Alabama legislators turned out in record numbers last week to participate in this year’s Alabama Vending Association’s (AVA) Annual Dinner and Legislative Day. Lobbyist Curt Lee coordinated the effort, which included meetings at the Alabama State Capitol, where the group was personally greeted by Lt. Governor and Senate President Kay Ivey, Senate Majority Leader Jabo Waggoner and Rep. John Merrill. AVA members visited more than 150 legislators’ offices and delivered product samples provided by members and suppliers.
“This legislative event has raised the bar for AVA by serving the dual-purpose of showcasing our industry while providing a valuable opportunity to educate our elected officials on our efforts,” said Mike Maddox, AVA president in a prepared statement. “It was a departure from anything that we’ve done in previous years, which is a testament to the vision of the current AVA Board and members to ensure that our industry is on the radar of our key decision-makers. We are moving forward with our plan to influence policies benefiting business in Alabama.”
Lee echoed Maddox’s sentiment. “We are uniquely positioned to capture the attention of our legislators in Montgomery because of the multifaceted nature of the vending and refreshment services. Businesses that support us provide valuable revenue and human capital to our state’s economy that legislators are committed to protecting. This event for AVA is just the first step in educating our legislators,” Lee said.
“The fundamental purpose of this event was to re-imagine AVA’s legislative activities. Going forward, all of our efforts will involve identifying opportunities to build relationships and promote our message with elected officials,” said Sheree Edwards, NAMA regional legislative director. “With the sustained vision of AVA’s leadership and dedication of its members, I am confident that we will keep pushing toward that goal.”