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

April 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 Company)
Chris Galloway

(New Member Company)
Rick Burtch

(New Member Company)
Dmitry Tsivilev

Joe Reinberg

(New Member Company)
Ian Archambault

Sara Mischel

(New Member Company)
Ian Rosewell

Thank You to our 2015 Executive Summit Sponsors



















Letter From the IMA President, Rick Low

“It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.” – Tom Brokaw

The Incentive Marketing Association and the SIG structure is built on the contributions of its members. The financial contributions come in the form of dues. What is most important is the time that members give to further the IMA mission.

I share with you that my involvement in first IMRA and then IMA is directly responsible for my understanding of the incentive industry. Committee involvement helped me learn about the vastness of incentives and get to personally know industry leaders, customers, category peers and even competitors.

Our ‘day job’ pays the bills. The association involvement adds a significant sense of fulfillment. If you are not currently involved, I encourage you to take the first step and volunteer for a SIG committee or find a passion at the IMA level. If you are involved, it is time to reach out and get someone else involved.

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about volunteer opportunities.

Rick Low
Citizen Watch Company of America, Inc.

“Don’t ever question the value of volunteers. Noah’s Ark was built by volunteers: the Titanic was built by professionals.” - Unknown

Get in the Know! - Get Involved!


IMA and each of our SIGs offer many opportunities to get involved in helping our association and our industry grow and become the resource for corporate end users and suppliers alike. Volunteering also provides you with an opportunity to meet new people, gain knowledge, learn new skills, and contribute to the success of IMA. Please take a moment to review these volunteer opportunities and consider where you can contribute your knowledge and expertise:

  • Certification & Education Programs
  • Annual Executive Summit
  • Circle of Excellence Awards
  • Membership Experience, Recruitment & Retention
  • Finance
  • Trade Shows & Strategic Alliances
  • Incentive Federation & Legislative Campaign Liaison
  •  Philanthropic/li>
  • Website Review & Revision

We also currently need several volunteers to help out at this year’s IMA Summit in Nashville for the following positions:

  • Registration desk on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning
  • Assembly of gift bags on Sunday morning
  • Greeters at education sessions – Sunday, Monday,  Tuesday
  • Speaker introductions – Monday, Tuesday

IMA Member Spotlight

Meet David Roark, IP - IncentPros, Inc.


David Roark has been in the incentive industry since he graduated from Baylor with his Masters degree in Communication Studies in 2011. He works in program design and sales for IncentPros, Inc., a Performance Improvement Company based out of Houston Texas. Since joining the Incentive Marketing Association two years ago (2013), David has become heavily involved in the association. He has served and is serving on multiple committees and task forces within the IMA community, including the Strategic Planning Committee, the Certification & Education Programs task force, and the 2015 IMA Summit Planning Committee.

One of the biggest benefits that David has seen as a member of IMA is the industry certification offered to members. At his first IMA Summit in Denver in 2013, David took the Principles of Incentive Program Design class, tested, and received his Incentive Professional designation (IP). “I immediately began benefiting from my IP. The vast majority of what I do is in petrochemical and construction safety.  These particular industries put a very high value on relevant certifications.” He also appreciates the level of education that he received during the course. “Prior to achieving my IP designation, I understood the branded merchandise segment of our industry, and I liked the margins and was already set up to handle it. The Principles class gave me a basic understanding of the general Incentive market place, and I learned how to implement and supplement my programs using gift cards and travel too, ultimately, making myself more valuable to my clients.”

Looking forward, David is excited about his future in the IMA and how it will affect his career. He intends on continuing to volunteer and stay an active member. He is also currently working towards his Certified Professional of Incentive Management certification (CPIM) and hopes to qualify by Summit 2016!

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

Summit Logo

The 2015 IMA Executive Summit dances into Nashville starting July 26th. We will be at the Hilton Nashville Downtown, an all-suite hotel located in the heart of the Nashville action. It is a AAA 4-Diamond property with 4 restaurants and bars, 10 minutes from the airport and a short walk to some of Nashville’s best attractions: the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Bridgestone Area, the historic Ryman Auditorium, the Johnny Cash Museum and around the corner from Broadway, famous for the best country music bars in town.

Sunday night Target will host the Opening Reception at one of Nashville’s local restaurants that creates a uniquely ‘Nashville’ atmosphere that honors the unparalleled character of the city’s past, present and future.

Monday will start the Summit with keynote speaker, Max Weinberg, Bruce Springsteen’s drummer for the E Street Band. Max will take the IMA Summit audience on a journey through the ups and downs of his amazing 35 plus year career.

