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AMOA, IALEI Install Officers; Leaders See Bright Future

Posted On: 10/9/2006

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LAS VEGAS -- The Amusement and Music Operators Association and the International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industry installed new officers and board members at the AMOA-Fun Expos, held here from September 27 to 29.

AMOA's new president is Howard Cole of Cole Vending Co. (Weaverville, NC). First vice-president is Lloyd Williamson of Williamson's Amusements (Winona, MN); treasurer is Russ Mawdsley Jr. of Russell-Hall Inc. (Holyoke, MA); and secretary is Gray Brewer of Brewer Amusement Co. (McMinnville, TN).

A change in AMOA's bylaws shifted the specific date that new officers assume their duties from the annual Membership Meeting, which occurs midway through the show, to the close of Expo. Another bylaw change ensured that future issues could be voted on by proxies through the mail. Association leaders said this move ensures that all members have an opportunity to participate in leading the association, whether they attend Expo or not.

AMOA reported that its treasury was healthy with a balance of $4.3 million in bank and investment accounts as of September 18. Its reserve fund now stands at more than $2 million, and AMOA raised another $200,000 for the fund's 2006-'07 period.

Officials said fundraising for the AMOA Political Action Committee was also up. This year, AMOA raised $11,700 for the PAC fund, bringing the total to almost $47,000. Charity fundraising also proved a success for AMOA; a golf outing before the trade show and other events raised about $3,000 for the Coin-Op Cares (Katrina Relief) program.

IALEI also inducted new officers at its conference. Larry Davis of Davis Farmland and Mega Maze (Sterling, MA) took the helm as president (see story on Page 92), succeeding outgoing president Frank Seninsky of Alpha-Omega Amusements (East Brunwick, NJ). IALEI's first vice-president for 2006-'07 is Richard Sanfilippo of Sam's Fun City (Pensacola, FL). Second vice-president is Francis "Bud" Murray of Happy Tymes Family Fun Center (Warrenton, PA). The new treasurer is Suzanne Provenzano of Elmwood Entertainment Center (New Orleans, LA).

Outgoing AMOA president Pietrangelo and incoming president Cole share an upbeat view of the industry's future. During the Annual Membership Meeting, Pietrangelo told association members that while AMOA did not face any huge challenges this year, the industry as a whole remains challenged by "fundamental social change as to how and where people find their entertainment options."

At the same time, Pietrangelo speculated that this year's shows were upbeat because "people may be seeking low-cost entertainment again."

Cole told those who attended the AMOA Annual Membership Meeting that the industry faces unprecedented challenges from the Internet, legalized gambling and tougher DUI laws, among other changes. "I think the time has come for us to work together as an industry to save it," he said, and concluded, "I am confident that in the coming year, we can work together to begin finding an answer to this problem."

Davis described the combined AMOA and Fun Expo event as "a happy world" and said the positive mood of the show could serve as a catalyst for the entire industry.