(CHICAGO) – JUNE 4, 2014 NAMA announces the passing of former Chair Merrill Krakauer, 86, of Boca Raton, FL, who died Wednesday, May 21 at the Hospice of Palm Beach County, Delray Beach.
“We appreciate Merrill for his service to the vending and refreshment services industry. He was Chair during a time of transition for the association, and his leadership made a positive impact on the industry overall, for which we are thankful,” said Carla Balakgie, NAMA President and CEO.
An accomplished businessman and engineer, Krakauer was for many years the CEO of Rowe International in Whippany, NJ, then the largest manufacturer of vending machines in the country, and also its affiliates Brandt, Inc., now known as Talaris Inc., and AMI Entertainment, leading manufacturers, respectively, of coin and currency handling equipment and of juke boxes and other commercial entertainment systems. He also was a noted inventor, holding 25 patents for vending equipment design, a number of which were foundation patents in the vending machine industry. One of the more recognizable contributions he made to the industry is the spiral design prominently featured still today in vending machines.
He earned a B.S. in Engineering from Cooper Union in New York City.
Born in Brooklyn, he moved to Short Hills in 1975, and after 2009 resided principally in Boca Raton, Florida, while also continuing a part time residence in Short Hills.
Preceded in death by his wife Janet (nee Singer), he is survived by his children, Bryan Krakauer, presently a partner at the law firm of Sidley & Austin in Chicago, Illinois, and his wife Marie; Elayne Krakauer; Matthew Lefkowitz and his wife Amy; his brother Stewart Krakauer and his wife Judy; his grandchildren David and Emily, and his cousin and life long close friend Arlene Julich. Donations in his memory may be made to the American Heart Association or the American Diabetes Association.
Founded in 1936, NAMA is the national association representing the $42 billion U.S. vending and refreshment services industry. With more than 1800 member companies – including many of the world’s most recognized brands – NAMA provides advocacy, education and research for its membership.