A monthly member communication of the Incentive Marketing Association.
In this Issue
Strategic Industry Groups of IMA
Global Incentive Council (GIC)
Thank you to our 2014 Education Fund Sponsors
Join IMA in welcoming your newest association colleagues.
ARM MARKETING, INC.
BLACK & WHITE CONSULTING
UTICA CUTLERY / KUTMASTER
Thank you to our
The last few weeks have been a blur for a variety of reasons. We have just had our 15th IMA Executive Summit in Philadelphia, city of brotherly love. What better place to come together as one, to Connect and Collaborate with friends, associates and customers within the Incentive arena. Regardless of your SIG or industry focus, it was two and a half days of education and networking that allowed conversations across multiple disciplines, expanding industry knowledge and contacts, to ultimately help the end user embrace, expand and maximize their use of incentive and recognition programs. And what better place to come together as a family, and honor and remember our matriarch, Karen Renk. Karen’s legacy should be about her enabling You and I to move the IMA forward. Sean Roark has written an eloquent piece about Karen (see below), a must read.
By Norma Jean Knollenberg
It was early May, 1997, at the Incentive Show in New York City when Bob Jolley, Special Markets Associates, approached a few industry peers; Pete Erickson, Tom Leahy, Greg Canose, Wayne Roberts and Norma Jean Knollenberg and asked if we could meet at the AIM booth to discuss an idea he had. Bob’s idea was to form just one association….one voice…that could market to corporate America and raise awareness about the use of incentives and recognition as a business strategy.
Prior to this small meeting, Bob had met with Pete Erickson, Managing Director of The Motivation Show in Chicago, to express his concern about the highly fragmented and ever churning association memberships. For many years Hall-Erickson, The Motivation Show management company, generously collaborated with AIM (formerly NPSE) and IMRA in regards to: endorsement of the show; marketing efforts; and educational seminars at the show. With an eye on unification and alignment to common goals, Pete endorsed Bob’s idea and agreed to support this initiative.
After the initial meeting in New York, Karen Renk was contacted and asked if she would help organize a Steering Committee, facilitate the meetings and arrange the details. A committee was created of members from all entities of our industry; media, show management, IMRA, AIM, PPAI, AIGCS and association directors. The IMA began to take shape evolving from a number of smaller organizations that had been in existence for more than 50 years serving manufacturers, gift card suppliers, recognition companies and incentive-based travel organizations. The Steering Committee consisted of: Roger Bensinger, Sharper Image; Rick Blabolil, Marketing Innovators; Richard Burke, Spiegel; Greg Canose, Award Marketing Service; Peter Edmunds, Incentive Magazine; Pete Erickson, The Motivation Show; Vicki Greenlees; Howard Henry, AIM/Incentive Federation; Bill Hicks, Oneida; Don Jagoda, Don Jagoda Company; Bob Jolley, Special Markets Associates; Norma Jean Knollenberg, Top Brands; Tom Leahy, Motivation Representatives; William Looney, Stylemaster; Dave Mann, Professional Marketing Associates; Scott Markman, Faribo Woolen Mills; Mike Murrell, Lakewood Publications; Harold Nash; Donna Oldenburg, Incentive Magazine; Karen Renk, IMRA; Wayne Roberts, Pioneer Balloon; Frank Roffers, Gift Certificate Center; Jeff Strayer, Special Markets; and Mary Jo Welch, Bernard.
Karen suggested that IMA be formed in the same way the American Medical Association is formed. IMA would become the umbrella association and under that structure there would be Strategic Industry Groups (SIGs), i.e., IMRA, Association of Incentive Gift Card Suppliers, etc. Each SIG would retain its own identity under this structure but, collectively, we would have a powerful voice.
The Steering Committee met several times near the Chicago O’Hare airport before we were ready to launch. It became very obvious that we needed a strong Executive Director to take this vision and turn it into a reality, and so Karen Renk was elected as IMA’s Executive Director. The journey was set in motion, Pete Erickson was the fuel and Karen was the engine that took the incentive industry into the future.
