ASI Power Summit Canada 2013
Above: View from the venue for the Power Summit,
the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, set amid
snow-capped mountain peaks, clear lakes,
and pristine wilderness.

ASI Power Summit Canada
June 12-14, 2013
The Fairmont Banff Springs
405 Spray Avenue
Alberta, Canada T1L1J4

Join the leaders of Canada's advertising specialty industry at ASI's first Canadian Power Summit! It's a premier event dedicated to bringing together the industry’s most knowledgeable, most influential and most thoughtful people to delve into many important topics, issues, and trends that are impacting the advertising specialty marketplace in Canada.

See photos now!

  • Venue
  • Travel
  • Speakers
  • Agenda


The Fairmont Banff Springs
405 Spray Avenue
Alberta, Canada T1L1J4
June 12-14, 2013


The Fairmont Banff Springs is located at 405 Spray Avenue in Banff, Alberta, in Canada. Receive a limited-time discounted hotel room rate when you book now – pay only C$235.31/night* (includes tax and C$12/day service charge).

Book Hotel By Phone
Please call the hotel at (403) 762-6866 and ask for the ASI Power Summit rate.

Book Hotel Online
You may also reserve online: The promo code is GASI.

Travel Arrangements
When booking flight arrangements, please arrange for arrival by 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12, and for mid-afternoon departure on Friday, June 14, 2013.

We recommend you fly into the Calgary International Airport, 80 miles east of the resort. Click here for directions.


Dr. Jack Mintz

Director, School of Public Policy, University of Calgary

Jack is a world-renowned corporate taxation expert and the director of the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary.

Click here to see a TV video interview of Jack Mintz.

Jack Mintz

Rob Spector
Rob Spector, Spector & Co.

Rob Spector is the president of Quebec-based Spector & Co., one of the largest and most respected supplier companies in Canada. This year, the company was named the Supplier of the Year in the Canadian marketplace, and Rob is the outgoing chairman of PPPC, the national association in Canada.

Steve Pons, Accolade Promotion Group

The vice president of sales at Top 40 distributor Accolade Promotion Group, Steve Pons is responsible for developing and managing corporate merchandise programs for some of Canada's leading companies. Pons also helped form Accolade Worldwide, which now has locations throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Steve Pons

Mark Freed
Mark Freed, Genumark

Mark Freed is president and founder of Counselor Top 40 distributor Genumark, one of the largest distributor firms in Canada. Freed is a past winner of Counselor's Bess Cohn Humanitarian Award, and Genumark is a member of Counselor's exclusive list of Best Places to Work in the ad specialty industry.

Steve Levschuk, Talbot Marketing

Steve Levschuk is the president of Talbot Marketing, one of Canada's largest distributors. He began his career with Talbot in 1981 as a commissioned rep, and in 2007, he purchased the company. Talbot has been named one of the Counselor Best Places to Work companies, and Steve is the past chairman of the Canadian Association PPPC and the current vice president of WAGE (World Advertising Gift Exchange).

Steve Levschuk

Alan Chippindale
Alan Chippindale, BrandAlliance

Alan Chippindale oversees Counselor Top 40 firm BrandAlliance, the second-largest distributor in Canada. A longtime industry executive, Chippindale is also a member of Counselor's Power 50 list.

Neil Piitz, Ash City

A 26-year veteran of the promotional products industry, Neil Piitz founded Accolade Reaction Promotions Group (ARPG), which, in 2008, became the first Canadian distributor in ASI history to break the Counselor Top 40. Neil sold his interest in the company in 2008 and is now Senior Vice President of Business Development with Counselor Top 40 supplier Ash City.

Neil Piitz

Brad Milne
Brad Milne, MCCI

Brad Milne is president of MCCI. He has been in the promotional business for more than 30 years, helping large corporations to create their event marketing programs. MCCI has provided event marketing and entertainment experiences incorporating promotional products for many blue chip corporations including GM, Kraft, Pepsico USA, and McDonald's.

