ACTIVE IN CHURCH OUTREACH
Eils has become more active in his St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. He’s the chair of the endowment committee and assists with a new program, “The Diaper Bank.” The Diaper Bank collects diapers from local churches to be distributed by local service agencies as needed.
“We were looking for an outreach program that a small church could do,” said Eils, “and this was a perfect fit.”
VENDING: NEVER FAR AWAY
Eils has been part of vending for so long he can’t help but continue looking at issues and helping industry members with questions. He believes the nutrition issue is still the biggest struggle for operators.
“Even in our local paper, we see vending is always mentioned…vending is still seen as the bad guy,” said Elis. He hopes NAMA’s increased presence in Washington, D.C. will influence legislation affecting vending. “Vending has its place and always will. It’s just hard to watch it being given a bad rap again,” said Eils.
He also attends the Illinois Automatic Merchandising Council meetings to keep up with what’s going on. He gets the occasional health department question and energy saving question, but it isn’t overwhelming. “I like to think there’s not too many calls because all the work we did in the past has paid off,” said Eils.
Eils is also planning to attend the Conference for Food Protection on behalf of NAMA, and he will be in the NAMA booth at the OneShow. He’s excited to see the newest technologies in person, especially the new machines.
When Eils sees a vending machine somewhere, he always stops to look at it. How is the product mix? Does he know the operator? It’s still in his mind.
His biggest disappointment is that he could never convince the agencies overseeing the Americans with Disabilities Act that vending machines are portable devices rather than permanent structures in buildings.
“We have had no complaints about the current heights since they were put in place over 30 years ago,” said Eils. Nevertheless, the agencies are still trying to get machine manufacturers to lower machine operating controls.
NO WISH TO TRAVEL
When asked why he hasn’t traveled since retiring, Eils shrugs and says he traveled so much for work that he’s content to stay home for now. Between state council meetings, conferences and events throughout the country for more than 20 years, Eils has been to many places, often accompanied by his wife. “I haven’t been on a long trip since I retired,” boasted Eils, “I’ve been on an airplane once.”
Instead of traveling, Larry, Marsha and the dogs, now only Willow and BJ since losing Mattie last year, keep busy with hobbies and await visits from their four grandchildren. Eils still has the “high” score in Nintendo Wii bowling since the grandkids’ last visit.
“In the beginning, retirement was an adjustment — all of a sudden being home all the time, after not being home a lot,” said Eils. But now he feels it gives him the opportunity to try new things, get more done around the house, and “raise plants from seeds.”
Eils has been so active that he’s actually lost 15 pounds since retiring, with no addition of formal exercise.
And he’s happy to give up his “Dr. Doom” days, a name he got from Ben Ginsberg, co-founder of Automatic Merchandiser, who also recently retired. Ginsberg noted Eils’ presentations never brought good news.
Eils misses his friends in the industry, but says when they retire, they’ll enjoy it immensely, too.