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Past Presidents


George Hamid, Sr.
Year of Presidency: 1939

NSA Charter Member; "Founding Father of the NSA"; Owner/Operator, Steel Pier, Atlantic City; Owner/Operator, New Jersey State Fair; Owner/Operator, George Hamid Booking Agency which provided grandstand shows at fairs. Toured Hamid-Morton Circus with partner Col. Bob Morton from 1932 until Col. Morton's death in 1957. He then bought Morton's shares and continued to tour until 1971 when control was passed on to his son, George A. Hamid, Jr. The circus is now called Hamid Circus, Inc. and is run by his grandson, James M. Hamid, Sr., and his great-grandson, James M. Hamid, Jr. George Hamid, Sr. came to America in the early part of the 20th century as a young tumbler with his uncle's Arabian Acrobatic Troupe traveling with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Learning to read and write English from legendary sharpshooter, Annie Oakley, George also showed an early acumen for business. As he progressed from his teens and into his twenties, he started his own act and branched out into owning small circuses and shows, eventually becoming the largest booker of talent in the fair business. During one period of his life his holdings included the world-famous Steel Pier, the New Jersey State Fair, Greensboro (NC) Agricultural Fair, Hamid-Morton Circus, White City (MA) Amusement Park, 6 motion picture theaters and along with his son, George, Jr., was one of the original partners in the Miami Dolphins professional football team. George was elected posthumously into the Circus Hall of Fame, the Atlantic City Hall of Fame and the Amusement Business Hall of Fame.


Max Linderman
Year of Presidency: 1940

NSA Charter Member. Born in Russia in 1886. Started in Coney Island. In 1912 partnered with Phil Isser in east coast joints. In 1919 was co-owner of World of Mirth Shows. Frank Bergan changed showed he owned to Worlf of Mirth name in 1933 and Max became its manager until his death.

* deceased

Art Lewis
Year of Presidency: 1942

NSA Charter Member. Owned railroad show. Sold wagons to James E. Strates. In 1953, bought and operated John Marks shows for 17 weeks of still dates. Was concession manager for Vivona Bros. Shows wich became Amusements of America.

* deceased

Oscar C. Buck
Year of Presidency: 1944

* deceased

Jack Rosenthal
Year of Presidency: 1945

* deceased

John E. Wilson
Year of Presidency: 1946

* deceased

David B. Endy
Year of Presidency: 1947

NSA Charter Member. In 1952 became a manager of Strates Model Shows framed with equipment from Endy Bros. Shows and Johnny J. Jones. A founder and the first President of the Miami Showmen's Association in 1944-45. Bought James Strates interest in Endy Bros. Shows in 1946 then became sole owner of the 25 railroad Endy Shows. Established winter route of South Florida church dates. Sold out to the Vivonas which gave them an off season route near their winter quarters.

* deceased

James E. Strates
Year of Presidency: 1948

Started in 1919 as pit show wrestler on Lee Schaefer's Athletic Show. Started own show in 1923 called Southern Tier Shows. Went to rails in mid- 1930's and renamed show to James E. Strates Shows. Bought Art Lewis Shows in 1943 and in 1945 this show went to Dave Endy.

* deceased

Frank Bergen
Year of Presidency: 1949

Partner with Max Linderman. General Manager of World of Mirth railroad show. Also was fixer and occasional financier.

* deceased

Jack J. Perry
Year of Presidency: 1950

* deceased

Bernard (Bucky) Allen
Year of Presidency: 1951

Concessionaire and front end manager for World of Mirth. Worked under Frank Bergen's stewardship.

* deceased

Phil Isser
Year of Presidency: 1953

NSA Charter Member. Started in the business in 1909 at Revere Beach, Massachusettes. Had knife rack joint at Wonderland Park, Coney Island. In 1912, he and Max Linderman formed a partnership with games, playing eastern fairs. In 1927 formed IT shows with partner Isador Trebish, the largest 40-miler in the country at the time. Played old Mineola Fair.

