From the desk of the Executive Director - Cathy Berg
The summer season is soon upon us. The American Beverage Licensees will be hosting this year’s annual convention in Alexandria, VA which I will be attending from June 8th thru June 12th. They have a great lineup of several speakers and events. It will be a great opportunity to network and learn from people all over the United States. Speakers will feature, Martin Johnson on Fake ID: What Licensees Need to Know, who will discuss best practices for licensees to protect themselves against false identification. Martin Johnson is a retired detective from Howard County, Maryland. He is an expert in document identification, and a certified educator by the Department of Homeland Security. He teaches not only law enforcement officers, and other government agents, but also retail industry representatives how to detect fraudulent identity documents, and has examined thousands of identity documents involved in criminal cases and has personally investigated hundreds of other cases involving fraudulent practices. The other speaker that will be featured is Neil Trautwein, current Vice President of the Employee Benefits Policy Council at the National Retail Federation (NRF) who will speak on the New Healthcare Laws. With all of the uncertainty surrounding the effect of the Affordable Care Act on small business owners and retailers, this seminar will explain the law’s impact on a beverage retailer.
As a member of the Licensed Beverage Dealers, you are also a member of the American Beverage Licensee Association, a national trade association for retail beverage alcohol license holders. ABL has 34 state members who in turn have nearly 20,000 members that are comprised of on-premise and off-premise licensees who provide hundreds of thousands of jobs and annually infuse millions of dollars into the American economy. They represent the interests of the small business owners. Many members are independent, family-owned operators who assure that beverage alcohol is sold and consumed responsibly by adults. ABL works with all members of the Three-Tier System (wholesalers, suppliers, and retailers, who make up the membership of the LBDSD), as well as regulators and other third parties to defend the industry.
Why is it important for you to attend:
“It’s too expensive.”
This year’s ABL conference registration fee is $199 – the lowest it’s ever been and down from $250 the year before. Though we have a shortened the conference schedule, it is not short on valuable content and hospitality events. It includes a breakfast, luncheon, imported beer reception, craft spirit tasting and cocktail reception, banquet dinner, and congressional reception that will accompany a great line-up of speakers and presentations.
“It’s more of the same.”
The program for this year’s conference includes new panels and speakers who have never participated in ABL events before. They include:
“What difference does it make if I attend?”
ABL Conference attendees are coming to DC to learn more about the industry, what’s going on in Washington that affects them and things that can help them with their businesses. But they also have the opportunity to make a difference by advocating for themselves. ABL is setting up meetings for attendees with members of Congress and their staff, so that beverage licensees can talk about the issues of importance to them with those who make the key decisions.
“I can’t get away from my business for that long.”
ABL has created an event where one could spend a full three days engaged in learning opportunities, hospitality events and advocacy, and we welcome all those beverage licensees who are excited to take advantage of that. But we also understand that your time is valuable, which is why we’ve shortened the schedule. For those who can only make it for two days and are interested in learning about the industry and business education, join us on Sunday and Monday for seminars, speakers and panel talks. For those who want to serve as a citizen lobbyist, joins us on Monday for the general session seminars and Tuesday when we visit Capitol Hill.
“3 days off is a vacation, and why would I want to go on a vacation with members of Congress?!”
OK, this may be a valid point……….HOWEVER, there’s a good deal more to Washington and the DC Metro area than hanging out with our lowly-approved federal legislature. The Capital area has much to offer including the National Mall, Smithsonian, monuments and most importantly, great hospitality with bars and restaurants nearly wherever you turn.
Please contact our office to learn more about the ABL convention by calling: 800-721-1789.
On another note, have you seen our new website: licensedbeveragedealers-sd.com? We are up and running and very excited as we complete this process. We went online with our first newsletter in March/April as well as the price listing for Johnson Brothers. This can be found in the menu on the front page of our website. A special note: an updated price listing from Johnson Brothers will come out by the 10th of each month starting in June 2013 for your convenience. As a member of our association, we are also creating a “Trading Post” area where you will be able to post things for sale, hiring positions, etc. which will be located under the “members only” section of the website. Once this has been completed, we will alert you to this new feature. In the coming months, our office will be calling you to update your profile and business information, and assigning a user name and password, which will enable you to access the “members only” section amongst other information as a member.
Don’t forget: TAM classes are being offered monthly across the state. Check out the TAM schedule for classes, dates, times, and locations on the website under the menu item: Training and Education. This is being updated regularly. Online classes are also available. Contact our office for details at 800-721-1789.
Have a great and safe summer!