fbpx

Marc Mandeltort Distinguished Gamer Award

Southern-Fried Gaming Expo is humbled to present a recurring yearly award honoring our friend and colleague, the late Marc Mandeltort.  Marc was the founder of Marco Specialties, Inc., one of the earliest supporters of SFGE whose life’s work revolved around preserving pinball and making it accessible to everyone. If you have ever had the opportunity to speak with Marc you were lucky enough to hear his passion about the industry, the supportive community, and the game itself. Always one to give above and beyond, his passion was always felt every year as a proud sponsor of the Southern-Fried Gaming Expo.

More about Mark from the Company Website:

For Marc, pinball machines were kinetic art that needed to be preserved for future generations to discover and enjoy.  To achieve this mission, Marc dedicated his life to building a sustainable company that ultimately enabled dozens of people to directly build pinball careers, inspired thousands more to fix games, and saved countless games from the landfill.

In the early days of Marco, he would often spend hours swapping pinball stories with customers. Every game was a world of nested stories ranging from the design and gameplay itself to the politics and popular culture of its time. Most of all, Marc loved nothing more than finally locating an obscure part that brought a pinball machine back to life and sharing it with the community at large. 

The Marc Mandeltort Distinguished Gamer Award has been created to recognize an individual with a similar passion for gaming and who supports others in the gaming community. The winner of this award must have a passion for helping others and for sharing their gaming knowledge through words, actions, and social presence. We are seeking nominations for this individual. If you know someone who you feel meets this standard, please use the form below to submit them for consideration.

Congratulations to 2022 Mandeltort Distinguished Gamer Award Recipient – David Kitch

David Kitch awarded Mandeltort Distinguished Gamer

2022 Award Proclamation Text:

Southern-Fried Gaming Expo is humbled to begin an annual tradition in honoring our friend and colleague, the late Marc Mandeltort. Marc was the founder of Marco Specialties, Inc., one of the earliest supporters of SFGE whose life’s work revolved around preserving pinball and making it accessible to everyone.

If you have ever had the opportunity to speak with Marc you were lucky enough to hear his passion about the industry, the supportive community, and the game itself. Always one to give above and beyond, his passion was always felt every year as a proud sponsor of the Southern-Fried Gaming Expo.

For Marc, pinball machines were kinetic art that needed to be preserved for future generations to discover and enjoy.  To achieve this mission, Marc dedicated his life to building a sustainable company that ultimately enabled dozens of people to directly build pinball careers, inspired thousands more to fix games, and saved countless games from the landfill.

In the early days of Marco, he would often spend hours swapping pinball stories with customers. Every game was a world of nested stories ranging from the design and gameplay itself to the politics and popular culture of its time. Most of all, Marc loved nothing more than finally locating an obscure part that brought a pinball machine back to life and sharing it with the community at large.

SFGE has decided to create the The Marc Mandeltort Distinguished Gamer Award to recognize an individual with a similar passion for gaming and who supports others in the gaming community. The winner of this award must have a passion for helping others and for sharing their gaming knowledge through words, actions, and social presence.

After looking through many nominations, one individual stood out. This person was noted as an outstanding electrician and repair tech who tirelessly devoted their time to the hobby and the community around it. This individual has spent many long hours ensuring that machines in pinball tournaments are well maintained and running smoothly. They are noted to always have encouraging words and the embodiment of a Good Sportsman. They gave their own time to help others in the community, in one instance drove many hours to pick up a game for a fellow gamer who was elderly and needed assistance, even taking time to unload and set up the machine in their home.

In early 2019, an IFPA State Representative was looking for a place to hold the State Pinball Championship. The venue originally selected fell through. This individual volunteered their own home as the tournament site. They spent weeks cleaning and repairing their own personal collection to meet the standards for the Championship. They even went so far as to purchase a couple of games so the players would have a proper selection. The family then opened their home many nights for “Open Practice” allowing anyone in the top 24 rankings to prepare. They provided food and drinks and were amazing hosts.

This individual sometimes goes by the title DK2 because his father (DK1) and son (DK3) are also pinball players with the exact same name. His gracious and welcoming wife Sari also plays and is a huge supporter of the pinball community. SFGE is proud to present the 2022 The Marc Mandeltort Distinguished Gamer Award to an individual who is generous, gracious, and at the top of his field, Mr. David Kitch.

David Kitch and Shannon DeWitt