In Memoriam: NAMA’s Dean Gilland and Coffee Legend was 79

Jan. 18, 2021

Dean Gilland, a former staff member of the National Automatic Merchandising Association and NAMA Coffee Legend, died on Jan. 10 at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, Ill. He was 79.

Gilland served with NAMA from 2000 to 2015 as vice president of sales. He distinguished himself by developing pioneering services for the coffee, tea and water channel following NAMA’s merger with the former National Coffee Service Association.

Among Gilland’s accomplishments are the creation of the Coffee, Tea & Water Show (CTW) and the development of NAMA’s Coffee Services Committee. NAMA recognized Gilland’s contributions by presenting him with its Coffee Legend award in 2016. See story

“Dean was a pillar in the NAMA member community and among its staff,” said NAMA president and chief executive Carla Balakgie. “He served members in the office coffee business with excellence for many years, helping to drive significant channel growth. We are truly saddened by his passing.”

Before joining NAMA, Gilland enjoyed a 30-yearslong sales career at Scott Paper Co. Before embarking on a sales career, the NAMA leader was a member of the United States Army, where he trained as a medic before being discharged with full honors in 1970.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Nancy Gilland (nee Perley); son Robert (Melissa); daughter Kristen; sister Sharon; grandsons Alex, Erik and Spencer; sister-in-law Charlene; and several nieces and nephews.

Memorials in Dean Gilland’s honor may be given to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, the Wounded Warrior Project and First United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights. Condolences can be offered at


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