Joe Coppola Takes Reins At ICE, Pledges To Build On Father's Legacy

Posted On: 1/30/2019

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  TRADITION: Innovative Concepts in Entertainment founder, the late Ralph Coppola (center), reviews the company's progress and future prospects with sons Joe (left) and Dan at a recent meeting in ICE's Clarence, NY headquarters. Joe is succeeding his father as president following the latter's death in December.
CLARENCE, NY -- Innovative Concepts in Entertainment's Joseph Coppola is expressing his thanks, and the gratitude of the whole Coppola family, to the games industry for its sympathy and support upon the death of his father, Ralph Coppola. The elder Coppola, who founded ICE in 1982, died on Dec. 28, 2018. Click here to read VT's article.

Joe Coppola is succeeding Ralph as president of ICE. "We've never been big on job titles at ICE," he said. "I understand we need to have a president of the company and I could not be more happy to lead our 220 employees along with our fantastic management team that brings over 80 years combined of experience in this industry."

The new ICE president observed that "The 220 people who make up ICE were family to my father – the ICE family – and that will continue." He recalled that Ralph Coppola built the company over nearly four decades from one "bubble hockey" game [Chexx] to a robust portfolio of titles. "But he honestly never saw himself as some have referred to him, as 'iconic' or a pioneer. In his mind, he was just a regular guy from Buffalo who worked incredibly hard to create some 'lucky' breaks and opportunities over his coin-op career."

During that journey, he may not have anticipated the scale of ICE's success, "but did he ever love this business and the people in this industry! He used to say, all the time, 'once you get into this business and it's in your blood, you don't ever want to get out.'"

And the coin-op community responded. "The outpouring of genuine care for our family has been amazing," Joe observed. "My father truly touched so many lives, and we feel very fortunate to be getting so much strength from all of you: customers, competitors, vendors … everyone! You have all been incredible, and my mother and our entire family cannot thank all of you enough for your kind words and concerns over this past month."

It is now time to move forward. "That's what my dad would want," the new ICE president emphasized. "It's time to create more great games, and make sure that those games go into operations all over the globe."