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    "Rudy" To Headline Independent C-Store Expo

    Famed Notre Dame football player will share his "fighting spirit" with attendees.

    HINSDALE, Ill. -- Royal Buying Group, Inc. (RBG) announced that Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger will be the guest speaker at this year's Independent C-Store Expo, which will be held on Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Marriott Oak Brook Hotel in Oak Brook, Ill.

    Against all odds on a gridiron in South Bend, Ind., Ruettiger, in twenty seven seconds, carved his name into history books as perhaps the most famous graduate of the University of Notre Dame. The son of an oil refinery worker and third of 14 children, Ruettiger rose from valleys of discouragement and despair to the pinnacles of success. Today, he is one of the most popular motivational speakers in the U.S.

    It took years of fierce determination to overcome obstacles and criticisms, yet Ruettiger achieved his first dream -- to attend Notre Dame and play football for the Fighting Irish. As fans cheered 'RU-DY, RU-DY,' he sacked the quarterback in the last 27 seconds of the only play in the only game of his college football career. He is the only player in the school's history to be carried off the field on his teammates' shoulders.

    Ruettiger will provide attendees of the trade show with some of his fight and spirit on how to overcome obstacles in life and prosper, according to RBG.

    The Expo's educational seminars will begin at 1:00 pm with the doors to the trade show opening at 3:30 p.m. The trade show is scheduled to end at 8:30 pm.

    The educational sessions were chosen from input received during meetings with the Expo's board of advisors, a group of independent store owners. The first session, called "Maximizing your Tobacco Category in 2007" will be presented by Erick D. Harris, senior account manager for Philip Morris USA and Scott Covey, national account manager of Swisher International. The 1:00 p.m. session will cover new contract changes with Phillip Morris and additional opportunities in the other tobacco category (OTP), in addition to a question and answer section.

    At 2:00 p.m. a session on foodservice called "Doing the Basics Well," will focus on the challenges within the foodservice category and provide tips on how to make it a destination for stores. This session will be presented by Steve Montgomery, president, b2b Solutions, LLC.

    The third session, titled "What are the Benefits of NACS?" will be presented at 3:00 p.m. by Michael Davis, the vice president of retailer services for NACS (The Association for Convenience and Petroleum Retailing). The session will inform attendees on the programs and services offered by the association.

    Supplier and member awards will be presented; and, RBG said it also will announce the winners of its fifth annual Royal Buying Group Scholarship Program. RBG will present two scholarships to members and/or members' children attending or enrolling to attend an accredited secondary educational institution.

    For information about the expo, or to register for the event, visit www.i-c-expo.com.

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