Mergers, Splits, and Distribution Deals: Changes at GAMA, and Distribution Dealings

Changes are taking place at the Game Manufacturers Association, a.k.a. GAMA, with Executive Director John Ward due to be replaced when his contract ends. Here’s a press release that GAMA issued on August 24, 2018:

The Board of Directors of the Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has passed a motion electing not to renew the current employment contract of its Executive Director, John Ward.

John Ward has served GAMA in the Executive Director role for ten years. He led the organization through a difficult time by building its annual events — the Origins Game Fair and GAMA Trade Show — and retiring its debt. The Board thanks John for his service and wishes him the best in his future endeavors.

In looking ahead to the next ten years, the board’s vision is to build a trade organization that supports the businesses of its members by promoting tabletop gaming more widely than ever before, collecting and making available useful and up-to-date industry data, educating members about opportunities and best practices, and sharing ever-increasing resources among the membership. In the spirit of the organization’s purpose, mission, and vision — updated in 2016 by a special committee whose work was ratified by the membership — the board sees GAMA providing exceptional educational programs and opportunities, organizing high quality information and resources into accessible hubs, promoting gaming as quality social entertainment to the widest possible audience, and more.

GAMA is the non-profit trade organization of the hobby games industry. Its mission is to be the essential nexus for new and experienced game industry professionals, and its vision is to see a game on every table and a table for every gamer.

An Executive Director job description and call for applicants will be posted on the website when the board is ready to consider applicants. The board encourages all enthusiastic, qualified candidates to apply. The board also thanks the outgoing Executive Director for agreeing to help during the transition period.

The board of directors always welcomes both members and gamers to contact them by email at about any matter of concern, or any suggestion for improvement. All emails are read and entered into GAMA’s records.

A Special Membership Meeting has also been announced. Its agenda, in part, is to hear feedback from GAMA members and the public in service of the board’s values of consensus and transparency. The meeting will take place in Columbus, Ohio (where GAMA’s staff and office are located) on September 24, 2018 at 1:00 Eastern time in the Union Station Ballroom of the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Members may also attend by teleconference.

Further information on this option will be posted at prior to the meeting. Members of the Board of Directors are elected to two-year terms at the organization’s Annual Membership Meeting each year at the Origins Game Fair, save the representatives of the Retail members and Wholesale members, who are elected to one-year terms at the GAMA Trade Show.

The GAMA bylaws vest in its Board the responsibility to hire the organization’s Executive Director to carry out the day-to-day affairs of the organization. The non-profit’s bylaws are available online at its website,


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