Karen was the guiding light for IMA. With a background in education, she had an innate ability to bring the best out in everyone and in every group. She embraced the vision, became “the voice” for the incentive industry’s welfare, was a consummate unifier and was an integral part of lobbying efforts on behalf of the industry. Her focus was growing the industry and creating the place for end-user companies to find suppliers in the incentive industry; and to educate the corporate world on the benefits of using incentives and tangible recognition.
IMA expanded under Karen’s leadership. The organization has nearly 600 members and supplier companies that come from all over the world. There are eight SIGs under the IMA umbrella: the Global Incentive Council (GIC); the Incentive Gift Card Council (IGCC); the Incentive Manufacturers & Representatives Alliance (IMRA); the Incentive Travel Council (ITC); the Performance Improvement Council (PIC); the Recognition Council (RC); and two international SIGs, IMA-Canada Council and IMA-Europe Council.
Karen recently wrote: “The Incentive Federation’s recent study tells us that too many organizations are not accessing the incentive marketplace to tap into the professional expertise, service and customized product it offers. This dynamic is the next big challenge. The corporate community is aware of the power of incentives and recognition; IMA and our fellow associations can now bring more value to our members by focusing on why accessing the incentive arena and your professional experience and knowledge will yield better results than buying product at retail to use in a poorly or non-structured program. This is a natural and necessary evolution in our purpose.”
As a visionary, Karen foresaw the rising applications of social recognition, mobile technology and global diversity. The various groups/councils currently address the natural evolution of the organization in a complex and ever changing environment. But, we have been and continue to be inspired by a woman that led her family and an industry with grace, wisdom and passion. She will be missed, but forever remembered.
I think we have our marching orders! The recent IMA Summit in Philadelphia was about collaboration…..how we can, collectively, deliver a broad base of services to solve our customers’ needs. One voice…..IMA.
Thanks to Rick Blabolil, Greg Canose and Bob Jolley for contributing.
By Sean Roark
As with most associations or other congregations of like-purposed individuals, there are times when we acknowledge the contributions and lifework of our heroes, those who have made a substantial difference to the causes we hold dear. Karen Renk was not just one of the heroes of the Incentive Marketing Association—she was the standard by which our heroes are measured.
Karen was the only Executive Director that the IMA knew from its founding in 1999, up until her retirement last year. For years before that, she managed a group called the Incentive Manufacturers and Representatives Alliance (which would later elect in 2002 to become a Strategic Industry Group, “IMRA”, as a critical part of IMA’s incentive industry mix). For all that time, she brought her Association Management skills, deeply-routed foundation of industry knowledge and art of gentle and not-so-gentle persuasion to bear in forming, nurturing and guiding our association into a position of professional respect and integrity it enjoys today. From her graduation from The University of Wisconsin in 1971, Karen was a teacher, from Junior High students to University Scholars, and ultimately to a widely diverse group of incentive professionals. She taught us how to work together, and why the things that came between different channels in our industry were not as important as the things that drew us together. How like it of Karen to delay passing into eternity until many of us were congregated together at the Summit last week, in a space where we could share our sadness over losing her and the blessing of having had her in our lives.
Karen leaves behind a family of two grandkids, three children and an adoring husband. Those of us that can will share a time celebrating her with that family on Saturday, August 16th at a visitation at 9:00 am and an 11:00 am funeral mass at St. Katharine Drexel Catholic Church, 8 South 055 Dugan Road, Sugar Grove, IL 60554.
Karen also leaves behind a family of associates, members, but most of all friends, at the IMA. Those friends have established a permanent award in her honor, the Karen Renk Excellence Award to be awarded (along with underwriting of fees for professional advancement and education within IMA) annually to a member of IMA demonstrating high potential and dedication to the principals of the IMA that Karen steered for so many years. Even as we hope to honor Karen with this award, we believe that (as is often true of incentives), the gifts and plaque associated with this award will pale in comparison to the underlying acknowledgement—the recipient being honored by association with Karen’s memory and greatness. Members who wish may contribute to the Karen Renk Excellence Award Fund by directing a payment to IMA designated for that purpose.
