After the recent passing of ICE Founder Ralph Coppola, his son Joe will take on the presidency of the company, committing to honoring the dedication and integrity with which his father ran the company and conducted his life. In making the announcement, Joe had much to say in appreciation of the outpouring of sympathy since Ralph’s untimely passing:
“On behalf of the entire Coppola family, I would like to express my deepest and most sincere gratitude to everyone in this great industry who has reached out to give our family so much support following my father’s sudden death on December 28th.
“The outpouring of genuine care for our family has been amazing. My father truly touched so many lives and we feel very fortunate to be getting so much strength from all of you. Customers, competitors, vendors…. everyone! You have all been incredible, and my mother and our entire family cannot thank all of you enough for your kind words and concerns over this past month.
“From this tragic event, we have truly seen so much good in people and we will never forget how so many of you came to our side at this difficult time. THANK YOU!”
Joe went on to say, “We are all deeply committed to carrying on my dad’s great legacy in the same kind, dedicated and passionate way he lived every day. We will forge ahead with the same integrity and honest approach to doing business that were his trademarks. He loved the game business and he was always incredibly focused on new product design and development along with, of course, his passion for selling those games. We will continue to be a sales-driven company and to aggressively invest in new product development.
“Whenever the industry was in a down cycle, my dad would often say this was when we needed to be even more focused on creating strong new product and diversifying into different types of product lines. In these past few years, which have seen the FEC business explode, we created the ‘carnival skill wall,’ among other new product designs. My father loved nothing more than walking into an FEC and seeing those carnival games being enjoyed by families from grandparents to little kids.”
Noting that “we’ve never been big on job titles at ICE,” Joe continued, “I understand we need to have a president of the company and I could not be more happy to lead our 220 employees along with our fantastic management team which brings over 80 years of combined experience in this industry. Much more significant than this title are the 220 people who have been and will continue to work by my side. These people who make up ICE were family to my father –– ‘the ICE family,’ and that will continue.
“My father built this company over the past 36 years from one bubble hockey game into some of the most prolific game titles in coin-op history, but he honestly never saw himself as ‘iconic’ or ‘a pioneer’ as some have referred to him. In his mind, he was just a regular guy from Buffalo who worked incredibly hard to create some ‘lucky’ breaks and opportunities over his coin-op career. He certainly never envisioned, while studying accounting in college or later going to law school, that one day he’d be talking about games like Cyclone, Deal or No Deal and Down the Clown. But did he ever love this business and the people in this industry! He used to say all the time that once you get into this business and it’s in your blood you don’t ever want to get out!”
Joe finished by saying: “Once again, my most sincere thanks to everyone who reached out to our family in this past month. Words don’t really do justice to how appreciative we are. Now it’s time to move forward. That’s what my dad would want. It’s time to create more great games and make sure those games go into operations all over the globe!”
We at RePlay join an industry that’s excited to see what they come up with next and wish Joe and the rest of the ICE family the best of luck. Visit the factory online at www.icegame.com.