Educaation Blast Header
A monthly member communication of the Incentive Marketing Association.

February 2015

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 2015 Education Foundation Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors

Diamond Sponsor

Emerald Sponsors
O.C. Tanner

Sapphire Sponsors
Above Target
Top Brands

Education Sponsor
Rymax, Inc.

IMA Welcomes New Members

Join IMA in welcoming your newest association colleagues.

(New Member Individual)
John Hoey

(New Member Individual)
Alex Brutin

(New Member Individual)
Sean Reid

(New Member Company)
Wendy Carter

(New Member Individual)
Joseph Rice

(New Member Individual)
Julie Ford

(New Member Company)
James Lyon

(New Member Individual)
Roshni Patel

(New Member Company)
Jason Cardoza


Letter From the IMA President, Rick Low

Your Board of Directors just conducted its Winter meeting in Atlanta. We covered a lot of ground and recalibrated efforts aimed at moving us forward. Most importantly, the SIGs continued the collaboration that will result in our sharing knowledge and resources to help us all be better providers.

It was our new Executive Director’s first board meeting in this new role for her. It is hard to believe that Donna Chrobak has only been on the job for four weeks. Already she has made an immediate positive impact. She shares her vision for the IMA in this month’s Fast Take.

The planning for the IMA Executive Summit is well underway. Spencer Toomey and team are planning to provide an event filled with entertainment and education that you do not want to miss. It is the industry event of the year.

A few items of note:

  • The IRF and IMA Participant Study is underway with results being presented at the Summit.
  • The IMA is developing education for the Incentive Buyer’s Conference in August.
  • Michelle Smith of O. C. Tanner will chair the Past President’s Council to help with future leadership transitions and provide guidance for the executive team.
  • Nominations for the IMA Board will be open soon. Watch for more information in the next issue of Fast Take.
  • The inaugural Karen Renk Fellowship award will be presented at the Summit and nominations are open now.
  • Our Public Relations initiative is being refocused to keep us in the forefront of the media and corporate America.

As you can see, there is a lot to do. Please consider running for the board and / or volunteering for Task Forces. The industry is changing and by many accounts, growing. Join us to help the IMA continue to be the voice of the incentive industry.

Rick Low
Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc.

Meet Your New IMA Executive Director

Donna Chrobak  

To say that I am excited to be the new Executive Director of the Incentive Marketing Association is an understatement! I am passionate about our industry, and am honored by the vote of confidence the IMA Board of Directors has shown by hiring me for this role. I strongly believe that 2015 will be a pivotal year for IMA and that our future is one of great opportunity and growth. I know firsthand the level of talent that resides in our membership that will be the catalyst that takes IMA to the next level, and I am proud to be a part of this team.

My first month at IMA has been a busy one to say the least. I visited the IMA Chicago office in January to spend time with the Ewald IMA Support Staff and familiarize myself with the active projects and critical issues we are currently supporting for our SIGs and members. I want you to know that we have a group of talented and dedicated people who believe in what we do and are eager to see IMA thrive.

While in Chicago I also met with Ewald executive leadership to lay out a strategy for continued support of the IMA. I have begun a thorough evaluation of the current systems and processes that are in place to ensure that the member experience is a positive one, and that we are actively engaging our members and bringing value to their membership. I will be reaching out to our IMA and SIG leaders soon to begin sharing my evaluation and developing a strategy to re-engage and re-ignite our membership experience. Stay tuned!

I have visited Nashville, TN, the site of this year’s IMA Summit, with Spencer Toomey, the 2015 Summit Chair and Erin Babarskis, our IMA event planner. We met with hotel event personnel, and visited several venues with this year’s event sponsors. I can tell you, without a doubt, we are on track for the most exciting Summit IMA has ever had. If you’ve never been to a Summit before, this is the one you’ll want to make your first. If you go to the Summit every year, this is the one you don’t want to miss.

I have also reached out to the IMA and SIG leadership teams as well as our media, tradeshow, and research partners, to gather feedback on what IMA can do to better support our members, and to gather thoughts and ideas on how we can collaborate to keep IMA a relevant force in our industry. In every conversation, at every turn, I hear opportunity. We have such an amazing collection of talent, experience and thought leadership in our midst, it’s exciting to think about how far we can go if we’re all rowing in the same direction.

Most recently, we just came off of our Winter IMA Board of Directors meeting in Atlanta. It was a 2-day planning session and I think I can speak for most, if not all, of the board when I say that I left feeling invigorated and optimistic about IMA’s future. The collaboration that took place was like none I have seen in my five years working with the IMA Board of Directors. I hope you can see why my optimism is so high!

Before I go, I wanted to give those of you who do not know me a quick overview of my background in the incentive industry and tell you a little bit about myself personally.