* deceased

Joseph A. McKee
Year of Presidency: 1954

Builder/Superintendent at Palisades Park. Had roller coaster there. His wife, Maggie, was also active in the NSA.

* deceased

John S. Weisman
Year of Presidency: 1955

Partnered in bingos with Morris Batalsky and third partner.

* deceased

Gerald Snellens
Year of Presidency: 1956

Born in 1884 in Holland. Ran away with Howe's Great London Circus before the turn of the century. Was a candy butcher. Became banner salesman known for his sharp dress. Started as a carnie on Morris & Castle. Joined Bernardi Greater Shows and became associated with Max Linderman and Frank Bergen. Show later named World of Mirth. Known for his brash manner and for always bringing in the big bucks. Had many Madison Avenue contracts. General Rep. and Advertising Director for World of Mirth for 29 years until his death.

* deceased

Morris Batalsky
Year of Presidency: 1957

Partnered in bingos with John Weisman.

* deceased

J. Jeff Harriss
Year of Presidency: 1958

* deceased

Alfred G. McKee
Year of Presidency: 1959

Owner of kiddie land on Queens Blvd., Queens, NY. Had rides at the 1964 Worlds Fair. Later became an insurance salesman with Clem Schmitz Insurance.

* deceased

Max Tubis
Year of Presidency: 1960

Longtime concessionaire on World of Mirth and elsewhere. Became owner/operator of Million-Dollar Pier in Atlantic City. Rideman, Charlie Holiday came over from World of Mirth to work pier. Jane (McKee) Tubis.

* deceased

Morris Vivona
Year of Presidency: 1961

Co-owner, Amusements of America. Senior member of the five brothers. General booking agent for their multiple carnivals.


Charles Rubenstein
Year of Presidency: 1962

Owned and operated arcades on 42nd street and 125th street next to the Apollo Theatre in NYC for 40 years.

* deceased

E. James Strates
Year of Presidency: 1963

Owner, Strates Shows, the last of the railroad carnivals. Son of Strates Shows founder, James E. Strates.


Alfred Howard
Year of Presidency: 1964

Show owner. Booking agent and concessions manager for IT Shows.

* deceased

Dominic Vivona
Year of Presidency: 1965

Co-Owner, Amusements of America. Persuaded by his four brothers to stay in college so he could handle office affairs for the family shows.


Al Dorso
Year of Presidency: 1966

Had food on Amusements of America.

* deceased

Robert J Conto
Year of Presidency: 1968

Announcer for Jack Kotchman Hell Drivers. Amusements of America.

* deceased

Allan A Travers
Year of Presidency: 1969

General booking agent for Strates Shows. Show owner.

* deceased

Fred Cerbini
Year of Presidency: 1970

Started in trucking business with father, Frank. Show owner, South Shore Amusements. Ride operator in Coney Island. Had ride with father at the Texan Hall at the 1964 World's Fair.

* deceased

S. Babe Vivona
Year of Presidency: 1971

Co-Owner, Amusements of America.

* deceased

Rocky Dell
Year of Presidency: 1972

Show owner, Great American Shows. Started with Colemen Bros. in concessions. Bought show off Al Howard. Big with County Fairs, played the Danbury Fair. Later joined Silver Dollar Shows.

* deceased

John J. Vivona
Year of Presidency: 1973

Co-owner, Amusements of America.


Frank Forti
Year of Presidency: 1974

* deceased

Harold E Nevins, Sr.
Year of Presidency: 1975

Owner, Nevins Amusements Shows. Left home at the age of fourteen, joined a small show and learned the ropes. Worked on O.C. Buck Shows, and joined Victory Shows owned by Billy Giroux and family. Served in WWII and was decorated with a Purple Heart when he was wounded. After the war, he and his wife, Frances, and two sons continued to work for Victory Shows until the death of Billy Giroux. It was then that Harold started his own carnival, Nevins Amusements. He started with a 1923 Eli Wheel, a brand new Warner Merry Go Round, a Smith and Smith Chair-O-Plane, an Oct-o-pus, and a kiddie auto ride he made in his backyard plus twenty wood framed canvas joints.

