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70th Annual Convention 23.10.17 - 25.10.17


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October 23rd, 2017 - October 25th, 2017
All Day Event
Event Details:  
70th Annual ALA Convention
Mastering The Future: Resale 2020
Norfolk VA  |  October 23-25, 2017

Official Program      |      Schedule of Events      |      Attendee List by Company

Mastering The Future:  Resale 2020
This year's convention was held in Norfolk, Virginia, home of Naval Station Norfolk, the world's largest naval base. Naval Station Norfolk is home to one of the World’s largest active duty military populations of approximately 83,000 men and women. The focus for our 70th annual convention was mastering the future, how resale and industry continue to partner and work together. It is important that we stay focused on the reason we are in this industry: to serve those who sacrifice so much to serve our nation.

This year's convention was focused on looking to the future of the channel, and how to best position ourselves, as a system, to not only survive but prosper in the year 2020 and beyond. In order to adapt to the new realities of 2020, the Defense Retail System will have to become more agile, customer centric, and value driven all the while offering the brands customers are expecting to find on retail shelves. Vets Online Shopping Benefit (VOSB) is a bold initiative that illustrates the need to always be forward thinking to what’s best for the customer of today, tomorrow and down the road. Ideas are nothing without action, applying both patience and persistence to make meaningful change. This is a constant business practice we should all apply. During the convention we focused on how to capitalize on the tailwinds to propel the business forward and how to mitigate competitive and political headwinds that are pressing to our members and resale partners.

The military resale channel has faced many different challenges from inside the political system, as well as outside competition. Through strong leadership within the military retailers at this conference, industry and our friends in DC, we must always pursue and be mindful of what’s best for our customers. While we do not know exactly what the future holds, we as an organization are coming together, in this convention, to shape what the future of Military Resale will look like in 2020.


Ms. Stephanie Barna
Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower and Reserve Affairs)

Ms. Barna opened this year's convention with an outstanding video (see below) that was well received by both ALA Members and our resale partners. In a suprise announcement that took place at the convention before it was made public, we learned that Retired Rear Admiral Robert J. Bianchi will serve as the interim Director and Chief Executive Officer for the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA). 

Ms. Barna also authored an article on "Transforming Commissaries for the 21st Century." Ms. Barna said, "[...] The amazing team at the Defense Commissary Agency is driving forward transformations. It’s extremely difficult, challenging work. It requires that DeCA transform its business model to be more responsive to the needs of today’s military customers in this dynamic retail environment, and enhance their commissary shopping experience. It demands a level of knowledge and expertise in a wide variety of resale business activities, and the ability to adapt and apply contemporary business concepts to the challenges facing the commissary system.

Interim Director & CEO Named at Defense Commissary Agency
October 24, 2017 - U.S. Department of Defense Press Release

"The Department of Defense (DoD) announced today that Retired Rear Admiral Robert J. Bianchi will serve as the interim Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Defense Commissary Agency. Bianchi is Chief Executive Officer of the Navy Exchange Service Command and will continue to serve in that capacity while he is with DeCA. The announcement was made by Ms. Stephanie Barna, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), in recorded remarks delivered at the opening of the 70th Annual Convention of the American Logistics Association, in Norfolk, Va.
Press Release

Navy Exchange CEO takes on dual role as interim commissary director
October 24, 2017 - By Karen Jowers, Navy Times
"As defense officials consider consolidating commissaries and exchanges, a retired admiral serving as CEO of Navy Exchange Service Command has been named the interim director of the Defense Commissary Agency."  Read Article

Current and Past Chairmen of the Board
American Logistics Association


Membership and Media Inquiries
Candace Wheeler
Vice President Strategic Communications and Marketing
American Logistics Association
(202) 466-2520


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