Jeff Miller, president of Miller Oil Co., became engaged with NACS for two simple reasons: “I wanted to build a better business and I wanted to make friends in an industry that I am passionate about,” he said in his NACS Show Closing General Session on Friday.
At the conclusion of the NACS Show, Miller is succeeding Jay Ricker as the 2010-2011 NACS Chairman.
NACS brings people together to share best ideas-and no other industry shares like the convenience and petroleum retailing industry, said Miller.
“We do things that other industries can’t (do) because we share so much,” he said. “This culture of sharing means that when we need to, we can mobilize and speak as one,” he said, citing the recent swipe fee victory.
“There were other groups that also played a big role. But I believe that it wouldn’t have happened without us. That’s the power of engagement and mobilizing to speak as one,” said Miller.
Swipe fee reform is just one of so many things that NACS has done for the industry, noted Miller, citing three quantifiable examples from NACS’ 49-year history.
For one, in the 1980s NACS stopped the growing threat of beer/gas bans, when states like California were trying to prevent stores that sold gas from also selling beer.
“If you sell beer today, you know what a big deal that is. Beer delivers about $36,000 per store in gross profit.
Second, there was special occupational tax (SOT) repeal that NACS spearheaded in the 2000s. SOT was a tax of $250 per year placed on stores that sell beer or wine. It started in 1865 to pay for the Civil War and never got off the books.
“That action alone has taken nearly $2 billion in fees out of our expense lines-and counting,” said Miller.
Third, in the 1980s, and then again in the 1990s, NACS helped move up daylight saving time. At the time it was estimated it would add $1 billion in sales every year for the industry. “That’s tens of billions of dollars in sales since then,” said Miller.
These three achievements are just a few of the many milestones that NACS will recognize in 2011 as it celebrates its 50th anniversary. The celebration, stressed, Miller, will be really about what the industry as a whole has achieved-and what we will continue to achieve together with our highly engaged members, noted Miller.
“This is really a celebration about us,” he said. “Overcoming obstacles and coming together to control our destinies. About becoming one industry. About speaking with one voice. And about getting the job done.”
The NACS Show, which ends today, Friday, Oct. 8, is ranked as one of the 50 largest annual trade shows in the U.S. The 2011 NACS Show will take place Oct. 1-4 in Chicago.