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    CSNews Top 50 Forum to Feature Top Retailers, Programs

    Industry's most aggressive buyer of c-store properties to give keynote; bankruptcy panel will feature key Swifty Serve, Dairy Mart players.

    NEW YORK -- Industry executives from leading convenience store and petroleum marketing chains in the United States and Canada will gather next month in glamorous Quebec City, Canada for the 9th annual Convenience Store News Top 50 Forum.

    During this premier networking event, titled Driving Sales & Building Profit, to be held June 17-19 at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, Convenience Store News will deliver a series of panel discussions aimed at promoting dialogue between the industry's leading chains, suppliers and manufacturers.

    As the retail industry continues its unprecedented growth and more Canadian retail companies expand operations south into the United States, CSNews is looking to explore the challenges facing these companies at home and abroad.

    To bridge the gap between U.S. and Canadian chains, CSNews has enlisted industry leaders from both countries. Alan Beach, of Dallas-Based, emcees the event with keynotes by Alain Bouchard of Laval, Quebec-based Alimentation Couche-Tard and OPIS Publisher Tom Kloza.

    "This seminar is specific and timely in addressing the issues our industry faces. I look forward to hearing about business ideas, process changes and technology applications from industry leaders, as well as the opportunity to network with peers," said Doug Bell, director of information systems for Kiel Brothers Oil Co. in Columbus, Ind. "CSN has a good track record with the events I have attended, and this one promises to be one of the best."

    Other speakers include Bryan Monkhouse, chief operating officer of Irving Oil Ltd. in Saint John, New Brunswick and Bob Windt, national category manager of Philadelphia-based Sunoco Inc.

    CSNews has also assembled the industry's top financial minds for a "Life After Bankruptcy" panel to discuss how the weak economy has impacted financial stability and examine the steps bankrupt chains have taken to emerge leaner and meaner than ever before.

    "The industry is undergoing massive changes. With Swifty Serve and Clark Retail Enterprises going out of business, it's important for the industry to know what are the opportunities, what are the pitfalls, what went wrong with Swifty, what went wrong with Clark," said Evan Gladstone, managing director of National Real Estate Clearinghouse (NRC), which announced yesterday it had been retained to oversee the liquidity of Clark's retail assets at a July 1 auction. "It's clear five years from now that the whole landscape will be significantly different. The bankruptcies are just the symptom of deeper problems."

    In addition to Gladstone, the bankruptcy panel, moderator by CSNews Executive Editor Mitch Morrison, features
    * Jan Friederich, CEO, Exprezit!
    * Dave McComas, president and CEO, Fas Mart Convenience Stores Inc.
    * Frank Colaccino, partner, The Colvest Group
    * Michael Lederman, founder of Spectrum Capital Group LLC.

    Other sessions also include:
    * Driving Sales with New Ideas ? New Twists on Proven Ideas.
    * Loyalty Programs: A Case Study for Success.
    * Driving Profit Through Cost Cutting
    * Motor Fuels: Below Cost Selling

    For complete show details, visit: Top 50 Forum Online.

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