Road Warrior Newsletter

August 27, 2010


Dear NJGCA Member:


URGENT: A few months ago I asked a group of dealers that are supplied by the LEHIGH GAS CORP to meet here at NJGCA headquarters.  Recently I met with another group of LEHIGH supplied dealers who also feel as if they are being mis-treated.  I am asking ALL LEHIGH supplied dealers to contact me immediately.  Whether you own your own location, or you are a LEHIGH lessee, it is important that I hear from you.  I believe that LEHIGH has engaged in very harmful practices, and this must be addressed.  Please be prepared to attend a meeting of ALL LEHIGH DEALERS next month.  More details will follow.

OK, let’s get down to business.

The only constant in life is change.  Nothing stays the same forever.  State-of-the-art today-- yet utterly-obsolete tomorrow.

No matter how you say it, the plain fact is that the world is constantly evolving.  No matter what industry you are in or what you do for a living, change is inevitable.

What am I talking about?  Over the last few years, I’ve been slowly introducing you to the world of alternative fuels and what the future may hold for service station owners like you.  I need you to think not as if you are in the gasoline/diesel business; I need you to think like you are in the TRANSPORTATION ENERGY REFUELING BUSINESS!

This is something that I have some inside knowledge about.  You see years ago (before the government mandated it), I was a member of a group of retailers who decided to create our own ethanol-blended gasoline.  It was called GASOHOL back then.  Years later, I also participated in purchasing an old liquor distillery to create bio-fuel from cellulosic material – essentially turning organic debris into ethanol.

To be candid, my interest in this hasn’t diminished over the years and I’ve only become more fanatical as time goes on.  WHY?  Very simply stated; the basis for my interest stems from the fact that someday-someday-someday, THERE WILL BE A FINAL DROP OF OIL THAT COMES OUT OF THE EARTH!

But before you think I’m off my rocker and turned into a nut-job, hear me out.

Today’s reality hinges on being both environmentally responsible AND advancing transportation and energy technologies.  That means that tomorrow’s customer may be driving a car that uses 100% ethanol (E100), or is powered by only electricity, fuel-cells, or hydrogen.  What’s more, the next-generation of internal combustion engines (ICEs) are also advancing.

So how will you prepare to meet their needs?

Think about it: While fully electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf will be on the streets soon, more will undoubtedly follow.  These vehicles need 220 electric-services to quickly recharge their batteries.  Higher-content ethanol-based fuels like E85 require customers that drive FLEX FUEL vehicles.  Hydrogen filling stations are already popping up in New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. and also require special receptacles.  

But it’s not only all about fueling tomorrow’s transportation.  What about fixing those vehicles?  The number of hybrids and diesel-powered vehicles will increase as ICEs are reconfigured to produce more power and lower emissions.  New technologies like homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) will essentially make gasoline powered engines run like diesel motors. 

Will you be ready for all of this?  Will your station have all these varying types of “fuels” to address the needs of your customers?  Will your mechanics and technicians know how to service hybrids, next-generation diesels, and electric motors?

But the future is not all that far away.  Your fellow members are jumping in the mix TODAY.  In the last edition of our On The Road quarterly-publication, our Member Spotlight focused on Larry Valenzano of Mighty Joe’s Gas, Grill & Deli.  Always one to think ahead, Larry is ALREADY selling E85 at his station in Shamong Township (Burlington County) with great success – and profitability.

Did Larry have to do something special to get into this niche?  NO!  All he did was pick up the phone, talk to this distributor, and get the ball rolling.  You can read more about Larry and E85 on pages 16-17 of the latest On The Road by clicking HERE 

Change maybe a slow process, but it IS inevitable.  Will you wait for the change to come to you or will you (like Larry Valenzano) create your own opportunities to help your small business?  You must prepare yourself and start learning about how the industry is changing TODAY or risk being left behind TOMORROW.

Back to State Inspections……

Over the last few months we have continually discussed the ongoing changes (and challenges) with the inspection system.  From buying/installing new equipment to saving Safety Inspections, we’ve covered it all – and we’ve honestly become fatigued in the process.

Still, we are now in un-charted waters and must pay attention to what’s going on.  As we slowly make our push to move New Jersey to an all-PIF inspection program, we must determine how we will continue forward now that Safety Inspections have been eliminated.

What I’m looking for is feedback and information from you on what you are charging for inspection without Safety Inspections.  The fact is that most of the general public loves that Safety Inspections are now dead.  However, the press and the public are also fearful in seeing us move to an all private system.  The Legislature, never one to miss scoring points with the public, will most certainly try to cap fees in order to “protect” your customers.

This is silly, of course, but it doesn’t mean it won’t happen.  I have heard from many members who are keeping their inspection prices the same, while others are slashing prices in hopes of attracting new customers.  

Ultimately we know that competition will drive down prices, which are good for motorists and will help you get more traffic in your shop – but try explaining that to Trenton.

What are you doing?  I MUST HEAR FROM YOU!

Speaking of changes, I wanted to point out that our email service has changed.  Over the last few weeks, we’ve been working behind the scenes to migrate to an all new system.  We’re still working out the bugs, but our first e-newsletter campaign was launched from the new program last week.  We are trying to eliminate a problem that keeps some of you from receiving our emails because of spam filters etc.  Did you get last week’s Road WarriorPlease let us know if you are experiencing any issues and we will try our best to address it. 

Thanks for reading and see you next week!

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director

 IN THIS WEEK'S NJGCA ROAD WARRIOR                                                       

•Added All PIF and Diesel classes below!!

