IMA Honors Cindy Mielke with Karen Renk Fellowship Award 

MINNEAPOLIS – July 24, 2019 – The Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) honored Cindy Mielke, CPIM, director brand relationships, Tango Card Inc., with the Karen Renk Fellowship Award, at the annual IMA Summit in Chicago this week. The prestigious award was established in 2014 to honor Renk, who served as the IMA executive director for its first 14 years.

Karen Renk guided the IMA, championed the business case for incentives and mentored a wide group of individuals for the betterment of the industry and the association. She was known for several qualities including mentoring, character, collaboration, and professionalism.

The Karen Renk Fellowship is awarded to the IMA member who best exemplifies these qualities in service to the association, either through their work within the organization or through outreach to the community at large.

Mielke was recognized for being an incentive industry trailblazer, thought leader and consummate incentive-industry ambassador. She speaks on many event and webinar panels, participates in media interviews and passionately champions the business benefits of well-designed incentive programs. Mielke is viewed as a “go to” person for mentorship, leadership, setting high standards, and working tirelessly for the IMA and the industry. 

Throughout her more than 20-year incentive-industry career Mielke has been active in many IMA and IMA-Strategic Industry Group (SIG) initiatives. Known for her forward-thinking approach, Mielke was the IMA’s first female president in 2005. She has also been actively involved in the gift card and solution provider segments of the industry, including serving as Incentive Gift Card Council (IGCC) president in 2008. Mielke was instrumental in reaching across several IMA SIGs to encourage them to combine efforts as the Incentive & Engagement Solution Providers (IESP). She chaired the IESP board in 2016 and continues to serve as an IESP board director. 

Upon receiving the award, Mielke emphasized how Renk’s passion for the industry is still present today. “I’m so grateful to the IMA and my colleagues for this honor. I had the privilege of knowing and working with Karen Renk for many years and I know she would be so proud of the growth the IMA has experienced. Karen’s love of this industry was left in the hearts of those who knew her. And, for those of who never met her, you do know her. You experience Karen in every IMA member who reaches out to help you, mentor you or serve the association with selflessness. I am proud to work in this industry with such amazing professionals dedicated to bettering our companies and our clients through the work of the IMA,” Mielke said.

Mielke becomes the fifth recipient of the Karen Renk Fellowship Award. Previous recipients are: 

  • 2015 - Sean Roark, CPIM, PromoPros/IncentPros 
  • 2016 - Heidi Chatfield, CPIM, All Star Incentive Marketing
  • 2017 - Brian Dunne, CPIM, Giftcard.Consulting
  • 2018 - Michelle M. Smith, CPIM, CRP, speaker, author, strategist 

Note: Mielke was also a 2019 inductee to the IMA Hall of Fame.


About the Incentive Marketing Association
The Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) connects members from leading companies across the marketplace to create a unified voice and growth for the incentive industry. IMA is the umbrella organization for the Incentive & Engagement Solution Providers (IESP), Incentive Gift Card Council (IGCC), Incentive Manufacturers & Representatives Alliance (IMRA), Incentive Travel Council (ITC), and IMA Europe. IMA members have the expertise, leading brands and services to help companies improve their business with recognition, reward and engagement programs.

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Contact:  Ione Terrio ● iterrio@incentivemarketing.org ● 952-928-4649