Networking at the NAG Ideas Conference

David Johnson named group chairman as the National Advisory Group concludes its 2010 meeting focused on building profits and relationships.

The National Advisory Group’s (NAG) 2010 Ideas Conference wrapped up in Charleston, S.C., offering convenience store owners a much better understanding of the issues facing small and mid-sized businesses and family-owned companies. Whether it’s dealing with healthcare reform, hiring the convenience store managers of tomorrow or embracing social media programs to connect with today’s younger convenience customers, c-store owners are facing difficult decisions at a time when money remains tight.

The newly reformed NAG addressed these issues for convenience store owners while providing a close, intimate atmosphere conducive to identifying real solutions. Aside from the networking and educational sessions, operators were afforded the opportunity to bond and share ideas during lengthy Information Exchange sessions, which are the essence of NAG—an association driven by retailers, for retailers.

“It’s a difficult market right now, so companies are looking for answers that will help them operate more efficiently,” said John MacDougall, president and CEO of Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes. “The great thing about NAG is that historically it’s been an event where people can come to get answers.”

While education and networking were the pervasive themes throughout the conference, NAG named a Board of Directors that will lead the group into 2011. David Johnson, vice president of operations for Toot’n Totum in Texas, was named incoming chairman.

Other board members include:
• Mary Banmiller, Warrenton Oil, in Truesdale, Mo.
• Rick Hamilton, TriStar Energy/Daily’s, Nashville
• Bill Kent, Kent Oil, Midland, Texas
• Jimmy McCarthy, Tom Thumb Stores, Miami
• Becky Shotwell, Stop N Go, Medina, Ohio
• Peter Tamburro, Nice N Easy, Canastota, N.Y.
• Bill Weigel, Weigel Stores, Powell, Tenn.

NAG also announced it will rename its annual college scholarship program for dependents of NAG members in memory of Wayne Levitt, an avid NAG supporter formerly of Gate Petroleum. Mitchell Rhodes, of Gate Petroleum, said the company was humbled by the announcement honoring his former colleague.

Retailers interested in joining NAG or getting information about the September 2011 conference should contact CSD Publisher John Petersen at or by visit


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