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A monthly member communication of the Incentive Marketing Association.

October 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.

Michelle Davidson

Nick Hollamby



Letter From the President,
Rick Low

This is our second in a series, where the Presidents of our SIGs have an opportunity to share their thoughts with all of the IMA membership. This month, Bill’s message builds on the theme of collaboration. The more we know about each other’s SIGs, the better we can work together in advocating the use of incentives to the end user community.

Last week the IMA booth at IMEX was a tremendous success. Ten IMA members shared an IMA branded booth to present opportunities to these travel buyers. Show management was very complimentary of our booth and the traffic we generated. It is a growing show and one in which we have seen more and more IMA members exhibit. Contact the IMA office if you are interested in exhibiting in 2015.

Next week the Board of Directors will meet in Chicago for our fall board meeting. One topic on the agenda is member participation. Start thinking now if you have interest in participating in a task force and even running for an elected board position.

Rick Low
Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc.


Message from IMRA President,
Bill Martocci

Dear IMA Members,

What a great opportunity Rick Low has provided me and IMRA to explain a little about us and our participation under the IMA umbrella. It is greatly appreciated. 


The Incentive Manufacturers and Representative Alliance (IMRA) is the branded merchandise arm of the incentive industry. One of my favorite quotes is from Winston Churchill stating “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” and IMRA has extensive history, having recently held our 50th Conference in Minneapolis.   The mission has changed little over all those years, looking to strengthen the manufacturer and representative working relationship. Beginning as NPMR (National Premium Manufacturers Representative) in the early 1960’s as a rep only group, changing times and business saw the addition of manufacturers to the group, helping solidify the merchandise side of the incentive industry. I hear stories from some of our senior members telling me how they had to work in the past by bringing samples to the Empire State Building, starting at the ground floor, and stopping by each office to see if they were interested in purchasing what they had to offer. They would work their way up the building floor by floor and once at the top, start over again from the bottom.  A far cry from how things are done today with emails, image banks, and a single buyer handling 20 different categories.

The need for information is at the heart of this rep/manufacturer relationship. The supplier needing longer arms to reach the masses entrusts their reps to know what is going on in the territory, provide dedicated coverage on top accounts, and report back how product is perceived, all to strategize for increased sales. Meanwhile the rep relies on communication with the brand on; new items being introduced, the status of current product and backorders, pricing changes, and of course stock availability. I should also stress reps rely on the manufacturer to get paid, as basically every rep contracted with a supplier does so on a commission only basis. Reps eat what they catch and are compensated accordingly on sales only. Reps and manufacturers working together enables our customers to be confident they have the best product choices for the programs they are running or corporate gifts they look to provide. IMRA, through their annual conference, provides an opportunity for this interaction with reps and brands getting together, learning what is in store for the upcoming selling season, discussing issues face to face, and networking.  

Our customers participate in many of the other SIG’s within IMA, most notably the Recognition Council and the Performance Improvement Council. But that does not mean we ignore our travel partners, hopefully providing them with pillow gifts or other themed items to make a recipient’s experience special and memorable. Merchandise provides a lasting token of appreciation or note that serves as a reminder of the achievement or milestone. During my presidency I hope to strengthen the relationship between IMRA and these SIG’s, both professionally and socially at industry events. I hope we can learn more about working with them as a group, looking to gain a better foothold on incentive business by aligning ourselves with our customers’ organizations, providing a benefit and opportunities we can all share in and profit from.

IMA, its members and the SIGs including IMRA as a whole need to keep incentives at the forefront in executive’s minds. Trumpet the continued success these programs routinely result in. Keep government away from imposing stifling regulations and tax implications that will hurt all of our livelihoods. Make every effort to keep our channel’s sales credited here within our channel where they belong. If anything contained here interests you, compels you to act, or just learn more, please feel free to contact me. I encourage people to reach out, present ideas, thoughts, or share a story.  I remain open to suggestions from others, enjoy the experience of learning, and hope for the success of us all.

Visit IMRA at

Best Wishes,
Bill Martocci

Carlise Sales & Marketing
IMRA President – 2014-2015

Wounded Warrior Project Holiday Gift Drive

The 2014 Holiday Gift Drive for Wounded Warrior Project is underway. Over $5,000 in merchandise and gift cards has already been received!

