Oct. 21, 2019 - MYRTLE BEACH, SC - The Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation was the site for the Atlantic Coast Exposition (ACE) where operators and suppliers from all across the US gathered to take part in educational sessions, see and show new products and equipment. The theme: “MISSION: ACE – Honoring Veterans” proved to be the most popular theme in the new era – with many exhibitors showing their patriotism. The exhibit hall completely SOLD OUT in May and attendees from dozens of states and Canada took part in this convention that is the largest show of its kind on the East Coast. ACE organizers have heard “best show ever” from among the 1000 attendees and 80 exhibiting companies.
On Thursday, the renewed Golf Tournament took place at Myrtlewood golf course under sunny skies and perfect conditions. There were three educational sessions offered on Friday: A Legislative Update by Eric Dell from NAMA; Technology Culture Session that these experts hit the following topics: Technology’s Impact on the Future of Food Service (Evan Jarecki, Gimme Vending; Integrating Technologies to Reduce Friction & Enable Growth (Bill Bartholic, USA Technologies); The Future of SelfService Retail: Markets, Data, and Consumer Empowerment (Sharon Peyer, Crane) and Privacy & What You Should Know, Eric Dell from NAMA.
Other events that offered networking opportunities included a celebratory “USO Variety Show” honoring our Veterans with special entertainment by “Letters from Home” and excellent food, plus a “meet and greet” with Veterans and NFL Superbowl Star, Rocky Bleier. Saturday was the popular “ACE Corn Hole Pool Party” and throughout the week, a Fox Hole Pub provided beverages for attendees.
The Saturday ACE Stars & Stripes Awards breakfast gave us a Keynote by Rocky Bleier where he inspired us with his story to “Be the Best You Can Be”. Preceding Bleier’s address, awards were given to the following: NCVA Vendor of the Year: Chris Taylor, Canteen; NCVA Supplier of the Year: Mike Mitchell (Veteran), Vistar. A plaque was also presented to Lance Roper (Veteran) to honor his year-long commitment and valued leadership as the 2019 ACE Planning Committee Chair. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Randy Laster, recently retired from Pepsi Bottling Ventures. First Place Booth awards were given to companies in three different categories that embraced the “Honoring Veterans” show theme. Prizes went to: Single Booth – Mrs. Freshley’s; Multi-Booth – Holiday House; and Mega-Booth – Vendors Supply. In addition, the committee presented plaques to the highest corporate Diamond level sponsors whose generous contributions make ACE 2019 a success. Thank you to ACE Diamond sponsors: Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated, Pepsi Bottling Ventures, PepsiCo Food Service, USA Technologies, Vendors Supply and Vistar. Photos can be seen on the website.
In an effort to make a difference in the communities, ACE donated a truck full of remaining products from the show to the local church community that will distribute to families in need. ACE donated a Wheelers' Paramill valued at $10,000 to Elite Fitness, a veteran owned gym that provides equal opportunities for fitness regardless of one's ability.
ACE is an industry-only event and registration is open to anyone in the vending, office coffee or food service business, including those involved in contract food service in schools, colleges and hospitals. Additional information is available from the ACE office: Visit www.atlanticcoastexpo.com, email email@example.com, or call 919-387-1221. The ACE Planning Committee began planning ACE 2019 event on the Sunday following the show’s closing. Next year’s dates are October 8-10 at Embassy Suites Kingston Plantation which will celebrate the 65th anniversary of the first ACE in 1955.
Additional information is available from the ACE office: Visit www.AtlanticCoastExpo.com, email info@AtlanticCoastExpo.com, or call 919-387-1221.
The Atlantic Coast Exposition (ACE) is a trade show featuring suppliers to the food service industry, industry machinery, vended and dining products, electronic components, communication equipment, customized vehicles and much more. Educational programs are presented, which provide information about the industry. Social and sporting events are included. ACE is sponsored by the N.C. Vending Association (NCVA), S.C. Vending Association (SCVA) and VA Automatic Merchandising Association (VAMA). TayCar, Inc of Cary, N.C., provides administrative services for the ACE Show and NCVA & VAMA. Capitol Consultants in Cayce, SC, provides administrative services for SCVA.