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

October 2015

In this Issue

President's Message

2015-2016 IMA Board of Directors

Are You Getting What You Want?

Member Spotlight

New CPIM and IP Recipients

Event/Trade Show Calendar

IMA Welcomes New Members

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


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 Sponsors


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)
Stefanie Franke

Erika Johanson

Brant Dolan

IMA Congratulates New CPIM Recipients and IP Designates

The following individuals received their CPIM certifications and IP designations since August.

Donna Chrobak, CPIM

Sol Flamberg, IP

Juliana Flor, IP

Jessica Goebel, IP

Mike Goebel, IP

Jenny Jeansonne, IP

Marc Matthews, CPIM

Spencer Toomey

Letter From the IMA President,
Spencer Toomey

The very successful Summit that we had in Nashville is now a very pleasant memory. For the hearty members who spent a day in seminars and then attended two great parties (that went into the next morning) and were able to get up early the next morning to attend the membership meeting, you saw the changing of the guard. We learned our lesson, and at next year’s Summit, we will hold the membership meeting later in the day to allow you to have fun, get some rest, and be able to function the next day.

So what did you miss? Among other things, we introduced the 2016 Board of Directors, who took their positions on the Board on August 1st. We have seven new members to the Board, who will bring new energy and ideas to IMA as we move forward into the New Year with our new management company. The full Board is listed below, and I encourage you to reach out to any or all of them and let them know what they can do to make your IMA membership a great experience for you.

They have already taken on the challenges of the many changes that we are planning for the year. One of our biggest and most important projects is the Marketing & Communications task force being spearheaded by Heidi Chatfield. Heidi has put together a tremendous team representing all SIGS, who will address critical issues such as our websites, public relations, social media, and internal and external communications.  The team is hard at work and you can expect to see some changes before the end of the year.

We have several task forces that are going to be formed at our November Board meeting and we always welcome volunteers. Even if your time is limited and you can only help out a limited amount of time, which is fine. It is a good way to get involved and bring new and fresh ideas to the task forces.

Our new management team, The Harrington Company, starts on January 1, 2016. They have been very proactive even before they are officially on board and have attended several conferences and trade shows in order to prepare themselves to hit the ground running.

IMA has made great strides in the past year, and will continue to grow and improve in 2016. There is a lot of hard work ahead but we have a very committed group that is working hard to help us achieve our goals – feel free to join us. 


Spencer Toomey
Luxury Lines by MMSC
President, IMA

2015-2016 IMA Board of Directors

Meet your 2015-2016 IMA Board of Directors! This is the team that will lead IMA during this exciting time of transition and change. Please join me in welcoming:

  • Your new Board members:
    • Susan Gray, Hallmark Business Connections
    • Nicole Willis Hardey, Groupon, Inc.
    • Anne Jetter, GiftCertificates .com
    • Don Killingback, Wyndham Exchange & Rentals / Endless Vacation Rentals
    • Cristiano Miano, IP, Grupo Digi
    • Rebekka Rea, Innovative Prepaid Solutions
    • Billie Reise, Incentive Concepts, LLC
    • Len Sadek, Landry’s, Inc.
    • Scott Plybon, The Plybon Company
  • Your returning Board members:
    • Heather Abbott, Powerhouse Brands Consulting
    • Betsi Bowman, Blackhawk Engagement Solutions
    • Kimberly A. Carrette, Canon U.S.A., Inc.
    • Brian Dunne, IP, SVM Global
    • Ted Moravec, Elite Creations
    • Jody Running, CPIM, Top Brands, Inc.
    • Sean Wilkinson, Corporate Rewards U.K.
    • Joe Zanone, Movado Group, Inc./Zanone Sales
  • Your IMA Executive Committee:
    • President - Spencer Toomey, CPIM, Luxury Lines MMSC
    • Executive Vice President - Sean Roark, CPIM, PromoPros/IncentPros, Inc.
    • Vice President - Heidi Chatfield, CPIM, All Star Incentive Marketing
    • Treasurer - John Hornbogen, RPG Gift Cards
    • Secretary - Susan Adams, CPIM, Dittman Incentive Marketing
    • President Emeritus - Richard Low, Citizen Watch Co.

For full contact information, click here.

Are You Getting What You Want?

Many of us in the incentive industry are small business owners, or independent reps. I would venture to say that even those of us who work for large corporations sometimes feel like we are small business owners because we manage or work in an area of the company that’s not just a department, like sales, marketing, customer service, or fulfillment, but is often all of those things. Maybe my opinion is biased, but I feel that you have to have a special skill set to be successful in this industry, and you have to be willing to put the work in. This unique industry we work in reminds us often that what you get out of your job is directly relative to what you put into it.

