TAGS: vending industry, office coffee service, vending operator, Vending Industry Awards, National Automatic Merchandising Association, NAMA Code of Ethics, Pete Tullio, World Wide Vending, Gourmet Coffee Service, Todd Elliott, Tomdra Inc.,Jeff Deitchler, PrairieFire Coffee, Mark Kelly, General Mills, Jeff Rawlins, Vend Catering Supply, Carla Balakgie, Dan Mathews, Dean Gilland
LAS VEGAS -- The National Automatic Merchandising Association's Industry Awards program recognizes members' achievements in vending and refreshment services. In addition to supporting NAMA and its state associations, award-winners must be innovative, demonstrate a willingness to expand conventional practices and consistently adhere to principles that accord with the NAMA Code of Ethics. The vending association presented the awards on April 25 at a ceremony during its OneShow in Las Vegas.
This year, four of the five recipients are from the West. California's Pete Tullio is Industry Person of the Year. "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.
Tullio is also NAMA's incoming chairman of the board, and begins his term July 1.
Joining Tullio are Todd Elliott, who is Vending Operator of the Year; Jeff Deitchler, Coffee Service Operator of the Year; and Allied Members of the Year Jeff Rawlins and Mark Kelly.
NAMA awards recipients are also recognized for their contributions to the communities in which they do business. Tullio is on the board of directors of the Rancho San Antonio Boys Home, a Chatsworth, CA, organization that helps troubled young boys. His company, World Wide Vending, also supports 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. Elliott is active in his church, and is an accomplished musician in his family's band, sometimes performing at industry functions. Deitchler is active in the Wichita community, supporting the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission, the Wichita Festivals and the local Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Industry Person of the Year
PETE TULLIO World Wide Vending and Gourmet Coffee Service (Van Nuys, CA)
Pete Tullio's family business began in 1978 when his father, the late Peter Tullio Sr., 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.
Vending Operator of the Year
Tomdra Inc. (Tucson, AZ)
A second-generation operator, Todd Elliott grew up in the family business, which was founded in 1966. A graduate of the University of Arizona, he has helped lead Tomdra's growth for 23 years. His long involvement in industry affairs includes serving as president of the Arizona Automatic Merchandising Council for a decade; he is a current member of NAMA's board of directors. "Todd was chosen for this award because of his focus on customers, innovation and leading-edge technology," said NAMA executive vice-president and chief operating officer Dan Mathews. "Additionally, he helps lead the effort to provide consumers with important nutrition information they need through NAMA's Balanced for Life and Fit Pick programs."
Coffee Service Operator of the Year
JEFF DEITCHLER PrairieFire Coffee (Wichita, KS)
PrairieFire Coffee Roasters, a Wichita, KS-based roaster and OCS provider, has more than 7,000 customers in seven Midwest states. Jeff Deitchler is the firm's general manager, and an industry leader whose volunteer work has helped NAMA create a strategic plan and educational program for the coffee service sector. "Jeff is being given this well-deserved distinction for his passion for customer service and his leadership and support of NAMA and the refreshment services channel overall," said NAMA vice-president Dean Gilland.
Vending Supplier of the Year
MARK KELLY General Mills
The western regional sales manager for General Mills, based in Portland, OR, is a 30-year industry veteran. Mark Kelly began his industry career at the product distribution company that today is Vistar. He then joined Gardetto's, where he was instrumental in positioning its novel savory snacks as leaders in a new category. Gardetto's subsequently was acquired by General Mills, where Kelly continued his work with category management. NAMA's Dan Mathews said, "During his tenure at General Mills, Mark Kelly has made significant contributions to the advancement of the vending industry and, most notably, micromarkets, a recognized industry game-changer."
Coffee Service Allied Member of the Year
JEFF RAWLINS Vend Catering Supply (La Mirada, CA)
The 40-year OCS veteran is known for "seizing opportunities." Jeff Rawlins has been a longtime volunteer in NAMA, the Western Coffee Association, the California Automatic Vendors Council and the Arizona Automatic Merchandising Council, serving on a number of committees. NAMA's Dean Gilland said, "Jeff added a powerful coffee lineup to his company, in addition to managing sales and customer service groups."