Crystal Lake, IL—March 13, 2018 During last week’s AAMA/AMOA Amusement Expo International, AMOA officially kicked off its year-long celebration having officially reached its 70th anniversary of representing the amusement industry in late January.
“What a great atmosphere for celebration,” stated outgoing AMOA President Rick LaFleur, “the show was engaging, energizing and with clear opportunity. You could see it in the engagement of the attendees on the show floor as well as the educational segments.” LaFleur presided over last week’s festivities before handing off the top AMOA post to Jim Marsh at the closing of the event on Thursday, March 1.
Official 70th anniversary festivities kicked off on the eve of Amusement Expo International’s education day at the annual AMOA Presidents’ dinner where attendees heard from both incoming and outgoing presidents and a special tribute was featured honoring all presidents having served throughout AMOA’s seventy-year history. The AMOA Parade of Presidents tribute was also featured at the AMOA Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday morning, March 1. The association was honored to have 15 AMOA past presidents take part in last week’s festivities.
Current AMOA President Jim Marsh added, “70 years is a milestone to be celebrated and being a second generation AMOA President makes it even more special.” Marsh’s father, Al, served as AMOA President in 1986.
Embarking on his one-year term, Marsh admits he’s energized by the amount of positive engagement at the recently concluded event stating, “When you take into consideration 41% of the increase in buyer attendance was comprised of full-line operators, it says a great deal about today’s operator wanting to engage and evolve.”, also noting, “The FEC operator community represented a notable increase as well. Small-footprint FECs identify with the operator community, being entrepreneurs and small business owners, we have a lot in common.”
Other highlights of the 70th celebration included distribution of AMOA 70th anniversary lapel pins, a commemorative gift for annual meeting attendees along with a special AMOA Heart and Soul Reception held on Wednesday, February 28 after the show to recognize industry representatives who have given their time and talent on the AMOA board over the years. The three-day celebration concluded on Thursday afternoon with the cutting of a 70th birthday cake at AMOA’s booth.
“It was great to have so many members stop by the booth to say hello throughout the show,” said AMOA executive vice president Lori Schneider, “while many of the conversations focused on AMOA’s member programs or a status update on the account closure issue, what stood out most in the conversations I had with operators was the opportunity many expressed seeing on the show floor with suppliers working diligently to address the small footprint FEC. Whether it’s stored value card systems or cashless, it’s obvious this will continue to evolve and expand.”
AMOA looks forward to taking its 70th anniversary celebration on the road throughout 2018. “We’re 70 and still going strong,” said Schneider, “thanks to our members and especially our volunteer leaders.”
About the AMOA The Amusement and Music Operators Association (AMOA) is a national not-for-profit 501(c) 6 trade association. Since 1948, AMOA has been a voice of, and advocate for, those individuals and companies engaged in the currency-activated amusement, vending, music and family entertainment equipment business.