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AMOA Presidents - The Passion Persists
I don't know when the tradition started, but for many years, the individuals who have served as president of the Amusement & Music Operators Association get together during the annual show for a reception and dinner.
In some years, there have been as few as seven or eight past presidents and spouses/guests, while in other years, there have been 15 or more (pictured here in 2008 at AMOA's 60th Anniversary dinner).
On Thursday, March 15, 2012, a total of 10 AMOA Presidents attended the group event at Lawry's in Las Vegas.
This year, the most-tenured past president at the gathering was Craig Johnson of Utah, who served as AMOA's CEO 19 years ago, in 1993. The newest addition to the group is Donovan Fremin of Louisiana, who wound up his term as president during this year's show.
R.A. Green III, Jerry Derrick, Jim Stansfield, Chris Warren, Marion Paul, Howard Cole, Russ Mawdsley and Gary Brewer were among the dignitaries this year.
From my perspective, these annual past presidents' events are part class reunion and part family get-together.
There's the pre-requisite updates on parents, children and grandchildren; the exchange on travels, health and various activities; followed by inquiries and reports on the status of industry contemporaries. And then, there are the stories ... the laughter and sentimentality; the personalities and characters; the issues and controversies; the victories and defeats; and most of all, the fellowship and fun between friends who, for one year (or more) shared a unique perspective of the business they were or are in.
The passion for AMOA and the industry that permeates among its past presidents is clearly evident at these annual social events. For a few of us who are fortunate enough to peripherally witness this yearly interaction, it not only underscores their special bond, but it makes a powerful statement about the legacy of its leadership and the organizational culture that each of them worked so hard to cultivate and continue.