* deceased

John Campi
Year of Presidency: 1976

Born in Newark. Joined carnival as concessionaire at age thirteen. Married at sixteen. Served under Patton in WWII. Managed Bernard and Barry Shows of Canada. Became concession manager for Reithoffer for eighteen years. Owned joints and was patch on many shows. Outspoked defender for carnival people.

* deceased

Harold E. Nevins Jr.
Year of Presidency: 1977

Owner, Nevins Amusements. Was forced to work in the family business as an owner's son. He enjoyed the carnival and helped his dad build the business from a five ride show to as many as eighteen rides traveling Long Island. Trailer mounted the rides as the years went by. The first was a Schiff coaster bought at auction for $1,200. After setting it up as a ground mount one time, it went to winter quarters and was trailer mounted after eleven days. Next, was a Rock-O-Plane, Oct-O-Pus, Star Jet, Helicopter and Sky Fighter all to be trailer mounted. Finally got a mounted center at auction from Pugh's Shows and converted the three abreast Carousel to fil into a pup trailer. Had lots of help from sons, Hally and Jeff and daughters, Lynn, Nancy, Christine and Patty.


Stephen J Alonge
Year of Presidency: 1978

Owner, Big A Amusements. Instrumental in moving the NSA from New York City to Long Island. Started in trucking business when discharged from the Army in 1946. One if his trucking accounts was Spencer Bazaar in which a partner was Lew Newton. At one time, had most of the bazaars in the New York City area. Involved in the moving and transportation of rides at the 1964 World's Fair.


Lewis J. Newton
Year of Presidency: 1981

Founder, Newton Shows. Swam with wife, Joy, in Billy Rose's Aquacade in 1939 World's Fair. Started business with a Ferris Wheel in 1953. Bought five kiddie rides in 1960 from a closed Hempstead park to start show.


William J. Nevins
Year of Presidency: 1982

Son of the late Harold E. Nevins, Sr. Helped on H. Nevins Shows and Nevins Amusements. Was equipment manager setting up Spinneroo and Flying Scooter. Made sure the trucks and equipment got to the next spots. Left to work a full time job. Has two sons William Jr. and Steven along with daughters Allison, Amy and Jennifer. All worked in the carnival business at one time or another.


Charles E. Wagner
Year of Presidency: 1983

Show owner, Carnival Amusements. Manager, Shoot out the Star, Short Range. Operated rides and games at the Great Danbury State Fair until its close. Also operated rides and games with Silver Dollar Shows until his death in 1996.

* deceased

Frank Cardillo
Year of Presidency: 1984

Owner of ACE Canvas.


John Newton
Year of Presidency: 1985

Co-Owner, Newton Shows.


Peter Hlady
Year of Presidency: 1986

Owns games and food concessions with wife, Priscilla.


Jazz Austin
Year of Presidency: 1987

Owner, shows and rides, Coney Island.


Robert Grauer
Year of Presidency: 1988

Show owner, All County Amusements.


Charles Cooke, III
Year of Presidency: 1989

Owner of Cooke Amusements.


William E. Reiss
Year of Presidency: 1990

Owner of Blue Sky Amusements and Entertainment Ltd. with wife, Susan. Started in business in 1965 as ride operator for Prudents Amusements. In 1969 became ride supervisor for Mike Tellone's 15 ride show, New York Fair and Rental Co.,Inc., Bklyn., NY. Bought game and rental from Mrs. Tellone in 1981. Formed Silver Dollar Shows with Bob DeStefano Jr. in 1984 with a coaster, a small Merry Go Round, Tempest and two kiddie rides. Grew to what was 32 ride show playing six county fairs and State Fair of Vermont.


