NCVA: North Carolina Vending Association


October 25, 2021


October 25, 2021
Contact:  Beth Bowen, Show Director,

Atlantic Coast Exposition (ACE) – ACE 2021 Rocked It!

MYRTLE BEACH, SC - The Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation was the site for the Atlantic Coast Exposition (ACE) where operators and suppliers from across the US gathered to take part in educational sessions and to see and show new products and equipment. The theme: “ROCK OF ACEs” gave attendees a fun theme to enjoy, and many exhibitors embraced the fun!  The exhibit hall was packed and attendees from dozens of states and Canada took part in this convention that is the largest show of its kind on the East Coast. ACE organizers have heard “it was so good to be back and was even better than expected.”  

On Thursday, the 2021 Golf Tournament took place at Myrtlewood golf course under sunny skies and perfect conditions.  There were three educational sessions offered on Friday: A Legislative Update by NAMA’s Mike Goscinski, Technology & Innovation by three industry experts - Melissa Brown - Well Bean Coffee Roasters; Ravi Venkatesan - Cantaloupe;
 Jim Versical – 365.

Other events that offered networking opportunities included a celebratory “Rock ‘n’ Roll All Night Party” featuring the Live Music of the Breakfast Club – 80s tribute band.  Saturday morning Keynote Patrick Henry gave a great message with live song, “Rediscover the Human Connection” for all Encore Rock Star Awards breakfast attendees. After the show concluded, the popular “ACE Corn-CHELLE Corn Hole Pool Party” was held at the Spa & Fitness Lawn. Of course, throughout the week, a Back Stage Bar provided beverages for attendees. 

Preceding the keynote performance, awards were given to the following: NCVA Vendor of the Year:  Chris Harrison, Canteen; NCVA Supplier of the Year:  Waine Ratliff (Burdette Beckmann), VAMA Vendor of the Year:  Geoff Cook, Trolley House Refreshments; and VAMA Supplier of the Year:  Lara Smith (Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated.). A plaque was also presented to Patrick Shaw (Dynamite Roasters) to honor his year-long commitment and valued leadership as the 2021 ACE Planning Committee Chair.  Patrick presented Karen Harlow (Canteen) with a plaque to thank her for heading up ACE 2020 in a new way – Virtual Education only. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to JoDee Jolley, recently retired from Canteen.  First Place Booth awards were given to companies in three different categories that embraced the “ROCK of ACEs” show theme. Prizes went to: Single Booth – Red Bull; Multi-Booth – CRANE CPI; and Mega-Booth – Vistar. In addition, the committee presented plaques to the highest corporate Diamond level sponsors whose generous contributions make ACE 2021 a success. Thank you to ACE Diamond sponsors:  Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated, Pepsi Bottling Ventures, Cantaloupe, Vendors Supply and Vistar. Photos can be seen on the website.

In an effort to make a difference in the community, ACE donated a truck full of remaining products from the show to the local food bank to distribute to families in need. 

ACE is an industry-only event and registration is open to anyone in vending, office coffee or food service business, including those involved in contract food service in schools, colleges, and hospitals. 

The ACE Planning Committee began planning ACE 2022 event on the Sunday following the show’s closing. Next year’s dates are October 13-15 at Embassy Suites Kingston Plantation where is has been held since 2009. 

Additional information is available from the ACE office:

Visit, email, or call 919-387-1221.

The Atlantic Coast Exposition (ACE) is a trade show featuring suppliers to the food service industry, industry machinery, vended and dining products, electronic components, communication equipment, customized vehicles and much more. Educational programs are presented, which provide information about the industry. Social and sporting events are included. ACE is sponsored by the N.C. Vending Association (NCVA), S.C. Vending Association (SCVA) and VA Automatic Merchandising Association (VAMA).  TayCar, Inc of Cary, N.C., provides administrative services for the ACE Show and NCVA & VAMA.  Capitol Consultants in Cayce, SC, provides administrative services for SCVA.

Careers in Vending

Interested in pursuing a career in the automatic merchandising industry? Operating a successful vending business is a combination of good management and exemplary service. Listed below are several resources that will provide you with free, or low-cost, unbiased information about owning and operating a vending business.

The N.C. Vending Association encourages you to research your options before making any purchasing decisions. A misguided purchase of overpriced, inferior quality machines can prove costly.

If you would like additional information, two industry directories published by business trade journals are available:

Blue Book Directory

Automatic Merchandiser

P. O. Box 803

Fort Atkinson, WI 53538

(920) 563-1605

International Buyers Guide

Vending Times

1375 Broadway

New York, NY 10018

(212) 302-4700

Should you decide to pursue your interest in this industry and wish to speak with an established operator, please contact the NCVA office at 919-387-1221 or via e-mail at, and you will be provided with a contact person.

If you believe that you have discovered a potential "blue sky" vending advertisement or company, you can call the Consumer Protection department of the Attorney General's Office in Raleigh at 919.716.6000 to request information about the company and, if appropriate, file a formal complaint.

In the meantime, thank you for taking the time to learn all the facts before investing in a venture which could prove both costly and unprofitable.


Trade Publications

Automatic Merchandiser
1233 Janesville Ave. 
P.O. Box 803 
Fort Atkinson, WI 53538 
(920) 563-1605 
(920) 563-1702 (F)

Vending Times
1375 Broadway
Sixth Floor
New York, NY 10018-7002
(212) 302-4700
(212) 221-3311 (F)

National Automatic Merchandising Association
20 N. Wacker Drive
Suite 3500
Chicago, IL 60606-3102
(312) 346-0370
(312) 704-4140 (F)

NCVA: North Carolina Vending Association

Questions? Contact Us. | (919) 387-1221

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