CHICAGO -- The Amusement and Music Operators Association is bolstering its outreach initiatives aimed at state coin machine associations. The programs will be introduced formally at the AMOA Council of Affiliated States Meeting, Feb. 6-8, in Tampa, FL.
Kicking off AMOA's effort is the State Association Rebate Program, according to AMOA president John Pascaretti of Pascaretti Enterprises (Warren, MI). Simply stated, a state association gets $25 for every member operator who also belongs to AMOA. All active coin-op state associations are eligible for the rebate program, Pascaretti explained, and it begins with 2013's membership rosters. It gets better: Associations that attend the 2014 council meeting will also qualify for an additional $25 per member rebate.
To qualify, state associations must send their 2013 membership lists (with postal and email addresses) to AMOA. The first rebate checks will be distributed at the 2014 Council of Affiliated States Meeting to the participating state associations in attendance. Checks for groups unable to attend will be mailed out in mid-February; all checks will be made payable directly to the state associations. Lists can be submitted throughout the year, but no later than Dec. 20, 2014.
AMOA has offered similar rebate programs in the past, but this one is the first with a bonus for council meeting attendance.
The rebate program, Pascaretti reported, is part of a larger effort to support state associations. The AMOA president has visited more than a dozen state groups to listen to their concerns since he began his term last March. "I've visited 14 state associations so far," he said. "I was fortunate enough to attend every meeting that the state associations asked AMOA to send me to. On a national level, we represent our industry, so it is essential that operators be organized in every state. We support existing associations in many ways, and help operators in states without an organization start one."
The support structure described by Pascaretti will be evident in AMOA's new State Trade Association Resource Team (START), which rolls out soon. The program will make resources and expertise available to small state associations that lack those assets.
"START will offer state associations access to our resources," explained AMOA executive vice-president Jack Kelleher, "from event planning to legislative assistance to communications support. For instance, if someone needs help writing a quarterly member newsletter, we would work with them on that. If they need help putting together a member directory, we'd work with them on that, too."
START also rolls out at the council meeting in Tampa, and will be further developed after the launch. A full menu of the program's services will be announced later this year.
Tampa's Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel will host February's Council of Affiliated States Meeting. The annual meeting brings together industry leaders, both volunteer executives and paid professionals, from coin-op organizations spanning the nation. The gathering is regarded as one of the most valuable sources of information about issues facing the coin-op business, and has become an important forum for peer-to-peer exchange.
AMOA vice-president Vince Gumma of American Vending Sales (Elk Grove Village), who heads the State Association committee, said he anticipates strong participation from industry state associations.
For more details, contact AMOA deputy director Lori Schneider at (847) 428-7699. Registration and hotel forms, along with general information, are available at the downloads section of AMOA's website.