The Arizona Automatic Merchandising Council (AAMC) and California Automatic Vendors Council (CAVC) held their annual joint meeting Sept. 20 to 22, 2012 at the Radisson at Fountain Hills, Ariz. The meeting was in conjunction with the Arizona Centennial celebration.
Tommy Elliott, president of AAMC and Tomdra Inc., and David Yamauchi, president of CAVC and Tri Star Vending hosted the attendance-record breaking event. Operators, distributors, brokers and suppliers came together making the AAMC/CAVA meeting the most highly attended meeting held in Arizona.
Lead by the effort of co-chairs Brian Loomis of the Hershey Co. and Cathy Feeley of FOCUS 365, the AAMC/CAVC joint meeting included an education event focusing on social media, technology and retail strategies. Ryan Garson of Vendors Exchange, Michael Lawlor of USA Technologies, Anant Agrawal of Cantaloupe Systems and Don Lear of the Hershey Co. delivered easy-to-follow and engaging presentations that were relevant to numerous aspects of vending/OCS/micro market business.
Golf at We-Ko-Pa golf club was held on Friday. It was a hot, yet beautiful day and the event was enjoyed by all, according to the golf chairman, Jamie Guadagnino of Vistar, AZ. Concurrent with the golf, Lori Endres of G&J facilitated a southwest cooking and wine/tequila tasting demo which was a also a signature activity. The live and silent auction, led by chairman Janette Carter of FOCUS 365, along with the 40-plus generous supporting sponsors, set the bar and resulted in the most successful west coast state council fundraiser in recent history, according to AAMC and CAVC.
Saturday’s meeting was kicked off by the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) chairman, Mark Dieffenbach, director of specialty channels for the Hershey Co. Dan O’Brien, olympic gold medal decathlete from the 1996 games, was the featured keynote speaker. He focused on overcoming adversity, setting goals and living like a champion.
The Coin Jam Band, which includes the Todd Elliott family along with Brent Barker of Mars, performed at the Saturday evening event held at Rosa’s Ranch in the picturesque southwestern desert. A western themed BBQ, along with a live rattlesnake, kept the crowd entertained.
Robert Donahue from Diverse Foods was named California Operator of the year and Mark Kelley from General Mills was named the California Supplier of the Year. The AAMC recognized Tomdra-Tucson Toms as Operator of the Year, and FOCUS 365 as the Supplier of the year.
Kathy O’Brien/Biscomerica, led the California delegation, as their annual meeting chairman, and the backbone of the meeting success goes to Sandy Larson and Deborah Lara of NAMA. Next year’s joint meeting will be held Sept. 19 to 21, 2013, in Indian Wells, Calif.