The Pennsylvania Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association (PPMCSA) and the Empire State Petroleum Association (ESPA) held their Convention, Annual Meeting, and Trade Show from October 1-3, 2012 at the HERSHEY® Lodge in Hershey, PA.
The Convention began on Monday, October 1 with a golf tournament at the Hershey Country Club. The weather was beautiful and attendees enjoyed a morning of networking and friendly competition. The festivities continued into the evening with an Opening Industry Reception on the trade show floor.
Tuesday, October 2 was an day of education, socializing, and celebrity appearances. The educational program featured a range of seminars that focused on important industry issues. Ben Brockwell, III, Director of Data, Pricing and Information Services at OPIS, shed light on a new age for oil. John Arnold, Owner and Chairman of the Board at the Petroleum Products Corporation, discussed PPC and the future. Dr. David Daniels, Director of Research and Development at Innospec Fuel Specialties LLC, presented a seminar on ultra low sulfur diesel quality and performance issues. Joe Vassallo, senior vice president of Oilheat Associates, Inc., and Bill Powers, partner at Propane Associates, LLC, taught attendees about the facts and myths of expanding into propane. Matthew T. O’Donnell, policy director of the Pennsylvaia Department of Insurance, and Thomas Schimmer, vice president of broker relations at Emerson, Reid and Company, offered insight on health care reform and what it means for businesses. And later in the afternoon, Patrick Donahue, regional risk manager of Federal Mutual Insurance Co., gave a seminar on risk management programs to help control insurance premiums.
PPMCSA, ESPA, and PMAA honored Governor Tom Corbett in a ceremony recognizing his efforts on behalf of the industry. His quiet, steady leadership resulted in the continued operation of the Philadelphia and Trainer oil refineries, which were in danger of closing. He has also been working to keep the Marcus Hook refinery open by supporting a Braskem America acquisition that will not only save jobs, but it will also keep operations rooted in Pennsylvania.
The trade show officially opened after the ceremony and attendees were invited to explore a variety of exhibits, connect with exhibitors, and view product demonstrations.
The President’s Reception and Banquet on the evening of October 2 featured ESPN Commentator and NFL Legend Mike Ditka. Coach Ditka spoke to a sold-out crowd about lessons he’s learned throughout his career. His entertaining and inspiring presentation focused on "ACE" (Attitude, Character and Enthusiasm) - the key characteristics people need to achieve their personal and professional goals.
Wednesday, October 3 began with the PPMCSA Breakfast. There was a panel discussion and industry update on state and federal issues featuring Robert S. Bassman, managing partner at Bassman, Mitchell and Alfano, Chtd., Dan Gilligan, PMAA president, Thomas J. Peters, ESPA executive vice president and CEO, and John V. Kulik, PPMCSA executive vice president.