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MD/DC, Tri-State Councils To Convene In Ocean City, May 28-29; NJ Meet Attracts Large Turnout

Posted On: 5/1/2009

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Vending, Vending Machine, Automatic Retailing, Coin-Op, Vendors, Vending Operator, Hal Bozarth, State Street Associates

HERNDON, VA -- The Maryland/DC Vending Association and the Tri-State (New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware) Automatic Merchandising Council will hold a combined annual membership meeting May 28-29 at the Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel in Ocean City, MD.

The event gets underway at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday with a board meeting. A joint meeting of members of the three National Automatic Merchandising Association state councils is scheduled for 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Each council's president and NAMA staff will update operators on local industry issues and association efforts, and open the floor for a question-and-answer session. The featured speaker is Mark Manney, NAMA's loss prevention and security Knowledge Source partner.

Manny will share his industry-specific approach to deterring internal theft, and premiere his newest loss- prevention tool: a 15-minute DVD for operators to show to their employees. Titled "Ripping Off the Mask of Internal Theft," it is a collection of videos captured from covert cameras that expose route drivers, technicians, security guards, former employees and money-room personnel stealing from their employers.

A cocktail hour will be held on Thursday evening from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., followed by a buffet dinner. Socializing will continue into the evening, with light refreshments served until 11 p.m. The gathering will culminate on Friday with a membership golf tournament starting at 8 a.m. at the Rum Pointe Golf Course, followed by a 1 p.m. lunch and awards ceremony.

Special group rates are available at the Fontainebleau through April 27 by calling (410) 524-3535 or visiting Meeting details may be had from NAMA's Eastern Office at (703) 435-1210.

Separately, members of the Tri-State Automatic Merchandising Council received a legislative briefing from their newly appointed New Jersey lobbyist at a well-attended general membership meeting on March 18 in Jamesburg, NJ.

Drawing 50 industry members, the event was the best-attended New Jersey meeting in 15 years, according to NAMA Eastern Office manager Pam Gilbert.

The Tri-State Automatic Merchandising Council has welcomed eight new operator member companies since January. Gilbert reported that recent mailings and membership meetings have emphasized the importance of an active, effective organization, and industry members have responded by becoming involved in the Tri-State AMC.

The association recently retained Hal Bozarth of Trenton-based State Street Associates as its lobbyist, to protect the industry's interests in New Jersey. He summarized Gov. Jon Corzine's budget for the next fiscal year (beginning July 1) and noted possible implications for operators.

With the governor seeking to repair the state's $7 billion budget shortfall, Bozarth and his associate, Ed Waters, emphasized the importance of preserving the existing sales tax exemption for the vending industry. Vendors in New Jersey pay 7% sales tax on 70% of vended food and beverage receipts, with the exception of milk, which is completely exempt.

Of particular interest to employers in the state budget is a plan to impose an additional $90 annual per-employee payroll tax to be used to shore up the state's unemployment insurance fund, the legislative experts observed.