MYRTLE BEACH, SC -- The 59th Atlantic Coast Exposition continued its rebound, bolstered by ever-stronger participation for the third straight year. Attendance has grown by an average 10% a year since the 2011 show; about 800 showgoers from operator, distributor, broker, supplier and manufacturer segments took part. It was held on Oct. 4 and 5 here.
The educational portion of the program featured three presentations. The first, led by Rich Carango of Schubert b2b/Schubert Communications (Downingtown, PA), explored the importance of effective marketing in today's image-oriented society and economical ways to do it.
The second, titled "Invest, Innovate or Die," was conducted by D/FW Consulting's Paul Schlossberg (Goshen, NY); it addressed the challenge of adapting full-line vending to the fast-changing perceptions and desires of today's consumers by combining the best available technology with close attention to detail on location.
Rounding out the seminars was a panel session featuring representatives from leading supply and distribution companies, including Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, PepsiCo, Vendors Supply and Vistar. The panelists discussed current trends in consumer preferences and the development of products that reflect them.
Two concurrent in-depth training sessions were held. Mike Frye of Southeastern Vending Services (Charlotte, NC) led a three-hour workshop on troubleshooting and problem solving for major brands of vending equipment and payment systems.
Noted "career coach" Ty Bello, Team@Work Coachshops (Spencerville, IN), conducted a supervisor "training camp," probing topics that ranged from performance management and coasting through communication and motivation to delegation, conflict resolution and team-building.
A highlight of the Atlantic Coast Exposition was the annual Awards Breakfast held on Saturday morning. ACE convention committee chair Gaye Tankersley, Food Service Inc., welcomed participants and asked them to pause for a moment and remember three distinguished industry pioneers: Sylvan (Van) Myers of Wometco; Food Service Inc. founder Gene Rountree; and James Howell (Jim) Sikes, who established Vendors Supply in the early 1960s.
Awards presented during the breakfast included North Carolina Vending Association and Virginia Automatic Merchandising Association Operator and Supplier of the Year honors, and the ACE Lifetime Achievement Award. This was presented to the late Bob McTaggart, a veteran of the American Tobacco Co. who became an operator with Wometco Enterprises, and then with Hampton Roads Vending, where he was named 1994 Virginia Vendor of the Year. Bruce Myers (Van's son, and also a Wometco veteran) presented the posthumous award to Gordon Vermillion (Kinston, NC), McTaggart's brother-in-law.
Exhibit awards were presented to Mondelez for best single booth, Coca-Cola Consolidated for best multi-booth display and Brokers Unlimited for best mega-booth in the 2013 expo.
ACE Opener And Vending Industry Awards
GAME ON! The 59th annual Atlantic Coast Exposition got under way in Myrtle Beach, SC with the traditional ribbon cutting, and honored distinguished service to the industry at the Awards Breakfast on Oct. 5.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was bestowed posthumously on Hampton Roads Vending’s Bob McTaggart, who died a decade ago. Above left, Bruce Myers (l.) presents plaque to Gordon Vermillion, McTaggart’s brother-in-law and former owner of Vermillion Vending Service (Kinston, NC). At right, Gaye Tankersley, Food Service Inc. (Columbia, SC), accepts award lauding her service in chairing the 2013 ACE planning committee; making the presentation is last year’s chairman, Wayne Seagraves of Canteen (McLeansville, NC). The event drew some 800 industry members, continuing its recent rebound.
IN THE LIMELIGHT:
The North Carolina Vending Association and Virginia Automatic Merchandising Association presented their Operator and Supplier of the Year awards at the 2013 ACE. At left, Chris Taylor (l.), Canteen (Garner, NC), accepts North Carolina Operator of the Year trophy from Scott Denhard, Canteen (Charlotte). At right, Lisa Kelly of Mondelez receives North Carolina Supplier of the Year award from Mike Frye, Southeastern Vending Services (Charlotte).
At left, Mark Matthews (l.), H&L Tom’s (Virginia Beach), celebrates his choice as Virginia Vendor of the Year with the award presenter and 2012 recipient, his father Rick. At right, Virginia Supplier of the Year Award is bestowed on Frank Heatherly, G&J Marketing & Sales (Palm Harbor, FL), by Walter Abele, Vistar (Greensboro, NC).