After a yearlong search, the American Amusement Machine Association has announced that Pete Gustafson will take over the Executive Vice President role from John Schultz, who is retiring at the end of May. Gustafson will be leaving his role as Sega USA’s GM and says he’s excited to continue the extensive work and progress that Schultz began. The two will begin the transition in mid-May, and Gustafson will officially take the post on June 1.
“I’m deeply honored and humbled by the appointment. It’s a big position with a lot of responsibilities,” Gustafson said. “I’ve been working with the AAMA for quite a few years and find it to be a space that really feels open to creativity.”
Early in 2015, when Schultz announced his pending retirement, the AAMA appointed a search committee, made up of Chris Felix, Holly Hampton, David Cohen and other AAMA Board members. The group followed a multi-step process that narrowed the selection from 11 applicants to four candidates, interviewing the finalists and deciding on Gustafson.
“It was a long process with several great candidates,” AAMA President Chris Felix said. “We feel like we’ve made the right choice.”
Gustafson has worked in the industry since 1980 when he joined Bally Pinball. Since then, he has built a name for himself in the coin-op world, working with Aladdin’s Castle (a precursor to Namco Entertainment), Data East Pinball, Face Place Photo, LAI and finally Sega.
In the early 2000s he became active with the AAMA, joining a number of committees and participating in more events. He was elected to its Board of Directors in 2001, and in 2013, was elected President, completing his two-year term in the summer of 2015.
Schultz, who spent years at AAMA bringing life to the association’s government relations program and helping to develop the new FEC Initiative, will be greatly missed by his colleagues and friends.
“John, with his years of industry experience, has positioned the association for continued success. He has been a real asset,” Felix said.
“He’s done a magnificent job, created a foundation of integrity, organization and transparency, and he’s leaving me with a really solid foundation to build on,” Gustafson continued. “I’m committed to the work he has started.”
Look to RePlay for more information as the story develops, and check out www.coin-op.org for other details.