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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

CHANGE IS GOOD

By: Charles Glaser, RSVA President
(Vendorscope Fall 2009)

Read Previous Messages

In his campaign for President of the United States Barak Obama stressed the need for change. Who knew he was talking about RSVA? There have been many changes for RSVA in 2009. Below are just a few.

At the beginning of the year we found out that the US Postal Service contracted with National Vending. We contacted Bill Lewis and Kevin Wall to find out how they planned to work with the Randolph-Sheppard priority. Their response was “we intend to do what is lawful to preserve opportunities for blind vendors” followed by “will you help us make sure that we are consistent with the Act”. I agreed, and RSVA has been working with them ever since.

There have been bumps in the road and they are addressed as they come up. As all of you can imagine, this contract is a huge undertaking for a company that had very little knowledge about the Randolph-Sheppard Act. But what is important is, they listen!  We hope that by working with National Vending, we will be able to reduce the arbitrations that have plagued vendors, state agencies and the Postal Service for many years. We are also working with National Vending on opportunities outside of their Post Office contract.

We are all aware that the economy has had an impact on many of our facilities. Sales are down and wholesale prices continue to rise. This has caused us to redouble our efforts to ease the pain. We are now in the middle of a pilot project with Frito-Lay. In five states, blind vendors are receiving a two-cent-per-bag-off invoice discount on single serve and LSS Frito-Lay’s chips purchased through an authorized distributor. We hope that this program will go nationwide early next year, but we need your help.

The way this program works is the distributor gives you the discount off your invoice and then the distributor invoices Frito-Lay for reimbursement. Over the next couple of months, don’t be surprised to receive a call from RSVA to get your information so, when the program is expanded, you can be added to the list of managers eligible for the discount.

 

There will also be exciting improvements in the 2010 Sagebrush Conference. We will again start our opening ceremonies on Monday afternoon. This year, our special guest speaker will be Jim Brinton, Chairman of the Board of the National Automated Merchandising Association. Sagebrush will also be expanded to include Thursday afternoon and Friday to offer more intense training for both managers currently servicing the military and managers that want to be prepared to take on a military contract or other teaming operation.

You can expect the customary Washington reports and expansive exhibits, plus other surprises. We have been informed that Sagebrush will be the only Randolph-Sheppard consumer organization holding their own conference in 2010. Make your plans now to attend the 2010 Sagebrush Conference at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas January 25 thru 29.  

RSVA is continuing to build relationships with government, manufacturers, distributors and the rest of the vending community. As mentioned earlier, we are working closely with the postal service as well as other agencies to preserve and enhance our priority. We are working with manufacturers like Frito-Lay and large distributors like Vistar to improve our wholesale prices. We are banding together with organizations like NAMA and the BEA on legislative challenges.

Taking on these initiatives and more lead us to one of our most significant changes. RSVA added a second office in the Washington D.C. area. We welcome Mrs. Terry Pacheco who will be managing our Washington office. Many of you know Terry. She is a former vendor from Massachusetts. Terry also worked on membership, affiliate affairs and convention planning for the American Council of the Blind in their Washington office. We believe that with her knowledge of Randolph-Sheppard and the Washington community, she will be a valuable asset to RSVA.

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