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NAMA Announces 2020 Industry Person Of The Year
Nicky Gacos, Owner, Colorado Café Associates
CHICAGO — June 29, 2020 — The 2020 NAMA Industry Person of the Year is Nicky Gacos, Owner, Colorado Café Associates.
According to the award nomination, “Nicky has, through his career, exemplified the very best of what American industry has shown the world: that the private sector can both reward the deserving individuals who risk their capital and deploy their hard work and ingenuity, and also serve the public good. No previous NAMA award recipient embodies this dual essential achievement more than Nicky, who has fostered partnerships across the industry and — critically — brought great talent into our industry from outside, while helping budding entrepreneurs earn business success and financial independence.”
In 1992, Nicky began his career as a vending operator with just one location. Since that time, his he has been a tireless advocate on behalf of the entire industry, including Randolph — Sheppard entrepreneurs. In 2015, Nicky was elected to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of NAMA, the first blind person to have this distinction.
Nicky has served as the president of the National Association of Blind Merchants, a division of the National Federation of the Blind, for ten years. In this role, he has spearheaded numerous annual multi-day leadership conferences attracting hundreds of Randolph Sheppard entrepreneurs each year. He is past Chair of the Middlesex County (New Jersey) Workforce Investment Board and member of the New Jersey’s State Employment and Training Commission. He serves as a Board member for NAMA, as well as the Tri-State Automatic Merchandising Council and is a member of both NAMA’s Government Affairs and Industry Communications Committees. In 2015, he was named a NAMA Advocacy Award winner.
About the Awards
A NAMA tradition, these awards recognize individuals who have served the industry and NAMA as leaders, innovators and advocates. This year, on July 9, winners will be acknowledged in a virtual celebration, including a video highlighting the vast achievements of each of the award winners.
The NAMA Industry Awards are presented to individuals that best exemplify support of the convenience services industry through a history of service and leadership throughout the industry and in their own communities. They must be innovative, possess a willingness to expand conventional practices and follow ethical business standards in accordance with the NAMA code of ethics.
NAMA represents the $34.9 billion U.S. convenience services industry. By providing advocacy, education and research, NAMA works to promote and protect the industry’s over 160,500 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.