Will Andrew, Trimark Sportswear

Will Andrew is the President of Trimark Sportswear, a global leader in branded apparel and a Polyconcept Company. With 23 years of industry experience, in 2006 Will founded Elevate Sport, which became the largest licensee for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics Games. In 2011, Mr. Andrew announced an exclusive business-to-business license with Roots Canada, now the fastest growing brand in the CDN ASI industry. In 2013 Trimark Powered by Leed’s launched an exclusive license with Puma for the USA.

Will Andrew

Marybeth Shaw
Marybeth Shaw, Director, Global Services at ANSECO Group

With more than 15 years of toy, promotional and consumer products testing knowledge, Marybeth spent three years working in Hong Kong for ACTS Testing Labs and was instrumental in setting up and managing their International Client Services Division. Working on behalf of ANSECO, Marybeth brings to industry a vast technical knowledge, commitment to service, and exacting detail that ensures client product safety expectations are met, if not exceeded.

Alex Jovetic, Chocolate Inn/Taylor & Grant

Alex Jovetic is currently the Vice President Sales for Chocolate Inn/Taylor & Grant, and has been with the company a combined 12 years. Active within the industry, Alex serves on the PPPC Ontario Chapter Board as President, and has been a volunteer director for four years. Alex has been a much sought after educational speaker in both Canada and the United States for the national and regional associations, as well as large distributor companies.

Alex Jovetic

Alex Morin
Alex Morin, Debco

Alex Morin, a member of Counselor's Hot List in 2011, is executive vice president of sales and marketing for Debco. Employing a unique approach to supplier marketing, Morin oversees Debco’s vast array of new-media strategies, including video, online promotions, and social media. Indeed, this former Canadian Idol contestant is no wall flower, and his outgoing nature shows up in his company's sales and marketing tactics.

Ram Venkiteswaran, UPS Canada

Ram Venkiteswaran is UPS Canada's Director of Business Development for West Canada. His responsibilities include all business development activity from the province of Manitoba across to British Columbia.

Ram Venkiteswaran

Raman Agarwal
Raman Agarwal, Akran Marketing

Raman Agarwal is the president and CEO of Akran Marketing, one of Canada's most prestigious distributorships, with offices throughout the country. Agarwal, a member of Counselor's Hot List in 2011, steered Akran to being one of Counselor's Fastest-Growing Distributor Companies and garnered numerous awards and press for the company, whose clients include many top businesses in Canada.


ASI Canada Power Summit 2013
June 12-14, 2013, Banff, Canada
Theme: The Growth Agenda

Opening Evening
1 p.m. Registration
4 p.m. Group Photo
4:30 p.m. The Amazing Cocktail Race
6:30 p.m. Dinner

7:00 a.m. Breakfast
8 a.m. Opening Remarks: Tim Andrews

8:15 a.m. Economic Outlook: Key Challenges & Opportunities That Should Be on Your Radar

Where is the Canadian economy headed? How will national policy affect industry businesses within the next five years? And how will the fluctuating global economy impact Canadian small businesses? Dr. Jack Mintz, the director of the school of Public Policy for the University of Calgary, will pinpoint the top trends industry leaders need to monitor as they strategize for 2014 and beyond.

Dr.Jack Mintz

9 a.m. Sneak Peek: Counselor's Brand-New Canadian State of the Industry

For the first time, Counselor's famed State of the Industry report now includes an in-depth look at the Canadian ad specialty market. In this session, we’ll reveal highlights of the report and ask a panel of industry and economic experts to provide insights into how the data will impact the business moving forward.

Mark Freed, Genumark
Alex Jovetic, Taylor & Grant
Dr. Jack Mintz, University of Calgary

9:40 a.m. Hot Opportunities: The Financial & Energy Markets

With each industry employing over half a million Canadians annually, the financial and energy markets in Canada offer limitless opportunities for savvy salespeople who know how to target large, established companies and upstart newcomers. In this informative session, a top Canadian distributor who has large clients in both the energy and financial arenas will share his insights into tapping into these rich niches to gain new business in two growing fields.

Raman Agarwal, Akran Marketing

10 a.m. Hot opportunity: Licensing

The complexities of licensing aren’t easy to master, but the rewards can be game-changing for your business. In this session, you’ll hear insider secrets on how to win exclusive contracts for the world’s biggest events.

