AAMA WELCOMES NEW EVP
In 2015, AAMA announced that current Executive Vice President, John Schultz, would be retiring in 2016. Schultz has served as AAMA topper since June 2010 and has accomplished some great things during his tenure.
He will leave the association having been instrumental in combining the ASI and AMOA shows into one industry show, Amusement Expo International. He brought new life to the association’s government relations program and has been a part of developing some positive new ventures, such as the recently launched FEC Initiative. AAMA President, Chris Felix, had this to say, “John, with his years of industry experience, has positioned the association for continued success. He has been a real asset and will be greatly missed.” Schultz will remain on through the end of May, and will work on the transition of the new EVP, after which, he will begin his highly anticipated retirement.
Who has been chosen to fill his shoes?
AAMA appointed a search committee, made up of Board members, Chris Felix, Holly Hampton and David Cohen. The committee did extensive work and followed a process, which included several steps to determine the best fit for this esteemed position. From an original eleven applicants, the committee narrowed it down to four candidates that were then interviewed. Chris Felix stated “It was a long process with several great candidates. We feel that we have really made the right decision.” At the recommendation of the search committee, the AAMA Board would like to present the new Executive Vice President of AAMA, Peter Gustafson.
Peter Gustafson has worked in the industry since 1980 when he joined Bally Pinball as a Field Service Representative. Over the years, Pete has built a name for himself in the coin-op world, most recently as General Manager of Sega USA. Gustafson has accepted the position of AAMA EVP and is very excited to lead the team into the future. He will begin his transition in mid-May and will take his official post on June 1st. Tina Schwartz remarked “Ashley and I are looking forward to having Pete join our team. He is a great choice. His energy and positive attitude are infectious and his industry knowledge will be a real asset.”
Beginning June 1, 2016, John Schultz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and Peter Gustafson can be reached at (847) 290-9088 or email@example.com.
About Peter Gustafson:
Peter (“Pete”) Gustafson started his coin-op career in 1980 at Bally Pinball, Inc. joining the company as a Field Service Representative assisting customers over the phone with troubleshooting their games and conducting training schools all over the country teaching operators the ins and outs of the new solid-state pinball technology. The company operated in a 120,000 sq. foot facility with 1,400 employees producing up to 600 machines a day. Pete thought he’d started at GM but that thought was short lived as “TV” games quickly became all the rage.
He transitioned to Bally Midway in 1982 when video games really took off and was there until 1984 when that business too hit the brakes hard.
From Midway he made a lateral shift to Aladdin’s Castle – the Bally Arcade Chain that is today known as Namco Entertainment. Pete gained a real appreciation for the myriad of problems operators all over the world dealt with every day in trying to keep their amusement games up and running. It’s a lesson he took with him to the next stage of his career where he led the Technical Support team at Data East Pinball, Inc. It was at Data East that Pete’s trajectory really started to rise. He joined the sales team in 1990 adding Data East video and redemption games to his portfolio.
Sega purchased Data East Pinball in 1992 and renamed the company Sega Pinball. That’s when he first became a member of the Sega family. A series of promotions over the ensuing years led him to the position of Director of Sales and Marketing.
In 2005, Pete “caught the start-up bug” again when he joined the team at Face Place Photo as Vice President of Business Development. The company was unable to carve out a big enough share of the market and was acquired by Apple Entertainment in 2007. It was then that Pete left Face Place to take the position of General Manager & International Sales Manager at LAI, heading up their newly opened Dallas office.
In 2010, Sega was looking for someone to take over leadership of their US office and, having left the company on very good terms, Sega’s management team thought of Pete. It turned out to be outstanding timing – Pete had 2 adult children still living in the Chicago. His oldest daughter had just gotten married and was beginning to start a family of her own. Pete and his wife, Erin wanted to be back near their kids and his soon to be grandchildren and the Sega opportunity proved to be a natural fit for him and his family. He was with Sega until he accepted the position of Executive Vice President of AAMA.
It was in the early 2,000’s that Pete became active with AAMA – joining a number of committees and participating in a growing number of AAMA sponsored events. He was elected to AAMA’s Board of Directors in 2001 and has been a BOD member ever since. He was elected to a 2 year term as President of the Association in 2013. His notable accomplishments while President include being a key member of the negotiation team for a new Amusement Expo International Trade Show agreement with AAMA’s partners at AMOA, the reconstitution of AAMA’s Standardization Committee and the formation of their new FEC committee.
Pete was a proud member of the United States Marine Corp Reserves from 1979 – 1991 where he was a Crew Chief on Huey Helicopters rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant.
Pete is married to his beautiful wife of 35 ½ years, Erin Anne. They have 4 amazing children and 3 wonderful grandchildren.