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January 30, 2017 
Namco Founder Nakamura Passes at 91 
Masaya Nakamura 
Masaya Nakamura, the man whose Namco Entertainment brought the world Pac-Man and all its follow up games to the coin machine business, died at the age of 91 on Jan. 22, 2017. The Yokohama native had started out in the business in 1955 when he installed two kiddie rides on the roof of a department store, became Atari's Japanese video games distributor in the early '70s and went on to produce his own games as Nakamura Mfg. (later to be shortened to Namco).
The company produced many classic video hits during the boom, including the Space Invaders derivative Galaxian which they licensed in the U.S. to Midway Games. By 1980, Namco had appointed its own North American distributors and rewarded them with Pac-Man followed by the even more successful Ms. Pac-Man.
The franchise was originally developed by Namco employee, Toru Iwatani, who would later be personally awarded "Video Game of the Year" honors by the Century Club's President Al Rodstein at a Chicago ceremony during an AMOA Expo.
The New York Times advised that Nakamura piloted Namco into its merger with Bandai, and then kicked back to become an advisor in 2002. The paper also said that details of his death were being kept private by his family. According to public tax records in Japan, the Times disclosed that Nakamura was the 68th richest person in Japan.
The above photo (showing Namakura at center stage wearing striped tie) was taken at the Royal Bermuda Yacht when the game company held its annual distributor conference there many years ago. Among company employees with him were Emilio Cabrera, Jerry Momoda, David Swafford, Lucinder Bender, Tom Siemieniec, Kevin Hayes and the only full timer still with the company, Chicago's Frank Cosentino.
Dick Hawkins Has Gone at Age 75

Rochester, Minn., is known as the hometown of both the Mayo Clinic and route operator Dick Hawkins. "The Hawk" was not only one of Minnesota's largest route jukebox, games and later vending owners, but also served as president of both MOMA and the national AMOA back in the '80s. Hawkins is best known, however, as co-founder of the VNEA ("Valley League") with Chuck Milhem. This most successful of all coin-op promotions held its very first international tournament in Rochester's Kayler Hotel.
Dick passed away on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, at The Waters on Mayowood care facility where he'd been struggling with a return of his cancer as with the effects of memory loss. Born in Rochester back in 1941, he founded D&R Inc. (later to become D&R/Star) in 1963. The local 8-ball league he and bother Dave started up one day, in fact, eventually became the template for VNEA. (He was also highly instrumental in the formation of AMOA's National Dart Assn.).
Dick Hawkins
Dick and Margie Hawkins catch up with RePlay publisher Eddie Adlum (left) at a trade function. Everything that "the Hawk" did was big, and his legacy in coin-op 8-ball and dart leagues is huge.
Dick Hawkins is also known as the AMOA chief who tangled with the AAMA manufacturers in a legal issue over video game boards during the Chicago Expo back in 1987. He was the highest-profile game operator at the time and the argument focused lots of attention on a side of the business now long forgotten. One result was a more honest dialog and eventually a closer union between operators and manufacturers that exists to this day (as in the combined Expo held each March).
On the personal side, Dick loved to hunt big game and frequently traveled to Africa to exercise this passion. Stuffed trophies lined the walls of his homes over the years. Lots of his time outside the industry was also devoted to his Masonic Lodge and Shriners Club work. He was also an avid supporter of the Gamehaven Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Survivors include his wife Margie, sons Scott, Michael, Paul and daughter Renee and spouses, plus nine grandchildren. Services are scheduled for 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, at Ranfranzvine Funeral Home (5421 Royal Place, Rochester). In Lieu of flowers, friends and mourners are asked to make a memorial contribution either to the Shriners Children's Hospital, the Boy Scouts of America or to the Alzheimer's Assn.
Minnesota's and the coin-op nation's favorite son. . . at least for a time in our history. . . is gone now, but so much of what he created, especially in coin-op sports, carries on. May he rest in God's peace.
IAAPA FEC Summit 2017
IAAPA's Leslie Hutcheson, Sacoa's Brian Duke,
TILT Studio's Nancy Roggio and Art Attack's Doug Wilson pose for a photo on the opening morning of IAAPA's FEC Summit.  
IAAPA's FEC Summit Kicks Off in Phoenix 
The fifth iteration of IAAPA's popular FEC-focused conference began in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Jan. 29 and runs through Jan. 31. This year's FEC Summit is bringing together over 150 people from 27 states and 10 countries for workshops, educational seminars, site tours, networking and more.

According to IAAPA's Leslie Hutcheson, organizers focused heavily this year on attracting a new group of FEC industry members, reaching out to entrepreneurs and first-time operators. "The numbers are right where we want them," Hutcheson said. "This year we're really focusing on entrepreneurs. IAAPA's FEC Committee developed a great platform to target and engage this part of IAAPA."
IAAPA FEC Summit 2017
Beth Standlee of Trainertainment, Amy Bruske of Kolbe Corp. and Mike Abecassis of GameTime ham it up on stage while (quite literally) throwing out green, padded microphones so the crowd could ask them questions.

As an extra effort to get newcomers, the organization opened up attendance of 2017's FEC Summit to non-IAAPA members as well as members.

Topics in this year's schedule include hiring, motivating teams, insurance, women in leadership, maximizing profits from events, motivating consumer behavior and more. On top of back-to-back educational seminars, attendees are getting the ever-present and well-encouraged opportunity to network with other FEC professionals. The entire Summit has an air of collaboration, with every session opening up conversations between business operators worldwide.

Attendees of the bonus, post-Summit FEC tour on Wednesday, Feb. 1, will also get the chance to visit Tilt, Amazing Jakes, Main Event and Flip Side for an in-depth, on-location look at strategies and best practices.

Stay tuned to Instant RePlay for more on-the-ground information about IAAPA's exclusive FEC Summit.

IAAPA FEC Summit 2017
Over 150 attendees came to IAAPA's FEC Summit this year to share ideas, learn strategies and network with their peers. The association encouraged signups from newcomers -- even non-IAAPA members -- this time around. 

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