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    Virginia Associations Complete Merger

    Deal leads to the formation of the Virginia Petroleum, Convenience and Food Dealers Association.

    RICHMOND, Va. -- Mike O'Connor, president and CEO of the Virginia Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association (VAPMACS), had no intention of lying around while the retail landscape changed all around him.

    Instead, the head man at the Virginia association embraced change and pushed for a merger of VAPMCS with the Virginia Food Dealers Association. Yesterday, culminating eight months of discussions, the general memberships of the two groups overwhelmingly agreed and approved bylaw changes that broaden the focus of one new petroleum and convenience store association to include representation of Virginia's grocery industry.

    Both parties signed the final merger agreement to form the Virginia Petroleum, Convenience and Food Dealers Association, which will become effective December 31. "This exciting new alliance will maintain our traditional focus on petroleum and convenience issues while preparing the association for many new challenges that lie ahead," the organizations said in a statement.

    Under the reorganization, VAPMACS President and CEO Mike O'Connor will continue as president and CEO; VFDA President Barry Hawkins will serve as senior vice president and Amy Gallagher will continue as member-service coordinator.

    O'Connor said his association came to support the merger consider both groups' strong roots in the state and that the organizations share many common issues in the legislative and regulatory arena. "If these changes are approved under the membership referendum currently underway, this new alliance will maintain our traditional focus, while preparing us for the new challenges that lie ahead," he said

    ABOVE: Mike O'Connor, of the Virginia Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association, and Virginia Food Dealers Association President Barry Hawkins sign a merger agreement yesterday in Richmond.

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