•Participate in the NJGCA PAC today and help us keep our Agenda rolling in Trenton!

•A new push for new nuclear reactors around the globe
•Oil-eating microbe found in Gulf of Mexico
•Kyleigh’s Law review ordered
•Opinion: Safety at risk under new inspection system

 ON THE NJGCA HOMEPAGE                                                                                

Check out all of our MBPs and Programs designed to SAVE YOU MONEY!

Looking for something? Take a look at our list of useful links!

Find all our communications and search for old e-newsletters. Take a look!

Need to catch up on events? Want to see what's going on? Find out here!

 KNOW YOUR TERRITORY MANAGER!                                                              

Henry Darden: Territory Manager for Middlesex, Union, Part of Essex (Southern Half)
Cell: 973-477-0057

Jack Leli: Territory Manager for Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean, Salem
Cell: 732-995-1637

Bob Quirk: Territory Manager for Bergen, Hudson, Part of Essex (Northern Half)
Cell: 201-214-8836

Frank Stewart: Territory Manager for Morris, Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, Passaic
Cell: 973-234-7403

Don Stohrer: Territory Manager for Monmouth, Mercer, Somerset
Cell: 732-539-2955


Glacial Energy



New Jersey Gasoline C-Store Automotive Association (NJGCA) is offering an INITIAL ETEP Certification course. This is the entire program, section 1 – 7. This is everything you need to become a licensed Emission Repair Technician.

Our Course includes:
• New Jersey State Specific Information Course
• Section 7 “Light-Duty Diesel Vehicle Technologies and Testing”.
Everything to become an Emission Repair Technician!!

Springfield - Union County (EIGHT FULL-DAY CLASSES)
Class to be held at NJGCA Headquarters
66 Morris Ave.
Springfield, NJ 07081
September 16th – November 4th (Every Thursday for 8 weeks!)
8:00am to 4:00pm

• NJGCA Member rates: $1,495.00
• NON-Member rates: $1,695.00

PLEASE NOTE: We are always in the process of putting together additional classes. If you are interested in taking classes in this time period, please call NJGCA and let us know so we can add you to the list.

Call Debbie Hill to enroll in the classes at or call 973-376-0066.


Ensuring our friends in the legislature are re-elected and advocating for our agenda in Trenton are of utmost importance to the agenda of NJGCA.

It is for this reason that your Association has established the NJGCA PAC.

For too long, the weight of funding our Political Action Committee, the arm of the Association responsible for political donations, has rested upon the shoulders of a few.  This is not fair to them, and it is not fair to many of you who are relying on the benefits of good legislation being passed in Trenton.

To truly understand the importance of fundraising for our allies, let’s look back upon the overwhelming successes of the last year:

NJGCA successfully lobbied against BELOW COST SELLING. If approved, BELOW COST SELLING would have cost each of you thousands of dollars and put many of you out of businesses.  NJGCA leaned on some of our friends in the Assembly and literally had the bill pulled off the floor on the day it was scheduled to be voted on.  Our friends in the Legislature helped us get this accomplished.

NJGCA made history and led the charge to pass the most comprehensive protection of franchisees in decades with FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL legislation.  FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL passed only because NJGCA and dealers throughout the state were able to lean on several friends in the Assembly and the Senate.

NJGCA has been rallying support for RIGHT TO REPAIR over the last two years among key legislators.  This would end the practice of car manufacturers denying you the codes necessary to complete the repairs you make on your customers cars.  Every state has tried to pass RIGHT TO REPAIR and no state has even been able to get the legislation out of committee.   Because of our friends in the Legislature, NJGCA has been successful in getting this bill passed by the Assembly and now awaits a vote in the Senate.

I am asking some of you as individuals to make a contribution and attend a fundraising event sponsored by one of our friends in the Assembly.

However, we will not be able to host events for all of our friends, so the NJGCA PAC will have to make contributions.  You will be receiving letters soon from the NJGCA PAC asking you to make contributions. 

If every member contributes just $100.00 we will be able to provide the help necessary to ensure victory for our allies.

66 Morris Avenue
Springfield, NJ 07081
Please make your donation payable to NJGCA PAC

I understand that times are tough for all NJGCA members, but this is just as important as any battle we have fought in the past.

We have made great progress in Trenton.  I hope that you will answer the call.


A new push for new nuclear reactors around the globe

With carbon emissions a concern and the need for more electricity around the developing world, Hitachi and General Electric anticipate an increase of nuclear power plant construction around the world.  With the number of global nuclear plants aging, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) anticipate that many will need to be replaced by newer designs as well as build more to anticipate growing need.

Oil-eating microbe found in Gulf of Mexico
A new kind of microbe has been discovered in the Gulf of Mexico.  The organism consumes oil without depleting oxygen in the water.  Found at lower depths, the discovery could allow bacteria to help eliminate oil leaks and plumes in the ocean.

Kyleigh’s Law review ordered
A bill passed in May which affixed a red, reflective decal on their license plates of motorists under 21 has been placed on review by the State Senate.  Known as Kyleigh’s Law, the bill intended to allow law enforcement to more easily identify those violating the graduating driver’s license law, which places a curfew on those under 21 from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.  The program will now face a six-month review by the state’s Attorney General.

Opinion: Safety at risk under new inspection system
A recent opinion piece in the Asbury Park Press expresses frustration and distress over the new vehicle inspections system.  The author states that without Safety Inspections, inspectors are allowing vehicles with bald tires and cracked windshields to pass, even when they have children in the back seat.  Click above to read more.



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