From the desk of the ALA President

Congress recognizes plight of exchanges and MWR programs with $1.4 billion. ALA has been actively advocating for supplemental funding to offset the losses experience by exchanges and other nonappropriated fund programs in DoD.  Hundreds of millions are already flowing from the first round of stimulus money that Congress enact this year to the Navy and Marine Corps in particular and lately beginning to flow to the Army and Air Force.  .  And, now, in an additional, major and unprecedented recognition of the need for and the plight of NAF programs, the House, in its latest version of the $2.2 trillion pandemic stimulus legislation has allocated $1.4 billion for salaries and other needs of over 55,000 base employees of childcare centers, lodges, food operations, exchanges and other recreational activities that are normally paid by revenue generating accounts that have been detrimentally impacted by the pandemic.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are making a last attempt at forging another coronavirus relief deal.  The House will probably pass the bill tomorrow and toss it to the Senate.  The bill also includes funding for Defense operating funds that can be used for supply chain enhancements including funding for supply chain difficulties.  We commend and thank the House appropriators and the House leadership for recognizing these programs.  We also commend the Defense leadership including Secretary of  Defense Mark Esper, Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist, and Under Secretary of Defense Matthew Donovan for recognizing the need to augment NAF programs during the pandemic. We urge all Service Secretaries to use their authority to flow funding to their respective exchanges.  The bill is 2,152 pages long in case anyone has some spare reading time.

Government shutdown avoidance bill is set to move today.  The Senate is expected to move a government funding measure today to keep the government open until at least December 11.  The bill is expected to include $140 million in much needed funding for the Veterans Canteen Service, funding that was included in the House bill passed last week.

One Family, One Mission program launched by resale agencies.   ALA is participating with its resale partners in the launch of a program to boost business and enhance collaboration.  The “One Family, One Mission program includes CGX, MCX, AAFES, NEXCOM, and DeCA.

The program will be discussed at the upcoming ALA Annual Conference to be held virtually on October 20 and 22.  According to a joint letter signed by all of the senior marketing and operating officers of the agencies, the program launches with a Veterans Day promotion.  The launch letter describes the program as an “all hands on deck call for support to make the “In Recognition Of” celebration one to remember.”  The launch letter says: “As the world and our armed forces continue to navigate COVID-19, military resale and its vendor partners have leaned forward to strengthen support of Warfighters and their families. Thank you for all you have done, and continue to do, to support every member of the military community during this extremely challenging time.”  The letter further states: “Our goal is to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of service members through this special virtual event featuring musical performances from top artists, intimate conversations with true heroes and a fun and fitness challenge to bring the military community together.”  “These efforts will be broadcast through all military resale social media and extensively promoted through print, digital, in-store signing and PA channels, to maximize brand visibility, community goodwill and positive consumer perception.”  ALA will be participating as a sponsor and urges all member companies to get behind the effort.  A copy of the letter appears below:

DeCA brings grocery expert on board as Chief Transformation Officer, Grocery Operations.  Last month I reported that DeCA was looking to gain additional grocery management expertise by hiring what is in Government parlance a “Highly Qualified Expert” as Chief transformation Officer, Grocery Operations.  We have learned that the person selected for the job is Jim Flannery.  Mr. Flannery comes from the private sector, most recently as CEO of Summit Ventures.  Linked-in describes Summit Ventures as “experienced business to consumer and business to business consulting”.   He spent 36 years at Procter and Gamble as Managing Director for their Customer Development focusing on “commercial collaboration efforts and the internal capabilities required to deliver them.”  Before going to Summit Ventures, he worked for five years at the Grocery Manufacturers Association which relaunched itself in January of this year as the Consumer Brands Association where he led work to launch a program to enable consumers to get access to information about hundreds of attributes on food, beverage, personal care, household product and pet care products.

According to the position announcement; “The employee will advise and drive the DeCA leadership to embrace and pursue reform within the enterprise. This will include setting the conditions to empower and favor individual contributor’s ideas over the rigid processes and tools that prevent creative thinking. The employee will capitalize on outside expertise in the grocery industry and the respective Associations that support the supply chain and marketing industries.”

Among the duties set forth in the position description, Mr. Flannery would:

  •  Work with and directly for the Director / CEO of DeCA to develop high quality business strategies and plans.
  • Build relationships of trust with key partners and stakeholders, to include suppliers, manufactures, and distributors
  • Be the lead executive in implementing the Community Services Reform transformation plan according to the Business Case Analysis presented by the Office of the Chief Management Officer.
  • Oversee operations and business activities to ensure they produce the desired results and are consistent with the overall strategy and mission of the agency and various studies (i.e. achieve the mandated savings targets currently set at 23.7%)
  • Establish professional contacts with high-level executives and representatives of industry partners, trade and professional associations, veterans and military service organizations, and special interest, constituent, and advocacy groups
  • Meet with industry experts to discuss innovations in the grocery business, and the impact COVIV-19 had on the industry and how DeCA can position itself to take advantage of industry and consumer shopping pattern changes.
  • Assist the Executive Resale Board in implementing ideas from the Reform Group
  • Work with DeCA leadership to draft, if necessary, legislation to enable a more flexible and agile DeCA and commissary operations

This position will be located in (DeCA), an agency of the Department of Defense (DoD), aligned to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs (OASD(M&RA)), within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (OUSD(P&R)).

