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A monthly member communication of the Incentive Marketing Association.

September 2014

In this Issue

Industry Resources

Distributor Resources

Global Incentive Programs

Incentive/Recognition Case Studies

Incentive/Recognition Program Basics

Industry Suppliers/Products Search

Legal Considerations

Marketing Intelligence

Media Training

People Performance & Recognition


Return on Performance Magazine

Strategic Industry Groups of IMA

Global Incentive Council (GIC)

IMA Canada Council

IMA Europe Council

Incentive Manufacturers and Representatives Alliance (IMRA)

Incentive Gift Card Council (IGCC)

Incentive Travel Council (ITC)

Performance Improvement Council (PIC)

Recognition Council

Thank you to our 2014 Education Fund Sponsors

Research Sponsor

Platinum Sponsors

Recognition Sponsor

Diamond Sponsor

Emerald Sponsors
O.C. Tanner

Sapphire Sponsors
Above Target
Pioneer Balloon Company
Top Brands

Education Sponsor
Rymax, Inc.

IMA Welcomes New Members

Join IMA in welcoming your newest association colleagues.

(New Member Company)
Chiara De Mattia

Tony Magee

(New Member Company)
Amit Chawla

Paul Kelly

(New Member Company)
Jamie King

(New Member Company)
Elizabeth Christopher



Letter From the President,
Rick Low

This month, and for the next 5 months, the Presidents of the Incentive Marketing Association Strategic Industry Groups (SIGs) will give some insight into their particular spoke in the organization's wheel. We have six spokes or pillars. All of which play a critical part in supporting and providing goods or services to the incentive industry. This month, we begin with a message from Shaun Krusmark from the Incentive Gift Card Council SIG.  Shaun has borrowed a most appropriate quote from Henry Ford about teamwork and working together. We, as an organization, will be successful if we work together to advance the use of incentives.  Though we all have different approaches, we have a common goal. I encourage you to reach out to Shaun and the leadership team at IGCC to learn more about gift cards and their use and how to properly incorporate them into successful incentive programs.

Rick Low
Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc.

Message from IGCC President, Shaun Krusmark

Dear IMA Colleagues and Incentive Industry Friends,

Thank you Rick Low, IMA President for allowing me to share in this month’s FAST TAKE. For those of you who do not know me, my name is Shaun Krusmark and I am the President of the Incentive Gift Card Council. I am obviously very passionate about gift cards within the incentive space, but I am even more charged with getting to know the various Strategic Industry Groups (SIGS) with the IMA and finding opportunities for us to work with each other.

Can I be honest? Over the years I have personally been somewhat closed-minded as it relates to all of the other SIGs and how they connect. Not intentionally, but we all seemed to be focused on our own initiatives and I had heard things like “merchandise and gift cards don’t get along”. Why I believed them, I don’t know. What I realize is that we ALL compete in some way or another, but we can’t get hung up on that. I believe if we get to know each other better, take time to understand each other’s business models, and spend time strategizing we CAN together increase the size of the incentive space. That doesn’t mean we should be naïve and share trade secrets, but we need to get rid of old myths and stop focusing on the negative.

For those of you who attended the IMRA & IGCC Collaboration Session at the IMA Summit, you witnessed something pretty special. I was so impressed by the willingness of our panel to stick their necks out and share personal challenges and details on their business structure. I give major props to Kevin Dougherty, President of IMRA for his style, openness and transparency.  He and I were blown away by the audience participation and the great ideas that many are already putting into place.

I guess the question is where do we go from here? The entire IMA Board is committed to creating more opportunities to collaborate. On behalf of the entire IGCC Board of Directors, we would like to personally invite you to consider joining our group. This is not a sales tactic. This is an opportunity for us to join forces. It’s only $400 a year on top of what you are already paying and we are laser focused on providing education, research and networking opportunities related to gift cards and incentives. I have listed below our many member categories so that you will see we are a diverse group of industry experts:

  • Retailers
  • Vendors
  • Resellers
  • Technology Companies
  • Distributors
  • Processors
  • Scrip Companies
  • Incentive Houses
  • Program Managers
  • Consultants
  • Fulfillment Houses
  • Card Manufacturers
  • Paper Manufacturers    
  • Credit Card Loyalty & Reward Companies

I am honored to be a part of the IMA and look forward to working together. Please feel free to reach out to me. I welcome your ideas, opinions and involvement within the IGCC.

All the best,

Shaun Krusmark
Transaction Wireless & Optimum Card Solutions
2013-2014 IGCC President

Wounded Warrior Project Holiday Gift Drive

The 2014 Holiday Gift Drive for Wounded Warrior Project is underway. Wounded Warrior Project is an organization devoted exclusively to assisting returning veterans who are injured from both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The numbers are shocking with approximately one in seven servicemen and women returning home injured physically / psychologically. WWP receives no funding from the federal government and relies completely on the generosity of groups like ours.

