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Press Release

Honoring the Life of NAMA’s Deborah Lara

CHICAGO — July 7, 2020 — NAMA announces the recent passing of Deborah Lara, Manager, Member Communities for the Western Region.

Employed more than 15 years with NAMA, Deborah was the “face” of the association to many members and western state councils throughout her tenure.

“Deborah was a professional, friendly and trusted resource for NAMA and state council members, one whom members turned to regarding issues large and small,” said Carla Balakgie, NAMA’s President and CEO. Her service-oriented demeanor and upbeat personality were true marks of distinction.

According to Sandy Larson, NAMA’s Senior Director of Legislative Affairs, “During our work together, Deborah’s dedication to the industry was clear. She always greeted members with a smile, and it goes without saying that she is deeply missed.”

Outside of work, Deborah was devoted to her large and loving family, including her husband, daughters, grandchildren and parents. Deborah had a passion for life, reflected in both her role at NAMA and her life outside of work. An avid athlete, she studied karate, kick boxing, tai chi, aerobics, Zumba and circuit training. Active in her church, she recently had become involved in Toastmasters.

“Deborah never joined anything without giving it her all. She volunteered to serve on committees at her church and Toastmasters and was always there to lend a hand at activities involving her daughters and grandchildren,” said Sandy.

A loving tribute to Deborah is included in this obituary.

NAMA represents the $31 billion U.S. convenience services industry. By providing advocacy, education and research, NAMA works to promote and protect the industry’s nearly 160,000 hardworking employees. Through traditional vending and micro markets, office coffee and pantry services, product manufacturing and small-drop distribution, convenience services meets the needs of over 40 million American consumers daily at work, home, school and play.