Pine State Trading's Paul Auger Honored as CDA Marketplace Kicks Into High Gear

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Pine State Trading's Paul Auger Honored as CDA Marketplace Kicks Into High Gear

By Don Longo - 02/28/2018
Pine State Trading's Paul Auger

ORLANDO, Fla. Distribution industry veteran Paul Auger was inducted into the Convenience Distribution Association’s (CDA) Hall of Fame during the association’s Convenience Distribution Marketplace event, taking place this week at the Hilton Orlando.

The Convenience Distribution Marketplace is CDA’s annual celebration of the nation’s convenience products wholesale distribution industry. The CDA, formerly AWMA, is the trade organization representing convenience product distributors in the United States.

Auger, who was celebrated at the annual Marketplace Awards Luncheon, started working fulltime for Maine-based Pine State Trading Co. now Core-Mark International Inc.’s New England Division more than 40 years ago. Before leaving the company in 2001 to start his own consulting firm, he served as president and chief operating officer for more than a decade.

"Induction into CDA's Hall of Fame represents a lifetime of achievement and excellence in the convenience distribution industry," said Kimberly Bolin, CDA president and CEO. "When peers describe Paul, they say things like 'strategic thinker,' 'tremendous work ethic,' 'lifelong commitment,' 'mentor' and 'icon.' So, it's safe to say that Paul embodies the characteristics of a Hall of Famer, and we could not be more proud to have him in ours."

Jode Bunce of Eby-Brown Co. LLC added: "He [Auger] has worked for many, many years in this industry, forging relationships with so many people, sharing his knowledge and ideas, being visible, volunteering his time, sacrificing family time when he had to, and on and on."

Auger’s son, Mike Auger, currently president of RAI Trade Marketing Services Co., lauded his father’s longtime commitment to the industry. "Paul has a lifelong commitment to the wholesale industry. This is who he is. This is his family outside of his personal family," he said.

The CDA Marketplace 2018 wrapped up Wednesday, Feb. 28. The event kicked off Monday with committee meetings and networking events. Tuesday was filled with concurrent educational sessions on a variety of topics, including how to merchandise candy and snacks for maximum profit, trends and insights on the nicotine delivery category, and trends and opportunities in c-store foodservice. There was also an executive leadership track for distribution industry leaders.

Some highlights of the educational sessions included:

  • Panelists from CDA’s Warehouse Delivered Snack Committee presented compelling arguments on why c-stores need to capture a larger share of space and dollars at the front of the store, and explained to distributors how they can work with leading candy and snack manufacturers to develop high-profit MVEs (multi-vendor endcaps).
  • Don Burke, senior vice president of Management Science Associates, explored trends in all nicotine product categories. He cautioned that dollar stores, while still a very small share of total category sales, are rising quickly in share, especially in cigarette sales. He also noted that moist smokeless tobacco continues to be a strong performer at c-stores, and large cigars have been especially hot in the past year. E-liquids, on the other hand, have declined precipitously across all channels, Burke noted, but vaporizers are growing rapidly at all channels except dollar. “The vapor category is showing strong consumer interest,” he said.
  • Wade Hanson, principle of Technomic, said the bar has been set higher for foodservice and everyone has to meet that bar now. His presentation showed how convenience foodservice is taking share from fast-food operators and casual restaurants.
  • “It’s imperative that men are engaged in bringing the topic of women’s leadership forward,” Blake Benefiel of Altria Group Distribution Co. said as he introduced the CDA’s Women’s Leadership Program. During a “Gender Dynamics for Business Success” session, Altria’s Stephen Sanger, lead analyst, sales, and Charlotte Savage, trade marketing manager, new products, discussed the scientific and leadership differences between men and women.