LAS VEGAS -- NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, is "bringing out the big guns" to close out this year's NACS Show.
The organization announced that Dr. Robert Gates, the 22nd U.S. Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011 under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, will be the closing general session speaker at the annual trade show, which will take place Oct. 7-10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
“Dr. Gates will deliver a compelling behind-the-scenes view of world events over the past quarter century, as well as the context for how current affairs could affect and reshape our political and retail landscape,” said NACS Vice Chairman of Convention Jack Kofdarali, president of J&T Management Co. Inc. in Corona, Calif. “From the ever-changing landscape in the Middle East, specifically, Iran, to security and defense issues like drones, Dr. Gates will address some of the most significant events in the world today.”
Gates began his 27-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in 1966. He spent nearly nine years as part of the White House's National Security Council and served four presidents of both political parties. Gates served as CIA deputy director from 1986 to 1989; assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser at the White House from 1989 to 1991; and director of the agency from 1991 until 1993, making him the only career officer in the CIA's history to rise from entry-level employee to director.
Gates was awarded the National Security Medal, Presidential Citizens Medal and National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, and is a three-time recipient of the Distinguished Intelligence Medal, the CIA’s highest award. His book, "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War," was published earlier this year.
This year’s NACS Show will feature 400,000 net square feet of exhibit space, which officially sold out on May 2, according to the Alexandria, Va.-based trade organization. Expo hours will take place Oct. 8-10.
NACS previously announced that author and journalist David H. Freedman will provide the keynote address on Wednesday, Oct. 8, during the opening general session.
Reflecting the NACS Show's growing global scope, general sessions will once again be translated into Portuguese, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, and select educational sessions will be translated into Portuguese and Spanish.