2011 ASI Women to Watch
Meet 10 trail-blazing women who are making a big impact on the ad specialty industry in 2011.
Missy Kilpatrick: Castelli North America (asi/44305)
Missy Kilpatrick, executive vice president of Castelli North America (asi/44305), doubles as a reliable supplier and proficient Harley-Davidson motorcyclist. After joining Castelli in 1993 and heading a dedicated team, sales jumped from $300,000 that year to $8 million in 2004. Since then, she has kept lines of communication open with distributors and re-established preferred vendor agreements. She revamped the entire product line for 2010 to stay current in the market. She also played an integral role in the consolidation of Castelli USA and Castelli Canada into the newly formed Castelli North America. Kilpatrick constantly assures visibility through trade show exhibitions, distributor meetings and industry event sponsorships, where she networks and develops long-lasting friendships with distributors. She has been active in several regional associations, serving on the board of directors for both the Promotional Marketing Association of Northern California and as president of the Specialty Advertising Association of California. Her most recent achievement is being first runner up for the Supplier Global Resource Supplier Sales Rep of the Year Award.
Jo-an Lantz: Geiger (asi/202900)
Jo-an Lantz has been an integral part of Geiger (asi/202900) for many years as executive vice president, and has also spent these years giving back to the industry. In addition to earning honors as a past Counselor International Person of the Year and inclusion on the Power 50 list, Lantz serves on the Presidium of the international group World Advertising Gift Exchange (WAGE) as vice president and the only U.S. member. However, she still finds time to work with charitable groups such as the Seacoast Slackers, a running group that helps raise significant funds for small nonprofits by participating in marathons and half-marathons – most recently she helped mentor other runners (while also running herself) to support the Sexual Assault Support Services Center. She also worked with a small group of women in the promotional products industry to create a leadership and development program for women, which has been in existence for six years now.
Linda Martinelli: Proforma Graphic Printsource (asi/300143)
Linda Martinelli branched off to become CEO of Proforma Graphic PrintSource (asi/300143) after working 27 years in the family printing business. In late 1997, Martinelli read an article about Greg Muzzillo, CEO of Proforma. Though Proforma was in its early days then, Linda saw an opportunity and seized it by acquiring a franchise in March 1998. She set a goal of $600,000 in sales by the end of that year, and surpassed those goals while still being a franchise entrepreneur and single mother of three. In 1999 Linda was the first female to achieve Proforma’s Million Dollar Club Member status, and has been in the club every year since. She was also Proforma’s first multimillion-dollar woman, first woman to be President of the Owners Advisory Council and first female Development Coach, mentoring other owners.
Teresa Moisant: Moisant Promotional Products (asi/275276)
Teresa Moisant worked for several large corporations before she found a job that could keep her interest and continue to challenge her – one in the promotional products field. She started her company, Moisant Promotional Products (asi/275276), while still working another job, and turned it into one of the fastest growing businesses in her area, as recognized by the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce three times. Today she serves as a mentor to other women and encourages others to mentor as well. She continues to speak at trade shows about the challenges that women face in business, along with other topics.
Mary Ellen Nichols: Bodek & Rhodes (asi/40788)
Mary Ellen Nichols, director of marketing communications at Bodek and Rhodes (asi/40788), joined the company in 1998 and increased promotional products sales volume by 27% her first year. Since then, she’s created the industry’s first marketing menu of promotional tools for customers, which has evolved into a myriad of websites for online ordering and company customization. Nichols developed innovative show promotions and creative marketing ideas that have consistently increased response rates for traffic, appointments and presentations. Her uncanny ability to always see the glass not only half full but overflowing, regardless of recently losing her husband to brain cancer and battling cancer herself, has earned her countless awards and allowed her to be a positive and influential mentor in the industry.
Cindy Qin: Sweda (asi/90305)
Cindy Qin, who arrived in the U.S. at age 18, began her career at Sweda (asi/90305) in 2004 as director of finance. She was quickly promoted to CFO in 2006, then to vice president of operations in 2010 where she’s actively engaged in sales, order management, IT, customer service, shipping, supply chain management, accounting and executive management. Qin was an integral contributor in creating Toue, Sweda’s global sourcing arm, which now accounts for more than 10% of total revenues. In late 2008, Qin also spearheaded efforts to ensure Sweda’s new ERP system would enhance the company’s ability to not only serve the marketplace but also increase efficiencies. As a result of her leadership, Sweda has been able to provide an on-time delivery rate of 98.8% two years running, while implementing a 24-hour service program with a 100% on-time track record. Sweda’s QCA accreditation process was also championed by Qin, and she was able to motivate the entire management team to accomplish their accreditation by December 2009. Qin initiated the idea for the company’s most successful marketing promotion: “Sweda’s Case Study Challenge” which won the ASI 2010 Spirit Award for Most Successful Supplier Self Promotion.
Theresa Roberts: Boundless Network (asi/143717)
Theresa Roberts has a proven track record spanning 24 years in the advertising specialty industry, and is most well-known for her large-scale programs, custom design and employee safety and recognition programs. Roberts started selling from her kitchen table in 1985 and worked with two national firms before starting her own distributorship in 1995. She grew her business from $1.2 million to $5 million-plus in 2008 and expanded operations to five major Western cities, at which time she sold it to Boundless Network (asi/143717), and has been a top producer for them ever since. Roberts was recognized by Arizona Women’s Magazine for six consecutive years as a Top 10 distributor in Arizona, and has been a part of the ASI Multimillion-Dollar Roundtable for 14 years. She has served on numerous fundraising committees and raised money for several charitable organizations.
Leanne Schillinger: American Solutions for Business (asi/120075)
Leanne Schillinger’s first experience with selling promotional products was when she was junior class president in high school and came up with the idea to sell Wildcat hats, buttons and pom-poms for a fundraiser. However, it took a few years and some turns along the way before she ended up at American Solutions for Business (asi/120075) and started putting her sales skills and creativity to work in the industry for a living. She has become one of ASB’s top sales associates and serves on the ASB Sales Advisory Team and several other committees. And, one of her greatest business successes has been developing an online store that services a large hospital with over 1,000 warehoused and on-demand items.
Bonni Shevin-Sandy: Dard Products (asi/48500)
Bonni Shevin-Sandy, who’s been on Counselor’s Power 50 List for the past three years, brands herself as a global supplier. She represents the third generation of DARD Products (asi/48500) that began in 1948 out of the family garage with four styles of keytags. After Dard was named Family Business of the Year in 2001, Shevin-Sandy launched a new custom product division of the company, DARD Design, with employees in the U.S., Hong Kong and China. Her aspirations for international growth and 48 patented items have won her several supplier achievement awards. She manages to work 60-hour weeks, raise three sons, coach their soccer teams, open international offices and teach aerobics while still providing a home-cooked meal for her family every night.
Paula Shulman: Prime Resources (asi/79530)
Paula Shulman, past recipient of ASI’s Women of Distinction and member of the Power 50, began her career at Prime Resources (asi/79530) in 1981 as a receptionist. She soon proved her knowledge of the company and was promoted to director of marketing then national sales manager and vice president of sales – the only female vice president in the history of Prime Resources. Having been one of the first female executives in the industry, she’s created yearly catalogs, media advertisements and helped to grow Prime’s marketing department from one person, in the early days, to a large and fully staffed group of marketers. She also created a national sales force and trained and traveled with them across the country. She’s been an integral part of Prime’s growth and proud of its achievement in becoming a Top 40 supplier. No one handed Shulman a job or turned over a company to her. She made her mark, and often tells people the ‘P’ in their company name not only stands for Prime, but Paula as well.