  • Industry Involvement
    I have been a part of this industry for more than 25 years and my experience spans gift cards, incentive technology, performance improvement, and awards & fulfillment. I have served on the Board of Directors of IMA for nearly 5 years, including 3 years on the Executive Committee. This experience has already proven invaluable in my new role.
    One thing you should know about me professionally: I love what I do!

  • Personal
    Originally from Chicago, I now reside with my husband Mike and our Rottweiler-Shepherd Lulu in Denver, NC, a small town about 25 miles Northeast of Charlotte. We have 2 daughters and 3 grandchildren who all live in the Atlanta area (grandkids are the BEST!). One thing you should know about me personally: I have a pretty good sense of humor.

I look forward to working with each of you to make 2015 a great year for IMA, and hope you will feel free to reach out to me if I can assist in any way or if you have ideas you would like to share.


IMA Board of Directors Update

Please join us in congratulating:

  • John Hornbogen, Business Development Manager at Royal Performance Group, who has recently been appointed as Secretary on the Board of Directors and the newest member of the IMA Executive Committee. John has served as a Director on the IMA Board since 2013.
  • Jody Running, Vice President of Sales, Top Brands, who has been appointed to the IMA Board of Directors to complete the term vacated by Donna Chrobak.

2015 IMA Summit | July 26-28 | Nashville, TN

Summit Logo

Save the Date!

This year’s IMA Summit promises to be the best event IMA has ever hosted. Spencer Toomey and the Summit Committee’s plans are well underway for a great venue in Nashville, a top notch keynote speaker, new and thought provoking education sessions, and exciting evening events hosted and sponsored by IGCC and its members.

Sponsorships for the Summit will be available on the IMA website beginning March 1st, so mark your calendar and check out the opportunities for your company to be a part of what promises to be a memorable event. Registration for the Summit will open in early April.

The Summit will also be hosting the Silent Auction by mobile app this year. Make your donation to the Silent Auction by completing the online donation form.

You are Invited to Advertise in The Incentive Source

Performance Improvement Council

The Incentive Marketing Association’s
2015 Print Directory

A Cost-Effective Marketing Tool!

The 2015 Incentive Source, IMA’s Annual Membership Directory, will be published in late June and made available at the 2015 IMA Executive Summit. This dynamic networking tool will be mailed to 500+ IMA members. These sales and marketing professionals represent every segment of the incentive industry and they may be potential marketing partners looking for the services and/or products you offer.

The Incentive Source will also be distributed at a variety of trade shows including the 2015 IMEX show and the 2016 PPAI Expo, reaching hundreds of potential customers.

ATTN: 2015 Education Sponsors
We have reserved a complimentary ad space for you. You must have a paid 2015 Education Sponsorship and your ad must be submitted by March 15 to be included in the Directory.

  • Research Partner - We have reserved a complimentary B/W full-page ad space for you.
  • Platinum, Diamond, or Emerald Sponsors - We have reserved a complimentary ½ page ad space for you. Upgrade to a full-page ad for $400.
  • Sapphire Sponsors - We have reserved a complimentary “Business Card” ad space for you. Upgrade to a ½ page ad for $400.
  • Banner Ads: As a bonus for being an 2015 Education Sponsor (any level) you have the option to submit a full-color banner ad - linked to the url of your choice - at no additional charge for the IMA website as part of a rotating banner ad that will run from July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016.

Click here for advertising specs and to a reserve your ad space. Questions? Contact Sue Peterson at

IMEX America

IMA will once again be hosting an IMA Brand Pavilion at IMEX America this year. The show is October 13-15, 2015 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. If you are interested in participating in the IMA Pavilion, please contact Donna Chrobak, IMA Executive Director.

Karen Renk Fellowship Award – Call for Nominations

In her role as Executive Director, Karen Renk guided the Incentive Marketing Association, championed the business case for incentives, and mentored a wide group of individuals for the betterment of the industry and the association. She was known for a number of qualities included Mentoring, Character, Collaboration, and Professionalism.

The Karen Renk Fellowship will be awarded to the IMA member who best exemplifies these qualities in service to the association, either through their work within the organization or through outreach to the community at large.


  • Current member in good standing of the IMA
  • Active role in IMA, a SIG, and/or a Task Force
  • Demonstrable and substantial commitment to the organization through time and/or effort to promote the industry and the IMA community at large

Award Includes:

  • Paid registration for the IMA Summit
  • Two nights paid accommodation during the IMA Summit
  • Waived IP or CPIM certification (within three years) or renewal fees
  • Bio and article to be included on the IMA website as a Renk Fellow
  • Creation and circulation of a press release highlighting the winner, the award, and the legacy
  • Recognition of all Renk Fellows at future Summit General Sessions

Nominations Due: April 15, 2015
Please send your submission(s), and information on how the candidate meets the criteria above, to Donna Chrobak,

Event/Trade Show Calendar

Click here for more dates.

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