Palace retiring from petroleum marketers group

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Thomas Palace, the longtime chief lobbyist for the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, is retiring after a little more than 25 years with the organization.

Palace will step down as executive director on Dec. 31 after leading the association since 1996. Associate Executive Director Becky Schwartz will replace Palace.

Becky Schwartz

Among other things, Palace worked to modernize the state’s liquor statutes, winning passage of 2005 law that allowed cities and counties to sell alcohol on Sundays.

He also worked for passage of laws that allowed grocery and convenience stores to sell full-strength beer and expanded the hours that liquor could be sold in the state.

“As chair of the search committee who hired Tom, I can attest that he was by far the most qualified candidate,” said Marvin Spees, former board chairman of Fuel True, which is formally known as the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association

“With mergers and consolidations, associations aren’t what they used to be,” Spees said in a statement.

“Yet, I’ve watched Tom adapt and grow our organization in ways that did not require burdensome dues increases on our members.”

Even in retirement, Palace plans to assist the association with its lobbying efforts and spend more time golfing at his home in Florida.