New defense official nominated by POTUS for oversight of resale programs.    Speaking of OSD (M&RA): DeCA reports to the Department of Defense through two channels.  As a Defense Agency, it falls under the Defense efforts to reform “4th Estate” entities of the DoD.  As a quality of life program, it falls under the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. (USD P&R) The USD (P&R) also issues policy for exchange operations and coalesces cooperative efforts through an Executive Resale Board.

Ms. Vee Penrod has been working in the role as Acting Assistant Secretary for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.  She also served as the DeCA Director before Mr. Bill Moore came on board last month, with Admiral Rob Bianchi (USN-ret.) serving as both the ”Special Assistant for Commissary Operations” and the NEXCOM CEO.

Now, President Trump announced yesterday that he will nominate Brian Davis to be the assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs.  Davis currently serves as the Director of the Defense Personnel and Family Support Center for the Department of Defense.  He is an Air Force Command Pilot and served in various command position for the Air Force.   His confirmation hearing before Senator Jim Inhofe’s’ Armed Services Committee has not yet been set.  Until he is confirmed by the Senate, Ms. Penrod will expect that Ms. Penrod will continue in the acting role.

AAFES Executive promotions and assignments:

Chad Lucas to position of Senior VP for Information Technology

Sean Applegate, Business Development Manager, Exchange HQ, Customer Experience Directorate to E‐Commerce Operations Manager, Exchange HQ, Customer Experience Directorate.

Keola Chan, General Manager (Dual), JB Charleston Exchange, Eastern Region to General Manager, Wright Patterson AFB Exchange, Central Region

Bettina Ciciriello‐Frederick Program Specialist, Exchange HQ, Executive Group to the position of PB 5/1, General Manager (Dual), Dyess AFB Exchange, Western Region

Tammy Hairston, Store Manager (MS), Wright Patterson AFB Exchange, Centra Region to General Manager, Hill AFB Exchange,

Christel Kelly, Sales & Merchandise Manager, JB Fort Lewis‐McChord Exchange, Western Region to the position of PB 5/1, General Manager (Dual), Denver Consolidated Exchange (DS: Buckley AFB), Western

Jerry Myers, Financial Systems Administrator, Exchange HQ, Finance &Accounting Directorate to Financial Analysis Manager, Exchange HQ, Finance & Accounting Directorate.

Jessica Provan, Sales & Merchandise Manager, Fort Hood Exchange, Central Region to Store Manager (MS), EUCOM Consolidated Exchange (DS: Panzer), Europe Region

Brian Read, General Manager (Dual), Grand Forks Exchange, Central Region to General Manager, Minot AFB Exchange, Central Region in October 2020.

Patricia Tinker, General Manager (Dual), Dyess AFB Exchange, Western Region to Store Manager (MS), Fort Bliss Exchange, Western Region

Jermaine Wilson, General Manager, Wright Patterson AFB Exchange, Central Region to General Manager, Fort Riley Exchange, Central Region

Thea Sarver General Manager, JB Andrews AFB Exchange, Eastern Region to General Manager, Fort Buchanan Exchange, Eastern Region

Nanami Taniguchi, Store Manager (MS), Fort Leonard Wood Exchange, Central Region to Store Manager (MS), Hawaii Consolidated Exchange Schofield Barracks), Pacific Region.

Stephanie Wilson General Manager, Fort Buchanan Exchange, Eastern Region to General Manager, JB Andrews AFB Exchange, Eastern Region

Resale Roundup-August 2020 ($ in thousands)*

Service              Aug. 20                Aug. 19           Diff.               FY20 YTD              FY19 YTD             Diff.

AAFES            $572,593             $638,147        -10.3%            $4,162,642           $4,730,249          -12.9%    

 

NEXCOM           163,316               183,674        -11.1%              1,195,159             1,313,374           -9.0%    

 

MCX                 58,026                64,720        -10.3%                439,115               484,388           -9.4%    

 

VCS                  25,110                38,820        -35.3%                190,514               288,105          -33.9%    

 

CGX                  16,778                12,921       +29.9%                108,268                 91,570         +18.2%    

Service              Aug. 20                Aug. 19           Diff.               FY20 YTD              FY19 YTD             Diff.

DeCA             $346,785             $385,172        -10.9%            $4,173,615           $4,137,299           +0.9%

 

Note: AAFES’s sales figures are cumulative, and include direct sales.

 * Fiscal years vary by service, as do computation methods. Sales figures are provided by the services on a monthly basis. Some information provided by the services reflects incomplete sales totals or flash figures. Audited figures are used when provided by the services. Sales figures are approximate and are rounded off. AAFES, NEXCOM, MCX and CGX sales totals include gasoline, and fluctuations in prices can impact monthly and yearly performance. Most exchange sales do not include concession sales. All year-to-date charts on this page refer to the month shown in this table unless otherwise specified. Totals may not agree because of rounding.


Best regards,
Stephen Rossetti
President
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