February/March 2023 - 12

" Lindel Creed was the first to introduce age verification to the industry
to sell age-restricted products by way of biometric identification. "
Geoff Cook
Geoff Cook is the director of operations
for Trolley House Refreshments (THR)
in Richmond, Virginia. Prior to joining
THR in 2018, Cook worked with several
companies in the vending industry
over the last 35 years on all sides of
the business including operator, distributor and broker. As
an operator, he worked with companies such as Anchor
Services, CRH Catering and RE Services - all within the
Hampton Roads area of Virginia. Cook worked his way
through the ranks starting as an attendant back in 1988
and ultimately operations manager in 1999. He joined Vistar
as an account executive in 2013 and spent over four years
learning the distributor side of the industry. Cook has been
the president of the Virginia Automatic Merchandisers
Association (VAMA) since 2020 as well as the committee
chairperson for the 2023 ACE Show. He has received
both Supplier of the Year by Canteen Mid-South as well as
Operator of the Year by VAMA.
Todd Elliott
Todd Elliott is a second-generation
vending operator who grew up in the
business since the age of three. His
parents (Tom and Sandra) founded
Tomdra in 1966. He graduated from
college in 1986 and joined the family
business in 1988 as the operations manager, working with
his siblings. He became vice president/general manager in
1994. Elliott has been an advocate for the vending industry,
serving eight years as president of the Arizona Automatic
Merchandising Council, seven years on the NAMA board
of directors, two years on the NAMA Foundation board,
and on the AAMC board from 2003 to today. He has
worked diligently to fight burdensome industry legislation,
advocate for small business, lead others in using new
technology, expand services within the market and elevate
customer service within the industry. Elliott, with his wife,
Cindy, founded a medical mission trip in 2014, annually
serving 500 migrant coffee pickers in Costa Rica by
providing basic medical needs and education.
Lindel Creed
Lindel Creed started his career
in vending with a large vending
operator as an electronics technician
and street mechanic. He worked
for Dick's Vending for a few years
and then joined Lektro-Vend as
technical assistance manager, and he soon advanced
to distributor training and support manager. After
Lektro-Vend was sold to Polyvend, Creed joined USI
in Des Moines, Iowa, as customer service manager for
that division, where he was responsible for the training
of the distributor network. Creed then joined long-time
friend and distributor Joe Loparco. While working as
operations manager and eventually being promoted
to vice president of operations, Creed learned many
aspects of the refurbishment business. With Automatic
Choice, he was the first to bring vending machine sales
to the internet. He then started his online company,
Vendweb.com, which had become a leading technical
and refurbishment company. One of its accomplishments
was the first to introduce age verification to the industry
to sell age-restricted products by way of biometric
identification. The company has been purchased by
American Green, where Creed and his staff continue to
work in the Vendweb division.
Ken and Gary Gehrlein
At AAA Vending Services, brothers Ken
and Gary Gehrlein have achieved their
legend status by putting competition
aside to invest in the well-being of
others, the local business community and
the vending industry. Led by the example
of their father, Gordon, who founded the
snack and beverage business in 1986,
the Gehrleins have promoted additional
business opportunities in the Erie area
by supporting other vendors. Their
mentorship and provision of access to
resources has created a solid foundation
on which countless local vending
companies have built their success,
and at times, has been uniquely
hands-on. On more than one occasion,
the Gehrleins have actually operated competing vending
companies while their owners dealt with injury and loss.
Ken's mechanical aptitude and interest in vending since
childhood earned him an honorable mention ACES award at
age 13; Gary's people skills and sharp intellect were obvious
long before his completion of the Dale Carnegie course.
Ken Gehrlein
Gary Gehrlein
They might appear a little too average to accept the title of
" legend, " but at AAA Vending Services, they have created
something extraordinary.
12 Automatic Merchandiser * February/March 2023

February/March 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of February/March 2023

February/March 2023 - PCOV1
February/March 2023 - PCOV2
February/March 2023 - 1
February/March 2023 - 2
February/March 2023 - 3
February/March 2023 - 4
February/March 2023 - 5
February/March 2023 - 6
February/March 2023 - 7
February/March 2023 - 8
February/March 2023 - 9
February/March 2023 - 10
February/March 2023 - 11
February/March 2023 - 12
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February/March 2023 - 14
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February/March 2023 - 17
February/March 2023 - 18
February/March 2023 - 19
February/March 2023 - 20
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