2003 NAMA Expo Spotlights Today's Key Vending Issues

Posted On: 10/9/2003

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WASHINGTON, DC - Critical subject areas at the intersection of marketing, public relations and government affairs will be spotlighted at the 2003 National Automatic Merchandising Association National Expo here. New technology and a spectrum of nuts-and-bolts topics important to vending, coffee service and foodservice operators also will be explored at the event, which is NAMA's 67th annual conference.

Slated for the Convention Center in the nation's capital from October 16 through 18, the 2003 Expo also offers an expanded schedule of pre-Expo activities on the 15th. These include the all-day Quality Coffee Certification Program, led by Newco Enterprises' Mike Tompkins, which will be held from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and a special afternoon workshop titled "Competition is Fierce," featuring Paul Schlossberg of D/FW Consulting, David Brewster, DVB Design; and Rochelle Levy, Rochelle Levy & Associates. This will be held from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Separate registration is required for both programs.

The Quality Coffee Certification Program, continued when the National Coffee Service Association merged with NAMA in 1999, provides in-depth instruction in the factors affecting the quality of a brewed cup of coffee. The registration fee covers a comprehensive manual and test instruments. It will offer an in-depth look at the relative strengths and competitive postures of convenience stores and the vending industry. Early bird registration will open at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, and will close at 4:30 PM.

Thursday morning's program gets off to a fast start at 8:30 AM with the NAMA annual meeting, featuring updates by chairman John V. Arnold, Arnold Vending Co. (Tiffin, OH) and president and chief executive officer Richard M. Geerdes.

U.S. Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore will offer insights into the design and production of the coins that are the lifeblood of the vending industry.


Keynoting the NAMA 2004 annual meeting will be National Foosball League legend Lynn Swann, whose outstanding career included participation in two Rose Bowl and four Super Bowl games. Swann was a first-round draft pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers, was named Most Valuable Player of the 1976 Super Bowl, and honored as NFL Man of the Year in 1981. Swann was named to chair the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in 2002, and has traveled widely in that capacity, educating Americans on the key role played by exercise and sports in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The annual meeting concludes at 10:30 AM, at which time the exhibits will open.

A round table idea exchange is slated for 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM. Participants can discuss route driver compensation policies with other operators running similar (or different) businesses, in a relaxed setting.

A presentation by Dr. Kenneth Cooper, a leader in the international physical fitness movement since 1968, also is slated for 12:00 noon. Sponsored by Frito-Lay, the session will emphasize the importance of integrating adequate exercise proper diet and emotional balance to maintain good health.

Thursday afternoon's formal education program gets underway at 1:00 PM, offering a choice of four seminars.

From 1:00 to 2:00 PM, industry veteran J.E. (Eddie) Hicks, Prestige Services (Clifton Park, NY) will lead a session on "Effective Financial Management," explaining the use of practical financial information in analysis and management of a vending operation. This will include insights into the value of operating ratios in gauging a company's performance against the industry average, to identify strengths and pinpoint weaknesses requiring corrective action.

At the same time, a workshop on "Specialty Beverages and Specialty Beverage Systems' Impact on Productivity at Work" will be led by Frank LaRusso, director of marketing, North America for Flavia Beverage Systems; Mike Dabadie, vice-president of Wirthlin Worldwide; and Shizuka Pye, global brand director for Flavia Beverage Systems. This session will present the results of new research into the attitudes of consumers in the workplace to beverages and beverage delivery systems. It also will suggest strategies for selling and retaining accounts.

And a seminar entitled "Milk Stool Marketing" will be led by Bonnie Knutson, Ph.D., professor at The School of Hospitality Business, Michigan State University. A milk stool is a stable platform because it has three legs, and Prof. Knutson will offer a three-point marketing strategy for winning and keeping customers, profitably. She will explain the two principal trends affecting today's consumers; offer a plan for getting their attention, arousing their interest and encouraging them to act; and propose ways to earn their life-long loyalty.

Also starting at 1:00 PM is a two-hour class in NAMA's famous "Vending 101" course. Led by Jim Brinton, Evergreen Food Services (Tukwila, WA) and Vic Pemberton, G.P.L. Food Services (Bainbridge, GA), the curriculum is designed for operators of recently established vending businesses, whether new to the workplace services industry or entering vending from another segment. Interactive in nature, the program will cover such key areas as vending equipment, money rooms and warehousing; contracts, financial reporting, customer service; sales strategies; and much more.

From 2:00 to 3:00 PM on Thursday, Paul Quintavalla of Icon Marketing will conduct a seminar on "Branded Food Concepts to Enhance On-Site Dining Programs." This will explore the ways in which new food, marketing and merchandising concepts can be applied to an existing foodservice business to enhance variety, create excitement and increase visibility. It will provide operators with the information they need to determine whether franchise programs would be a good fit with their present operations.

The International Networking Forum is slated for 3:15 to 4:30 PM. Designed primarily for foreign visitors to the NAMA National Expo, the Forum provides an opportunity to meet, share with and learn from vending professionals from around the world. NAMA staff members will attend to help make the visit as productive and enjoyable as possible.

