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NAMA Elects Brinton Chairman, Celebrates Leaders At National Expo

Posted On: 11/19/2007

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CHICAGO -- The National Automatic Merchandising Association board of directors has chosen James F. Brinton, Evergreen Food Services (Tukwila, WA), as chairman for the coming year. Named senior vice-chairman is Randall Parks, ProStar Services (Carrollton, TX). Craig A. Hesch, A.H. Management Group (Rolling Meadows, IL), becomes vice-chairman, and Brad L. Ellis, Crane Merchandising Systems (Bridgeton, MO), is selected as secretary-treasurer.

James H. Terry, Coca-Cola North America (Atlanta), is immediate past chairman. He and Steven D. Ross, Bertsch Services (Warsaw, IN), serve as ex officio directors.

The NAMA membership elected new directors and recognized the contributions of industry leaders at its 2007 National Expo. Joining the board are Kelly A. Carioti, PepsiCo Foodservice & Vending Sales (Atlanta); Heidi Chico, U-Select-It Corp. (Des Moines, IA); Dan Countiss, American Vending Co. (Richland, MS); Craig A. Hesch, A.H. Management Group (Rolling Meadows, IL); Michael Kiser, Compass Group Vending Service Division (Charlotte, NC); Stanley L. Ledbetter, RE Services (LaFayette, GA); Mary Rampe, MEI (West Chester, PA); and Peter Tullio, Gourmet Coffee Service/World Wide Vending (Van Nuys, CA). Their terms extend through December 31, 2010.

A highlight of the National Expo was the NAMA Industry Awards Banquet, held at the Chicago Marriott. The awards program recognizes consistently outstanding achievement and contributions to the industry and the community.

Setting the stage for the gala presentation was outgoing chairman Jim Terry of Coca-Cola, who reminded the audience that "We exist to refresh: 24/7/365." He recalled that legendary Coca-Cola president Robert W. (Bob) Woodruff, who headed the company from 1923 to 1954 and remained on its board for another 30 years, set the goal of making his product available wherever and whenever anyone wanted it -- "within arm's reach of desire." The vending industry's objective is the same, and Terry proposed a toast "to a great industry." He introduced chairman-elect Brinton, and turned the microphone over to NAMA president Richard M. Geerdes to announce the award winners.

Honored as OCS Allied Member of the Year was Joe Webster, founder and chairman of Newco Enterprises (St. Charles, MO). He formed the company in 1974, and has developed it into a leading manufacturer of coffee and other beverage dispensing equipment as well as a wide spectrum of related products.

Recognized as Silver Coffee Service operator of the year was Susan Hartley, president of H&R Coffee Co., dba Coffee Perks, Sunbelt Springs Bottled Water and Coffee Perks Franchise Inc. (Jacksonville, FL). Hartley grew up in the family coffee service business, and stayed aboard after her parents sold it, eventually buying the OCS unit in 1993 and the rest of the company six years later. She received the National Coffee Service Association's coveted Silver Cup Award in 1996.

Receiving the vending Allied Member of the Year Award was Greg Sidwell, G&J Marketing (Palm Harbor, FL). Sidwell brought an extensive background in vendible product distribution to G&J in 1984, and was a leader in the development of the vend broker industry segment. As a result, he has kept G&J on course for steady growth; the company now covers a territory extending west to Arkansas and north to Maryland, and deploys a team of 13 outside sales representatives, all of whom have NAMA Certified Executive credentials.

Golden Coin Vending Operator of the Year honors went to Victor E. Pemberton of Pepi Food Services (Bainbridge, GA). Pemberton is a veteran of 22 years in vending, gaining extensive experience with Pepsi-Cola Bottling, working his way up from route sales to vice-president. He was named Vendor of the Year by the Georgia Automatic Merchandising Council in 2002, is a winner of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the YMCA and has been honored by Kiwanis as an Outstanding President.

Taking top honors as NAMA 2007 Industry Person of the Year is William K. (Bill) Walsh, founder and president of Continental Vending (Anaheim, CA). Walsh started a vending company out of his garage and the trunk of his car in 1961, and built the business into a leading regional full-line operation. He was a founder of the California Automatic Vendors Association (now the California Automatic Vendors Council) and has been active in the National Automatic Merchandising Association for more than four decades. Among his many industry honors are CAVC's Sidney S. Kallick Award and NAMA's Legislative Leadership Award. Walsh has served as president of CAVC and chairman of NAMA. He established the CAVC Walsh Family Scholarship Foundation, and has been honored as  St. Vincent de Paul Food Donor of the Year.

Nominations for the awards were open to all NAMA members around the world.