MELROSE PARK, IL -- Jolly Backer has resigned his post at Stern Pinball Inc., where he had served as director of domestic sales since the pinball machine company was established a decade ago. Backer has accepted a senior level executive position with a healthy vending company and will be moving from Illinois to California. San Diego-based YoNaturals Inc. launched its "healthy" vending program four years ago. Read More about YoNaturals.
"Jolly will be greatly missed by everyone in the coin-op amusement industry and especially by all his friends at Stern," said SPI president Gary Stern. "He has been extremely valuable to Sega and Stern over the past decade and a half."
Backer began his coin-op career at Betson West in 1981 and thereafter held senior sales and management positions at Data East, Sega, Bally, Capcom and Jaleco. He was employed by Data East in 1986 when the Japanese games company launched a pinball division, which was acquired by Sega in 1995. Gary Stern bought the Sega Pinball division in 1999.
Until plans for Backer's replacement are determined, SPI's Shelley Sax is overseeing domestic sales for the company.
Separately, Stern Pinball Inc. announced last month that it had entered into a "financing and partnership" agreement with a group of investors led by David J. Peterson, a founder and managing director of Hagerty Peterson & Co. LLC (Barrington, IL).