On Friday morning, October 17, the NAMA Foundation will host its annual breakfast, sponsored by Hershey Foods. Advance registration is required for this event, with a suggested $35 minimum donation; 100% of that donation goes to support the Foundation. Keynoting the Breakfast is Ronald Cichy, Ph.D., CHA, CHE, director of The School for Hospitality Business at Michigan State University. Dr. Cichy will speak on "Emotional Intelligence: Your Key to Effective Leadership," offering a new approach to making a personal assessment, then planning ways to develop "emotional intelligence" to enhance leadership effectiveness.

The formal educational program resumes at 9:30 AM, when showgoers can choose from four educational tracks.

MSU's Ronald Cichy will lead a workshop inviting the participant to "Become an Effective Foodservice Leader." He will offer suggestions into fresh ways to focus on building relationships with employees, customers, clients, suppliers and the community.

At the same time, Aramark Refreshment Services president Richard Wyckoff and human resources vice-president Tony Petrucci will offer a case study in "Delivering World Class Customer Service." They will describe the success of Aramark's "Service STARS" program in creating a shift from a "sales and operations" culture to a "sales and service" culture.

Also at 9:15 AM on Friday, Steve Hyde of Newco Enterprises will serve as facilitator for the always-popular "OCS Open Forum" at which a panel of industry experts, and fellow forum participants, will provide instant feedback to questions and observations.

"Intelligent Vending" will be explored at a session offering the latest updates on automated data capture, storage and retrieval through the Vending Industry Data Transfer Standard (universally known as DEX), as well as progress in cashless payment systems for vending equipment. Presenters will be Michael Kasavana, Ph.D., NAMA endowed professor at The School of Hospitality Business; Glenn Butler, chief technical officer for Streamware Corp.; and Mike Lawlor, senior vice-president, USA Technologies.

The trade show reopens at 10:30 AM on Friday.

From 11:00 AM to 12:00 noon, Ruth Lahmayer of Lahmayer & Associates will host an interactive session titled "Obesity in Vending Update: Ask the Dietitian." Lahmayer, who has worked with vending operators on developing menus conforming to client "wellness program" objectives, will offer an overview of the obesity issue that has caught the public's attention, and field operator questions about the problem and how it affects vending.

The Friday afternoon educational program kicks off at 1:00 PM, with a choice of five one-hour sessions.

Ruth Lahmayer, who is a NAMA Knowledge Source expert, will propose ways to "Enhance Your Foodservice Image Through Variety and Healthy Eating Options." She will detail the ways in which operators who are knowledgeable and proactive about the role of diet in maintaining health can increase customer satisfaction and enhance the company's image.

"Controlling Your Rising Insurance Costs" is the topic for William Werber, risk manager for Westland Insurance Brokers/Westland Management Services. Since the cost of insurance begins with hiring, and goes forward from there, a consistent and diligent management approach to containing that cost is important to profitability. Werber, a NAMA Knowledge Source expert, will provide suggestions and lead an interactive discussion.

"Single Cup and Brew-by-Pack: the Operator's Perspective," moderated by coffee industry veteran Ken Shea of Ken Shea & Associates, will explore the potentials and pitfalls of single-cup coffee preparation systems, including those based on fresh-brew vending technology as well as those using preloaded single-serving coffee cartridges. The panel will consist of experienced coffee service operators.

"Change Management" will be explored by Jim Proebstle of Prodyne, Inc., a NAMA Knowledge Source expert who will present a proven formula for understanding, managing and benefiting from the changes that occur in the operator's workplace and those of clients and prospects.

And Fred Miller, president of Security Resources Group, will offer an update on the perennial problem of dishonesty. His session, themed "Stealing: What You Don't Know Will Hurt You," will examine the severe impact of insider theft on profits and propose management programs to prevent it.

From 3:00 to 4:00 PM, NAMA will host a New Member Networking Forum. This will include an orientation on the association, an opportunity to meet its board and staff members as well as faculty from the educational program and, of course, other new members.

Friday's activities will culminate in the festive NAMA Industry Awards Banquet, which will be preceded by a reception from 6:00 to 7:00 PM. Five awards will be presented, for top operator and top supplier in the vending and coffee service segments, respectively, and for industry person of the year. Entertainment and dancing will follow.

On Saturday, October 18, NAMA has scheduled an examination for qualified candidates for its Certified Executive program who submitted applications by July 1.

Also on Saturday, exhibits will reopen at 10:30 AM and close at 3:00 PM. And two concurrent education sessions are scheduled for 11:00 AM.

Jim Proebstle of Prodyne will present his popular explanation of "How to Make a Sales Call," an overview of the underlying logic of successful selling.

At the same time, Scott Larkin of Larking Consulting will offer a comprehensive update on advances in aseptic packaging that have made it easy to vend popular beverages, including milk-based ones, without the need for refrigerated transport and storage. Larkin, a veteran of The Vendo Co., will examine aseptic packaging technology and its potential for bringing a host of profitable new items into the vending channel.