NAG: Back by Popular Demand

When we purchased CONVENIENCE STORE DECISIONS nearly two years ago, we heard a constantly recurring question: “When are you going to revitalize the National Advisory Group (NAG)?”

With the acquisition we had a lot on our plate, but we were always looking at NAG. We examined carefully why NAG withered, and what was the proper way to bring it back to prominence.

You have seen and been part of the revitalization of Convenience Store Decisions, and based on more than a year of internal research, we are ready to bring NAG back as the vital, important organization it once was.

In April, we took the first step with a roundtable meeting in Dallas, which was the seeding of the 2009/10 steering committee. Participating in the roundtable were Bill Kent (Kent Oil Cos.), David Johnson (Toot-N-Totum), Becky Shotwell (Stop-N-Go), Jimmy McCarthy (Tom Thumb) and John MacDougal (Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes). Representing the supplier community were Jim Colucci (Altadis), Donny Shadburn (Swisher), Jerry Rose (McLane), Barry Latham (S. Abraham & Son), Scott Apter (Apter Industries) and Michael Zielinski (Royal Buying Group). Their input and leadership was invaluable.

Here is what we’ve been hearing from retailers concerning their affinity for NAG, and what we will incorporate in the new, revitalized NAG.
• “It was the absolute best organization with which we were ever associated.”
• “Small groups of decision makers gathering together to share and learn….please revive!”
• It was by far worth my time and money.”
• “I always came away with at least one profit making idea.”
• “It was the most personal and informative organization around.”
• “Loved the closeness of the group, the trust allowed everyone to be honest and share ideas.”
•“Since my involvement, I have shopped other events but I am still looking for something like it.”

Quotes like this are helping us with the guidelines of NAG as we move forward and define what NAG will be about:
• NAG, affords industry executives and key decision makers a forum to meet face-to-face to discuss real solutions in a close, intimate environment. No motivational speakers or fast-paced, high-pressure sales tactics are anywhere in sight. This program is about you, and driven by you. From the moment you arrive at a NAG event you are among friends that share your values, vision and dedication to improving operations.
• NAG recognizes that time and money are short. Like you, NAG itself is run by passionate business owners that are committed to putting together an event that is meaningful and valuable. To that end, the focus is on executive-level learning and dialogue aimed at offering takeaways that can help your business run more efficiently.
• NAG’s vision is—and will remain—peer-to-peer sharing with like minded executives that will produce long lasting friendships and ideas to help smooth their transitions to tomorrow’s executive level decision makers.
• We won’t forget the fun, so count on golf, private as well as gala banquets, the Pow Wow Room (Eagle’s Nest) and other activities to participate in during the events.

The next step is our NAG Reunion, which will be held at Saddlebrook Resort (Tampa area) Nov. 8-10. At this meeting, the attendees will reform the organization, standing committee’s, membership policies and agenda for NAG’s 2010 conference.

This is your invitation to be part of the revitalization of an organization you loved. We have every intention of bringing it back to its former greatness and relevance. Be part of it and plan to attend. Feel free to contact any of your peers mentioned above or me directly at (440) 250-1583, ext. 103, or at