[vendtalk] National Buying Group for the Blind Gains Momentum with yet another Endorsement

Kevan Worley kevanworley at blindmerchants.org
Fri May 10 13:59:33 UTC 2013



Renee Nevius
Manager of Special Projects
National Association of Blind Merchants
(866) 543-6808, extension 10
renee.nevius at worleyenterprises.com<mailto:renee.nevius at worleyenterprises.com>

National Buying Group for the Blind Gains Momentum with yet another Endorsement

Colorado Springs, Colorado (May 10, 2013) - On Wednesday, May 8, the Board of Directors of the National Association of Blind Merchants (NABM) met by conference call and voted to support the Randolph-Sheppard Service Association (RSA) Buying Group.

The group, based in New York with a national reach, was established early this spring after many months of researching the best system to bring rebates and other support and training services to all blind vendors and state licensing agencies (SLAs). During that development period, the group consulted stakeholders around the nation to gauge the needs of blind operators. Lynn Reynolds, NABM Board Member and blind operator from New Jersey, made the motion to support the buying group. She said, "The directors of the RSA Buying Group came to our annual meeting in New Jersey this past weekend. They were impressive. We have looked at their credibility and their substantial connections within the supplier-manufacturer network. We all signed up here."

For the first time in the history of Randolph-Sheppard, all blind vendors will have access to a network which is targeted to bring maximum results, garnering significant rebate dollars for all blind vendors. This means rebates on snack, candy, and even beverages. Moreover, all dollars go directly back to each blind vendor who signs up.

Sharon Treadway is the NABM Secretary. She is a blind vendor with cafeteria and vending machines services in Nashville, Tennessee. She does not buy from one of the big supply houses like Vistar, but she does buy from Coke and Pepsi. Sharon said, "I am excited that the RSA Buying Group is planning to engage many of the smaller wholesalers as the program grows. The rebate program will help the smaller wholesalers send our data so that we will be able to get those rebates. All of us buy beverages," she said.

For the first time, blind operators will receive rebates across the entire nation on beverages. NABM typically does not endorse any particular product, but according to Charles Allen, a blind vendor from Kentucky and President of NABM during the 1990s, "This is completely different. This is a way to have the buying power of all blind vendors taken into account and combined to generate the same return that the big non-Randolph-Sheppard companies earn. We should have done this a long time ago."

Nicky Gacos, NABM President and New Jersey vend operator, said, "Many of us have tried to harness the buying power of Randolph-Sheppard over two decades. Finally we have. I'd be very surprised if every operator doesn't sign up."

There are two Executive Directors of RSA Buying Group, John Murn and Joe Rogan. John is the President of Answer Group in New York and has more than 20 years in the vending industry. He is on the Board of Directors of the New York State Vending Council. John has chaired fundraising activities of the YMCA of New York for the last 20 years and has raised contributions in excess of $20M. In addition, John has extensive experience working with local governmental agencies. Joe was the Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer of Clarity Imaging Technologies, Inc. and created a significant partnership with the Southern Tier Association for the Visually Impaired. After leaving Clarity, Joe created and was the President of Next Generation Vending, the largest New England vending operator. After leaving Next Generation, Joe, with John, created RSA Buying Group.


At your service,

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Kevan Worley
Executive Director
National Association of Blind Merchants
kevanworley at blindmerchants.org<mailto:kevanworley at blindmerchants.org>

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