ASI’s Counselor Magazine Names Industry’s Most Powerful People of 2015

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Most influential people in the $21.5 billion promotional products industry named to 2015 Power 50 list.

Kevin Lyons-Tarr

“Many of the newcomers on this year’s list are e-commerce players, and even the person at the top of the rankings heads a distributor firm that is the biggest pure digital and mobile player in the market today,” said Counselor Editor Andy Cohen.

The Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI) today named the most influential business leaders in the promotional products industry with the release of the 2015 Counselor® Power 50 list, topped this year by 4imprint CEO Kevin Lyons-Tarr.

A record 12 new people made this year’s list, another sign of the growing influence of e-commerce on the $21.5 billion ad specialty industry, according to Counselor Editor Andy Cohen. “Many of the newcomers on this year’s list are e-commerce players, and even the person at the top of the rankings heads a distributor firm that is the biggest pure digital and mobile player in the market today.”

Lyons-Tarr climbed from No. 2 in 2014 to No. 1 in 2015 in large part because of the explosive growth of the North American division of online seller 4imprint. “Lyons-Tarr is espousing the business model of the future in the promotional products industry,” said Cohen. “He’s leading the way in the market for e-commerce, social network marketing and a digital-first approach that others are trying to emulate.”

The high-ranking executives were recognized at a celebratory dinner Monday during the ninth-annual U.S. ASI Power Summit, held November 1-3 at the St. Regis Monarch Beach resort in Dana Point, California, and attended by entrepreneurs, multinational CEOs and small-business owners throughout the ad specialty industry. Speakers included Mark Rolston, co-founder and chief creative officer of argodesign, a renowned designer with a 25-year career of creating for the world’s largest and most innovative companies, and Michael Lee, director of global marketing for e-commerce giant

“The men and women on the 2015 Counselor Power 50 list are the most influential executives in today’s ad specialty market,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president and chief executive officer of ASI. “They’re the ones who dream up the great ideas – and then stop dreaming and get the job done. They inspire me – and they should inspire all of you, too. Their innovative approaches to business are changing the way we all do business.”

The top-ranked executives on the 2015 Counselor Power 50 list are:

1.    Kevin Lyons-Tarr, 4imprint, asi/197045
2.    Norm Hullinger, alphabroder, asi/34063
3.    Marty Lott and Jeremy Lott, SanMar, asi/84863
4.    Bill Schmidt Sr. and C.J. Schmidt, Hit Promotional Products, asi/61125
5.    Greg Muzzillo and Vera Muzzillo, Proforma, asi/300094
6.    Marc Simon, HALO Branded Solutions, asi/356000
7.    Gene Colleran and David Nicholson, Polyconcept North America    
8.    Gene Geiger and Jo-an Lantz, Geiger, asi/202900
9.    Rich Witaszak, Staples Promotional Products, asi/120601
10.    David Woods, AIA Corporation, asi/109480

Click here to read the entire list. Learn more in the December online and print editions of Counselor. In addition, the Counselor Podcast: Power 50 Series features in-depth interviews with 10 industry insiders interviewed by Cohen on topics that include industry outlooks, upcoming changes in the marketplace, the latest technology and more. The one-on-one conversations can be listened to or downloaded at any time.

Promotional products or ad specialties are items like caps, T-shirts and pens given away by companies, schools or organizations to advertise their brand or to thank clients or employees.

The Power 50 rankings are determined by Counselor magazine editors, along with results of a survey of the industry and the Power 50 themselves rating whether each person on last year’s list has gained or lost influence over the past 12 months.

Published 13 times a year by ASI, the Jesse H. Neal award-winning Counselor magazine has served as the voice of the promotional products industry for nearly 60 years. The magazine has recognized the industry’s Power 50 every year since 2006.

Melinda Ligos is ASI’s editor in chief and senior vice president of professional development. ASI publishes four magazines, eight catalogs and nine digital newsletters. ASI’s growing magazine circulation is audited, which ensures the quality of the readership, and Counselor magazine’s collection of “top” lists – including the Top 40 Distributors and Suppliers – are now the industry standard.

For more info about the Counselor Power 50 podcasts or the Power 50 list, contact Andy Cohen at acohen(at)asicentral(dot)com.

About ASI
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI; is the largest media, marketing and education organization serving the promotional products industry, with a network of over 25,000 distributors and suppliers throughout North America.

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