Sunday 02 October 2022

Marc Whitener to chair 2022-2023 NAMA Board of Directors

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ARLINGTON, Va., USA – June 14, 2022 – Marc Whitener, CEO of Refreshment Solutions LLC, the largest vending and micro market company in Louisiana, will lead the 2022-2023 NAMA Board of Directors as its Chair beginning July 1. A veteran of NAMA leadership, Whitener will serve as Chair at a time when the NAMA Board is intensifying its focus on advocacy.

“I am honored to serve as chair of NAMA and appreciate our new and returning Board members who will help us lead this excellent organization,” said Whitener. “My goal is to help NAMA members grow their businesses and continue to advocate for our industry.”

“Few operators are better qualified to lead the NAMA Board as its focus on advocacy becomes more expansive,” said NAMA President & CEO Carla Balakgie, FASAE, CAE. “Marc Whitener uniquely has a strong and passionate vision of the road to growth for industry operators and the role that advocacy must have in this journey.”

In recent months, NAMA has developed a transformative advocacy agenda that reimagines what new opportunities look like for the industry, its customers, and their consumers. The agenda focuses on high impact advocacy that delivers value directly to operators, including driving competitive advantage in congregative spaces, addressing labor and employment challenges, and positioning the industry as a leader and partner in solving sustainability and public health issues.

Interestingly, Whitener’s own entrepreneurial journey started when he opened a single convenience store in 1983. Under the moniker of Marc’s Quick Mart Convenience Stores, that venture grew to encompass 14 stores with 110 employees by 1992. During this time, he launched Whitener Snacks by purchasing a local Tom’s Foods Distributorship. Under his ownership, annual revenue of the snack business grew by more than 1,500% before suffering heavy equipment losses in the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster.

Refreshment Solutions was formed in 2006, through the merger of Imperial Trading vending operations with Whitener Snacks. Today it is the dominant convenience services operator in Louisiana’s major metropolitan areas of New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Whitener has been singled out for his achievements and industry contributions on numerous occasions. He earned the NAMA Industry Person of the Year award in 2014. In 2008, he earned the NAMA Vending Operator of the Year award and in 2007, Automatic Merchandiser named him Vending Operator of the Year.

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