NAMA mourns death of Brian Allen
The National Automatic Merchandising Association is saddened by the death of friend and colleague, Brian Allen, NAMA Interim CEO, Dan Mathews announced. Brian passed away suddenly on Oct. 6 at the age of 59.
Brian, who joined NAMA in 1979, was Senior Director of Government Affairs when he took an early retirement in December 2009. He continued to serve NAMA and the industry as a Knowledge Source Partner until early in 2011. He was most recently employed as the Product Development Specialist at the American Association of Insurance Services.
"All of us at NAMA were shocked to hear this tragic news, and extend our deepest condolences to Brian's family. Brian was an industry veteran for over 30 years and a good friend to so many at NAMA and all of our affiliated state associations. He will be missed," said Mathews.
A widely respected leader in government relations and legal issues for the vending and contract foodservice industry, Brian helped represent the vending industry before federal, state and local government bodies, and dealt with regulatory agencies regarding rules that would affect the industry.
Brian earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Journalism from Northwestern University, and a law degree from Loyola University of Chicago. He was a NAMA Certified Executive. His professional memberships included the Chicago Bar Association where he served as the legislative liaison for the association's Trade and Professional Association Law Committee.
Brian leaves his wife Cathy and two children, Jason and Jackie, who have asked that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to Salute, P.O. Box 236, Prospect Heights, IL, 60070. This organization donates supplies and food to families of veterans.
Take action! US Mint Survey — Please respond
The U.S. Mint is currently evaluating methods to reduce the cost of producing U.S. circulating coins. Both materials and production methods are being evaluated. NAMA is working with the U.S. Mint on a questionnaire to evaluate how vending operators currently use U.S. coins and how any changes to U.S. coins would affect vending operations. NAMA emailed the survey request to all members last week. We would like to encourage everyone that has not replied to do so before the deadline of Oct.15, 2011. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Impact of new swipe fees on the vending industry
The "Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Legislation" was enacted to bring fundamental changes to the U.S. financial system after the last financial crisis affecting the banking industry. The added "Durbin Amendment" required a limit on "swipe fees" that VISA, MasterCard and others can charge for debit card transactions.
Effective Oct. 1 major changes went into effect which cut average debit card swipe fees by approximately 45 percent. Although this will be beneficial for large ticket transactions there is an adverse impact on the vending industry due to our typical "small ticket transactions." This new cap could as much as triple the net "swipe fee" for small transactions (gateway provider contracts vary from operator to operator therefore the impact on rates will vary).
Card Companies/Banks now have the option to charge up to $.21 per transaction plus an additional .05 percent of the transaction to mitigate fraud losses and $.01 for fraud protection. The situation is changing every day so contact your provider directly to ask how the new rate caps will impact your business.
NAMA is currently working on a legislative strategy on this issue and is also in communication with the financial institutions to resolve this issue. We will keep updated information on the NAMA website at www.vending.org
The NAMA Gratitude Tour is coming! Mark your calendar now!
The NAMA Gratitude Tour is a multi-city, mobile marketing tour that will take machines on a vending road trip to seven cities with heavy university and Gen Y populations (ages 18-29) and showcase the industry's LATEST machines, technology and products. Machines will be filled with products that Gen Y consumers (and others) enjoy. In addition, the Tour events will feature live music, PRODUCT GIVEAWAYS and social media stations, where consumers can enter NAMA's Facebook contest (www.facebook.com/VendLoveWin), send messages to friends and use other social media tools to reflect their experience.
These open-air events will attract THOUSANDS of consumers and earn coverage by both local and national media, allowing us to reach MILLIONS of consumers of all ages and reinforce that vending delivers what consumers want, when they want it. For more information about how you can be a part of the excitement, contact NAMA's marketing firm, Healy and Schulte, at (312) 765-8770 or email@example.com.
2011 Gratitude Tour:
Vend.Love.Win. Facebook contest has officially launched and it's ready to help energize your business!
The nationwide Vend.Love.Win. Facebook contest (www.facebook.com/VendLoveWin) encourages consumers to upload pictures or videos of their favorite vending machines or vended products, along with a short description explaining why they love them, for a chance to win cash prizes every month. In addition, entrants are encouraged to check out the "Vend This" and "Vend Here" tabs, which allow consumers to provide direct feedback about new products and new locations for vending machines. Vend.Love.Win. will create a direct, positive impact on your vending business by generating excitement and increasing sales. For quick and easy ideas on how you can take advantage of Vend.Love.Win., contact NAMA's marketing firm, Healy & Schulte, at (312) 765-8770 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Florida: Stop the new bottled water tax!
Florida State Senator Evelyn Lynn, R.-Ormond Beach, has introduced Senate Bill 118, that would put a brand new 6-percent tax on bottled water in containers of less than one gallon. On a $1.25 bottle of water sold in a vending machine her proposal would add a 7 1/2 cent tax! Vending operators can't raise their prices 7.5 cents, so this new tax would come out of your pocket. To identify and email your representatives visit www.NAMAVoice.org and click Take Action. Or you can type the following link into your computer to send emails http://www.votervoice.net/groups/nama/advocacy/?issueid=26335.
FYI — You have to use a Florida address in order to get to the actual body of the message going to lawmakers.
For more information contact Mary Lou Monaghan at email@example.com.
New York: Governor signs law on seized and forfeited cigarettes
NY S 3649, relating to the destruction of seized and forfeited cigarettes, has been signed by the Governor. The new regulation allows the resale of cigarette vending machines, with the money being used for the state general fund, but discontinues the practice of selling those cigarettes to inmates or secondary retailers; it grants the holders of the trademark of the seized product to examine the goods to identify fraud techniques; and, allows the state to retain small amounts of the seized goods that do not violate any federal counterfeit laws to be used by law enforcement in sting operations that fight illegal distribution of cigarettes. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at firstname.lastname@example.org.