Leaders in amusements descended on Northbrook, Ill., at the Renaissance Chicago North Shore from Sept. 12-15 for AAMA’s Annual Meeting & Gala – this year themed “Celebrating Our Past, Crafting Our Future.”
The association’s business and finance manager Tina Schwartz reported that there were about 180 people in attendance and that “the vibe was one of generosity, camaraderie and industry togetherness.”
At the welcome dinner, led by AAMA president Jeff Blair, there were also two awards presented by Schwartz and the association’s executive vice president Pete Gustafson.
The Joe Robbins Award, named after the association founder and given annually to someone who’s provided outstanding service to the industry, went to Howard McAuliffe of Pinnacle Entertainment Group (pictured below with Schwartz and Gustafson).
The Shining Star Award, created for AAMA members who provide above and beyond support to the association throughout the year, was given to Russ Van Natta of Creative Works.
From the generosity standpoint, the AAMA’s Charitable Foundation was very active during the gala night. They gave $60,000 to Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, $60,000 to KEEN USA, a total of $155,000 to Sunrise Association and $5,000 to Brave Beginnings. Representing the charities were Jaime Timm (Lurie Children’s Hospital), Kate Hurson (KEEN) and Arnie Preminger, Beth Fetner, Carly Frank and Bonni Gould of Sunrise.
That evening was led by AAMCF president Holly Hampton. Apple Industries’ Allen Weisberg was given the Lifetime Achievement Award and also introduced the “Text to Give Fundraiser” (Weisberg is also AAMCF’s assistant treasurer).
Meeting and gala sponsors included: Alpha Omega Sales, AMI Entertainment, Andamiro USA, Apple Industries, AVS Companies, Bandai Namco America, Barron Games, Bay Tek Entertainment, Betson Enterprises, Coast to Coast Entertainment, Komuse USA, Sega Arcade, Semnox Solutions, SF Processing, Stern Pinball, Sureway Games, TouchTunes, UNIS, Valley-Dynamo and WTI Wireless.