Henry Sparks
Year of Presidency: 1992

Started in 1957 taking down a Ferris Wheel for Lew Newton. Went into the building trade when he was young. Got back with Lew Newton and in the business full time in 1976. Has been with Newton Shows ever since.


Jeffrey A. Nevins
Year of Presidency: 1993

Grandson of the late Harold E. Nevins, Sr. Was instrumental in the building of Nevins Amusements. He helped moved the show, and had ten joints at one time. Jeff showed off his talents in art when he painted horses on his father's carousel. He now travels the U.S. using his artistic talent painting funhouses, ride scenery, etc. He has done work for Allied Amusements, Silver Dollar, All Star Midway, Dreamland, and many other shows.


Jerry Goldberg
Year of Presidency: 1994

Started with sandwich shops in 1976. Began on the road in 1979 with Newton Shows selling sausage and pepper heroes. Continued with wife, Linda, with food, joints and novelties. Played with Carnival Amusements for two years. In 1984, he started a small rental company which has grown to what is now Fun Time Production, Ltd. with clients ranging from private individuals to large corporations and charitable organizations.


Bill Penn
Year of Presidency: 1995

Owner, amusement park.


Bob Washington Sr.
Year of Presidency: 1996

* deceased

Richard Zajicek
Year of Presidency: 1997

Food concessions


Frank DiDio
Year of Presidency: 1998

Started with a penny pitch approximately 35 years ago then went into the sausage and brachiole business. Frank's stand appeared in the movie The Godfather III. Primarily doing Italian Feasts and major street fairs in New York and New Jersey with wife, Liz. Today they operate on Long Island as Frank & Liz's Sausage and Brachiole.

* deceased

Bob Washington Jr.
Year of Presidency: 1999

Owner, D&B Concessions (formerly Sea Bob's Concessions).


Jeffrey E. Haar
Year of Presidency: 2000

Owner, The Moonbounce Man, Inc. Started in the business in 1964. First memory was being a ball boy for Joe Piano in his Car Rack game. He made eight quarters a night. From the mid 1960's through the mid 1970's, he worked for his father, Edward Haar, with Midway and Aarco Amusements, also owned by the Cooke family. Worked from the mid 1970's through the mid 1980's with Maple Amusements owned by Alex Viecelli and Empire State Shows owned by Edward Haar. From 1990 - 1999, he and wife, Lynn, booked a Goldfish Game and Moonbounce with Silver Dollar Shows. They now do many different spots with various shows. They also have a Party Rental business called the Moonbounce Man, Inc.


Robert F. DeStefano, Jr.
Year of Presidency: 2001

Owner, Dreamland Amusements. Started selling pretzels for Danny McCullough at Roosevelt Raceway in 1975. In 1977, got his first carnival job working for Charlie Wagner, Carnival Amusements. Stayed with them until it was sold in 1984. In 1985, formed Silver Dollar Shows with Bill Reiss to become one of Long Island's premier carnival companies with over 35 rides. Has had amusement equipment in fairs such as the Danbury State Fair, Suffolk County Fair, Florida State Fair, Vermont State Fair, North Carolina State Fair, Georgia State Fair, and the State Fair of Texas.


Peter Zorlenzan
Year of Presidency: 2002

Owner, Zorlenzan Amusements. Worked int he business all his life with his mother and father (Catherine & O. "Whimpy") who operated a vending and amusement business. His mother, Catherine, was a past president of the NSA Ladies Auziliary. Worked as a ride operator and maintenance worker in the late 1960's for Al & Mae McKee, at their kiddie park in Queens, NY. Worked college summers on the road for Lillian Zarra & Virginia & John Leonard.


William T. Birdsall
Year of Presidency: 2003

Owner, Poppa's Fun Foods. Started with his father, Raymond "Poppa" Birdsall, in 1979 at the Bay Shore Farmer's Market in his zeppole and calzone store. After that, worked with him for many years being a food agent for people such as Bob ad Marie Washington, Ed "Spaghetti Eddie" Purcelli, and Michael Rossito. Then went on to build his own zeppole trailer, much was fabricated from parts at his friend "Bootsy's" scrap yard. After buying one trailer each year for seven years, he built a formatted fleet of food concession trailers, most of which were Otterbachers, Uniglides, and Waymatics. Operated on sometimes five different shows per week. Today operates on Dreamland Amusements with wife, Justine, with one to three food concessions.


