MAMA Holds First “Day On The Hill” At Kansas State Capitol In Topeka

Feb. 20, 2015

(CHICAGO) February 19, 2015 – The Mid-America Automatic Merchandising Association (MAMA) hosted its first Kansas legislative “Day on the Hill” February 11, 2015 at the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka.

MAMA members met at the Capitol, where they participated in meetings with key legislators and also had the opportunity to meet Governor Sam Brownback and have their photo taken with him.

“Our first ever “Day on the Hill” was a big success. We had our picture taken with the Governor, and met with House and Senate leaders,” said MAMA Kansas Legislative Consultant, Tom Burgess.  “A highlight for me was a 25 minute meeting with Speaker Merrick. A typical meeting would be 10 minutes, but he was right at home with our group and very interested in the issues facing our industry today,” he concluded.

MAMA had a total of 12 members at the lobby day, including a mix of suppliers, operators and brokers who do business in Kansas.  Also in attendance were Sandy Larson, NAMA Sr. Director of Government Affairs and Counsel, and Tom Burgess and Denny Burgess, MAMA’s Kansas Legislative Consultants, who coordinated the event.

The event focused on educating lawmakers on the vending, coffee and refreshment services industry.  “The Legislative Day was an excellent opportunity for MAMA members in Kansas to educate and interact with leadership and their legislators,” said Sandy Larson, NAMA Sr. Director of Government Affairs and Counsel. “This is the first time that they have held a “Day on the Hill” in Kansas, so it gave us an opportunity to tell our story and establish relationships that we can build on in the coming years.”

While there are no bills pending at this time in Kansas that MAMA is supporting or opposing, participants did stress to their legislators how a tax on sugar sweetened beverages would adversely affect the industry. Additionally, the group used this opportunity to educate lawmakers on NAMA’s FitPick nutrition initiative and provide the legislators with samples of “better-for-you” products.

“This is the first time that MAMA has hosted a legislative event in Kansas,” said MAMA Board Member, John Barnes. “We had a good representative group of operators, suppliers and brokers that do business in Kansas, and used the opportunity to talk about our industry and the services that we provide to our customers here. Our meeting with Speaker of the House Ray Merrick, was very interesting in light of the fact that he had actually worked in the vending industry years ago,” Barnes concluded.

Founded in 1936, NAMA is the association representing the $42 billion U.S. vending and refreshment service 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. Visit NAMA on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn


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National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA)

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