COLUMBUS, OH -- The Ohio Automatic Merchandising Association held its 54th annual conference at the Cambria Suites Polaris hotel here. The event included a golf outing, an educational networking session and a cocktail reception in addition to the annual membership meeting.
The annual meeting offered a varied educational program. Jason Bainum, program manager at CareWorks (Dublin OH), discussed workers' compensation issues in the state. Doug Parsons, Area-wide Electronics & Refrigeration (Waynesville, OH), presented the basics of credit-card acceptance in vending. Jeff Bayer, Vending Junction (Monroe, OH), previewed new concepts in vending-related products.
Turning to government relations, OAMA legislative counsel Lora Miller delivered an update on current concerns with legislation and regulation. National Automatic Merchandising Association regional legislative director Sheree Edwards offered a year-in-review analysis of NAMA business.
"The last year has been very active for our industry in Ohio on a number of fronts," said OAMA president Matt Ryan, Sheehan Bros.Vending (Springfield). "Vending has become a technology business, and new concepts in cashless and telemetry applications are growing rapidly, requiring us to reevaluate how we operate.
The association is applying its seasoned government-relations skills to easing the transition to new approaches, he continued. "Micromarkets have become a huge part of our industry, and the sale of coffee, cappuccino, and fountain sodas were initially banned from sale in micromarkets in Ohio," Ryan instanced. "I am proud to say that, with the help of our coalition partners, OAMA remained on the forefront in working with state agencies to develop more flexible rules for this emerging market. That was a huge achievement for our organization, and will benefit operators all across Ohio."
The OAMA is a state council of NAMA and is an affiliate of the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants.