Q: Any insights gained during your first two months as AMOA president?
A: A couple of things stand out. In April, I had the opportunity to attend and represent AMOA at the annual AMOA-NDA Team Dart tournament in Las Vegas. Having been a long-time board member and active participant in AMOA’s annual State Council Meeting and continuing education programs, I’ve learned a great deal about darts over the years. Attending Team Dart and seeing first-hand this segment of our industry in action provided an entirely different perspective, not to mention an immense respect for our members who operate and run dart leagues and tournaments throughout the country.
The Team Dart experience really opened my eyes to the diversity within our membership. Some specialize in pool and/or darts, while others focus on ATMs, jukeboxes and/or FEC-type equipment. Some do all of the above! We have members who primarily operate in street locations while others also operate in a variety of FEC-type locations. At the end of the day, regardless of the segments or location types members operate in, we all share common goals and needs within our individual coin-op businesses.
Going a step further, I recognize the diversity happening within our leadership and membership. We have members who are second and third generation amusement operators. Others are new to the industry, entering within the last five to 10 years, and we are seeing more and more of the next generation taking the lead as well. This diversity is refreshing and provides new ideas and perspectives as we evolve as an organization and an industry.
Another insight has been AMOA’s leadership and the great amount of teamwork taking place among our 41 directors. I’m so impressed. Our executive leadership has been very active in working with AAMA to extend our show partnership. I believe the industry will be pleased to see some of the future enhancements at Amusement Expo International as a result of these efforts. I’m also happy to say our relationship with AAMA is stronger than ever.
AMOA’s working committees have done a remarkable job at developing new opportunities and enhancing current programs for AMOA members to evolve their businesses. Membership is growing even as consolidation continues, a testament to their efforts.
The association continues to advocate for its members in Washington, D.C., and additionally, has established good working relationships with other industry organizations fighting the same issues. We’ve empowered our members by providing the opportunity to take part in quarterly visits to our nation’s capital, and I encourage any AMOA member interested in participating with a future delegation to reach out to the AMOA office.
It’s truly an honor to serve at the helm of AMOA this year, especially with the support of our dedicated volunteer leaders and hard-working, professional staff.
AMOA president Emily Dunn may have married into the industry –– she and her husband Tom Dunn ran Tom’s Amusement Co. in Georgia until his untimely death in 2002 –– but she’s proven to be a valued industry veteran and leader in her own right. She’s grown the route substantially over the years (it covers Georgia, eastern Tennessee and parts of western North Carolina), evolving along the way, yet has kept it close to its original form as a traditional street operation. Today’s equipment is chiefly video games, pool tables and redemption machines and her company has also been supplying games to FECs as that market has exploded in more recent years. Among the goals of her presidency are to focus on member outreach and growth, as well as education.