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

November 2015

In this Issue

President's Message

IMA Announces New SIG

2015 Holiday Donation Drive

Board Meeting Update

IMA Education Foundation

Calling All Volunteers

IMA at AMPRO Conference in Brazil

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

IMA Canada Council

IMA Europe Council

Incentive Engagement & Solution Providers (IESP)

Incentive Manufacturers and Representatives Alliance (IMRA)

Incentive Gift Card Council (IGCC)

Incentive Travel Council (ITC)

Performance Improvement Council (PIC)

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)
David Auld
Christine Holmes-Styles

(new member company)
Nancy Reuscher

(new member company)
Todd Tomlin

(new member company)
Heather Geurkink

Timothy Lebens

Spencer Toomey

Letter From the IMA President,
Spencer Toomey

Transition can be scary, chaotic or destructive, but if you have the right team and full cooperation, it can go very smoothly. When IMA found itself in need of an Executive Director to carry it through to the transition of the Harrington Company coming on board as our new management company, Donna Chrobak stepped up to help us out. As a strong leader and entrepreneur in her own right, she was the right person at the right time.

On January 1, 2016, Harrington will officially start as our management company. They have been very proactive since May, helping us with the transition and attending several trade shows, meetings and conferences to get up to speed. With the transition almost complete, Donna will be leaving us to continue her career. However, she will not be leaving us completely, she will work with us and Steve Slagle, who was a key member of the Task Force who is responsible for bringing us Harrington, in the transition into next year, making sure that everything runs smoothly. She also plans to rejoin IMA in her new position in the industry and to stay very active. It is very comforting to know that Donna may be changing logos but not leaving us behind. She has done a terrific job and made my job as president much easier. So thank you Donna!

Thanksgiving is around the corner which means we will all be working extra hard and at a frantic pace. Whenever anyone asked me about our industry, I tell them that it is like the 2 minute drill in football – everyday. When we get to this time of year it becomes more like 20 seconds left on the clock and you are out of time outs and you need a touchdown. There are so many of you who volunteer your time to work on boards and task forces for IMA and our SIGs and help make us very successful. So I want to take this time of Thanksgiving, to thank all of you who gave us your valuable time to help us out.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Spencer Toomey
Luxury Lines by MMSC
President, IMA

IMA Announces New SIG

IESP Logo The IMA Board of Directors has recently approved the addition of a new Strategic Industry Group (SIG), the Incentive & Engagement Solution Providers (IESP). This new SIG is a collaboration of three of IMA’s current SIGs, including the Global Incentive Council (GIC), the Performance Improvement Council (PIC), and the Recognition Council (RC). Effective January 1, 2016, these three SIGs will emerge as the single combined IESP SIG.

These three SIGs share many of the same goals and core competencies.   It’s the collective belief of the leadership of these SIGs that combining their efforts would make their members stronger together and, most importantly, help members better serve their target end-user audience.  Collectively focusing on the end-user and being able to create more white papers and educational content for them would also significantly advance IMA’s goals for the incentive and engagement end-user buyer.

While membership in the IESP will not become effective until January 1, 2016, you may submit an application for membership today. If you are currently a member of the GIC, PIC, or RC, your membership will automatically renew as an IESP member on January 1, 2016. If are not currently a member of one of these three SIGs, and are interested in becoming a member of the IESP, please contact Donna Chrobak or click here for more information.

We are also putting out a call for nominations for the Board of the IESP. If you are interested in being a part of this dynamic new group of thought leaders, please submit your nomination no later than November 30, 2015. You must be a member of the IESP as of January 1, 2016 to be eligible for a Board position.

The IESP is a key part of IMA’s strategic plan, and will be integral to the future of our association. We are excited to be moving forward in this new direction, and hope you will join us on this journey.


Make a Wish Our goal for the 2015 Holiday Donation Drive for Make-A-Wish® is to raise over $40,000 in gift cards and merchandise.  To date, we’ve raised over $9,500!  We are short of our goal with a short period of time (a little over 4 weeks!) to make our December 15th deadline.

Wishes come in all shapes and sizes. Make-A-Wish® is only able to create life-changing wish experiences with help from dedicated staff, volunteers, donors and other supporters. Help make it possible for Make-A-Wish to change lives. 

Like Zoe, 18, who wished to redesign a Hospital’s playroom.

Since birth Zoe has had to deal with Cystic Fibrosis and other pulmonary conditions that complicate her active life and prevent her from engaging in her favorite activities, but throughout her experience she has looked to make everyone around her a bit happier.

When she was 15, Zoe was confined to a hospital bed on her birthday and Christmas, two dates that should have been occasions for celebration and fun.

“It’s hard to be in the hospital for long periods of time,” Zoe said.

As a competitive cheerleader, Zoe has a caring and supportive spirit that can’t be dampened by weeks-long treatments and extended hospital stays.

Instead of succumbing to the negative energy surrounding her time away from a normal teenage life, Zoe decided to change the space she had to spend so much time in.

She brought a cheerfulness to her hospital room by adding festive decorations. This took the form of hand-made pictures that she hung up, such as a painting of a fireplace to add warmth to the room. To celebrate the holidays, she made the space homier by hanging stockings.

Inspired by the happiness that personalizing her hospital room brought her, Zoe decided to use her wish to give back to the other children at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.

