NAMA announced initial results of its successful Public Policy Conference held last week in Washington, D.C. A contingent of nearly 50 NAMA employees, board members and other industry leaders met with legislators and government agencies about issues facing the vending and refreshment services industry.
NAMA met with nearly 30 U.S. House and Senate offices. Of those meetings, approximately 20 included direct meetings with House members and four included direct meetings with U.S. Senators, including: Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.; Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.; Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark. and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C.
“The Capitol Hill meetings provided an excellent opportunity for NAMA members to become more active in our advocacy efforts and to educate our elected officials on issues facing the industry,” said Eric Dell, NAMA’s vice president of government affairs, in a prepared statement.
NAMA also met with representatives from the Department of Defense to discuss health and wellness and related issues. Carla Balakgie, the association’s president and CEO, led a group of board members in a meeting with Charles Milam, principal director for Military Community and Family Policy. Milam oversees the military’s Healthy Base Initiative, a demonstration project that examines select military installations’ efforts to support improved nutritional choices, increased physical activity, obesity reduction and decreased tobacco use.
“This visit provided an opportunity to begin a dialog between NAMA and the Department of Defense (DOD), regarding health and wellness issues surrounding food and beverage choices for active duty military and their families,” Dell said. “We look forward to further discussions with the DOD on issues related to the Healthy Base Initiative and how the industry can provide assistance with making the initiative a success.”
Craig Hesch, former NAMA board chairman, led a meeting with leadership from the U.S. Mint, including the Director of Coin Studies, Jon Cameron.
“We appreciate the leadership of the U.S. Mint’s concern with the potential impact of any changes in coins to our industry. It was especially effective to have a broad range of industry representatives present in this meeting, including operators, suppliers, brokers and emerging leaders,” Dell concluded.