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    McLane Show Kickoff Focuses on 'Finding a Way'

    NFL great Merril Hoge inspires with his keynote speech.

    By Melissa Kress, Convenience Store News

    DENVER — Convenience channel insiders from across the country have converged in the Mile High City this week to attend McLane Co. Inc.'s 2015 National Trade Show. This year's theme is "The Sales Trail."

    Wednesday's keynote address featured Merril Hoge, a former player with the National Football League and current ESPN host. Hoge, who fought one of his biggest battles off the field when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2003, brought the lessons he learned from his journey to the football field and they cultivated his philosophy today: Find a Way.

    A key step in finding success is having goals, he said, and staying focused on those goals. He also stressed that being uncommon will get you noticed — from your boss, to your peers, to your competitors.

    "Everybody in here has goals and everybody in here has challenges," Hoge said. "I don't know what they are, but I know everybody has two tools for excellence: mental and spiritual energies."

    He defined excellence as getting the most out of everything you do. "There is not a person in here who can't be uncommon and there is not a person in here who can't be excellent," he explained.

    But no one can go it alone. Most of Hoge's lessons and insights came from others. "Life is a team game and we are all teammates," he concluded.

    The McLane National Trade Show continues through Thursday. More than 150 exhibitors representing all corners of the convenience store industry are showcasing at the two-day event, taking place at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver.

    The show concludes Thursday with category spotlights on tobacco and foodservice. In addition, the event features educational sessions on "Smart Ordering & Grocery Mobile 2.0," and "McLaneLink 1.0 & CMI/New VTS Features and Integration."

    Temple, Texas-based McLane is a $46-billion supply chain services provider. The company provides grocery and foodservice supply chain solutions to convenience stores, mass merchants, drugstores and chain restaurants throughout the United States. McLane is a wholly owned unit of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

    By Melissa Kress, Convenience Store News
    • About Melissa Kress Melissa Kress joined EnsembleIQ's Convenience Store News in November 2010. Her primary beats include alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Kress has been a professional journalist since 1995. A graduate of West Virginia University, she began her career in community journalism before moving to business-to-business publishing in 2000, covering commercial real estate.

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