October 2010 News

NAMA to seek new CEO, beginning in 2012

»The board of directors of the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) has announced it is time for new leadership and will commission a comprehensive search to find a new CEO/president. NAMA’s current president, Richard M. Geerdes, NCE5, has been asked by the board to stay on until the end of 2011 as the search goes forward.

In making the announcement, NAMA Chairman Craig Hesch, NCE5, said in a prepared statement, “Our industry has advanced significantly thanks to Rich’s hard work, dedication and vision. He has positioned NAMA for this change as we work to push our industry forward in a new direction.”

Geerdes has served as the organization’s president and CEO for more than a decade. During his tenure the organization created its partnership with Michigan State University (MSU) and named its first-ever endowed professor. Under his leadership, the organization also added its coffee service membership, launched its national health and wellness initiative, Balanced for Life, and developed the organization’s variety of professional development programs. He also successfully oversaw the launch of the organization’s first and overwhelmingly successful OneShow, and will continue to work with NAMA until his contract expires at the end of 2011.

NAMA thanks Harkin, DeLauro for support on calorie disclosure in vending machines

The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) thanked Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Ia.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) for working to remedy pending calorie disclosure regulations.

The two members of Congress sent a letter to Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, clarifying the legislative intent of calorie disclosure regulations in vending.

“The calorie disclosure rules being written now will add another cost to vending operators and our customers. In this tough economy, we are very thankful that these two members of Congress are helping small businesses with new federal regulations,” said Rich Geerdes, CEO of NAMA in a prepared statement.

He continued, “the fact that Harkin and DeLauro agree with several important NAMA issues mean that when rules are finalized next March we may have some flexibility, legal protection and clarity. It’s a great step in mediating the economic impact of these new rules.”

Geerdes also thanked NAMA board member Heidi Chico, NCE, of the U-Select-It Corp., for help in this effort. Chico recently hosted Sen. Harkin and his staff at a tour of their Des Moines, Ia. facility. During this site visit and a subsequent meeting with Harkin’s legislative staff, Chico educated him on the severe economic impact of the disclosure regulations.

“We also really thank Heidi and the U-Select-It team. We made this progress because of their dedicated effort on behalf of the entire industry,” added Geerdes.

U.S. Foodservice will pay $30 million over pricing practices

»U.S. Foodservice, a broadline foodservice distributor, has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve a civil investigation of past pricing practices involving government contracts from 2000 to 2005. The company will pay a settlement of $30 million.

The company denies any wrongdoing, as the settlement acknowledges, and stands behind its pricing practices, which have always been consistent with the terms of its federal government contracts and foodservice industry standards.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. will buy Van Houtte

Littlejohn & Co., LLC, a Greenwich, Conn. private investment firm, announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell Van Houtte, one of North America’s leading gourmet coffee roasters, marketers and distributors, to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. Van Houtte is the parent company of Filterfresh Coffee Service based in Westwood, Mass.

Florida to become first state to ban milk in schools

»The Florida board of education has agreed to move forward on a plan to eliminate sugary beverages and make Florida the first state in the nation to ban chocolate milk in public schools, according to The Orlando Sentinel.

Aramark, S and T Inc. in Cleveland sign business pact

»Aramark Refreshment Services has entered into a business agreement with S and T, Inc., a long-time coffee service and honor snack business in the Cleveland, Ohio market. Neither party wished to comment on the business arrangement other than to acknowledge that it occurred.

S and T Inc. was founded in 1971 by Don Schneider, who is no longer employed by the company. The company is now identified as “S and T

Aramark” by its receptionists. The company is based in Maple Heights, Ohio, a Cleveland suburb. Schneider was the Automatic Merchandiser Office Coffee Service Operator of the Year in 1999.

USA Technologies Inc. improves ranking among POS shippers

»USA Technologies, Inc. improved its ranking among the world’s leading shippers of point-of-sale (POS) terminals. The Nilson Report, a leading source of research on consumer payment systems worldwide, ranked USA Technologies 31st in the world in 2009 after finishing 34th for the previous two years. Nilson ranked USA Technologies 6th among the leading POS shippers in the U.S. for the third successive year.

Del Monte, Vistar sign distribution pact

»Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc. has entered into an agreement with Vistar, a division of Performance Food Group, the largest vending distributor, to distribute its new line of fresh fruit and vegetable vending line products across the country.

Apriva opens cashless coach resource center

»Apriva unveiled its new Apriva Vend Cashless Coach Resource Center, a comprehensive Web-based repository of information on cashless vending solutions. An extension of Apriva’s successful Cashless Coach program, the center includes a library of case studies, operator video testimonials, podcasts, suggested guidelines for evaluating suitable cashless locations, along with cashless FAQs and industry articles from leading publications.

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