

Armour discussed “the power of one” and
how NACS works on the industry’s behalf
not just at the NACS Show, but every day.


ONE SHOW

“The NACS Show is clearly where the
industry comes together. This has been reinforced
over the past few years through our
alliances with PEI and PMAA to make this
the one show for the industry,” said Armour.
And new alliances in 2007 with the state
associations from Georgia , Alabama and
Florida “broaden and deepen our reach.”

However, the NACS Show doesn’t work
unless the one is really one-on-one, stressed
Armour. Today, the NACS Show Connect,
the Internet portal that attendees received
upon registration, allows attendees to link
with fellow attendees or exhibitors, making
the NACS Show very manageable.


ONE INDUSTRY

The U.S. convenience and petroleum
industry is made up of about 80,000 different
companies; 70,000 of them are
one-store operations, noted Armour. Yet for
all the differences, “this industry is thriving,”
he said.
It is critical to nurture the smaller companies
in the industry, Armour said, through
a number of programs like Independents’
Day at the NACS Show, which featured programming
developed for smaller operators.
“We want to foster that entrepreneurial spirit
by giving retailers tools that work for them.
By doing so, it makes our industry better; it
makes us all better.”

One industry also means one industry
across national borders. “NACS plays a
leading role in global activities, helping you
discover best practices, wherever they may
be,” said Armour, citing this summer’s 8th
NACS Global Forum in Tokyo and Shanghai,
as well as the four-day International
Conference at the NACS Show. He also
encouraged attendees to join in the NACS
Global Conference in Munich, Germany next June.

ONE VOICE

“We absolutely must stay on top of issues;
before legislation is proposed; before votes
are cast; before you are impacted by poorly
drafted legislation—and we have a dedicated
and talented team that ensures your
voice is heard,” said Armour.
As gasoline prices continue to increase,
Armour noted that fewer reporters are contacting
NACS requesting interviews on the
topic. Why? Because the conversations
have evolved. “That’s the result of proactive
advocacy efforts with the top
reporters in the country. Our message—the
industry’s message, your message—is getting
out and we are making a difference,”
he added.

But many battles will require even more
engagement. “Your outreach efforts are
critical in the most important fi ght that our
industry faces—reducing outrageous credit
card fees,” said Armour. And there has been
considerable progress:

* Congress has held at least 10 hearings
dealing with credit card fees and four specifi
cally on interchange fees.

* MasterCard did an IPO to try and insulate
itself from go-forward antitrust liability
and Visa has announced plans to do the
same. “We went four successive rate cycles
without an increase in interchange fees for
our industry,” said Armour.

* MasterCard put a $75 cap on the
amount of a transaction subject to
interchange.

“While we pound away in the courts, in
Congress and in the press, we need you to
talk with your elected offi cials and we need
your financial support by contributing to
the NACS Interchange Action Fund. There is
no battle that we are more committed to
than fi xing this system that is clearly broken,”
said Armour.

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