CHICAGO -- The National Automatic Merchandising Association has named General Mills' Mark Kelly its 2013 Vending Supplier of the Year, and Jeff Rawlins of Vend Catering Supply as Coffee Service Allied Member of the Year. The awards will be made during the association's annual OneShow convention and product exposition in Las Vegas.
Kelly (pictured at right) is western regional sales manager for General Mills, based in Portland, OR. A 30-year industry veteran, he began his industry career at the product distribution company that today is Vistar. He then joined Gardetto's, where he was instrumental in positioning its novel savory snacks as leaders in a new category. Gardetto's subsequently was acquired by General Mills, where Kelly continued his work with category management.
NAMA executive vice-president and chief operating officer Dan Mathews said, "During his tenure at General Mills, Mark Kelly has made significant contributions to the advancement of the vending industry and most notably micromarkets, a recognized industry game-changer."
Rawlins, who heads Vend Catering Supply in La Mirada, CA, is 40-year OCS veteran known for "seizing opportunities." NAMA vice-president of member services Dean Gilland said, "He added a powerful coffee lineup to his company, in addition to managing sales and customer service groups."
Rawlins is a longtime active participant in NAMA, the Western Coffee Association, the California Automatic Vendors Council and the Arizona Automatic Merchandising Council, serving on a number of committees. "Well respected by his customers, peers and brokers alike, we are delighted to recognize Jeff and congratulate him on this well-deserved award," the NAMA vice-president concluded.
Kelly and Rawlins join award-winners Todd Elliott, Tomdra (Tucson, AZ), who is Vending Operator of the Year; Jeff Deitchler, PrairieFire Coffee Roasters (Wichita, KS), NAMA's Coffee Service Operator of the Year; and Pete Tullio, World Wide Vending and Gourmet Coffee Service (Van Nuys, CA), recognized as Industry Person of the Year. The awards ceremony will take place at the association's annual membership meeting on April 25.