A gifted public speaker, Weinberg Cited by Playboymagazine’s Pop and Jazz Music Poll and the Rolling Stone Critics Poll as “Best drummer,” Weinberg has performed with some of contemporary music’s biggest names, including, Sting, Tony Bennett, Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Barbra Streisand, BB King, The Who, George Harrison, and Eric Clapton to name a few. He has the unique distinction of having played on both the #1 (“Born In The USA”), and #2 (Meatloaf’s, “Bat Out Of Hell”) albums in rock history. The Max Weinberg Seven was the house band on NBC’s Late Night and Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. Max was elected to the Rock in Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.


The educational breakout sessions are fresh and relevant, and cover topics for everyone including joint SIG sessions and working with international programs.

Monday night our offsite event will be hosted by the IGCC at the Wild Horse Saloon with a major entertainer sponsored by Cracker Barrel.

We will be introducing two new mobile apps: the Silent Auction app and the Conference app. You will be able to bid on the Silent Auction from your mobile device 24/7 and the Conference app will let you stay up to date with everything that is going on at the Summit. Click here if you are interested in sponsoring these apps, or are interested in other sponsorship opportunities.

Registration is opening soon, so watch your email.

See you in Nashville!  

Circle of Excellence


2015 Circle of Excellence,
Recognition and Social Responsibility
Award Recipients to be Honored at the
IMA Summit in Nashville
Submissions Due May 8th

This year, IMA’s major awards will be presented at the Executive Summit, scheduled July 26-28 in Nashville, TN. Three hundred plus industry professionals will be in attendance as the Circle of Excellence (COE), COE-Recognition and COE-Social Responsibility Awards will be announced. The COE award winning case studies will also be showcased in Premium Incentive Products magazine, at IMEX America 2015, and featured online at

Applications for the award programs are due May 8, 2015. Click on the appropriate title below to download an application:

Circle of Excellence Award (PDF-821 KB)

Recognition Circle of Excellence Award (PDF-737 KB)

Social Responsibility Award (PDF-642 KB)

Be sure to submit your application by May 8, 2015.

Interested in 2015 IMEX Show? Let Us Know Now!


When: October 13-15
Where: Sands Expo Center, Las Vegas, NV

The 2014 IMEX Show was a huge success for IMA booth partners. Collectively we had 217 pre-scheduled appointments, a 30% increase over the 2013 show. The show itself set new records in attendance with 10,354 participants, coming from over 150 countries. The number of pre-scheduled appointments for all exhibitors had a 6% increase over last year. Each of IMA's booth partners was able to schedule their own appointments and connect in face-to-face meetings with hosted buyers. 

IMEX has extended the same exhibitor rates to IMA for 2015, so there will be no increase to members who choose to exhibit in the IMA booth. The price per partner will be $7,000 (all inclusive). A deposit of $1,000 by May 15, 2015 will secure your spot.  The balance will be due by September 1, 2015. 

Booth space is limited to 11 partners and are going fast. To secure your spot early, please email Donna Chrobak.

Incentive Buyers Conference


Once again, IMA will be partnering with the Incentive Buyers Conference to present education to conference attendees. Brought to you by INCENTIVE magazine, the Incentive Buyers Conference will take place August 16-18, 2015 at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, NV. IBC is a conference designed to connect key incentive suppliers with highly-active, qualified industry buyers.

Join other industry buyers from throughout the U.S. for education sessions led by the IRF and the IMA, networking activities, and face-to-face business appointments with representatives from the industry’s top suppliers to find the perfect options for your upcoming incentive programs.

IBC 2015 Features Include:

  • Education sessions, presented by IMA and the Incentive Research Foundation, that will be tailored to meet the needs of professionals managing incentive programs
  • Pre-scheduled, face-to-face appointments with suppliers of your choice
  • Networking opportunities with industry peers and supplier representatives

Click here for more information on attending or exhibiting.

Karen Renk Fellowship Award – Call for Nominations

Do you know someone that has exhibited outstanding personal character and qualities in their participation and commitment to promote IMA and the incentive industry at large? If so, consider nominating them for the Karen Renk Fellowship Award.

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, and will be recognized at the 2015 IMA Summit in Nashville.

Please submit your nominations in writing to Donna Chrobak, IMA Executive Director by April 30, 2015.

SIG News


The Performance Improvement Council (PIC) has released a new white paper that focuses on the 8 Cultural Imperatives for Workplace Safety. We encourage you to take advantage of these informative and strategically written papers as a sales tool for your end user clients, as well as a resource for continuing education.

The PIC releases white papers several times throughout the year. All PIC white papers are available to IMA members on the PIC website. PIC white papers are also linked through the IMA website.


IMA – Canada Council is proud to present the new Board of Directors for 2015:

Johane Desjardins, VIBE SMG Inc.

