AAMA holds 2010 board meet and Distributor Gala in July; AMOA goes to Nashville for midyear gathering in August
The American Amusement Machine Association held its 2010 annual meeting at the Hilton Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale, IL, from July 27 through 30. The association devoted a day of meetings to Amusement Expo planning. It held committee, membership and board meetings, as well as an educational program.
Climaxing the AAMA get-together was the annual Distributor Cocktail Gala on the evening of July 29. The festival, which combines a mini trade show and dinner party, had two dozen exhibitors this year.
AAMA bestowed its prestigious Joe Robbins Award on Firestone Financial Corp.'s David Cohen during the gala. The Joe Robbins Award is AAMA's highest honor, named in memory of the coin-operated industries pioneer who played a leading role in forming the association in 1981. Firestone's Cohen, who presently serves as AAMA chairman, was lauded for his long and devoted service to the coin machine business.
PHOTO: The AAMA bestowed its prestigious Joe Robbins Award on Firestone Financial’s David Cohen (second from left) during its annual Distributor Gala. Here, he accepts the congratulations of 2009 winner Neal Rosenberg (left), Apple Industries, and association president John Schultz and business manager Tina Schwartz.
MEI's national amusement OEM manager, Chris Felix, was presented with the President's Award, which recognizes ongoing work on behalf of the association; the recipient is chosen by AAMA's staff. Felix has served on AAMA's 15-member board for three years and for two years on the planning committee that combined AAMA's and the Amusement and Music Operators Association's trade shows. Felix was recently elected chairman of the Expo Planning Committee.
The American Amusement Machine Charitable Foundation, AAMA's charitable arm, announced during the gala that it is making donations of $5,000 each to two children's outreach organizations. The beneficiaries, the Children's Miracle Network and Kids Enjoy Exercise Now, have been long supported by the amusement trade.
The Distributors' Gala, launched several years ago to unite amusement factories and their distributor partners, boasted 23 exhibitors who showed off 51 pieces of new equipment.
New games at the gala included videos from Global VR, Namco, Raw Thrills and Sega. Also making a debut were Arachnid's Super Shuffle, combining video and bowling, and Shelti's dartboard equipped with real-time video software that can link players between two locations anywhere in the world. Also new was an electronic-scoring pool table from newcomer Markay Adventures. New merchandisers and redemption games were shown by Andamiro, Bay-Tek, Benchmark and Play Mechanix, among other companies. AMI Entertainment Network showed its new SWP (skill with prize) machine for the U.S. market, called Prize Farm; it was developed by England's Games Warehouse, which is owned by AMI. Stern Pinball displayed an Avatar pinball machine prototype.
A month after the AAMA meeting and gala, the Amusement and Music Operators Association held its midyear board meeting from Aug. 27 to 31 in Nashville, TN, close to the McMinnville service area of AMOA president Gary Brewer, Brewer Amusements.
In addition to some 20 committee sessions and board meetings, participants enjoyed outings to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Nashville's famous honky-tonk bars, along with the Bob Nims Memorial Golf Classic.
AMOA elected its new leaders during the Nashville event. Taking the helm as president in March is Donovan Fremin, Delta Music Inc., (Thibodaux, LA). Andy Shaffer, Shaffer Services Inc., Columbus, OH), will become vice-president; John Pascaretti of Harrison Township, MI, will be treasurer; and Bobby Hogin, Hogin Amusement Co. (Dickson, TN) is chosen as secretary.
Separately, officials from AAMA and AMOA recently met with the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions to plan an educational program focusing on family entertainment centers to be presented at the Amusement Expo in March. IAAPA's FEC Committee will develop the program's curriculum, which is expected to be finalized in October.
(IAAPA is adding a new FEC workshop to its educational program offered in conjunction with its Attractions Expo in the fall.)
The Amusement Expo Education Committee is developing a separate educational series, directed at music and games street operators. Showgoers can also expect to see bulk vending seminars as a result of the National Bulk Vending Association's collocation with Amusement Expo.