NAMA Announces 2015 Industry Award Honorees

March 27, 2015

(CHICAGO) March 26, 2015 – The 2015 winners of the NAMA Industry Awards were announced today by the association. The awards, presented live at the NAMA OneShow in Las Vegas, Wednesday, April 22, will recognize the most widely respected leaders in the industry, as nominated by their peers.

The 2015 NAMA Industry Award winners:

  • Mark B. Dieffenbach, NCE5, The Hershey Company – Industry Person of the Year
  • Alan T. Recher, Five Star Food Service – Operator of the Year
  • Paul H. Schindelar, NCE, CCS – Allied Member of the Year

“The Industry Awards are a much-anticipated highlight of the OneShow, recognizing leaders who have served our association and industry as innovators and advocates,” said Dan Mathews, NAMA Executive Vice President and COO. “Mark, Alan and Paul have performed above and beyond, helping their companies achieve success while devoting their time and talent to NAMA, overall industry efforts, their colleagues and communities. They are a true inspiration and I congratulate each of them on this well-deserved honor.”

Mark Dieffenbach – Industry Person of the Year

Mark Dieffenbach, Director of Specialty Channels for The Hershey Company, is a 31-year veteran of the company, having started his career as a Sales Representative in Louisville, Kentucky. Throughout his career, Mark has held a variety of sales and sales management roles with Hershey Co. in the Chain Grocer, Convenience Store, Wholesale Grocer, Candy and Tobacco Distributor, Vend, Fundraising and Concession channels.

While Mark served as NAMA Board Chair from 2012-2013, the association executed the successful Positioning for Growth campaign, to preserve the viability and profitability of the vending and refreshment services industry and to drive future growth in the channel.  Currently, he is Chair of the NAMA Foundation’s Board of Trustees and has served as a member of NAMA Board of Directors since 2007.

Actively advocating on behalf of the refreshment services industry, Mark participates in NAMA’s annual Public Policy Conference in Washington, D.C. and is a NAMA Certified Executive (NCE), a designation awarded to professionals demonstrating the commitment, knowledge, integrity and leadership characteristics that distinguish them in their field.   Expanding his expertise in the refreshment services industry, Mark also participated in NAMA’s Coffee Origin Tour in Costa Rica. A three-time President’s Cup award winner at The Hershey Company, Mark resides in Hershey, PA, with his wife Sara, and their two children.  

Alan Recher – Operator of the Year

Alan Recher, President and CEO of Five Star Food Service, is a 31-year industry veteran. Under Alan’s leadership, Five Star opened its 400th micro market in March of 2015. Before taking on the role of President, Alan served as Five Star’s Chief Operating Officer.

Prior to his tenure at Five Star, he held the role of Vice President of Aramark Refreshment Services. A longtime member of NAMA and the Tennessee Automatic Merchandising Association (TAMA), Alan is active in the refreshment services industry, participating regularly in micro market panel discussions, sharing insights with his fellow industry colleagues.

Alan and his Five Star team were recognized by Automatic Merchandiser as one of their 2014 Team Pros to Know. Alan and his company have supported the Chattanooga Community Kitchen and Alan also sits on the advisory board of Culture by Choice.

Paul Schindelar – Allied Member of the Year

Paul Schindelar is a 30-year refreshment services industry veteran, having held executive sales and director roles at leading national brands including Nabisco, Kraft Foods and most recently, Mondelēz International, Inc., where he served as Vice President of Sales until his retirement from the company in December 2014.

Paul served on the NAMA Board of Directors from 2007-2014 and actively advocated for the industry through his participation in NAMA’s annual Public Policy Conference. Paul’s background in the industry spans the refreshment services spectrum. He has completed NAMA’s Quality Coffee Certificate Program, attended NAMA’s Coffee Origin Tour in Costa Rica and is a NAMA Certified Executive (NCE). 

Paul and his Mondelëz team were recognized by Automatic Merchandiser as one of their 2014 Team Pros to Know. Currently, Paul consults with The Back to Nature Company and is also involved with The Abilities Network, Meals on Wheels and Ronald McDonald House.

About the Awards:

The NAMA Industry Awards are presented to individuals that best exemplify support of the refreshment services industry through a history of service and leadership throughout the industry and in their own communities. They must be innovative, possess a willingness to expand conventional practices and follow ethical business standards in accordance with the NAMA code of ethics.

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