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    Alabama Rejoins PMAA

    After eight-year absence, state organization praises the national jobber association.

    ARLINGTON, Va. -- One of the fallen four has returned to the fold.

    After an eight-year absence, the Petroleum & Convenience Marketers of Alabama (P&CMA), formerly the Alabama Oilmen's Association, has rejoined the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA). The Alabama organization had been among four state associations ? the others being Texas, West Virginia and Georgia -- to pull out in the 1990s for different reasons.

    "This is terrific news and I am very encouraged with this vote of confidence by the Alabama leadership," said PMAA Chairman David Adcox, who last year told Convenience Store News that among his top priorities was to win back the confidence of the four state groups. "There is a strong jobber contingent in Alabama and we have really missed their involvement in PMAA in recent years."

    Citing his board's unanimous vote, P&CMA President Lee Boles of Athens, Ala.-based Watkins Oil Co., said, "Events that have occurred during the past 12 months make it clear that PMAA is the only national trade association truly dedicated to the jobber class of trade. We commend PMAA's leadership ? both staff and volunteer ? for making the changes in their organizational structure that will allow PMAA to continue as a viable trade association for many years."

    In a notable strategic shift, PMAA has halted activities that were considered extraneous, instead honing its limited resources to bettering the jobber-class trade. Two primary examples are the creation of a PMAA fuel brand, called Spirit, to help petroleum marketers squeezed by major oil mergers that have reduced the number of national brands. Moreover, the organization drew plaudits from members when it aggressively pursued a national below-cost sales law that would bar retailers from selling gasoline below wholesale cost plus transportation.

    "The jobber class of trade is under attack from every possible angle and it is important for us to come together and protect our member businesses," said P&CMA Executive Vice President Bart Fletcher. "The relationship with our sister associations all across the country provides valuable help in this regard."

    Meanwhile, Dan Gilligan, president of PMAA, a federation servicing 47 states with Alabama's inclusion, noted the state's effectiveness in producing strong pro-jobber legislation. "P&CMA has built an exceptional relationship with their congressional delegation," he said. "Tapping into their political strength will be a great boost to our national legislative and regulatory efforts."

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