ASI Announces Winners of 2016 Counselor Awards

Brand Addition U.S. CEO Chuck Fandos named Person of the Year; BDA Senior Director of Sourcing LeeAnn Schumacher selected International Person of the Year

TREVOSE, PA – July 14, 2016 – The Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI) today announced the winners of the 2016Counselor® Awards, including Brand Addition U.S. CEOChuck Fandos as Person of the Year and BDA Senior Director of Sourcing LeeAnn Schumacher as International Person of the Year.

The awards, chosen by the editors of ASI’s award­-winningCounselor magazine, recognize outstanding individuals and companies in seven categories. The winners represent the best and brightest entrepreneurs, small­-business leaders and CEOs in the $22 billion promotional products industry.

Visit ASI’s Facebook page to view a live feed archive ofCounselor Award speeches.

In addition, Counselor announced the Top 40 Distributor andTop 40 Supplier rankings – the largest companies in the industry based upon 2015 revenue.

Among suppliers, alphabroder was No. 1, setting a record in the industry with $1 billion in North American ad specialty sales.

For distributors, Staples Promotional Products (asi/120601) remains the largest firm in the industry, with 4imprint (asi/197045) and Proforma (asi/300094) rounding out the top three spots on the list.

Fandos is the founder of multimillion-dollar distributor firm Gateway CDI. In January, Brand Addition, the largest distributor firm in Europe, acquired Gateway CDI. The St. Louis-based distributor now operates under the Brand Addition name while maintaining its operations and management structure, including Fandos as U.S. CEO.

“Our 2016 Counselor Person of the Year, Chuck Fandos, shuns complacency and refuses to stand still while the world around him evolves,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president and chief executive officer of ASI at a black­-tie ceremony on Wednesday at the historic Field Museum in Chicago. “As a result, his career continues to be nothing short of phenomenal. And when it came time to make the tough decision to sell the company he built from the ground up – along with his loyal wife and long-time business partner – he negotiated the smartest possible deal, giving him license to succeed internationally.”

The 2016 Counselor Awards took place during ASI Show® Chicago at McCormick Place, held Tuesday, July 12, through Thursday, July 14, and featuring a keynote by national political strategists Mary Matalin and James Carville.

The winners of the 2016 Counselor Awards are:

  • Person of the Year: Chuck Fandos, CEO of Brand Addition U.S.
  • International Person of the Year: LeeAnn Schumacher, senior director of sourcing for BDA (asi/137616).
  • Supplier Entrepreneur of the Year: Eddie Blau, CEO of Innovation Line (asi/62660).
  • Distributor Entrepreneur of the Year: Brian Abrams, founder of Corporate Imaging Concepts (asi/168962).
  • Supplier Family Business of the Year: Fey Promotional Products Group (asi/54040).
  • Distributor Family Business of the Year: Williams & Associates (asi/360450).
  • Distributor Woman of Distinction: Vicki Clayman, president of Partners N Promotion (asi/350153).
  • Supplier Woman of Distinction: Kathy Cheng, president of Redwood Classics Apparel (asi/81627).
  • Marvin Spike Lifetime Achievement Award: Dave Saracino, vice president of field sales for BIC Graphic (asi/40480).
  • Bess Cohn Memorial Humanitarian Award: Art Livingston, president of Marlo Plastic Products (asi/68873).

For more on the 2016 Counselor Award winners, go to or read this month’s special “State of the Industry” issue of ASI’s Counselor magazine. For the complete list of Top 40 distributors,click here. For Top 40 suppliers, click here.

For more info on the Counselor Awards, please contact Counselor Executive Editor C. J. Mittica at[email protected].

About ASI
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI®) serves a network of 25,000 suppliers, distributors and decorators in the $22 billion promotional products industry. ASI’s flagship product, the technology platform ESP®, manages the industry’s entire supply and marketing chain. ASI also produces award-winning digital and print content, live events and educational programs that enable companies in 61 countries to be more efficient, productive and profitable. ASI’s Counselor® magazine provides the most authoritative business content in the industry, and the ASI Certification Program features 500+ live and online education courses for over 40,000 professionals. The company, family owned and operated since 1962, is proud to have been consistently ranked among the “Best Places to Work” in Philadelphia and Bucks County, PA. For more info: