The Amusement and Music Operators of New York (AMOA-NY) hosted its annual dinner party on April 24, honoring Nina Byron as its Industry Person of the Year and BJ Thomas as Jukebox Artist of the Year. Byron, the first woman to be honored by the association’s award, was celebrated for her career of professionalism and dedication at Betson Enterprises/H. Betti Industries, Inc.
Byron was the center of attention at the upscale New York steakhouse, Ben and Jack’s, and plenty of attendees had kind words to share about her. Betson CEO Bob Geschine and Financial Services VP Kevin Fritz were among those celebrating Byron, whose family was in attendance, including husband Ed, her daughter and son-in-law and even granddaughter, Ava.
“With her financial acumen, hard-work ethic and outgoing personality, Nina definitely deserves this award.” said Fritz. “She is widely respected as one of the most-liked and best known executives in the amusement and music industry. It is an honor to work with her all these years.”
“I am honored to be chosen as the first woman to receive the Industry Person of the Year Award,” said Nina Byron. “It is exciting to see how the industry has grown over the past years and I feel truly blessed to be part of it.”
AMOA-NY’s Jukebox Artist of the Year, BJ Thomas, was celebrated at the event as well. Winner of five Grammy Awards, Thomas’ hits include the newly popularized Hooked on a Feeling and Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head. The 74-year old singer still regularly performs across the nation, and reportedly choked up while accepting the award while an AMI Mini NGX video jukebox played his bests in the background.
AMOA-NY President Ken Goldberg (Emerson Amusement Co., Woodside, N.Y.) made the connection between the 70 million BJ Thomas records sold and how his music over the years had brought profits and play to many AMOA juke operators.
For more on the annual event and association president Goldberg’s assessments on where the business is today, see the article in the upcoming June issue of RePlay.