CHICAGO — The National Automatic Merchandising Association has assumed administration of the Convenience Caterers & Food Manufacturers Association. NAMA’s oversight became effective October 1. Its responsibilities will include facilitating membership dues assessment, overseeing financial activity and providing general member support. NAMA also will publish the CCFMA newsletter.
The mobile caterers association was managed by FSA Group (Louisville, KY) through 2004, and has since been run in-house by its members. Jim Koppal of CS&T Wholesalers (Madison Heights, MI) is current president; his operation has served as CCFMA headquarters for the past several years.
“After working so successfully with NAMA for the past three years collocating our spring show with theirs, we’ve recognized that we can work together for the good of both associations,” Koppal told VT. “We’ve developed a great relationship with NAMA’s Dean Gilland, and with the help of the vending association, one of CCFMA’s big goals that we’re certain we’ll achieve is to increase our membership from the West Coast and southern states.”
The mobile catering association plans to hold its annual spring meeting in conjunction with NAMA’s Spring Expo in Las Vegas from April 16 to 17. CCFMA also will collocate its fall exposition and meeting with the NAMA National Expo in Chicago, from September 23 to 25.
Last fall, CCFMA convened in Dallas for its annual fall conference and trade show, highlighted by tours of three catering houses, a diverse educational lineup and an exhibit featuring more than 30 manufacturers and suppliers.
“It’s a win-win for both associations to attract membership,” added past president Jim Pacino of Deli Wagon Food Service (N. Royalton, OH). “I think we’ll hit the ground running because we have a great level of trust and comfort with the folks at NAMA, and I think they feel the same way about CCFMA.
“It’s a sign of the times that the two associations are coming together,” Pacino continued. “Vending and mobile catering serve a lot of the country’s industrial base, which is taking a hit right now. These tough times will pass, but we have to get through, and working together rather than against each other will make it a whole lot easier. For a long time, vending and mobile catering did not see eye to eye, but I think we do now. CCFMA’s association with NAMA is a great way to bring the industries closer together to everyone’s advantage.”
Established in 1965 as the Mobile Industrial Caterers Association, CCFMA is an international organization representing foodservice professionals interested in improving mobile catering operations. Throughout its history, it has been instrumental in organizing industry responses to such challenges as local restrictions on lunch trucks, the tax implications of retaining independent contractors to run mobile catering routes, and reconciling sanitation regulations with workplace safety rules.
Information is available from NAMA’s Kim Barnett at (312) 346-0370, ext. 223.