Rodger Stotz, Chief Research Officer of The Incentive Research Foundation was awarded the 2014 IMA President’s Award at the 2014 Annual Executive Summit in Philadelphia, PA.
A speaker, author and business consultant to major corporations, Rodger Stotz is the Chief Research Officer for the Incentive Research Foundation. He is also a member of the Board of the Enterprise Engagement Alliance, and a Principal with Delta Qi Consulting, following a 30 year career in human resources, incentive program design, and sales management. His expertise in the integration of marketing science and human performance technology has informed his interest, research, and practical experience in the field of organizational performance, incentive plans, and recognition systems.
Rodger’s writings, in addition to his many articles, include authoring the chapter on Recognition for the Handbook of Executive Compensation, co-author of Principles of Results Based Incentive Program Design, co-author of the chapter on Non-monetary Awards for The Compensation Handbook, and white papers such as: Human Performance, The Fundamentals of Motivation, and The Evidence-based Case for Incentives.
Rodger's support of the IMA includes support and membership in the formation of the PIC SIG, and co-author and facilitator of the initial certification course for the CPIM. He has also received top reviews fo his presentations at the IMA Executive Summit and the Motivation Show.
Thanks to everyone who attended the 2014 Annual Summit. The program this year was outstanding. Thanks also to our many volunteers who helped put this year’s program together. Click here for a look at the handouts from each of the sessions.
If you attended the Summit and have not completed the evaluation survey please complete by August 20th. This will help next year’s planning committee, chaired by Donna Chrobak.
Mark your calendars for the 2015 Annual Summit for July 26-28, 2015 in Nashville, TN.
Thank You to Our 2014 Summit Sponsors
IMA would not be able to hold the Annual Summit if it wasn’t for the generous support of our Summit sponsors. Once again we thank the following companies for their generosity.
The 2014 Circle of Excellence Winners were honored during the Annual Membership Meeting on Tuesday, July 29th in Philadelphia, PA. The four awards were presented to:
Video presentations describing each program are available on the IMA website. Case studies will also be posted on the website soon.
The following individuals earned their CPIM in the past 12 months:
The following individuals earned their IP in the past 12 months:
The Incentive Travel Council (ITC) has named David Peckinpaugh, president of Maritz Travel Co., Fenton, Missouri, as its 2014 Advocate of the Year. The award was presented at the Executive Summit July 27 in Philadelphia. Accepting the Award in David’s behalf was Mary Anne Zoldak, Vice President of Human Resources, Maritz Travel Company.
This marks the fifth Advocate of the year Award presented by the ITC, a strategic industry group within the IMA. It recognizes an individual, business, or organization that demonstrates outstanding leadership in enhancing, educating, and/or promoting incentive travel as a value driver for achieving organizational performance.
ITC President Don Killingbeck said, “David was chosen for this honor because he has led the charge, ushering in a new era in an industry coalition effort that came to the aid of our market during the heights of media, political, and public scrutiny. And, in his daily work, David’s highest priority has always been assuring that incentive travel guests have an exciting and memorable experience.”
Peckinpaugh joins Leo Jakobson of Northstar Travel Media, Dana Weaver of GROWMARK, Dahlton Bennington of the SFN Group, G.J. Hart of the Texas Roadhouse Restaurant as Advocate of the Year winners.
There are only five weeks until IMRA’s Sales & Marketing Conference kicks off. You do not have to be a member to attend. So rep, if you want your non-suppliers to attend, please invite them and if they sign up you can get $100 rebate. Same goes for the suppliers that have non-IMRA reps, invite them to the conference and if they sign up, you too get $100 from IMRA. (The catch with the $100 referral fee, they must put your name in the recommended by line, but by doing this you both get a $100 rebate.)
Dates: September 14–16, 2014
Location: Marriott City Center
Click herefor the Schedule-at-a-Glance
Click here to register online for the conference.
Click here to see a list of the sales meeting being held.
We are also looking for Silent Auction items. If you would like to help IMRA by donating an auction item, click here to donate your item and upload the image online.
We look forward to seeing you at the IMRA Sales & Marketing Conference.
Incentive Marketing Association