Check out the latest news from NAMA.

Press Release

Up Close: A Look at 2017 Operator of the Year Lance Whorton

CHICAGO – April 6, 2017 – Lance Whorton, President and CEO of Imperial, was recently announced as NAMA’s Operator of the Year as part of the association’s 2017 Industry Awards. Whorton will be presented with his award on April 19 at the 2017 NAMA OneShow in Las Vegas.

The NAMA Operator of the Year Award recognizes an individual who has exhibited the highest level of integrity, dedication, and leadership in the convenience services industry. The recipient of this award has a penchant for innovation and embraces industry technology in their business and shows leadership within the industry and their community.

Since 2010, Lance has served as President and CEO of Imperial, a vending, micro market and coffee service operation with branches in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas. Under his leadership, Imperial’s revenue has grown 90 percent, net profit has grown 700% and the company has incorporated cutting-edge technology across the board, with telemetry used across its 11,000 machines. Dedicated to helping his team succeed, Lance makes talent development and team building a priority to create a culture of collaboration. Prior to his role as President and CEO, Lance served Imperial for nine years in various roles including Sales Representative and Vice President.

Committed to serving the industry more broadly, Lance is a member of NAMA’s Board of Directors and serves as Chair the Executive Forum Task Force, having played a vital role in developing the Forum which launched in 2016. An industry advocate, he is a regular Fly-In participant and active in state council grassroots efforts, helping build awareness on the industry at the federal and state levels. Under his guidance, many Imperial colleagues have also participated in NAMA and state council advocacy efforts and more than 15 employees have completed NAMA’s Supervisor Development Program.

Through Imperial, Lance works with company owner and founder Paul Tims and his colleagues to support multiple international ministries. He is also involved in the Greater Tulsa Chamber of Commerce and his local church. Lance resides in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma with his wife, Belinda, son, Blake and daughter, Paige. He holds an MBA from Southern Nazarene University and a B.S. from Oral Roberts University.

About the Awards
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.

About NAMA OneShow
The NAMA OneShow draws more than 4,500 professionals and nearly 300 exhibitors from the convenience services industry. It is the meeting place for vending, coffee services, micro market and food service professionals to focus on advancing industry innovation, build relationships and grow their businesses.

Learn more and register at

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 160,000 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.

Senior Director, Member Engagement
[email protected]