AWMA Becomes Convenience Distribution Association

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AWMA Becomes Convenience Distribution Association

By Melissa Kress, Convenience Store News - 02/25/2015

LAS VEGAS — The American Wholesale Marketers Association (AWMA) will move into the future with a new name, but its key pillars will remain the same.

The association's board of directors approved a measure to change the name to Convenience Distribution Association (CDA) during its meeting at the 2015 AWMA Marketplace Solutions & Expo, taking place this week in Las Vegas.

"AWMA is going away. Not the association, but the name," Chairman Robert Sincavich, president of Team Sledd based in Wheeling, W. Va., said during the expo's opening session Wednesday. "Convenience Distribution Association is who we are and what we do."

The switch comes as the association faces a changing landscape. Financially speaking, CDA is still strong, but distributors are declining in number as consolidation takes hold in the distribution industry, Sincavich explained. In addition, the industry continues to deal with increasing regulatory and legislative pressures.

Another factor for members, he pointed out, is the rise of retailers turning to self-distribution, and manufacturers of emerging products like electronic cigarettes going direct to retail.

Failing to adapt to the evolving landscape will push the distribution industry, and the association, toward becoming obsolete, according to Sincavich.

Despite the name change, the association will stay focused on several key pillars. Government affairs, including tobacco and food safety regulations at the Food and Drug Administration, "will remain an important part of the association," the chairman said. For example, the association will continue hosting its Day on the Hill in Washington, D.C.

In addition, education will continue to be a top priority. However, the association is working to minimize the number of standalone events and combine educational sessions and workshops into its two main events: the Marketplace Solutions & Expo and the Summit & Business Exchange. 

A new digital portal will also be available to provide a menu of programs and training tools to association members.

As 2014 Chairman Mark Davenport noted, "It's not just a name change, it's a culture change." Davenport is division president at Core-Mark International Inc.