National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) - InTouch Magazine, Summer 2022

8 NAMA InTouch • Summer 2022 News & Views I am extremely honored to begin my year serving as the Chair of NAMA. Many people helped me get here, and I am very thankful to all of them. Some of my best role models are the dedicated employees at my company, Refreshment Solutions. We have excellent people who have been with me from the founding of the company — who have a commitment to hard work, showing up every day and refusing to fail. They are committed to the organization and our mission. I got involved with NAMA 20 years ago, primarily because of two individuals — Alan Plaisted, a big advocate of the work NAMA does on behalf of the industry, and Dan Mathews, former NAMA EVP & COO. From my perspective, Mathews was a true visionary for our industry. He had a long line of sight and was extremely gifted as a leader, but more importantly, was committed to doing the right thing. So, when he facilitated my involvement with NAMA, I jumped at the opportunity. As I begin my term as Chair, my goals for NAMA remain unchanged from when I got involved all those years ago. NAMA has a unique opportunity to drive impactful change in convenience services. Though the landscape continues to evolve, this is still a small, closely held industry. It is owned, operated and driven by small, family run operations. My goal for NAMA is to guide them in breaking down barriers, help them gain some of the advantages that larger organizations get with scale and, most importantly, bring meaningful outcomes to the industry. I have believed from my very first day of engagement with NAMA that the most appropriate platform to do that is advocacy. Many people define advocacy as government affairs. And certainly, that is a significant component of advocacy for any trade association, but it goes far beyond that. The Advocacy Opportunity Marcus Whitener, NAMA Chair and CEO, Refreshment Solutions LLC In recent months, NAMA has developed a transformational advocacy agenda that reimagines what new opportunities look like for our industry, our customers and our consumers.