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Variety Food Services' Ken Nowak Dies At 84; Chaired NAMA In 1984

Posted On: 12/9/2016

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TAGS: vending, Ken Nowak obituary, Kenneth J. Nowak, vending operator, Variety Vending, Variety Food Services, National Automatic Merchandising Association

Ken Nowak, NAMA Chairman 1984, vending
Ken Nowak
WARREN, MI -- Kenneth J. Nowak, a second-generation operator who led Variety Vending (now Variety Food Services) here, died on Dec. 3. He was 88.

Nowak served as chairman of the National Automatic Merchandising Association in 1984. He is remembered by NAMA executive vice-president Dan Mathews as "a dynamic leader of NAMA, serving as chair during an important time in the industry's growth."

Variety Vending was founded in 1928 by Norman Nowak, whose son Kenneth took the helm in the immediate postwar years. Under his leadership, Variety -- still led by the third and fourth generations of the Nowak family -- grew to be the largest independent foodservice and vending company in Michigan. He was succeeded by his son John in 1997.

Kenneth Nowak graduated from the University of Detroit with a degree in business administration. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict. Active in community, as well as industry affairs, Nowak served in his church, on the boards of several civic organizations and as a mentor to students in the Detroit area.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Dorothy; children Jeanne Nowak, John Nowak, Paul Nowak, Peter Nowak and Lawrence Nowak; and 10 grandchildren. He was predeceased by a daughter, Mary Nowak.