See Zoe’s story

Donate Today!


Please donate by using one of the following donation forms:

Thank you to the following companies for their generous donations:

Great Lakes Scrip Center

California Pizza Kichen
Red Door Spa
Stored Value Solutions (SVS)
T.J. Maxx/Marshalls/Homegoods

Hallmark Business Solutions
Pilgrim Promotions
Reaf Marketing
Red Robin

SpaFinder Wellness 360

On behalf of your 2015 Holiday Donation Drive Task Force members, we thank you for your support!

Benita White, DineEquity, Inc.
Betty Weinkle, Blackhawk Engagement Solutions
Carol Rampey, United Scrip
Diane Walker, Reaf Marketing
Forest Miner, Red Door Spa
John Scott, Crutchfield
Kim Damato, The Manna Group
Lauren Haus, T.J. Maxx/ Marshalls /Home Goods
Peter Friend, Global Hotel Card by Orbitz
Rory Smith, Giftcertificates .com

Board Meeting Update

The IMA Board of Directors met on November 4, 2016 in Charlotte, NC for their Fall board meeting. This was the first meeting of the newly elected Board of Directors. Our new Executive Director, Karen Wesloh, and other members of The Harrington Company were able to join the meeting by phone.

During the meeting, IMA President Spencer Toomey communicated the 2016 goals & objectives of the organization:

  1. Successful transition to The Harrington Company - This is on schedule to be completed by the end of the year, with the new Executive Director, Karen Wesloh, stepping in on January 1, 2016.

  2. Continued SIG collaboration & representation - Continue to engage the SIGs, encourage collaboration between each SIG, and ensure they are well represented in IMA’s strategic initiatives.

  3. Growth of IMA - Through the efforts of our IMA and SIG leadership, and our key task force initiatives, including Marketing & Communications, and Membership Recruitment & Engagement, continue to build value in being an IMA member, and aggressively communicate this value to new member prospects, as well as current  members by developing and executing and effective engagement strategy.

  4. Brand continuity – To build a unified brand and messaging across all mediums, including websites, communications, social media, and content, that supports IMA’s mission statement and positioning in the industry and the corporate marketplace, and positions our members as the “go to” experts for all things incentive & recognition.

IMA Education Foundation

The IMA Education Foundation is a key component in IMA’s ability to execute our mission of “advocating for and promoting the use of incentives and recognition to improve business performance.” It is through the Education Fund that we are able to participate in education sessions at various industry events, such as the Incentive Buyers Conference and the PPAI Expo, provide resources for IMA’s IP and CPIM certification programs, and conduct important industry research that helps IMA and our members understand the demands of the marketplace, and stay informed on industry business trends. 

The IMA Education Fund is a non-profit organization that is funded by sponsorships and donations. We urge you to support this important initiative by becoming and 2016 IMA Education Fund Sponsor. Benefits of sponsorship can include (depending on sponsorship level):

Online Visibility - Your logo will be displayed individually on the rotating sponsor banners at

Monthly Recognition For Your Contribution - Your logo will be featured in twelve issues of IMA’s fasttake online newsletter, emailed to all IMA members every month.

Annual Summit - Your logo will be displayed in the online brochure on IMA’s web site marketed to 1500 industry professionals and on event signage recognizing your company.

Complimentary IMA Summit Registration Fees      

Link To Your Website - Your logo, with a link to your Web site and a 100-word company description, will be featured in the Partners & Sponsors section of IMA’s site.

Identification as a Featured Sponsor - IMA’s online directory at will include a “Featured Suppliers” link to the sponsorship page with your company description and link.

Enhanced Listings - Your online and print directory listing will identify you as a Research Partner.

Complimentary Ad - Full page ad in Incentive Source, IMA’s print directory, distributed at PPAI brand and IMEX America.

For more information on IMA Education Fund Sponsorship levels, or to sign up to be a sponsor, click here.

Calling All Volunteers!

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
  • Tradeshows & 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, recognition marketplace.

IMA at AMPRO Conference in Brazil

IMA was recently asked to present a summary of the IMA Participant study at the October meeting of AMPRO, a 250-member group consisting of incentive “agencies, event presentation managers and promotional product providers.

Current IMA Executive Vice President, Sean Roark, represented IMA at the conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil. After working with Melissa Van Dyke and Rodger Stotz from the Incentive Research Foundation, as well as getting input from several of IMA’s international members to bring an international point of view to the research presentation, Roark then work with IMA Board member, Cristiano Miano, who brought this opportunity to IMA, to convert the presentation to Portuguese.

AMPRO picture

According to Miano, who is a member of AMPRO and sits on their Incentive Committee, the presence of IMA and the opportunity to hear our research was a big draw for attendees. AMPRO has initiated some of their own, very basic, efforts at conducting surveys about the Brazilian market and, consequently, understood the complexity and appreciated the depth of our findings.

The presentation was very successful, and could result in more opportunities for IMA to work with AMPRO. There was also some indication that several members of AMPRO may be attending the 2016 IMA Summit in Houston.

IMA would like to extend special thanks to Cristiano Miano of Grupo Digi, for bringing us this tremendous opportunity to build our brand in the international marketplace, and to Sean Roark for presenting on our behalf.

AMPRO piture

Event/Trade Show Calendar

Click here for more dates.