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The Rewards of Recognizing Your Own Industry




(October 2020) As awards and personalization professionals, we all believe in the amazing power of recognition. It is, after all, what we’ve dedicated countless hours of our lives to. But as awards and personalization professionals, are we taking the time to recognize our colleagues—and ourselves!—for the great work we do every day? For the smiles we bring to recipients’ faces? For the stress we relieve for our customers when we take a job that seemed overwhelming off their plate and deliver something great? For the moments of creativity, inspiration, and dedication that result in beautiful products that become cherished keepsakes?

With small businesses to run, families to care for, and lives to navigate—not to mention the many woes of the world that are falling on our shoulders these days—it can be hard to find time to celebrate ourselves and our industry for the amazing work we do.

But nominations are now open for the Awards and Personalization’s Gold Obelisk awards, and that makes this the perfect time to congratulate and celebrate a deserving colleague by nominating them for an industry award! There are categories for both retailers and suppliers, including small or large business retailer of the year, volunteer of the year, customer service representative of the year, and more. Recipients will receive a coveted Gold Obelisk award—the greatest honor in our industry!—and be celebrated by their peers at the International Awards & Personalization Expo in February.

Despite the many challenges we’ve faced in the past, this year may very well be the most difficult our businesses have ever seen. But that’s exactly why it is more important than ever to celebrate those who have survived the storm. Those who have been able to give back and make their communities, and our association and industry, stronger. Those who have found creative solutions to unprecedented challenges.

I once heard someone say that this year, we are all in different ships in the same storm. For many, the storm was simply too great. Others have been able to ride the ups and downs. But when we celebrate our individual peers and colleagues, I think we also are celebrating our industry as a whole. We’re celebrating the many people who have helped it succeed through their hard work and passion. We’re celebrating everyone who has bought a business or sold a business, who has spent time worrying about their bottom line and giving back dividends to their community, through their time, their skills, or their participation. Our industry is so much bigger than the sum of its individual people and parts. And that’s because each of us gives so much of ourselves to it and to our customers.

I hope each of you takes the time to consider who among your colleagues and peers deserves some extra recognition this year and submits a nomination for the industry awards. Although 2021 is sure to be a bit different from prior years, and there will be many challenges to overcome, I know that awards and personalization professionals will make sure there also are plenty of things to celebrate.

Awards and Personalization Association

The Awards and Personalization Association is the organization for retailers and suppliers of personalized and customized items. By providing education, meetings, and access to a vibrant network of professionals, the Awards and Personalization Association is the one place to ensure the growth of your talent, your business, and your professional community.

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