Who to honor this year? You decide.

Automatic Merchandiser started Reader’s Choice, People of the Year, in 1992 as a way to officially recognize the talented individuals everyone in the industry knows and appreciates. For those who don’t know, People of the Year is a competition for the Broker of the Year, OCS Operator of the Year, Manufacturer of the Year, Vending Operator of the Year and Distributor of the Year, all chosen by YOU, our readers!

Winners are vending’s ‘Who’s Who’

The past 80 winners have been the best and the brightest in the industry. If you collected all 16 years of editorial on our winners, you’d have a hall of fame for vending. (Or at least a compilation of “Who’s Who” for the industry.)

Because we are an industry that values our people, we know that these are vending community members that stepped beyond business as usual. Whether they created innovation or inspiration, often they shared their experience with friends and competitors alike. That takes a special kind of person. These paragons of vending might have promoted a new area of potential growth. They could have educated others or enhanced their skills. Or they might just have the ability to remain positive despite tough times.

Adversity Separates The winners

In fact, the challenging business environment we currently find ourselves in sets these people apart even more. Before our eyes, the so called cream rises to the top. (I’m from the heart of the dairy land, so forgive my analogy.) Now it’s time to honor the deserving.

We are collecting ballots, asking YOU for your recommendations and listening to your thoughts about who deserves to join the ranks of vending’s best. Who has inspired you in the past year? Who has delivered products, equipment or timely advice?
In the December issue of Automatic Merchandiser, we will present each winners’ story, their thoughts and their photo. We give them the podium, but just like the Olympians in Beijing, they got there on their own.

Vote online or by mail

Your recommendations tell us who these people are. YOU DECIDE. Go online (www.amonline.com/content/awards) and vote under Person of the Year or drop a ballot in the mail for Broker, OCS Operator, Manufacturer, Vending Operator
and Distributor of the Year.

It’s all about people helping people, especially in the foodservice arena. In 2008, we want to know who has touched your business, your dedication, your professionalism. And we want to honor them, perhaps not with a medal, but with the award that signifies true devotion to this industry and the people in it.

Oh, I almost forgot. Just for nominating someone, you can win a free GPS navigational system. To win, include your name and contact information on the online or written ballot. It’s that simple.

AM’s Reader’s Choice, People of the Year — YOU DECIDE.

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