Long time National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) member and vending industry leader Ira Alan Kronenberg passed away Sept. 10, 2012 in New Orleans, NAMA Executive Vice President and COO Dan Mathews, NCE5, CCS announced. He was 75.
"Alan was one of our most distinguished and supportive members; he really helped create the vending and foodservice industry as we know it today," said Mathews in a prepared statement. "He will be missed by all who knew him and all who will (no) longer benefit from him guidance."
In reminiscing about Kronenberg, Mathews said, "Alan did it all. He even started his own vending company while in college. Later in life, he recognized the importance that technology would have on our industry and, with his son, Mark, created CompuVend, which supplies software to so many of our members."
Kronenberg was born on Aug. 14, 1937 in Birmingham, Ala. and received a BA from the University of Alabama. In 1958, he married Kay Siegel of New Orleans, La. where they resided for over 53 years. In New Orleans, after briefly working for his family's business, he started his own vending company, which was purchased by Aramark Foodservices, where he then served as a regional salesperson and general manager. In the mid-1970s, Kronenberg started yet another foodservice, vending, and catering company, Food Management Corp. (FMC). For over 35 years, FMC operated cafeterias, a central commissary, vending machines, provided catering services and office coffee services. In an effort to automate FMC and run more efficiently, Kronenberg asked his son Mark, to create computer software for the business, which became so effective that, in 1982, father and son began CompuVend Systems, Inc.
Kronenberg was also very involved in the vending and foodservice industries on a local, regional and national level. He was a founding member of Vending Machine Operators of Louisiana (VMOL) and Vending Machine Association of the Gulf South (VMAGS). Like his parents before him, he was on the NAMA board and served on the board of Food Service Executives which provided scholarships and placement opportunities to culinary students. Kronenberg volunteered with a variety of organizations throughout his life, but his favorite times were spent fishing, traveling and being with his family. In addition to his wife, Kay, he is survived by his sister, two children and four grandchildren.
Said Mathews, "Alan was a true leader and entrepreneur. He never forgot those who helped him and he gave back to the industry in so many ways for so long. He will be missed."