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November 2019 Update: A Message from the President

Greetings! It’s time for another update from your OACS board!

Fall Conference Wrap-Up

Thanks to everyone who attended the Fall Conference at Ashland University! It was a wonderful time of celebrating 50 years as an organization. Forty-four individuals representing 23 schools were in attendance. Congratulations to Ohio Wesleyan and Southern Seminary, two university stores which have recently moved to independent. It was great to see you at the conference! We also had tremendous vendor support with 44 companies represented! The booth visit cards collected at the trade show indicate that individuals from schools visited an average of 16.37 vendors each and wrote orders 20.9% of the time.

The conference presented attendees with many learning and networking opportunities. Some highlights from the conference include the attendance of 10 past Presidents (including the very first President from 1969!) and recognition of vendor Russell Knight who has been with OACS since the beginning. Industry experts led sessions on marketing and social media, general merchandise trends, smart sourcing, and inventory management. The new NACS CEO, Ed Schlichenmayer, gave updates on the industry and NACS during a well-attended session. Roundtable discussions were also a favorite as course materials managers, general merchandise buyers, and store directors broke out into small groups to learn from each other. Thanks to everyone who gave us survey feedback after the conference. Your feedback helps the board effectively plan around your interests and is appreciated!

Next October, we will be returning to Ashland University for the Fall conference. The facility is perfect for our conference size. Lower expenses at this venue enabled us to decrease registration fees. We will be announcing a date soon, so watch your email!

Spring 2020 Meeting

Plans are beginning for the Spring store meeting, which will be at Ohio Wesleyan in Delaware sometime in April. The meeting is free to store members and includes lunch. Watch your e-mail for upcoming details. Thanks to Mike Brockfield at OWU for hosting us!

Industry Updates

We were sad to hear of the passing of Anthony Martin on November 10. Anthony was a huge supporter of the industry during his career. He served as a vendor, store manager, and, most recently, a NACS employee. While I personally only met Anthony a couple of times, I could see the genuine heart he had for people and the industry. The NACS Foundation has set up a memorial fund in Anthony’s name. You can find more information on how you can give to the fund at IndiCo continues the wind-down of its book business. In a November 11 communication, they announced that final returns on books must be received at their warehouse by December 31. This is the final step in the transition of their book distribution business to Ingram. IndiCo and Ingram have been working to make the transition as seamless as possible. If you need assistance, reach out to either company, they will be glad to give further details on account set-up, establishing credit limits, etc.

The next industry events include Tailgate in Las Vegas, January 16-18, ICBA in Tuscon, February 3-6, and CAMEX in New Orleans, February 8-11. “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”― William Butler Yeats. I encourage you to commit the coming year to learn for success. Attending industry events helps you navigate the challenges that will surely come. It is money and time well spent!

Final Thoughts

The college bookstore industry is unique and filled with people who not only love what they do but are also very good at it. As we approach the end of another semester, I encourage you to reach out to industry colleagues if you need fresh ideas or assistance. The beauty of this industry and being a part of OACS is we are not alone. We stand strong together!


Tammy Slone

OACS President

Cedarville University Bookstore

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