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CAMA connection: Reflections On CAMA 2007

Reflections On CAMA 2007


March 31, 2008
By Bob Oughtred

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Having got back to my office after a few days attending the 2007 CAMA
Show in Vancouver, I take a few moments to reflect on the weekend’s
activity.

Having got back to my office after a few days attending the 2007 CAMA Show in Vancouver, I take a few moments to reflect on the weekend’s activity.

My first thoughts are around the inspiration I receive by being with the people of our industry. There is an abundance of talent and knowledge circulating the convention floor at any given time, waiting to be extracted by asking a question. Completely unselfish and helpful, I believe the answers to your particular question or problem are on that floor somewhere … the trick is to find out where.

My thoughts now get consumed wondering if we will be successful in our campaign to secure funding for the National Advocacy Program announced at the convention. So many people commented saying it was “about time” that we, as an industry, pull together and promote vending as an important retail distribution channel desired and demanded by the consuming public.
This idea takes funding and the appeal was to each of us to help out in any way possible to bring this idea to fruition. I have contributed and I challenge each of you to do the same. This is an issue that affects all facets of our membership and therefore must be supported by all to the benefit of all. I urge you to contact CAMA and make your pledge.

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What great people we have participating in our industry. It’s a shame we only get together once a year. Although there are many people I could talk about, I think today we should give some thought to the tremendous leadership and work Jeff Suitor provided our organization during his term as president. Jeff has served his two years in that position and is now stepping into the very important role of past-president, in order for the new president, Kim Lockie of Ft. McMurray, Alta., to begin his tenure.

Under Jeff’s leadership the CAMA board was consumed with the ideas of providing our membership with additional value. Successes have been the offering of educational seminars on healthy choice product offerings; a scholarship providing a CAMA member admission to the Executive Development Course (NAMA) at Michigan State University, and now the National Advocacy Program, which is designed to promote vending in Canada. Jeff is a tireless contributor to our industry and should receive everyone’s utmost respect and thanks. He certainly has mine.

Finally, let me talk about the location of our convention this year, Vancouver. What a wonderful city, facility and hotel to hold our convention. To the show sponsors, on behalf of everyone, thank you for your generous donations, which contribute so much to the show’s success. Thank you Amanda Curtis and Marie Saint-Ivany for all your organization and work, you guys did a great job. Thank you Gord Leckie, Glen Jackson and your committee for all the planning and personal commitment to this event.

And finally, thank you to everyone who attended. It is the synergies of involvement that provide the greatest value.  Don’t forget to mark next year’s show – April 25-26 in Montreal – on your calendar, and I’ll see you there. o