NAMA also has a “Walk your Way To Wellness” game that employees can play in teams. The game has employees track miles walked using pedometers.
One operator asked if customers will pay higher prices for healthier products. Clark said it depends on the customer. Another option is to ask the location to accept lower commission for healthy products.
Bill calling for altnerate metals in coins could require additional retooling in vending machines
The state officers meeting then addressed federal issues. In discussing currency, Tom McMahon, senior vice president and chief legal counsel, explained NAMA’s efforts to revise a requirement in the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 that requires all vending machines on federal properties to accept dollar coins by January 2008.
McMahon also said there is a bill in Congress to allow the Treasury to use alternative metals to save costs. He said NAMA will testify that having more metals in coins would result in additional retooling of vending machines.
State officers also shared ideas on building participation in state associations, a perennial concern.
Representatives of the Southeast Vending Association noted that combining six different state groups under one umbrella was beneficial. Alan Plaisted, president of Southern Refreshment Services in Tucker, Ga., said the umbrella organization eliminated some objections operators have about sitting down with competitors.
Plaisted noted that the umbrella group did not in any way diminish the independence of the different state associations. “It’s allowed us to be stronger as individual associations,” he said.
NAMA chairman Jim Terry reviews progress in 2007 at general session
During the general session of the NAMA National Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago, 2007 Chairman Jim Terry reviewed highlights. He commended the important work NAMA is doing regarding the Presidential Dollar Coin Act. He also commended Jackie Clark, NAMA’s public relations director, for getting The Food Network to produce and air a TV segment on vending titled, “The Secret Life of Vending Machines.” DVD copies of the broadcast are available from NAMA.
Terry also noted that the need to invest more in the business continues to challenge the industry. The proliferation of products now forces operators to make more choices than in the past.
Terry said the demographics of the U.S. work force are changing, further challenging vending operators.
Randy Parks, vice chairman of NAMA and president of ProStar Services in Carrollton, Texas, noted the importance of NAMA’s executive certification program, NCE, a mark of excellence for vending, foodservice and OCS.
The keynote speaker, Michigan State University men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo, began his talk by saying he always admired business people and sales people. Unlike coaching, the ceiling for business and sales performance never stops rising. “I have great respect for people who keep upping the bar,” Izzo said. “Sometimes I think your goal is never attainable.”
Izzo addressed the qualities of leadership. He said there are few people who are natural born leaders. “In my mind, a leader is someone who is very self motivated,” he said.
Many leaders lead by example, he said, and this is great. But a “true” leader, in his view, is someone who pulls others along with him.
“Great players play great, but a leader makes other players play great,” he said.
As a coach, Izzo said he asks players to fill out a card and write down five things that he can do for them as individuals. He then meets with them individually and discusses this with them, telling them that they must have trust in both him and themselves.
Once they agree to work with him, Izzo tells the players that he will hold them accountable to this agreement. He lets them know that a lot of hard work is involved.
Asked what is his greatest asset, Izzo responded, “I do spend time with my guys, and I spend unique time with them. I think those things go a long, long way.”