CHICAGO -- Brian Burke Allen, former senior director of government affairs for the National Automatic Merchandising Association, died on Oct. 6. He was 59.
"All of us at NAMA were shocked to hear this tragic news and extend our deepest condolences to Brian's family," said NAMA interim chief executive Dan Mathews. "Brian was an industry veteran for over 30 years and a good friend to so many at NAMA and all of our affiliated state associations. He will be missed."
Allen joined the vending association in 1979 and headed up its legislative efforts until his retirement in 2009. He continued to serve the industry as a NAMA Knowledge Source Partner until early 2011. He was most recently employed as a product development specialist at the American Association of Insurance Services.
A widely respected expert in government relations and legal issues for vending and contract foodservice, Allen represented the trade before federal, state and local government bodies. He also worked closely with regulatory agencies on rules that safeguarded the industry's interests.
He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Northwestern University, and a law degree from Loyola University of Chicago. He was a member of the Chicago Bar Association, serving as legislative liaison of its Trade and Professional Association Law Committee.
Visitation will be on Sunday., Oct. 9, at Gleuckert Funeral Home, 1520 N. Arlington Heights Rd., Arlington Heights, IL, 60004. Funeral services will be held on Monday, Oct. 10, at 11:15 a.m. at St. James Catholic Church, 831 N. Arlington Heights Rd.
Allen is survived by his wife, Cathy and two children, Jason and Jackie. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to Salute, P.O. Box 236, Prospect Heights, IL, 60070. The organization donates supplies and food to families of veterans.