For a look at WWP helps vetrens, watch this 3:40 minute YouTube video:

Wounded Warrior Project - "I'll Stand By You"

In addtion to IMA's organizational participation, many of IMA's Strategic Industry Groups (SIGs) are making an additional effort to promote the 2014 Holiday Gift Drive for Wounded Warrior Project. We greatly appreciate your consideration of donating brand name merchandise, gift cards, and travel certificates, etc. as a member of your SIG.

Please download the appropriate form below for your SIG or use the general IMA Donation Form:

If your donated item(s) weigh more than 20lbs – please email Rachel Della a couple of days before you ship your donation at You will receive a thank you letter from WWP about 4 weeks after your donation.

This year’s gift drive is also in memory of Karen Renk, our legendary IMA association leader who passed away recently. Karen was a very big supporter of our association’s efforts to help the less fortunate in our communities.

If you do plan on donating – please donate as soon as possible as Wounded Warrior has to repackage and re-distribute all donations across the country to needy veterans and their families. They are trying to get as many donations as possible to the injured servicemen and their families before the holidays to bring some holiday cheer to these heroes living in all of our communities across the United States.

Thank you for considering donating to the 2014 Holiday Gift Drive for Wounded Warrior Project, it is greatly appreciated.

Rory Smith
Holiday Gift Drive Committee Chair

IMA Membership Dues Now on Anniversary Date

At the 2014 Membership Meeting in Philadelphia, the membership approved the Board’s recommendation to amend the Bylaws to convert the annual membership dues to a rolling dues (anniversary) basis.  What that means is beginning in September any member who joins the Association will have a membership renewal date as their anniversary date. For example, if you join in September your renewal date will be the following September.

The majority of IMA members will still have the December 31st renewal date. This change only affects new members who join the Association throughout the year.  Members who join SIGs will also have a renewal date for their SIG membership that coincides with the IMA anniversary renewal date as well.

As a reminder, while IMA is an individual membership, there must be a Primary member assigned to the organization for another member within the same organization to be recognized as an Affiliate member.  If upon renewal, the Primary member does not renew, then it will become necessary for the Affiliate member to renew as a Primary member.

Renewal notices will be going out within the next few weeks for all members with a December 31st expiration date.  IMA has implemented the following process for renewing membership.

  • 90 days prior to expiration members will receive an email notification to renew membership online
  • 30 days prior to expiration members will receive a second email notification
  • 30 days prior members will also receive a phone call from staff
  • 15 days post members will receive email notice
  • 30 days post expiration members will receive one final notice to renew and at that time their membership will be dropped

IMA values your membership in the Association and we hope this new process will make it easier for members to renew and retain a full year of benefits.

Dues notices for members with a December 31st expiration date will be going in the next few weeks.  The IMA leadership appreciates your prompt renewal of membership.  If you have any questions please contact Tracy Hodge at or (847) 447-1712.

Support the IMA Education Foundation – Become a Sponsor for 2015!

Your sponsorship helps support the IMA mission and education at our Annual Summit.  IMA’s Education Foundation Partnerships offer you a cost-effective opportunity to position your organization as an industry leader and an industry advocate while you are helping IMA fund ground breaking industry research, education, and industry awareness initiatives, all designed to increase the use of incentive, ultimately increasing your sales.

In addition to supporting IMA, Education Foundation Partners realize valuable marketing benefits. All Education Foundation Partners will be identified in IMA’s 2015 membership directory, the Incentive Source, the industry’s best networking tool, and in IMA’s online directory available at In addition, each Partner will receive a special logo to display on their Website recognizing their contribution.

Your logo will also be displayed on the rotating banner on the home page of and in marketing collateral communicating new research findings.  

Click here for a full list of benefits. Please let Julie Weldon know by December 31, 2014 if you would like to join our list of sponsors.

Incentive Buyers Conference Huge Success

INCENTIVE magazine launched its inaugural Incentive Buyers Conference (IBC) on August 17-19, 2014, at the Vdara Hotel & Spa in Las Vegas, NV. The event brought together leading incentive buyers from both corporations and incentive houses, along with top incentive industry suppliers in an intimate, hosted-buyer event format.

INCENTIVE partnered with two leading industry organizations- the IRF and the IMA – who provided top-notch educational content for the conference. Buyers also met one-on-one with their choice of suppliers to learn about what new opportunities they had to offer.

“We’re thrilled with the first IBC” said John DeCesare, Publisher of INCENTIVE magazine as well as Successful Meetings and MeetingNews. “The event far surpassed our expectations, and virtually all suppliers and buyers who attended were extremely pleased with all aspects.” In addition to the one-on-one meetings, all attendees had the chance to mix and mingle at multiple networking events over the course of the two day event. The IBC also allowed attendees to earn valuable CPIM credits from the educational sessions offered.

The INCENTIVE team is looking forward to growing the event in 2015 and hopes to announce soon where the popular event will take place next year. To keep up to date on IBC 2015 visit for more information.

Trade Shows Calendar

Incentive Marketing Association
9700 W Bryn Mawr Avenue, Suite 210
Rosemont, IL 60018
P: 847.447.1082