CHRIS AKIN

Image: Chris Akin, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Hall Of Fame, Museum, video games, pinball machines

Chris Akin, Vice President Of Operations
The Pennsylvania Coin Operated Hall Of Fame And Museum

 

“This is like being handed an opportunity to go back to 1982! How could I not do that?” – Chris Akin

A career entrepreneur with success in the fields of Information Technology, merchant services, broadcasting and as an author, Chris Akin is the kind of person that is always looking for the next challenge.  

“I love taking on the next thing,” Akin begins.  “With any new opportunity comes the chance to not only succeed, but to find yet another profession that I can thrive in and enjoy. With every opportunity, I get to stay out of someone else’s cubicle.”  

Mr. Akin and Museum President Ed Beeler have been friends for over 20 years, and during that time, they have collaborated with each other in their various businesses.  For more than a decade, Akin and Beeler have discussed working on a project together, but things never seemed to time out right. 

“We’ve talked about it for years,” Akin admits. “Ed’s always had a knack for taking on challenges that seem to succeed even when they seem like a crazy idea. I always wanted to work with him on a project because I always knew there would be excitement in the opportunity.”  

During a weekend in Atlantic City back in 2012, the ideas finally seemed to line up for Beeler and Akin to partner on an operation that would be fun, exciting and challenging at the same time. 

“We were in Atlantic City when we were supposed to be partying, and we started talking about doing something with Ed’s collection,” Akin admits.  “It really seemed like a great idea to me, and I was excited immediately to get my feet wet with this opportunity.”

A self-professed video game addict as a kid, Mr. Akin was well versed in the world of video games, but had a lot to learn in order to become the subject matter expert he needed to be.  As Akin admits, he quickly looked past his passion to take this on as a full business venture.  

“About a year ago, I was up at Ed’s place with a bunch of friends, and we ended up in his building with all the games turned on,” Akin recalls.  “Everyone fanned out and started playing games, but I found a couple of books about the history of gaming and the various machines. I ended up in the office reading and learning. I know I’ll feed my addiction to games being involved with this venture, but I’ll do that after we’ve created something great for everyone in the community and beyond.”

As they begin the build out that will turn into The Pennsylvania Coin Operated Hall Of Fame and Museum, Mr. Akin has taken on the challenge of keeping things focused, developing and…well…fun.

“I have so many ideas on how to make this museum great,” Akin proudly states. “I know we could simply plug in the machines and open the doors and people would like it.  Ed’s collection is that kind of incredible.  But why do that? Why not make it truly great?  Why not make The Pennsylvania Coin Operated Hall Of Fame And Museum one of the coolest places in all of Pennsylvania?  If you’ve ever been to the Baseball Hall Of Fame or the NFL Hall Of Fame, it’s about the whole experience.  That’s what we want to do here.  That’s exactly what we ARE going to do here.”