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Q&A | Pete Tullio, NAMA Chairman and CT&W Co-Chair

by Emily Jed and Nick Montano
Posted On: 10/9/2013

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TAGS: vending, office coffee service, OCS news, office refreshment industry, National Automatic Merchandising Association, Coffee, Tea and Water show, NAMA chairman, Pete Tullio, World Wide Vending, Gourmet Coffee Service

Pete Tullio The National Automatic Merchandising Association's Coffee, Tea and Water show has grown over six years from a small gathering in Cherry Hill, NJ, to a sold-out symposium with a distinguished lineup of speakers that organizers predict will draw record crowds to Nashville in November. Doing double-duty as NAMA chairman and co-chairman of this year's CT&W show is Pete Tullio of World Wide Vending and Gourmet Coffee Service (Van Nuys, CA).

PHOTO: NAMA chairman Pete Tullio on a coffee plantation in Costa Rica.
Vending Times caught up with Tullio in the midst of his busy travel schedule for his thoughts on what sets this year's CT&W show apart and his outlook for the industry. In short, he says there's no better time to be an office coffee service provider and no better place to learn, network and become acquainted with industry-leading technologies and products than at CT&W.

How is your first three months as chairman going?
It's been a whirlwind tour. I've traveled to NAMA state council meetings across the country, including those by the Southeast Vending Association and Northwest Automatic Vending Association, and the associations in Arizona and California. There was also an orientation for NAMA's new directors in late August in Chicago, followed by a NAMA Foundation meeting. Next on my agenda are an executive committee meeting and Texas Automatic Merchandising Association and Oklahoma Vending Association meeting. It's important to go to as many state association meetings as possible. It gives me a good pulse on the industry, and I'm seeing and hearing a lot of excitement from one coast to the other. That's not to say there are no challenges, but we are doing a great job at banding together to address issues.

The OneShow and Coffee, Tea & Water show are in a continued growth cycle, which is another reason it's a great time to be the chair of NAMA, which is something for which Carla Balakgie and Dan Mathews and the rest of the team deserve tremendous credit.

How is CT&W show shaping up? How does it compare with last year's biggest-ever show in New Orleans?
All indications are that we're looking at a record event, in terms of both attendance and exhibitors. Exhibit space is sold out with 115 suppliers. That's up 15% over 101 exhibits at last year's show in New Orleans. Initial registration data suggests strong participation from operators across the country. With great education, products, networking and ideas -- and the draw of Nashville -- it's a can't-miss event if you're involved in the coffee and water segment.

Last year's CT&W had 16 educational programs. How does this year's show stack up? What's new and different?
Even better!

See the full interview in the October issue. The full interview is also online here.