A monthly member communication of the Incentive Marketing Association.
In this Issue
Strategic Industry Groups of IMA
Global Incentive Council (GIC)
Thank You to our 2015 Education Foundation Sponsors
Join IMA in welcoming your newest association colleagues.
GC INCENTIVES, A DIVISION OF GIFTCERTIFICATES.COM
STORED VALUE SOLUTIONS SVS
STORED VALUE SOLUTIONS SVS
Record breaking attendance at the Summit in Nashville! I would like to thank the 356 people who attended this year’s Summit in Nashville. It was the best attendance at a Summit to date. We had over 67% of our membership in attendance and 103 of them were attending their first Summit. These are phenomenal numbers by any association standards. I would also like to thank the 2015 Summit committee that did a fabulous job and all of the sponsors who supported our activities including Max Weinberg’s Keynote Address and three great offsite events.
One of the reasons that the Summit ran so smoothly was the behind-the-scenes efforts of Erin Babarskis and Gigi Jaber, members of our Ewald support staff. Erin and Gigi did an incredible job of making sure the event was organized, ensured our attendees needs were met, and managed the day to day “bumps”, that occur at every event, in a way that was seamless to attendees; they are the unsung heroes of the Summit.
“Business Improvement starts with IMA.” That is true. Our business environment is rapidly changing, though, and the way IMA operated 16 years ago when our association began, may not be the same way we need to operate now, and IMA needs to adapt. Our association has seen many changes over the past few years, and there was a period when some members had concerns about the direction and leadership of IMA. The Board evaluated the situation and made some positive changes that have refocused the direction of IMA that will position us for growth in the coming years.
Under the leadership of Rick Low, the Board brought on Donna Chrobak, a long-time member of our industry and former member of the IMA Board of Directors, to be our Executive Director. He also created a task force that consisted of members from every SIG, to search for a new management company. The task force, chaired by Sean Roark and assisted by Steve Slagle, worked for months to find the management company that was the right fit for IMA. In the end The Harrington Company was a unanimous decision.
The Harrington Company is based in Minneapolis Minnesota. Several members of the Harrington team, including Karen Wesloh, Melissa Serres, and Jenna Berge, attended the Summit to get an inside look at our associations largest annual event, and also got to meet many of our members. On January 1, 2016, Harrington will become our new management company, and we are confident that they are dedicated to providing IMA and it’s members with the resources we need to help streamline our administration capabilities and resources, build brand continuity, create a more strategic marketing plan, and bring us new ideas and changes that will help improve IMA’s value proposition to our entire membership.
Now more than ever, we as an association need more collaboration between the Strategic Industry Groups (SIG’s) to work together on a common goal of helping IMA stay relevant, and for all of us to grow our business. We are making the adjustments that will help us continue to grow and improve as we enter our third decade.
Congratulations to this year’s winners!
The IMA and Incentive Research Foundation were pleased to present the initial findings from the joint 2015 Participant Study at the Executive Summit in Nashville. This was the largest and most extensive study to be commissioned to look at incentive program participant preferences based on over 100 factors that influence reward and recognition choices. The study has received interest from numerous organizations, including nationally recognized media. The IRF and IMA are jointly preparing a launch schedule that includes the 2015 IBC, an IMA member webinar and presentations at additional industry events.
The IMA thanks the study sponsors for commissioning the study that will help the design of incentive programs:
Meet Dave Alwan, Owner and Founder of Echo Valley Meats, and new IMA member!
About Dave and Echo Valley Meats
Echo Valley Meats is a retail, mail order, and corporate gift company from Peoria, Illinois; the Heart of the Midwest. Echo Valley Meats specializes in that “old fashion butcher shop” quality. This business is in Dave’s blood. He is third generation in the meat business, a cattleman, and a farmer. He knows the meat business better than anyone and his motto has been, “I know the meat business from conception to consumption.” In 1998, Dave started his own company, because he wanted to make the best hams and smoked sausages ever. He trained in Germany and Denmark with the best in the industry so that he could launch the virtual gourmet shopping market.
What does Echo Valley do? Simply put, feed people, and Dave loves to feed people. More importantly he would love for your family, friends, and customers to say “WOW” when they receive a gift from Echo Valley Meats. Echo Valley Meats’ products are the superior choice. Our ham, our most popular item, is one of the only in the country that is not water added. Our award winning summer sausages are also among the top three most popular treats. Choices range from steak packages to our famous chateaubriand to Dave’s delicious cheese spread.
Why I joined IMA
This year, Echo Valley Meats launched into the corporate incentive industry. The IMA is an excellent, strategic place to begin this journey. Echo Valley Meats needed a resource that pulls three dimensions together – networking, industry education and trends, and opportunity. The IMA provides all three. In less than a year of membership, Echo Valley Meats has developed key relationships, gathered vital information, and has met industry leaders that are there to answer any questions Echo may have.
What I would like people to know about me
Dave is the third generation in the meat business - his family has been in the food industry since 1947 when his grandfather launched the Alwan and Sons Meat Company, a grocery store and butcher shop in Peoria, Illinois. Around age 22, Dave purchased a 150 acre farm, his first farm. Dave had worked out a deal with the 87 year old woman who owned the farm that in exchange for a good price, she would be able to live rent-free in the farm house for the rest of her life. She called him ‘Sonny’ and she lived long enough to take joy in seeing him bring the farm back to life. This was the start of his vision of producing the highest quality meat from conception to consumption, becoming both a farmer and a cattleman. A few years later, he purchased the already named Echo Valley Farm—there was a valley and there was an echo. Dave thought the name was catchy and he had it trademarked as well as Echo Valley Meats.
If I could be any famous person in history…..
I would definitely choose Mr. Steve Jobs. His colleagues thought he was crazy when he started Apple in 1976. He actually left Apple and started Pixar. Apple then bought Pixar so Steve rejoined Apple. At the end of the day, he was a courageous entrepreneur who didn’t let outside opinions deter him from his dreams. At the end of his day, he was one of the world’s most creative businessmen.
This two-day event is focused on bringing buyer and vendor together. Qualified buyers must meet our criteria, which includes confirmation of their role in the organization, spend, services and products of interest as well projects for 2015/16. They will be primarily VP’s and Directors although we also invite C-Level delegates. Ultimately they have to be a decision maker and in control of their budget, they will be of the highest calibre with a genuine interest in your services. They are from corporate organizations, brand name companies and government bodies with budgets to match!
The following individuals received their CPIM certifications and IP designations in July.
PPAI Inducts Industry Veteran to Hall of Fame
BrandSource Incentives forms Strategic Alliance with Koval-Williamson
Seattle, WA – August 17, 2015 – Vilia Johnson, President of BrandSource Incentives announces an alliance with Koval-Williamson of Mukilteo, WA, a successful Retail Manufacturer’s Representative Agency that expanded into the premium and incentive channel in 2012. >>Read more.
Incentive Marketing Association