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ASI Canada Newsletter
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vol 41 / July 18, 2014

Welcome to the latest installment of ASI's e-newsletter for the Canadian ad specialty market, Promogram Canada.

Please don’t hesitate to e-mail me with any news pertaining to your company, such as mergers and acquisitions, new hires, awards and accolades received, creative client promotions or product launches. You can reach me directly at (215) 953-3323 or



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NEWS Counselor Names Hullinger Person of Year; Unveils Top 40
Counselor Announces 2014 Best Places to Work
ASI Power Summit Canada Recap

Counselor Names Hullinger Person of Year; Unveils Top 40
At a black-tie ceremony in Chicago on July 16, Counselor® magazine named Norman Hullinger, CEO of alphabroder (asi/34063), as its Person of the Year for 2014. Honored for leading the largest company in the industry through an unprecedented period of change, Counselor tabbed Hullinger for the industry’s highest honor because of the tasks and challenges ahead of him, as well.

"Norm Hullinger led his team through an exciting, and dizzying, transition that is still in play and sending ripples throughout the entire promotional products industry," said Tim Andrews, president and CEO of ASI®, during the Counselor Awards ceremony. "It takes great imagination and innovation to deftly manage a sea change while maintaining customer satisfaction levels and keeping the rapidly changing needs of end-buyers at the forefront. As the company embraces even further international expansion, I am sure its position as the North American industry leader in the promotional apparel arena will grow even more secure."

Also honored at the Counselor Awards banquet, held at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, were: Suzanne Worwood from 4imprint (asi/197045) for International Person of the Year; Admints & Zagabor’s (asi/31516) Brett Hersh and Steve Weissman for Supplier Entrepreneur of the Year; HDS Marketing’s (asi/216807) Howard Schwartz, Martin Bohinski and Ryan Niggel for Distributor Entrepreneur of the Year; Brown & Bigelow’s (asi/148500) Cindy Jorgenson for Distributor Woman of Distinction; and Staton Corporate & Casual’s (asi/89380) Billie Staton for Supplier Woman of Distinction.

In addition, Family Business of the Year awards were handed out to Grossman Marketing Group (asi/215205) and Lion Circle Corp. (asi/67620), while Raman Agarwal from Ottawa-based Akran Marketing (asi/115329) took home the Bess Cohn Humanitarian Award, and Gary Hellinger from Garyline (asi/55990) was honored with the Marvin Spike Lifetime Achievement Award.

The occasion was also marked by the initial unveiling of Counselor's 2014 Top 40. On the supplier side, alphabroder holds the top spot, with nearly $700 million in North American ad specialty sales in 2013. Click here to view the supplier Top 40 list. And for distributors, Staples Promotional Products (asi/120601) remains the largest company in the industry, with Proforma (asi/300094) and 4imprint rounding out the top three spots on the list. Click here to see the complete 2014 Top 40 distributor rankings.

Go to for pictures and videos from the Counselor Awards ceremony, and to check out more information on all of the award winners. For more information on Akran Marketing, located in Ottawa, ON, click here.


Counselor Announces 2014 Best Places to Work
The 2014 Counselor Best Places to Work list was officially unveiled July 17 at a reception that kicked off the 2014 Counselor Best Places to Work Conference. Held at the Hotel Chicago Downtown – Autograph Collection, the conference began with a cocktail reception to unveil the 90 companies that comprise this year’s Counselor Best Places to Work.

"These are the companies that are totally dedicated to their corporate cultures and to the well-being and productivity of their employees," said Tim Andrews, president and CEO of ASI. "They’re the leaders in the industry when it comes to workplace success, and we’re happy to honor them tonight."

The top five companies on this year’s list are: Birmingham, AL-based distributor Concepts & Associates (asi/166235) at number one, followed by The Book Company (asi/41010), Bullpen Marketing (asi/150076), Proforma Albrecht & Co. (asi/116308) and Custom Logos (asi/173183).

Click here to view the complete 1-90 rankings of the 2014 Counselor Best Places to Work, including the following Canadian companies: Talbot Marketing (asi/341500), Image Group Inc. (asi/230059), Akran Marketing (asi/115329), McCabe Promotional Advertising (asi/264901), Genumark Promotional Merchandise (asi/204588), White Paper Office Solutions (asi/359726), Cotton Candy (asi/169186), BrandAlliance (asi/268940) and TPS Promotions & Incentives (asi/341409).


