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VSDA, IEMA Merge to Form EMA

23 May, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold

After more than two decades of existence, the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) is no more. At least, not with that name.

What began in 1982 as a trade group for independent video rental dealers today announces a name change to the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA). The change comes as the VSDA finalizes its merger with the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA).

The merged trade association is for retailers of DVDs, computer video games, and console video games, according to VSDA chairman Bob Geistman, now chairman of the EMA. The group represents a broad spectrum of retailers, from indies to mass merchants, from electronics and game stores to online sellers of home entertainment software and hardware.

“The Entertainment Merchants Association brings together the leaders in home video and video game retailing and distribution,” Geistman said. “By leveraging the strengths of each sector, we will have a trade association that is more efficient, more effective, and more influential than either IEMA or VSDA would have been had they continued as separate organizations.”

The EMA represents more than 1,000 companies throughout the United States, Canada, and other nations. Its members operate more than 20,000 retail storefronts in the United States alone that sell or rent DVDs and video games.

Bo Andersen, president of the VSDA, becomes president of the EMA. IEMA president Hal Halpin, according to a statement, will “advise and assist EMA during its launch.”

Other key EMA staff include Sean Bersell, VP of public affairs; Carrie Dieterich, VP of marketing and industry relations; Mark Fisher, VP of membership and strategic initiatives; and Frank Lucca, VP and executive director of the Independent Dealers of Entertainment Association sub-group.

“Our abiding mission is to supply value to our members by promoting and protecting their interests and providing a forum for discussion of common issues,” Andersen said.”

EMA will provide its members with educational forums, networking opportunities, legislative and legal advocacy, research services and other trade-association offerings.

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