The Southeastern Vending Assocation's convention, Aug. 8 to 10, 2012, at the Sandestin Resort in Destin, Fla. had a top-notch educational program.
Carla Balakgie, National Automatic Merchandising Assocation president and CEO, filled in attendees on NAMA’s strategic plans. She believes NAMA should serve the members in four critical areas which are advocacy, knowledge, education and networking. Along with Marc Whitener, Refreshment Solutions, and Vic Pemberton, Pepi Foods, Balakgie introduced the Positioning for Growth Campaign which aims to address issues that present the greatest challenge to the industry, while simultaneously investing in the areas that represent the greatest opportunity. Remember the phrase a 'Microwave per Million!' That was the suggested amount to pledge based on the cost of a microwave for every million in sales.
Sheree Edwards, regional legislative director of NAMA, presented Grassroots and Government. She encouraged SEVA member operators to get to know their legislators before they need them.
Kyle Petty, Nascar driver, owner, and TV analyst spoke. While most people know of his racing background, he also talked about the Victory Junction Gang Camp where nearly 5000 children with life threatening or chronic illnesses find hope and laughter every year.
Michael Kasavana, Ph.D., CHTP, NCE5, talked to attendees about “Trends in Vending Technology.” Dr. Kasavana shared many of the latest industry specific innovative and creative applications. Attendees learned about new and unique customer interfaces, machine formats and operator capabilities designed to enhance business efficiencies.
During the Ultimate Coffee Talk, the professional panel of coffee experts, Howard Chapman of Royal Cup, Vic Pemberton of Pepi Foods, Craig Nelson of US Roasterie and Brent Toevs of Marley Coffee, with Geoff Paul of Excelso Coffee Co. moderating, enlightened attendees on the state of the coffee industry and how to continue to grow top line sales and margins.
At the Micro Markets-The New Vending Revolution session, panelists Donnie Pemberton of Pepi Foods, Marc Whitener of Refreshment Solutions, Scott Plaisted of Southern Refreshment Services, Mike Laurer of Aramark, and Paul Van Vleck of Burdette Beckmann fielded questions from Terry Touchton of Vistar on this latest and growing trend in vending. The panelists shared their experiences as they have navigated their way through this emerging concept on topics such as locations, products, merchandising and how to sell this concept to your customers.
Volleyball got rained out, but not the the Wilbur Langston Memorial Golf Tournament at Kelly Plantation Wednesday morning!
For updated SEVA information and more pictures of this year’s convention, check out the SEVA Facebook page.