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AIA Corporation Names New CEO

Top 40 distributor AIA Corporation (asi/109480) announced that it has named Matthew T. Gresge as its new CEO. Effective immediately, Gresge will replace President and CEO David Woods, who is retiring.

Gresge was most recently the president and chief operating officer of The Highlands Group, a sales and marketing agency for independent distributors and their supporting manufacturers. He previously worked at R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, including serving as president of TOPS Products, a $300 million manufacturer of office supplies.

“Our Board of Directors focused on candidates with a strong sales orientation, a deep understanding of independent distributor networks and a history of delivering results for customers, suppliers and stockholders. Matt fits the bill in every regard,” said John Rompon, who serves on AIA Corporation’s board of directors. “We’re very pleased to have Matt join the AIA team and believe AIA’s owners, suppliers and employees will benefit from his strong leadership skills.”

Gresge told Counselor that AIA is anticipating steady sales growth through the end of 2016 and is expecting a record sales year for the company in 2017. Following his hiring, Gresge is planning for the company to “continue to move towards providing our Distributor network with cloud-based, technology-enabled sales solutions which will allow every AIA distributor to operate completely mobile by the middle of 2017."

In June AIA announced Woods’ retirement and began a nationwide search for a replacement, evaluating candidates both inside and outside the promotional products industry. Woods, a perennial member of Counselor’s Power 50, has been with the company for nearly 14 years after joining in February 2003.

“David Woods has been a pioneer in providing to promotional products distributors the services and support they need to succeed,” Rompon said. “He’s made a tremendous contribution to the industry and we are grateful for his strong and steady leadership at AIA. We are equally confident in the strengths and experience Matt Gresge is bringing to the table and expect a seamless transition.”

AIA ranked as the 8th largest distributor in the industry with $165.5 million in North American promotional product revenue last year.