Will Andrew, Trimark

10:20 a.m. Coffee break

10:40 a.m. Product Safety: Issues Affecting the Canadian Ad Specialty Marketplace

Don't miss this important update on the current CCPSA regulatory requirements and how they can be interpreted for the promotional products industry. In addition, as many Canadian companies also distribute across the border to the United States, learn some of the key differences between the U.S. and Canadian compliance requirements, including California’s Proposition 65.

Marybeth Shaw, ANSECO

11:10 a.m. Group Exercise: How Well Do You Listen?

Want to sharpen a skill that'll help you better serve clients and instantly improve as a leader? Then listen up! In this group activity, you’ll work to solve a unique puzzle that requires quick thinking, true teamwork and your complete attention.

Dave Vagnoni, ASI

12 p.m. Hot Opportunity: Event Marketing

Trade shows, product launches and corporate events present a terrific opportunity for distributors. Find out the challenges and opportunities in this growing market – and how you can capitalize on it and grow your business.

Brad Milne, MCCI Event & Experience Marketing

12:30 p.m. Wrap Up

1 p.m. Wine Tasting Lunch for Non Golfers/Golf Outing

7 p.m. Cocktails

8 p.m. Counselor Fastest-Growing Canadian Companies Awards Dinner

7 a.m. Breakfast
8 a.m. Opening Remarks: Tim Andrews

8:15 a.m. ASI Ad Impressions Study: What Canadian Buyer’s Want

The industry's most influential end-user study, The ASI Global Ad Impressions Study, now contains significant data from businesspeople in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Discover how Canadian consumers rate the effectiveness of promotional products compared to other forms of advertising media, and learn how industry salespeople can use this vital tool to convince buyers of the value of ad specialties.

Steve Pons, Accolade Promotion Group

8:45 a.m. Transforming into a High-Growth Culture

Numerous studies point to the direct correlation between a company's ability to keep its employees engaged, energized and motivated and its profitability when measured against companies who don’t nurture that same office culture. On this panel, the heads of two of Canada’s largest and most respected supplier and distributor companies talk about what they’ve learned about how to attract, retain and incentivize top talent and what that’s meant to their bottom line.

Rob Spector, Spector & Co.
Steve Levschuk, Talbot Marketing

9:10 a.m. New Media Success: Building Business with New Marketing Strategies

As online and social media marketing become more the norm than the exception, some companies are actually succeeding by implementing them into their everyday strategies. In this session, learn how one supplier firm is doing just that: building its business with new marketing strategies including video, social media, and online customer engagement.

Alex Morin, Debco

9:30 a.m. Selling to the U.S.: Overcoming the Challenges

With 7% growth over last year, there's no doubt that the U.S. ad specialty market is rebounding. With over $19 billion in sales for 2012, the promotional business in the States has an abundance of opportunities. Our three panelists, each a veteran in the marketplace, will explain why selling into the U.S. is a smart business strategy, and how to navigate tricky obstacles like shipping and Customs.

Alan Chippindale, BrandAlliance
Neil Piitz, Ash City
Ram Venkiteswaran, UPS Canada

10 a.m. Five Hot Tech Trends That Will Affect the Industry

Rob Watson, ASI's vice president of digital experience, will lead a predictive session that will touch on five cutting-edge technological advancements that will shape and streamline the manufacturing, imprinting, shipping and selling aspects of the ad specialty industry.

Rob Watson, ASI

10:25 a.m. Coffee break

10:45 a.m. Supplier & Distributor Breakout Session: Top Challenges in the Marketplace Today

Distributors and suppliers will be broken into separate work groups to brainstorm creative solutions to pressing issues that face their businesses.

11:30 a.m. Secrets from the Fastest Growing Canadian companies

Counselor's just-announced Fastest-Growing Canadian Companies list certainly includes impressive stories of success. In this interactive session, hear how the number-one company on the list has found fast success in the Canadian ad specialty market.

Dan Engel, Simplex Promotional Products

11:55 a.m. Concluding Remarks: Tim Andrews

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