LINCOLNSHIRE, IL -- The American Amusement Machine Association elected John Margold as its new chairman during its annual membership and board meetings this week. Margold, who spent the past two decades of his coin-op career in the jukebox sector, succeeds David Cohen, president and chief executive of Firestone Financial Corp., who concluded his term as AAMA's top elected official.
AAMA's membership gathered at the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort here for a series of committee meetings held in conjunction with the association's annual Distributor Gala, which combines a product showing, cocktails and dinner. Nineteen companies, all AAMA members, previewed new amusement and music products while some 200 guests preregistered to attend.
The coin machine association's board of directors also installed officers who will serve with Margold for two-year terms. Peter Gustafson, Sega, becomes vice-chairman; Rich Babich, Game Exchange of Colorado, treasurer; Chris Felix, MEI, assistant treasurer; Frank Cosentino, Namco, secretary; and Neal Rosenberg, S&N Enterprises, assistant secretary.
Joining the AAMA board of directors are American Vending Sales' Tony Shamma and Bay Tek's Holly Meidl, along with ICE's Joe Coppola as an alternate. Benchmark Games' Al Kress and Valley-Dynamo's Dave Courington have left the board, which consists of 17 seats.
Cohen said one of his main objectives as chairman of the 30-year-old association, which represents manufacturers, distributors and parts suppliers involved in the amusement business, was to create an organization that offered its members greater transparency. Cohen accomplished this mission, said Margold, who vowed to keep AAMA on the same path. He also is credited with reenergizing member involvement in AAMA committees.
Last year, Cohen oversaw the merger of AAMA's former trade show, the Amusement Showcase International, with the Amusement and Music Operators Association's show to form the Amusement Expo, held annually in spring. Next year's show will be held March 14-16 in Las Vegas.
Margold, who is senior vice-president of sales of AMI Entertainment Network Inc., has been involved in the music and games industry for almost four decades. He was the senior vice-president of Rowe International (Grand Rapids, MI) before it was reorganized into AMI Entertainment. He also held senior-level positions at TouchTunes Music Corp., where he directed the launch of America's first downloading jukeboxes, and NSM America, where he oversaw U.S., Canadian and South American operations. Prior to NSM, he was director of sales and marketing of Betson Enterprises' redemption division (1987-1992) and branch manager and eastern sales manager at Bally-Midway Manufacturing (1981-1987). Margold began his industry career at Rowe International's distribution subsidiary in 1975, serving in several sales posts in the Albany and Syracuse offices.