ASI Power Summit Canada Recap
Held last month at the Queen’s Landing Resort in Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, the 2014 ASI Power Summit Canada brought together industry leaders from throughout North America. In addition to participating in sessions on topics like customer service, apparel trends and social media marketing, attendees networked, golfed and explored the Niagara region through a variety of Summit activities.

Click on the images below to watch interviews from the event. Click here to see a Facebook gallery of photos.

Crowley Interview

Perfect Pitch

Lewenberg Interview

Braunstein on Culture

Graham on Social Media

Fastest Growing Winner

Advertisement: Evans Mfg
Advertisement: iPromoteU
Advertisement: Trimark Sportswear


Ash City/alphabroder Offers New Lines in Canada
Ash City/alphabroder Canada (asi/34063) now carries select styles from American Apparel (asi/35297), Bella+Canvas (asi/39590) and Fruit of the Loom (asi/84257) within Canada. With these new offerings, Ash City/alphabroder Canada is the sole national distributor to carry American Apparel items for the Canadian corporate and imprintables markets. For more information, click here.


Trimark Releases Summer Collection
Trimark Sportswear Group (asi/92122) has released Summer Fusion, its first summer collection of apparel designed specifically for decoration. The collection includes the Garner knit full-zip hoodie, Howson knit hoodie, Holt long-sleeve tee and Sarek short-sleeve tee. Trimark also offers the new inFusion decoration technique that creates lightweight, comfortable imprints. Visit and for more information.


Magnus Pen Corp. Hosts BBQ
Magnus Pen Corp. (asi/68529) held its 3rd Annual Extreme Barbecue on June 25, which hosted 250 suppliers and distributors. The supplier raised $1,650 through a 50/50 draw and bake sale, and donated the funds to the Canadian Diabetes Association’s Camp for Kids.


Redwood Classics Partners with Over the Rainbow for PrideCode
Redwood Classics Apparel (asi/81627), the fastest-growing Canadian ad specialty company of 2013, recently collaborated with Over the Rainbow, a top supplier of denim in Toronto, to develop the PrideCode collection of limited edition T-shirts and tank tops, all made in Canada. The clothing line supported the WorldPride 2014 festival in Toronto held last month, and raised funds for Fife House, a support organization for HIV/AIDS patients. The collection features a logo by Toronto artist Gio Petrucci, and has received coverage in The Globe and Mail, Canadian Living, NOW Toronto, blogTO and Toronto Is Fashion. In addition, the garments were named an Editor’s Pick by Among Men.


Ash City/alphabroder Welcomes Tom Alavi and Bernie LeBlanc
Ash City/alphabroder (asi/34063) welcomes Tom Alavi to the dedicated sales representative position, in which he will be responsible for the Greater Toronto Area west territory. Alavi joined the company in 2012 and most recently occupied the position of inside sales supervisor. He will now be tasked with building solid relationships with distributors, supporting and growing sales and acting as the point of contact for customers in the GTA. Contact Tom Alavi at

Additionally, the company has also welcomed Bernie LeBlanc of Boushel Marketing Agency as the new territory sales representative, responsible for the Atlantic Canada area. LeBlanc brings almost 30 years of experience in the industry. Prior to Boushel Marketing, LeBlanc was a sales representative in the wholesale business. Contact Bernie LeBlanc at


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The ASI Canada Seminars are coming to your area and are invited to attend for FREE. Visiting Burlington, Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver, August 11-20, the ASI Canada Seminars are the place to find everything that’s new for the all-important fourth quarter.

  • Participate in roundtable discussions with leading suppliers - meet a new supplier every 15 minutes!
  • Find the newest money-making products for back to school and the winter holidays
  • Make new industry contacts and build your network
  • Attend free, timely ASI Education on the "Canadian State of the Industry"
  • Earn five points toward your ASI/ASI Canada Certification
  • Enjoy a FREE continental breakfast and lunch buffet

Plan to attend the ASI Canada Seminars when they visit your area. Go to to register for free.

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