Max, Thanks for All the WAMO Magic and Memories During Your 20-Year Tenure!
Last month, after attending a state association meeting in Oregon, I made mention of how many long-tenured, high quality lobbyists are a part of the coin-op industry.
After this week's Wisconsin Amusement & Music Operators (WAMO) meeting, it reminded me of how many long-tenured, high quality "executive director" types we also have in state groups around the country.
The just-concluded WAMO gathering is the final annual conference for Maxine O'Brien, who, at the end of the year, will wrap up her 20 years of service as the group's Executive Director.
During the past 16 summers, I have attended virtually all of the annual WAMO programs-from Milwaukee to Minocqua-and points in between. Maxine's meetings have always been informative, fun and efficiently-run. And unlike virtually any others, WAMO events are family affairs.
The WAMO culture that has been cultivated--facilitated by Maxine--manifested itself during the association's elections this week, when three of the four director candidates were sons of still active WAMO leaders. Not only have they been raised in the business, but they also grew up being in and around their state association.
In recent years, Maxine has also served as the unofficial dean and matriarch of the annual AMOA State Council meeting, having attended virtually all of these gatherings conducted around the country during the past two decades.
It's no coincidence that many of our industry's most active and relevant, state associations are lead by strong, veteran professionals: David Corey in Ohio; Rich and Jeannette Mitchell in Illinois; Toni Silcox in Texas; Leslie Murphy in Indiana; Jenny Duede in Iowa; Lew Dodak in Michigan; Mona Lacombe in Louisiana; Dwight Wrangham in North Dakota; John Milliron in Pennsylvania to name a few.
It continues to be a close, collaborative effort between AMOA and the many fine state association pros this industry has in place across the country.
And it's been a particular pleasure to be around Maxine to watch her work her magic at the WAMO meetings each summer.
Thanks for all your efforts to make WAMO the terrific organization it is today and for all your support of AMOA and our industry, Max...and for the many memories, too. Best of everything in your future pursuits.