Joe Loparco - President
Joe has spent his entire, multi-faceted, 45+ year career in the vending industry. He started selling coin and currency counting machines in New York City, proceeded from there to Chicago to work for Bally Manufacturing, then started his own business back in his home-state of Connecticut, selling used and reconditioned vending machines and simultaneously building up an amusement operating company that ultimately had 20 video arcades from Philadelphia to Boston, as well as a sizeable street route in suburban New York.
When the video game boom went bust in the early 80’s, Joe re-channeled his energies to concentrate exclusively on the used equipment distribution business. He correctly identified the Southeast US marketplace as a dynamic growth area, and, in another example of his somehow managing to be in the right place at the right time, ended up negotiating a deal to take over Service America’s 40,000 square foot, state of the art refurbishing center in Charlotte, NC in 1988.
The original lease on that facility came due in 1995, and carried a 20 year accumulation of cost of living increases that would have resulted in a tripling of the company’s rent payments, which Joe and his then partner, and brother, Bob Loparco, decided were unacceptable. It also coincided with Joe and Bob’s deciding that their partnership had run its course, with Bob going down the street to set up his own shop, and Joe heading off to Russia to pioneer the development of the vending industry in that distant frontier.
Yes….Russia! Joe’s work included the development of the first bill validator to accept the Russian rouble, the launch of an operating company that successfully negotiated the contract to install snack and drink machines in 1500 Moscow secondary schools, and the development of a distribution company that represented Crane, Fastcorp, Cash Code, Coinco, and Van Lock.
Joe divested himself of his interests in the operating company in 2005, and with it his day-to-day, on-the-ground managerial responsibilities, thereby enabling him to come “home” to consider the next stage of his career.
After much deliberation, and a number of ideas that would have taken him outside the trade, Joe, like so many other industry “vets”, decided to re-dedicate himself to his business roots by putting down some new ones in Southern California.