The National Association of Collegiate Concessionaires informally began in 1983 when the University of Wisconsin, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, Indiana University, University of Notre Dame and the University of Michigan Concession Administrators got together to discuss their Food and Novelty Concession operations, goals, objectives and visions. It was called Big Ten Concessionaires back then. Each year the group would get together, with their respective Universities hosting the meeting, and inviting other neighboring Universities to join the annual meeting. There were no dues or fee's at this time.
When, in 1986, the group comprised of several Universities throughout the Midwest, the group decided to call themselves the Midwest Concessionaires Association and developed a set of goals, objectives and guidelines. The annual conference was still the responsibility of the host school who underwrote all of the expenses. It was at this time that vendors and suppliers were formally invited to attend the annual conference.
In 1994 a steering committee was appointed to investigate and recommend the direction the association should take. A year later, at the annual conference, the association voted to Incorporate as the National Association of Collegiate Concessionaires. By-laws and an Executive Board were also approved. At this time there were 14 Universities with about 21 active members in the association.
As word got out about the NACC, membership began to grow. The Executive Board were all volunteers and their Universities picked up all association expenses. In 1996 it was decided to charge a minimal fee or dues to all members to pay for administrative costs such as office supplies, postage, coping costs, and a pay for the new Executive Director position etc...
From 1996 to 2001 the number of member Universities increased from 24 to 82 with a total membership of well over 173 people. At the annual conference in 2001, the by-laws were amended and concession vendors and suppliers were permitted to obtain membership in the NACC.
It was in 1997 that the NACC nominated Ron Athey to be the first Executive Director of the NACC. Ron was also the Director of Concessions at the University of Notre Dame as well as the owner of Athey and Associates Consulting Company. He successfully grew the NACC and the annual conference. In 2001 Ron decided that the NACC needed a website to help members communicate with each other and gain information about the conference.
When Ron announced his retirement to the Board January 2002, he led the three person committee to find his replacement. January 2003 the committee selected Theresa Traulsen to take over the Executive Director position at the end of the 2003 conference. Theresa Traulsen shadowed Ron Athey during the first 6 months of 2003.
The NACC wanting to honor Ron Athey’ s dedication to the Concession Industry, established the Ron Athey award in 2004. This is awarded each June to a NACC member that displays a high ethical and professional standard with a lasting effect on collegiate concessions that generates pride from fellow NACC members.
Since June 2003 Theresa Traulsen has been the NACC Executive Director. Theresa started her concession career in Seattle working at the Seattle Center, then moving over to the University of Washington. She managed the University of Washington concession operation for several years before establishing her consulting company, Concession Solutions, Inc. in 1994. Theresa is a NACC Ron Athey Award recipiant in 2009. Theresa announced her retirment as NACC Executvie Director to the membership June of 2017. She will step down as Executive Director January of 2019. Theresa is an advisor to Chuck and the Board through June 2019.
In September of 2018 a second search was done to find a new Executive Dirctor for the NACC. Chuck Aldridge was selected and will shadow Theresa for the remainder of 2018 and take over the position in January 2019. Chuck is also the Concessions General Manager at University of Maryland Dining Services, a NACC Board Member 2010-2014 and 2017-2018, the NACC Ron Athey Award recipiant in 2016.
The NACC has continued to grow and change with the times. The organization has new universities and continues to have a dedicated Board of Directors that strive to keep the organization educational for all members.
Past Executive Director
Past NACC Presidents
Past Ron Athey Award Recipients: