ASI® Announces Winners of 2008 Counselor Awards

TREVOSE, PA – May 7, 2008  Advertising Specialty Institute®, the largest media and marketing organization serving the advertising specialty industry, announced today the winners of the 2008 Counselor Awards, as selected by Counselor magazine.

The annual awards recognized outstanding individuals and companies in nine categories, celebrating some of the brightest talent and business achievements in the advertising specialty industry.  The Top 40 Distributors and Top 40 Suppliers rankings were also revealed – the largest companies in the industry based upon 2007 revenue.

In addition, the Counselor Product Design Awards winners were recognized for their innovations in cutting-edge product design and functionality.    

“We were very excited to present this year’s winners,” said Melinda Ligos, editor-in-chief for ASI.  “The Counselor Awards honor individuals who serve their communities through their volunteer efforts or who have impacted the industry by contributing new revenue-generating ideas and best practices.  They range from leaders at large companies, to owners of family-owned businesses.”    

The winners of the 2008 Counselor Awards are:

  • Person of the Year – Jack Teague, president, BIC Graphic USA (asi/40480)
  • International Person of the Year – Jonathan Isaacson, president and owner, Gemline (asi/56070)
  • Distributor Entrepreneurs of the Year – Lewis Amicone and Monte Baumgartner, founders, (asi/300367)   
  • Supplier Entrepreneur of the Year – Larry Wilhelm, president, Custom HBC Corp. (asi/47934) 
  • Distributor Woman of Distinction – Laura Holt, vice president of sales, Geiger (asi/196480)
  • Supplier Woman of Distinction – Paula Shulman, vice president of sales, PrimeLine (asi/79530) 
  • Bess Cohn Humanitarian Award – Neil Tatar, president, Adirondack Ad Specialties (asi/105035)
  • Supplier Family Business of the Year – Chocolate Inn (asi/44900) 
  • Marvin Spike Lifetime Achievement Award – Dick Kaeser, chairman of Kaeser & Blair (asi/238600

The highly-anticipated Person of the Year award was presented to Jack Teague, a Counselor Power 50 honoree and president of Top 40 supplier BIC Graphic USA. 

“The Person of the Year is not recognized for a lifetime of achievements,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president and chief executive officer of ASI.  “Rather, the award is presented to someone who, in our judgment, has recently contributed significant new ideas, new approaches, new ways of looking at our marketplace, or has even redefined it.” 

“Since I joined ASI in 2003, Jack has emerged as one of the small number of respected leaders in safety, compliance and sustainability and he is paving the way for the rest of us,” said Andrews.  “He manages a truly global supplier business, responsible for all BIC Graphic divisions in the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, South America, Australia and New Zealand.  He has not only successfully addressed the challenges of compliance and sustainability, but he’s also managed to revolutionize product development at BIC.”

The Counselor awards were presented at the new ASI Show in New York City – the industry’s only major show in New York.   

To learn more about the dynamic winners of the 2008 Counselor Awards, view the complete Top 40 Distributors and Top 40 Suppliers rankings, and see photos from the awards event, visit

About ASI
Advertising Specialty Institute is the largest media and marketing organization serving the advertising specialty industry, with a membership of over 25,000 distributor firms (sellers) and supplier firms (manufacturers) of advertising specialties.  Supplier firms use ASI print and electronic resources to market products to over 21,000 ASI distributor firms.  Distributor firms use ASI print and electronic resources, which contain nearly every product in the industry from more than 3,500 reputable suppliers, to locate supplier firms and to market services to buyers.  ASI provides catalogs, information directories, newsletters, magazines, websites and databases, and offers e-commerce, marketing and selling tools.  Visit