he Association of gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) announced Monday 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.
This falls under the framework of AGEM’s recently created annual awards program to acknowledge the impacts on gaming by Halle and Mead, two industry veterans who died unexpectedly in 2015. Honorees are announced each year at the G2E in Las Vegas. This year’s awards ceremony for Salat and Feldman will take place on Wednesday October 6 at 4pm at AGEM’s booth #3700 at the Venetian Expo.
Born in Barcelona, Spain, Salat is regarded as “one of the most successful electronic gaming machine salesmen in industry history”, with more than 35 years of expertise in gaming. He joined WMS Gaming in 2000 as Managing Director, International, and was promoted to President, International where he served until 2015. He later joined Zitro as CEO with a focus on the worldwide video bingo and video slot markets.
Sebastián Salat, CEO of Zitro.
In an official press release, AGEM President Lucchese spoke about Salat and said: “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. 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, Feldman has been “a leading voice in the gaming industry” since 1989, when The Mirage opened in Las Vegas and changed the dynamics of the Strip. He served in various executive communications and public affairs positions for Mirage Resorts and MGM ResortsInternational for nearly 30 years. 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 in 2017.
Alan Feldman, Senior Advisor at MGM International.
AGEM Executive Director Marcus Prater spoke about Feldman and said: “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. 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.”
As stated in an AGEM press release, current gaming professionals were nominated for these memorial awards based on the following criteria that aim to capture the 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.”