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John Stangle, CRM, Creative Awards & Screen Printing
President, Awards and Personalization Association

 

(July/August 2022) I received a phone call the other day, with the caller wanting to know if we had any trophies. I told her, “Yes, we do!” She said she was looking for an unusual trophy, something to do with dogs. I told her we had dog figures available. She further explained that she was looking for an inexpensive trophy for a fundraiser. Sound familiar so far? She then said it could be something we had lying around, like a discontinued or leftover trophy. By now I’m thinking to myself, “How do I get rid of this call politely?”

Shon Roti, Owner, 9th Street Designs




(May/June 2022) I take it for granted that information is available at my fingertips whenever I want. The difficulty now is determining what is relevant and useful.

Over the last decade or so, I’ve discovered many online resources that are indispensable to me and my career. These resources include, but aren’t limited to, fonts, images/photos, production tutorials, community resources, templates, color knowledge and examples, graphic design tutorials, fabrication tips and design inspiration.

John Stangle, CRM, Creative Awards & Screen Printing
President, Awards and Personalization Association

 

(March/April 2022) I recently saw a football helmet that had a phrase that stuck with me. It said, “It takes all of us.” While I like that sentiment, I feel the message should go one step further and say: “Success—it takes all of us.” After all, one thing the pandemic made abundantly clear is that we need each other—as friends, as family and as a larger business community.

By Lisa R. Higginbotham, CRM, Fivestar Awards And Engraving, and Awards and Personalization Association president

 

Another ‘Unprecedented’ Year Proves the Resiliency and Ingenuity of our Personalization Professionals.

(January/February 2022) Wait! Did I just blink? Has it already been a year? I guess time flies when you are having fun…or living through a pandemic. This is my last president’s message, and that makes me sad.

Marty Burke retired July 1, 2021, from Marco Awards Group, having created countless treasured relationships with retailers and suppliers alike during his 47 years in the awards and personalization industry.

By Peggy Doherty

 

Back to school is exciting for every grade—whether it’s preschool or graduate school. Think about all the possible items to personalize and gifts for those starting a new adventure.

By Lisa R. Higginbotham, CRM, FiveStar Awards and Engraving, and Awards and Personalization Association president

 

A look at the many values of membership

(May/June 2021) Wow, has this been a year or what? I can’t believe it is April (as I write this column). And since I always live in my numbers, looking back at April 2020 was sobering. I am grateful that April 2021 is showing an upward trend. Jeff and I both got our vaccines, and we are so ready to travel! I am still sad that we had to cancel the 2021 International Awards & Personalization Expo, but please know that we value our membership’s health and safety above all. It was not a decision made lightly. In fact, it was very difficult.

By Sara Dethloff

 

Excelling at customer service can have a big impact on your business’s bottom line. Here are 10 tips to help you provide outstanding customer service.

By Chris Ocampo cocampo@AwardsPersonalization.org

 

The pandemic has altered this past school year for all students and families, but here is how you can put your equipment and creativity to work in helping families celebrate this special occasion.

By Sara Dethloff

 

Use Canva to Help Your Customers Notice You!

Canva is a graphic design platform used to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents, and other visual content. The platform is free to use and offers paid subscriptions like Canva Pro and Canva for Enterprise for additional functionality.

By Lisa R. Higginbotham, CRM, FiveStar Awards and Engraving, and Awards and Personalization Association president

 

In these tough times, our association is here to help your business

(March/April 2021) When I began my journey in this industry back in 1999, I never dreamt I would be writing this column today. So many feelings: I am honored, humbled, excited, anxious, encouraged, challenged—those are a few that come immediately to mind. I have to credit Glenn Beckworth for being the first person to ask me to serve on an Awards and Personalization Association committee years ago. I remember being shocked that he would ask a tiny nobody retailer like me to serve. From that moment, I was hooked. But perhaps the greatest motivators have been the many retailers and suppliers who have helped me over the years. Embedded in my DNA is the commitment to pay that forward. And so, here we are.

BY TOM JACKSON, JACKSON MARKING PRODUCTS
AWARDS AND PERSONALIZATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

 

(January/February 2021) When my term as president of the Awards and Personalization Association began in February 2020, I never could have imagined what would be in store for me—actually, for all of us! It sure has been a challenging year.

(January 2021) Valentine’s Day is the third ranking gift-giving holiday, with approximately 50% of Americans celebrating. And according to the National Retail Federation, they are spending over $20 billion! 

BY TOM JACKSON, JACKSON MARKING PRODUCTS
AWARDS AND PERSONALIZATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

 

THE SUPPORT WE OFFER EACH OTHER MAKES THIS INDUSTRY STAND OUT

(December 2020) They say it’s during tough times that you learn who your real friends are. I think there’s a lot of truth to that statement, but after living through about 8 months (as I write this) of challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, I think I would adjust it slightly to say: it’s during tough times that you learn who your real friends and colleagues are.

TOM JACKSON, JACKSON MARKING PRODUCTS
AWARDS AND PERSONALIZATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

 

MANY BUSINESSES ARE DOING BETTER

(November 2020) Because I must write this column well before you actually read it, I try to be careful about statements I make about “current” events. One of 2020’s many lessons has been that things change quickly.

(October 2020) The Awards and Personalization Association is making changes to their two top benefits. These changes are big steps forward in the Awards and Personalization Association’s digital evolution, which has been a strategic focus for the organization for the past several years. The goal is to deliver more value, more content, and more opportunities for members and suppliers to connect with each other.

BY TOM JACKSON, JACKSON MARKING PRODUCTS
AWARDS AND PERSONALIZATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

 

CELEBRATE YOUR PEERS WITH THESE INDUSTRY AWARDS

(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?

BY TOM JACKSON, JACKSON MARKING PRODUCTS
AWARDS AND PERSONALIZATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

 

TAKE A NOTE FROM HOW YOUR FELLOW MEMBERS OVERCOME OBSTACLES

(September 2020) The idea of guiding a business through a historic year sounds impressive. But the reality, as you know, has been challenging. I’m sure you’ll join me in pausing to wish 2020 were a little more ordinary—dull, even.

TOM JACKSON, JACKSON MARKING PRODUCTS
AWARDS AND PERSONALIZATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

 

WE ALL CONTRIBUTE TO THE HEALTH OF OUR INDUSTRY, TOGETHER

(August 2020) August is a special time: it’s still summery enough for long nights outside, but the approach of autumn is evident as everyone begins to prepare for the start of the school year and fall sports seasons. However, as I write this, the debate about how students will experience both of those things this year goes on, and we’re all still trying to identify how to tackle the next sales season. Right now, all we can know for sure is that we’re very unlikely to be back to business as usual come September or October—and we might just need to prepare for an anything-but-normal holiday season, as well.

TOM JACKSON, JACKSON MARKING PRODUCTS
AWARDS AND PERSONALIZATION ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT

 

Something To Look Forward To

(July 2020) Our International Awards & Personalization Expo is always held at the beginning of the year to allow for stocking up on the year’s newest products. We’re following the same plan for 2021.

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