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LAS VEGAS (October 4, 2021) – The Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) announced today that Sebastian Salat has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 Jens Halle Memorial Award Honoring Excellence in Commercial Gaming Professionalism, and Alan Feldman has been selected as the recipient of the 2021 Peter Mead Memorial Award Honoring Excellence in Gaming Media & Communications. 

AGEM previously announced the creation of this unique annual awards program to acknowledge the lasting impacts on gaming by Halle and Mead, two distinctive industry veterans who died unexpectedly in 2015. Honorees are announced each year at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas, and this year’s awards ceremony for Salat and Feldman will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 6 at 4 p.m. at AGEM booth No. 3700 near the main entrance to G2E at The Venetian Expo.

Born in Barcelona, Spain, in 1958, Salat, 63, regarded as one of the most successful electronic gaming machine salesmen in industry history, has more than 35 years of experience in gaming, beginning in 1985 at Unidesa Gaming, the flagship company of the Spanish CIRSA Group, where he spent 15 years, the last 12 as Managing Director. He joined WMS Gaming in 2000 as Managing Director – International and was ultimately promoted to WMS President – International, boosting WMS’ global prominence and serving in that role until 2015, after which he joined Zitro as Chief Executive Officer, with a focus on the worldwide video bingo and video slot markets. Salat holds an Engineer in Electronics degree from Polytechnic University of Catalonia and separate Master’s degrees in International Trading, Marketing and Business.
“Sebastian Salat has been traveling the world selling gaming machines for decades and was one of the few who could give Jens Halle serious competition over the years for international customer engagement and the placement of machines in casinos throughout world,” said AGEM President David Lucchese, who also serves as Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing & Digital at Everi. “We have always let the nominating criteria guide the selection of these AGEM Memorial Awards and I can’t think of a more deserving winner whose European base, global reach and overall career path mirrored those of Jens. They were fierce competitors back in the day, but their mutual respect was evident then and lives on today. Congratulations to Sebastian for this well-deserved honor.”
Born in Los Angeles in 1959, Feldman, 62, has been a leading voice and informed advocate for the gaming industry dating back to 1989, when The Mirage opened in Las Vegas and changed the dynamics of the world-famous Strip forever. Feldman served in various executive communications and public affairs positions for Mirage Resorts and MGM Resorts International for nearly 30 years, including leading the communications strategies for the launches of Treasure Island, Bellagio, CityCenter and other resorts in Las Vegas and around the country. He has also been called upon to represent the industry during numerous crises as well, including labor and customer issues, economic downturns and the impacts of both 9-11 and the Las Vegas mass shooting on Oct. 1, 2017. His commitment to responsible gaming is well known and he currently serves as Chairman of the International Center for Responsible Gaming and as Distinguished Fellow in Responsible Gaming for the UNLV International Gaming Institute.
“Alan has been ‘the voice’ of the industry for as long as I can remember and the reason is he has earned the respect of industry peers and the media alike with his professionalism and honesty through good times and bad,” AGEM Executive Director Marcus Prater said. “It’s a delicate balance to walk a tightrope of the enthusiastic hype our industry creates as well as the reasoned approach to business and Wall Street and our industry’s responsibility to problem gamblers. And yet Alan has been doing all of that with aplomb for decades. He continues to be a force for good and he meets and exceeds the nominating criteria for this award named for Peter Mead and his legacy.”
Halle, a longtime Bally and Novomatic executive in Europe who was most recently CEO of Gauselmann Group’s Merkur Gaming based in Florida, died suddenly on May 20, 2015 at the age of 57. Mead, the founder and publisher of Casino Enterprise Management magazine, died suddenly in Las Vegas on June 24, 2015 at the age of 54.
Current gaming professionals were nominated for these memorial awards based on the following criteria that aim to capture the unique attributes displayed by Halle and Mead during their storied careers:
Jens Halle Memorial Award Honoring Excellence in Commercial Gaming Professionalism
“Nominees must have experience working in the global gaming supplier sector for a minimum of 10 years and possess the following traits and qualities that Jens displayed throughout his working life: Professionalism, business success, international scope, attention to detail and timely follow-up; a willingness to ‘go the extra mile,’ both figuratively and literally; a sense of humanity in an oft-times cutthroat business; a recognition of the importance of a handshake and a fair deal for all; and a dedication to the health of the industry as a whole.”
Peter Mead Memorial Award Honoring Excellence in Gaming Media & Communications
“Nominees must have experience working in the mainstream media, gaming trade press or individual gaming company PR/communications for a minimum of 10 years and possess the following traits and qualities that Peter displayed throughout his working life: Quality reporting and communication with an emphasis on personal contact to generate ideas and gather information; taking risks and questioning the status quo; challenging the industry to consider new ideas; and identifying trusted partners to improve the overall product.”
Ainsworth Game Technology founder Len Ainsworth and former Las Vegas Review-Journal gaming columnist Howard Stutz were the initial recipients of the AGEM Memorial Awards program in 2016. Since then, gaming legends Rick Meitzler, Gavin Isaacs, Tom Nieman, Robert “Bob” McMonigle and now Salat have received the Jens Halle Award, and communications leaders Roger Gros, Frank Legato, the late Dave Palermo, David Orrick and now Feldman have received the Peter Mead Award.
AGEM is a non-profit international technology trade association representing manufacturers and suppliers of electronic gaming devices, lotteries, systems, iGaming / online, game content, table games, sports betting, key components and support products and services for the gaming industry. AGEM works to further the interests of gaming equipment suppliers throughout the world. Through political action, regulatory influence, trade show partnerships, educational alliances, information dissemination and good corporate citizenship, the members of AGEM work together to create benefits for every company within the organization. Together, AGEM has assisted regulatory agencies and participated in the legislative process to solve problems and create a business environment where AGEM members can prosper while providing a strong level of support to education and responsible gaming initiatives. For more information, visit www.AGEM.org.