Wounded Warrior is thrilled to have already received several merchandise items from Jura Inc., HoMedics, and LGK Sales; as well as Shell and Bass Pro Gift Cards thus far. We’re off to a great start this year and hope to have a record year in donations!

Wounded Warrior has asked that in order to provide the gifts in time for the holiday season, that we can ship the donations as soon as possible since they will be repackaging/redistributing to veterans and their families.

The deadline for merchandise is December 5th. The deadline for gift cards December 19th.

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.

Thanks to all members for your generosity and consideration.

Rory Smith
Holiday Gift Drive Committee Chair

2015 Membership Renewals Due by December 31

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.

IMA values your membership in the Association!

Congratulations New IMRA Board Members

Bill Martocci      
Vice President
Ted Moravec                       
Scott Plybon                        
Chris Harrison                    
Past President
Kevin Dougherty
Frank Harvey     
Mike Landry
Terry Quaranta                  
Melissa Rains                     
Lore Rincon                          
Tasha Sharp                                           
Sarah Swenson
Micah Vander Tuig
Scott Whitehead
Warren Weaver 

Congratulations New GIC President

Debbie Ghillino                 

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.

Latest Research

What to Expect from Millennial Buyers

As millennials fill the ranks of the workforce, B2B companies need to understand how they behave as buyers. With the millennial Generation poised to transform the world as we know it within the next five years, it’s time business-to-business (B2B) companies paid attention to how this generation make decisions as buyers. A new research paper, “Millennials as B2B Buyers Understanding motivation, attitudes and digital direction for capturing their attention” explores key issues B2B organizations face in finding ways to engage with, and attract and keep the attention of the largest and most diverse generation ever. Produced by THE FORUM, the research arm of the Business Marketing Association (BMA), the paper draws from the study, Millennials in the Workplace, conducted by FORUM researcher Dr. Frank Mulhern, of Northwestern University.

Industry News

Tax Court Confirms that Reward Points for Opening a Bank Account are Taxable

Incentive Federation, Inc.  
George B. Delta, Esq.

The tax treatment of rewards points has not been an issue until the last few years for two reasons.  First, the type of rewards that are typically considered income rarely came close to the mandatory $600 reporting threshold on Form 1099. As a result, even if the rewards points may be of the type that is taxable, taxpayers do not report them as income if they are not reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on Form 1099.  Second, the type of rewards most people receive and save to redeem for big trips or merchandise are earned usually as the result of the consumer making purchases with a credit or debit card. More…

Congratulations to New IP Designees

Shawna Morley

Elise Johnston

IMEX Show Huge Success

The 2014 IMEX show was a huge success. Participating in the IMA booth this year were:

  • Citizen Watch Company
  • Corporate Sport Incentives
  • FujiFilm North America
  • Incentive Research Foundation
  • Movado Group Inc.
  • myCharge
  • Omaha Steaks
  • PMC/Almo
  • Seiko Corporation of America
  • Sony Electronics Inc.


The IMA booth partners collectively had over 270 preset appointments, almost 100 more than last year. Many more member companies had booths as well at the show. The IMA booth is an ideal way to test the relevance of the show to your brand or company. Several previous IMA booth partners have expanded to their own booths after first exhibiting with the IMA. Contact the IMA office,, if you are interested in 2015 opportunities.

Trade Shows Calendar

2015 Circle of Excellence and Recognition Award Recipients to be Honored at IMA Summit in Nashville – Submissions Due April 15th

Circle of Excellence Awards identifies and recognizes outstanding examples of successful customer and employee incentive programs designed to help drive business. Both the company and the incentive marketing partner are recognized for effectively designing and implementing incentive programs to motivate their employees and win customers.

Submit your entry form by April 15, 2015.This year, IMA's major awards will be presented at the Executive Summit, scheduled July 26 - 28 in Nashville, Tennessee. Three hundred industry professionals will be in attendance as the Circle of Excellence and Social Responsibility Awards will be announced. The COE award winning case studies will also be showcased on the IMA website.

Applications for both award programs are due April 15. Click on the appropriate title below to access the applications:

Circle of Excellence Award (PDF-.9 MB)
Circle of Excellence Award (DOC-3.2 MB)

Recognition Circle of Excellence Award (PDF-.95 MB)
Recognition Circle of Excellence Award (DOC-3.1 MB)

Social Responsibility Award (PDF)
Social Responsibility Award (DOC)

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