Marketing Executive Tony Gumina Dies at 56
Tony Gumina, a marketing executive known for his work with the legendary entertainer Ray Charles, died April 27 in Cleveland of cancer, publicist David Brokaw announced. He was 56.
Gumina started and ran the Ray Charles Marketing Group, which raised money for the singer’s foundation and oversaw the licensing of his name and likeness. He developed a slot machine that could be played by the blind and helped put the face of Charles on a stamp and lottery tickets.
Gumina was one of entertainer’s pallbearers in 2004 and served as an executive producer on the 2010 documentary Ray Charles’ America.
Gumina’s friendship and business relationship with Charles dated to 1999, when he was an executive with MDI Entertainment, a Hartford, Conn.-based company that created entertainment-themed lottery games. Gumina also licensed popular brands such as Wheel of Fortune for MDI.
Earlier, he worked in the casino industry in Las Vegas.
Gumina most recently was the executive producer of sports projects for the I-X Center in Cleveland and was instrumental in bringing the Pro Football Hall of Fame Fan Fest to the convention center. This past weekend, the event held its inaugural edition and attracted Jim Brown, Terry Bradshaw, Don Shula, Len Dawson, Paul Warfield and dozens of other NFL legends.
Survivors include his wife Teresa and daughters Georgeann, Catherine Rose and Madeline.