Past President:
Ron Benegbi, LRG – a Myaxs Company

Board Members:
Dawn Abankwah, Spafinder Wellness, Ltd.
Douglas Garcia, Samba Rewards International
Gaetana Surdi, Blackhawk Engagement Solutions
Greg Christie, Oak Incentives Group
Joanna Walker, A La Card Consulting/Uniikii Inc.

We would also like to welcome our new administrator, Dyan Eaton, to the Canada Council team.
Welcome Dyan!

IMA Canada is also thrilled to share its ambitious plans for the year as we embark on a rejuvenation program designed to re-engage our members and grow our base. Our new strategy includes a significant increase both in education and networking opportunities throughout the year, with a mix of events to attract seasoned executives as well as mentor junior to mid-level managers intent on enhancing their careers in the incentive industry:

Let’s Chat About That
Roundtable discussions where industry peers exchange ideas, opinions and experiences on a given topic over a casual meal in an informal setting. We invite you to attend and participate.


Sessions planned for August, October and February.

Guest Speakers Series
Have breakfast with industry colleagues as you hear the unique perspectives of our guest speakers and walk away with a practical action plan for your business and your career.
Sessions planned for September and January.

Thank You!

IMA was pleased to participate in the 2014 Holiday Gift Drive for Wounded Warrior Project, and want to take this time to thank the many IMA members who donated gift cards and merchandise. Your unprecedented generosity raised a grand total of $67,282.92 in merchandise and gift cards! See a full list of participating companies.

We would also like to thank the IMA philanthropic committee that organized this year’s effort- the first year ever to combine all IMA SIGS to donate retail gift cards, premium branded merchandise and travel certificates – a great team effort ! Through their efforts, the program has raised more than $185,000 over the past 6 years.

Rory Smith Chair
Ed Handel Crutchfield Co-Chair
Melissa Kessler Spafinder Wellness IGCC
Cindy Mielke Marketing Innovators, Int'l Recognition Council
Beau Ballin Motivaction, LLC PIC
Chris Harrison The Brinkmann Corporation IMRA
Don Killingback Endless Vacation Rentals Incentive Travel Council
Jody Running Top Brands IMA
Chris Harrison BC Incentives IMRA
Lore Rincon Continental Premiums IMRA
Bill Cassidy Cassidy & Co. IMRA
Sarah Swenson Cassidy & Co. IMRA
Kate Renk Amazing Clubs IMRA
Laura Lee Pullara Bulova IMRA

Member News

Business Impact Group Named One of Minnesota’s Best Places to Work by Minnesota Business Magazine
Business Impact Group (BIG) has been honored by Minnesota Business Magazine as one of the 2015 Top 100 Best Places to Work in Minnesota for its strong philosophy of employee engagement, personal development, and workplace values. Read more>>

Industry Media News

Premium Incentive Products magazine has once again included the annual IMRA Membership Directory in their March/April issue, that also includes a feature story, A Closer Look at IMRA.

Also, thanks to Sales & Marketing Management and Premium Incentive Products for helping IMA thank our generous members who donated to the 2014 Wounded Warrior Project Holiday drive.

Event/Trade Show Calendar

Click here for more dates.

Friends Remembered

Jeff Reinberg

In Memory of Jeff Reinberg, President & CEO of Incentive Concepts

Jeff was born in Minneapolis, MN, September 19, 1948. His degree from Washington University served him well at Maritz Travel Co., where he traveled the world and rose to become Vice President in all phases of Travel Operations. At Maritz Inc. he was Senior Vice President of Operations, before returning to Maritz Travel Company as President & CEO. In 2001, Jeff was named one of the “25 Most Influential Executives” by Business Travel News for his leadership and strategic vision in the travel industry. After leaving Maritz, Jeff became owner, President and Chairman of the Board of Incentive Concepts, LLC, a premium merchandise supplier to the Incentive Industry.

Jeff was one of the founding members of the Friends of the St. Louis University Liver Center with Dr. Bruce Bacon, and served on the board for many years. He was also a dedicated board member and former president of the Backstoppers – St. Louis.

Jeff is remembered for his generosity, wit and charm. He loved life and will be missed by all those who knew and loved him.

Bob Kneefe

In Memory of Robert J. “Bob” Kneefe Sr., Founder of Kneefe & Associates

Longtime IMA and IMRA member Bob Kneefe Sr. passed away April 1, 2015 at age 75. Bob was Director of Merchandise for over 20 years at Business Incentives (now called BI) until the mid 1980’s when he left to form his own manufacturer’s representative business, Kneefe and Associates, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The business continues under the guidance of his son Bob Jr. who has been at the company for many years. Bob Sr., while very good as a manufacturers rep, was also known to be involved one way or another with practical jokes as well as what one friend described as a personality that " has a quip for all occasions". Bob will be remembered as a very caring family man and good friend to many, and our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends.

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