CLIFTON, NJ -- American Vending Sales, headquartered in Elk Grove Village, IL, is closing its New Jersey distribution office, AVS East, which opened for business four years ago.
AVS's East Coast office was established in January, 2006, originally with five people on staff. It served amusement and vending operators in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The branch was initially sited in Lakewood, NJ, and moved in March, 2008, to a new 15,000-sq.-ft. building – offering full services for sales, parts and technical support – at 1 Austin Place in Clifton, near the arterial highways west of the Meadowlands Sports Complex.
By the time of its closing last month, the staff of AVS East had doubled from its original size to at least 10 industry professionals. Among them were sales manager Tom Faranda, who helped establish the branch. Operations manager was Frank Becker, who followed Rob Gallagher in that post. Lenny Vasile worked in music and games sales while Bob Greer oversaw vending.
Industry veteran Joe Cirillo, who once held the post of chief executive at Betson Enterprises and was most recently involved in a large full-line vending operation, served as AVS East's managing director beginning in March, 2008. Cirillo exited AVS East earlier this year.
AVS president Vince Gumma, chief financial officer Jim McAllister and sales vice-president Tony Shamma traveled from Illinois to New Jersey in late April to supervise the closing of the Clifton office.
American Vending Sales was founded in 1971 by Vince Gumma's father, Frank Gumma Sr., an experienced vending sales professional who became an expert in the trade during his seven years with World Wide Distributing in Chicago. Vince Gumma joined AVS fulltime in 1986 and became president in 2001.
AVS East, like its parent branch, employed traditional distribution strategies, meaning an exclusive focus on sales and service to operators with no AVS-owned routes, manufacturing or direct sales to locations. Vince Gumma has stated that for sales to street operators, AVS relies chiefly on face-to-face contact and telephone outreach, while for FEC operators it leaned more on Internet marketing. At the time AVS East was founded, Vince Gumma said the total company's sales (Midwest and mid-Atlantic markets) were comprised of 65% music and games, and 35% vending.
AVS was recognized in March of 2010 as a Platinum Partner by Firestone Financial Corp. for outstanding performance. AVS won Valley-Dynamo's honors as 2006 Distributor of the Year.
Parent company AVS will continue its focus on amusement and vending sales as it prepares for expected heavy sales of video lottery terminals to Illinois' VLT market. In November 2009, AVS signed a memorandum of understanding with International Game Technology, the world's largest manufacturer of gaming equipment, naming AVS as IGT's exclusive distributor for the Illinois VLT market. The state legalized VLT industry was legalized in 2009 and is expected to go live in late 2010 or early 2011.