CHICAGO -- Pete Tullio of World Wide Vending and Gourmet Coffee Service (Van Nuys, CA) is the vending industry's 2013 Person of the Year, the National Automatic Merchandising Association announced today. Tullio also is NAMA's incoming chairman. He will be honored during the annual awards ceremony NAMA's OneShow. Tullio begins his term as chair of the NAMA board of directors on July 1.
"With this well-deserved award, Pete is being recognized for his leadership throughout our association and industry overall," said NAMA president and chief executive Carla Balakgie.
The family vending business began in 1978 when Tullio's father, the late Peter Tullio Sr., had moved to southern California after many years with Interstate United in the Midwest. Peter Jr. was working as an attorney in Chicago when his father convinced him to join him in World Wide Vending, a small amusement and cigarette vending operation he had purchased. Less than a year after relocating, his father died.
Another son, Bob, soon joined and became a partner, also moving from Midwest, making the switch from the TV news business to vending. Larry Deagon, a World Wide Vending vice-president, also joined the partnership. As the company continued to grow, Jon Fishman joined the team in 1994. The partners soon went on to found Gourmet Coffee Service, which has grown into a leading southern California OCS provider. Pete's son, Paul Tullio, joined the company in 2003 and now manages its Orange County office.
NAMA's Person of the Year is known for his community work. He's on the board of directors of the Rancho San Antonio Boys Home, a Chatsworth, CA, organization that helps troubled young boys. World Wide and Gourmet also support the Shay Youth Center at Shepherd of the Valley Church (West Hills, CA) and donates coffee and supplies to the Ronald McDonald House in Orange County.
In addition to NAMA, Tullio has volunteered time with the California Automatic Vendors Council.