The same is true for the IMA.

The IMA is an organization of its members. We are only as strong as our weakest link. We are on the verge of monumental change that will catapult IMA to the next level, by broadening awareness in the corporate marketplace of what it is that we all do. IMA is only successful when members are engaged and involved, and every one of IMA’s members benefit when IMA is successful. You get out what you put in. So the question to you today is, are you getting what you want from IMA?

Team Graphic

Make the commitment this year to put into IMA
what you’d like to get out of it.

We are in the process of reorganizing our IMA Task Force Committees and need volunteers who are passionate about what they do and want to be a part of the exciting changes taking place in our Association. Our current task forces include:

  • Annual Executive Summit
  • Circle of Excellence Award Program
  • Education Opportunities in the Industry
  • Finance
  • IP & CPIM Certification
  • Legislative / Incentive Federation
  • Marketing & Communications
  • Membership
  • Philanthropic
  • Trade Shows & Strategic Alliances

Volunteer online today, or contact Donna Chrobak for more information about volunteer opportunities.

Volunteering requires different levels of commitment, some that are short term with little time required, and others that are ongoing and my require a bigger commitment, but typically also have a larger pay-off. You’ll be hearing a lot about our task force committees throughout the year, so be a catalyst for change, and be a part of helping us grow the incentive and recognition marketplace.

Member Spotlight


Meet Juan Manuel Valenzuela,
CEO of Above Target!

Tell us a little about yourself and your company.

I’m married with 3 kids, Crista who is 12, Emilio who is 10, and María who is 8. I love to play the guitar, and have been playing since I was 8 years old. I also have been practicing boxing for 6 years now. If you think about it, these are kind of antagonistic hobbies because, with the first one, you have to take good care of your hands, and on the second one, you could get your hands damaged. I try to take good care of my hands when I’m practicing my boxing, by bandaging my hands by myself.

I have a bachelor degree in Business Administration and an MBA. Before starting Above Target, I was a financial and strategic consultant for small businesses, and every now and then a client would call me to help them with their financial forecasts, budgets, company’s valuation, financial analysis, strategic advice, among others. As a consultant I was always wondering, “if I’m good at giving advice and making projects, why don’t I do it for myself”. And that’s when my wife Gaby and I decided to start Above Target, a company specialized in Incentive and Loyalty Programs.

At that time I didn’t even know what an Incentive Program was, but Gaby had the experience and the connections to make it real; and I could always learn. After studying the IP Principles and becoming a CPIM, we know what we are doing, and we are doing it very well. At Above Target we strive to design and to operate programs for the biggest possible impact to our audiences, and have had much success, making our clients more than happy to be working with us.

Why did you join IMA?

In 2011, while surfing the web, I found out about the Motivation Show in Chicago, and decided to attend and to become a member of IMA. During the Motivation Show I found out about the CPIM certification and I decided to learn the Principles of Results-Based Program Design to earn my Incentive Professional (IP) designation, and to then earn my Certified Professional of Incentive Management (CPIM) certification, which became a reality by May 2012

I was recently asked to contribute my insights to an international presentation that IMA will be giving in Brazil, and when asked why I became an IMA member, I replied:

“I do not have any hard data on incentives programs in Mexico, I just know a little of the Marketplace, and the players. However I do know that what I have gotten from IMA which is:

  1. A way to professionalize my company (with the principles and the CPIM)
  2. A way to understand US and global trends of the industry
  3. A way to meet and get to be friends with the best incentive companies in the world (at least that’s what I think)
  4. A way to do global business as a fulfillment supplier
  5. A way to go global, having friends in other countries who will help me with my international fulfillment.
  6. A way to give strong credibility to my little company”

If you are a member of a SIG, please tell us which one, and why you joined.

I am a member of the Performance Improvement Council, “the content suppliers” of the IMA, I joined because I think that, while committing to write at least one paper per year, and reading every paper of the SIG members, our incentive and loyalty programs will become better, and we will have better selling arguments.

What would you like people to know about you?

I am an easy going kind of person who lives and makes incentive and loyalty programs in Mexico, and anything they need from here, I will be more than happy to help.

If you could be any famous person in history, who would you be?

It depends on the moment you ask (what I’m reading at the time, how I’m feeling, what’s going on in my life, or in my environment, etc.) One year ago I would have said Seneca, but right now I would like to be Aristotle who, besides being master of Alexander the Great, had a great philosophy of life which states that every man should strive for happiness, and the only way to achieve this happiness is developing the most of your potential. In other words, being the best person you can be. I think this is the most important lesson someone can leave as a legacy

Event/Trade Show Calendar

Click here for more dates.