Jack Mendes

Sep 14, 2016, 09:59 AM

Jodi Helmer

Jack MendesJack Mendes might be semi-retired but that doesn’t mean he’s slowed down.

As the president of BSR Group LLC, the Daytona Beach, Florida-based provider of games and management services for arcades and amusement parks nationwide, Mendes keeps up with trends in the amusement industry and maintains close connections to customers he’s worked with over the last 48 years.

“I get great satisfaction in helping any of our customers improve their games operations,” he says.

Mendes met Bob and Joyce Cassata, the owners of Bob's Space Racers, in 1968 when he was a high school student working as a game operator at the Orange County Fair Middletown, New York.

When he returned to work the following summer, the couple told him about a game they wanted to build; Mendes built the prototype and, one year later, installed the electronics for the first Space Racers game trailer. It was the beginning of a relationship that has lasted almost five decades (and counting).

“BSR has sold equipment to almost every major amusement park in the United States and exported to over 120 other countries,” Mendes says.

Over the years, Mendes traded in part-time summer work with Bob’s Space Racers for a career with the business, taking on positions ranging from electrician and shop foreman to general manager.

Of the 21 patents held by BSR, Mendes is named as the inventor or co-inventor on several; he even met his wife, Sandy, at work (she managed the electronics department)!

Mendes’ passion for the amusement business and commitment to the company helped him earn a promotion to president of Bob’s Space Racers in 1991; he was promoted again in 2008, taking on the role of present of BSR Group LLC.

In 2010, after 42 years in the amusement business—all with the same company—Mendes entered semi-retirement.

“I no longer focus on the day to day operation and management of the company,” he explains. “I now mostly travel and visit with our customers, represent BSR at tradeshows, IAAPA committees and meetings.”

When he’s not on the road, Mendes, who considers himself a “full time ambassador for BSR,” works from home where he dabbles in sales, consulting, management projects and custom game work.

Mendes is also very active in IAAPA. In addition to serving as a founding member of the organization’s manufacturers and suppliers committee, Mendes has held roles on the space allocation committee and board of directors—contributions that have earned him two outstanding service awards.

“IAAPA is extremely important to the industry promoting safety standards, affecting government regulations, tradeshows and education both for the parks and for the manufacturers and suppliers,” he says. “I believe there is a great interdependence between the parks, manufacturers and suppliers and the association; none of us would prosper as well without the others.”