ASI’s Counselor Magazine Celebrates 2017 Hot List

Biggest, baddest, boldest entrepreneurs in the promotional products industry

TREVOSE, PA – May 30, 2017 – Counselor® magazine today revealed the 2017 Hot List, an annual celebration of the biggest, baddest, boldest entrepreneurs and trailblazers in the promotional products industry.

Counselor, which provides news, trends and business strategies to top distributor decision-makers, is published by the Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI).

“The standouts on this year’s Counselor Hot List are a fun and feisty group with a proven willingness to embrace risk and challenge the status quo,” said Counselor Editor-in-Chief Dave Vagnoni. “They are the fearless ones, which is a great quality to have if you’re trying to make a distinct mark in a creative, competitive industry.”

Vagnoni said the list represents a mix of suppliers and distributors, with about two-thirds representing start-ups and brand agencies versus commodity sellers. While the majority are under 40, several named to the list entered the industry as a second career. It’s also a global group, representing companies based in Britain, Canada and China, along with North America.

The winners will be featured in the magazine’s June issue, available in print and online.

The 2017 Counselor Hot List, in alphabetical order by first names:

  • Amy Waldorf, Overture Promotions (asi/288473)
  • Andy Thorne, Outstanding Branding (asi/288519)
  • Bill and Sharon Miller, BCG Creations (asi/37693)
  • Crystal Rueck, Cotton Candy (asi/169186)
  • Elizabeth Bennett, Fey Promotional Products (asi/54040)
  • Gina Barreca, Vantage Apparel(asi/93990)
  • Gregg Szpicek, Prime Line (asi/79530)
  • Guy Malk, St Regis Group
  • Heather Comerford, 1338Tryon (asi/287946)
  • Joe Durham, HALO Branded Solutions (asi/356000)
  • Johanna Gottlieb, Axis Promotions (asi/128263)
  • John Henry III, JH Specialty (asi/232445)
  • Julie and Dan Haar, Proforma Strategic Promotions (asi/300094)
  • Kate Plummer, Clearmount (asi/45440)
  • Marcia Tarnoff, Blank2Branded (asi/141113)
  • Matthew Boelk, Groceries Apparel (asi/58273)
  • Michael Hung, Headwind
  • Michael Levitt, MRL Promotions (asi/258137)
  • Renya Nelson, Brand+Aid (asi/145193)
  • Rich Santo, Culture Studio (asi/700559)
  • Rob Russell, Strike Promo (asi/67451)
  • Sean Burns, Jesse Goodwick & Jared Lazar, Team Phun (asi/342550)
  • Tracey Clingen, Genumark (asi/204588)
  • Tsedenia Kiros, Charles River Apparel (asi/44620)
  • Yuhling Lu, Ariel Premium Supply (asi/36730)

Anyone in the $22.9 billion promotional products industry can nominate a peer for the annual Hot List, published since 2008. ASI’s editorial team reviews each nomination and determines the top innovators.

To learn more about the Hot List, contact Dave Vagnoni at [email protected]. For info on advertising in any of ASI’s four magazines, contact Matt Barnes, ASI’s vice president of publishing and media services, at [email protected].

About ASI
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) serves a network of 23,500 suppliers, distributors and decorators in the $22.9 billion promotional products industry. ASI’s flagship product, the technology platform ESP®, serves the industry’s 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: