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A monthly member communication of the Incentive Marketing Association.

August 2015

In this Issue

President's Message

2015 Circle of Excellence Award Winners

IMA Participant Study

Member Spotlight

HR & Employee Benefits Summit Extends IMA Member Discount

New CPIM and IP Recipients

Industry News

Event/Trade Show Calender

IMA Welcomes New Members

Thank You Summit Sponsors

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 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.

Heather Chevreau

Rick Buer

(New Member Company)
Laura DeMarco

Molly Blabolil

Kieth Sorrels

Jane Weddington

(New Member Company)
Cindy Mielke

Thank You to our 2015 Executive Summit Sponsors


























Spencer Toomey

Letter From the IMA President,
Spencer Toomey

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 WeslohMelissa 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.


Spencer Toomey
Luxury Lines by MMSC
President, IMA

2015 Circle of Excellence Winners Announced

Circle of Excellence

The 2015 Circle of Excellence Winners were honored on Monday, July 27, during the Annual IMA Executive Summit in Nashville, TN. Five companies, each facing challenges to engage and motivate their employees and sales teams, creatively used incentive campaigns to achieve successful results, winning the Incentive Marketing Association’s (IMA) 2015 Circle of Excellence Award.

Congratulations to this year’s winners!

Category IMA Member & Program Client
Consumer Branding & Loyalty
CashStar and The Cheesecake Factory
Dealer Distributor Incentive
Dittman Incentive Marketing and WESCO Distribution
Employee Recognition
Martiz Travel and Cisco Systems
Sales Incentive
Motivforce Marketing & Incentives and IBM
Power2Motivate and Lumo Energy

Click here to view the full video presentations.

IMA Participant Study – Phase I Research Released

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:

canon citizen
Promopros rymax

Member Spotlight

Meet Dave Alwan, Owner and Founder of Echo Valley Meats, and new IMA member!

dave alwin

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.

HR & Employee Benefits Summit Extends Discount to IMA Members

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!

Click here for more information.

IMA Congratulates New CPIM Recipients and IP Designees

The following individuals received their CPIM certifications and IP designations in July.

David Roark, CPIM
Gunther Everaert, IP
Jessica Lindahl, IP
Maggie Wenthe, IP

Industry News

PPAI Inducts Industry Veteran to Hall of Fame

steve slagle NASHVILLE, TN, (August 12, 2015) – Promotional Products Association International (PPAI;, the world’s largest not-for-profit association serving more than 11,000 corporate members of the $20 billion promotional products industry, announced yesterday during its North American Leadership Conference in Nashville it will induct Steve Slagle, CAE, past president and CEO of PPAI, into its Hall of Fame. Slagle will be honored at the Chairman’s Leadership Dinner during The PPAI Expo, January 10-14, 2016, in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. >>Read more.

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.

Event/Trade Show Calendar

Click here for more dates.

Incentive Marketing Association
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