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ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) announced that Alison Clifford joined its staff on Nov. 29 as exhibits and advertising sales manager.

Clifford will serve as NACS's key contact for the technology, facility operations and foodservice suppliers for exhibiting at the annual NACS Show and NACStech meetings, as well as for advertising opportunities with the NACS magazine and on NACS's Web site. In addition, she will be responsible for booth space assignments, onsite operations and service to the three segments she manages.

"Alison's 10-plus years of trade show and sales experience working with exhibitors handling exhibit and sponsorship sales, combined with her very strong sales and customer service skills, will be an enormous asset as we continue to approach the supplier market with our entire array of advertising, exhibiting and membership opportunities," said Bob Hughes, NACS's director of expositions and advertising.

NACS also announced that Gray Taylor joined its staff on November 15 as vice president of research. Taylor will lead the NACS R&D activities that focus on bringing efficiencies and strength to NACS's State of the Industry (SOI) efforts. He previously served as a consultant to NACS on two significant projects. First, Taylor was a lead team member of the group that designed and implemented the NACS/First Data/Concord card-processing program. Since it was launched in October 2003, the program has helped participating retailers save, on average, $2,800 per year per store in processing fees. Second, he was a key member of the consulting team tackling the other card-based cost called "interchange." In his new position at NACS, Taylor will stay engaged in these initiatives and will also serve as NACS's lead team member on retail technology issues overall.

"Gray's leadership in providing analysis of our industry's metrics in the card area, as well as the blueprint for moving forward with a strategy to attempt to alleviate this increasing cost for our members, has reaped enormous benefits for our industry," said Teri Richman, NACS's senior vice president of research and public affairs. "I am delighted to welcome Gray to our staff where he can use his considerable talents to further benefit our industry."
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