Joseph Kennedy
Year of Presidency: 2004

wner, Joe's Games, Inc. Started in the amusement business in 1976 working for All County Amusements while attending high school. Graduated Dowling College in 1983 with a B.A. in Social Science and a minor in History. Married Kathleen in 1984 and proceeded to have three children, Joseph, Marie, and Padraic while building Allied Amusement Corp. with partner, Jim Macy. In 1999, started Allied Amusement Shows, Inc with Kathleen. Now operates Joe's Games, Inc.


Joseph F. Fragapane
Year of Presidency: 2005

Owner, All Star Midway. Started in the business in 1970 as a joint roughy. Started with concessions and went on to purchasing rides in 1973. Expanded his ride operation through the years by buying and selling rides. Currently, the owner of over thirty rides, concessions and food trailers.


Christine Nevins
Year of Presidency: 2006

69th President and first female to be elected to the National Showmen's Association as President. She was born into the carnival business, started by her grandfather Harold Nevins Sr. The name of the show was H. Nevins Shows. Her father, Harold Nevins Jr., was also born into the carnival business. The show was renamed Nevins Amusements when her grandfather retired. Christine and her sister, Patricia, who is the Secretary of the NSA, learned the business while growing up starting at the age of 5. She could tell the person doing the moonwalk how to deflate it and would tell them not to forget to put the motor into the Merry-Go-Round center. Later at the age of 16, she would help take down and set up the Carousel and could do the wiring up of the carnival. Christine runs her own games and helps with the everyday carnival business. She graduated from Suffolk County Community College and is a bookkeeper. She has a long list of family, associated with the National Showmen&'s Association. Her grandmother, Francis Nevins, belonged to the Ladies Auxiliary of the NSA. Her grandfather was President in 1975; her dad, Harold Nevins Jr., was president in 1977; uncle, William Nevins, was president in 1982; brother, Jeffery A. Nevins, President 1993. Her brother, Harold Nevins 3rd, although not a president, is a life member and great contributor of the NSA. 


Joseph A. Fragapane
Year of Presidency: 2007


Lynn Haar
Year of Presidency: 2008


Joseph Zorlenzan
Year of Presidency: 2009


Annie Newell
Year of Presidency: 2010

Annie is the owner of Poppa"s Zeppole which operates with Blue Sky Amusements and All County Amusements. Annie is the mother of six children ( keith, Jessica, Bobby, Billy, Joey, and Chris )


Susan Reiss
Year of Presidency: 2011

Susan is owner of Blue Sky Amusements with Bill, and also own and operates Sue's Sugar Shack Concessions with Blue Sky. In 1971 Susan Met Bill while he was working as the ride operator on the Tilt-A-Whirl. She fell madly in love with Bill after that encounter. That meeting has led to 37 years of marriage and 3 children ( Billy Jr., Mike, and Katie ) and one grandson (Kaidon ).

 


Benedict Martinez
Year of Presidency: 2012

Benny is the proud owner of Big Ben's Midway, a full professional Carnival, which he started only three years ago after purchasing some rides from Harold Nevins Jr. of Nevins Amusements upon his retirement. Born into this business, Benny's Parents owned Fiesta Time Shows, yet serving as founder of his own show has been a lifelong dream. For years prior to the emergence of Big Ben's Midway, Benny owned a successful games operation on Long island. He along with his four children, Drew, Melissa,Ashley and Benny "LB". continue to strive in the industry, always looking tfor opportunities to make each show better than the last.


NSA
National Showmen’s Association

Phone: 631-273-1151

30 Highland Road
Brentwood, NY 11717

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