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2014 Summit Sessions

Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel
1 Dock St. (2nd & Walnut Sts.)
Philadelphia, PA 19106 · United States

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2014 IMA Executive Summit Session Descriptions

Presentation materials are added as they become available.

Sunday, July 27

4:30 pm - 6:30 pm

PPAI Product Safety Ambassador: Products Safety Basics (CAS Required Course) and Undue Influence Training

This is your chance to become a PPAI Product Safety Ambassador and have your company recognized as Product Safety Aware and able to access the promotional products industry through PPAI channels.

At The PPAI Expo 2014, PPAI introduced the Product Safety Awareness Program. Developed by the Product Responsibility Advisory Group, the program is designed to foster an industry-wide commitment and a culture where companies like yours are not only aware of product safety but are also engaged in the discussion—a discussion we believe will lead to confidence across every level in our channel. Ultimately, PPAI wants to help you by giving promotional products buyers confidence not only in the power of the medium but in its safety. The following sessions will enable you to complete three of the four sessions to qualify your company as Product Safety Aware and be added to PPAI’s early adopter list. You will simply need to take any of the PPAI elective courses to complete the process.

Product Safety Basics (CAS Required Course)
The consumer products market is becoming increasingly regulated and subject to scrutiny by many government agencies and consumer groups. In the changing market landscape, awareness and compliance are critical to the success of industry companies and professionals. This course introduces promotional products professionals to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), specific regulations concerning promotional products and other mandatory and voluntary standards. *This course is required to attain the CAS designation, but attendees do not need to pursue a CAS to attend this session.

Undue Influence Training
Undue influence training is an essential element in any product responsibility program and is required by the CPSC. The session will help you understand what undue influence is and how to avoid it, as well as provide you with tools and resources that are easily shared with the rest of your team.

Presenter: Anne Lardner-Stone, Director, Public Affairs, PPAI

Monday, July 28

7:30 am - 8:30 am

PPAI Product Safety Ambassador: Prop 65 and State Regulations

Did you know that in addition to the Federal regulations that impact the promotional products industry, individual states have passed laws that can affect your company as well? This session is a must for navigating your interstate deals—not just by knowing the rules, but having strategies in place to manage them.

Presenter:  Anne Lardner-Stone, Director, Public Affairs, PPAI

9:00 am - 10:30 am

Keynote - The Next ‘Silent Generation’: Changing Assumptions about the Millennials

Wondering how to separate truth from myth about Millennials? Learn from research about the unique aspects of who Millennials are, what they value, and how they operate. Of equal importance, learn about the ways in which Millennials are just like everyone else when it comes living, learning and using technology in the digital age.

Presenter: Barbara Bichelmeyer, PhD


11:00 am - 12:00 pm: Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Understanding Generation DNA to Impact your Customers and Your Pocketbook

Presenter: Barbara Bichelmeyer, Louise Anderson

Increase Revenue by Adding a Secondary Market Vertical
Looking for a way to increase revenue? Are clients asking for more diversity in your product or service offerings?  Connect and collaborate with fellow IMA members to learn how to easily create a secondary market vertical by adding a mix of merchandise, gift cards and/or  travel incentives to your service or product offerings.

Presenters: Marc Matthews, Nancy Alderman, Brian Galonek, Cindy Mielke, Rob Purdy, Robert Ward

The Complete Toolbox
"The incentive/engagement marketplace is growing, but not without its challenges. How do we leverage our membership in IMA to compete? Is there strength in numbers? Are we taking advantage of our commonalities? Where have we been, where are we now, and what's next? Get in the discussion and let's ignite our future."

Moderators: Rick Blabolil and Gregory Canose
Panelists:  Jeff Dalton, Ted Moravec, Alex Rogow, Michael Upp

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Overcoming Obstacles: Lessons from Wounded Warrior Project, 2014 IMA Holiday Gift Campaign

Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) started as a backpack initiative to help veterans in need and has grown into 20 programs and services that are designed to engage warriors, nurture their minds and bodies, and encourage their economic empowerment. With the generous donation of supporters, Wounded Warrior Project is able to provide comfort, care, and education to warrior families and caregivers, to help support the recovery of their injured warrior. To learn more about Wounded Warrior Project®, visit

Presenter: Jason Braase

3:30 pm - 4:30 pm: Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Collaboration 2.0
So you want to connect and collaborate, but don’t know where to start. Our panel of industry experts will provide you with an overview of the key areas of our industry, provide insight into how each member group goes to market, and introduce you to ways that you can connect and collaborate to expand your business and build new revenue opportunities.

Panelists: Heather Lutton, Vera Bradley Designs; Eric Thiegs, National Gift Card; Billie Riese, Incentive Concepts; David Roark, PromoPros; Mary Anne Comotto, Partners for Incentives

Moderator: Donna Chrobak

Inbound Marketing & Social Media
“Build a great website…and they will come.” Not so much. You can have all of the latest features and useful content in the world on your website, but if you can’t get people to visit your site, they’ll never see it.

Much of our traditional marketing features outbound communication – we “push” messages out in the form of direct mail, eblasts, newsletters, etc. Inbound marketing is a “pull” method by which we attract people to our web sites by positioning our information where our prospects will look for it. Social media platforms provide opportunities to place our information in front of the appropriate audience.

This session will cover:

  • elements of top-performing websites
  • inbound marketing basics
  • specific social media tactics that attract visitors to your site.

Presenter: Barbara Hendrickson
Presentation Handout
Presentation Infographic

The Big Picture -  Recognition, Incentives, and Rewards in the Age of Engagement (PIC and RC)
Employee Engagement is the buzzword, but Recognition and Incentives are critical elements to engagement programs. The Recognition Council and the Performance Improvement Council invite you to join us to hear how they fit into the big picture. We will be discussing:

  • What’s the difference between engagement, recognition, and incentives?
  • How does this fit into an organization’s goals?
  • What’s the current “hot button” for the clients?
  • What tools are being used to drive these programs?
  • What is the role of rewards?
  • What’s trending?

Panelists include: Cindy Mielke, Marketing Innovators; Louise Anderson, Business Impact Group; Anne Jetter, CGIncentives; Norma Jean Knollenberg, Top Brands

Moderator: Susan Adams, Dittman Incentive Marketing

Tuesday, July 29

10:30 am - 11:45 am

Delectable Data – More Than Food For Thought

Got data? Join Melissa Van Dyke, President of the Incentive Research Foundation as she shares the most recent, relevant data on the state of our industry. From merchandise trends, to the incentive travel quality push and human capital drivers, this session will go beyond sample data points for consideration and focus on what this data means to the future of incentive and recognition programs. Twenty years of exploring data in the incentive and recognition industry gives the IRF an important viewpoint into upcoming industry shifts. Come hungry for information and leave happy with an action plan for your organization's place in the incentive industry of 2015.

Presenter: Melissa Van Dyke

1:45 pm - 2:45 pm: Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Gift Cards and Merchandise: Co-existing and Collaborating

Shaun Krusmark, Transaction Wireless & President of IGCC and Kevin Dougherty, Seiko Corporation of America & President of IMRA will be co-hosting a "friendly" panel discussion related to gift cards & merchandise. Our goal is to bring together various industry experts who will help us gain a better understanding of each other’s businesses in hopes of determining if there are ways IMRA and IGCC members can work together to increase the size of the market.

Panelists: John Hornboge, Paul Kelly, Bill Martocci, Betsy Perry-Smith, Billie Reise, Rex Remigi, Heather Sorrentino

Moderators: Kevin Dougherty and Shaun Krusmark

Protecting Our Right to Motivate

  1. The Role of the Incentive Federation Inc.
    The Incentive Federation is the government affairs arm of the incentive marketplace.  It monitors the legislative and regulatory landscape to identify potential threats before they gain traction in order to protect the incentive marketplace from harmful legislation and governmental regulation.  The Federation also identifies opportunities that help us improve the standing of the marketplace among legislators and regulators where possible.  In addition to its legislative and regulatory work, the Federation also conducts studies regarding the size of the incentive marketplace and the type and nature of incentives used.
  2. Current Provisions and Success to Date
    The Federation was instrumental in the enactment of IRC section 274(j) in 1986. That Code section provides for preferential tax treatment of qualifying safety and length of service awards. The Federation is currently engaged in the effort to prevent the repeal of section 274(j) should Congress and the president undertake broad tax reform. The Federation has been successful so far in preventing OSHA from asserting, with no justification whatsoever, that safety programs do not work and lead to the under reporting of workplace injuries.

    In addition to these successes, the Federation has fought efforts to abolish the use of incentives by banks and other financial institutions, and it has been successful in limiting overly intrusive regulation of games and sweepstakes. The Federation has performed these functions in collaboration with engaged leaders of the incentive marketplace.

  3. A Look to the Future  -- Current Threats and Opportunities
    The biggest current threat to our marketplace is the misguided effort to repeal IRC section 274(j). There is a broader and more insidious threat to the incentive marketplace, however, namely an ill-informed effort to brand the use of incentives and awards as the legal and moral equivalent of bribes. The Federation and its members associations have been engaged in the fight to rehabilitate the image of awards and incentives and to restore them to their rightful place as useful tools to motivate and engage workers.  If we are successful in protecting section 274(j), opportunities may arise to expand its reach into other areas, e.g., health and wellness. 

Presenter: George Delta

PPAI - The Distributor Potential
There is a tremendous growth potential for the Incentive Industry in the form of Promotional Product consultants. These professionals in this 20-billion dollar industry can use long-standing client relationships as a Trusted Advisor to create incentive sales relationships that those same customers might not even consider from an “outsider.” The talent-set of these professionals includes creating campaigns using multi-sourced merchandise, and clarifying how to achieve client goals through the strategic use of merchandise, travel and gifts. This ability is similar to the best practices of many successful incentive performance improvement experts. Understanding how to assist promotional consultants in bridging the gap between communicating a corporate branding and communicating a message of gratitude or motivation can produce lucrative relationships for you and your company.

The challenges and opportunities of engaging with Promotional Product consultants will be discussed by executive staff members from the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), Darel Cook, Director of Expositions, and Robert McLean, CPA, Executive Vice President.

India: An Emerging Market for Incentives (GIC)
Come and hear from people operating in the Indian territory about this fascinating market.
Learn about the differences within the Indian structure, the audience needs and how to build partnerships with Indian clientele.

Presenter: Debbie Ghillino


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