Summit Group Names Harper CEO

The board of managers at Top 40 distributor Summit Group (asi/339116) has appointed Michael J. Harper as the firm’s CEO. Previously, Harper served as president of the company’s Branded Solutions division, which includes promo product sales. Going forward, Harper will now manage all three divisions of Summit Group: Branded Solutions, Recognition Solutions and Marketing Solutions, in addition to the corporate leadership team. Michael P. Harper (formerly CEO and chairman) will remain in his role as chairman of the company and Denis Harper will remain vice chairman.

“I am continually energized by the great work we do for our clients,” Michael J. Harper said in a statement. “Our people are the best in the industry and our clients’ loyalty speaks to that. I am excited to focus on bringing our exceptional capabilities to an even wider array of clients.”

Following Harper’s promotion, Summit has elevated Scott Smith to head the firm’s Branded Solutions division. Smith has been with Summit since 2008. “I have been fortunate to play a variety of roles over my career including both operational and client-facing positions during my time with Summit Group,” said Smith. “That experience, coupled with the fact that I am surrounded by some really smart people that I enjoy working with, has me excited about both my own and Summit’s future.”

Summit Group recently reported to Counselor that its 2016 North American promotional product sales were $72 million, a 10% year-over-year decline. Regarding 2017, Summit told Counselor it’s had a strong start to the year, “exceeding our sales budget in the promotional product division by over $1MM in Q1. Our projections are that this will continue through 2017.”