ASI Magazines Win Record Number of Prestigious National Neal Awards

Honored with “Pulitzer Prize” of the business press in three categories;  Finalist for seven additional awards 

TREVOSE, PA – April 20, 2015 – Stories featuring an embroidery coach working to improve a Wisconsin business and an exploration of wearable technology as the next frontier of apparel and electronics propelled magazines published by the Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI) to a record three Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Awards.

ASI’s Stitches® magazine was honored with two awards and Wearables® earned one. In addition, Stitches, Counselor® and Advantages® magazines were named finalists for seven more Neal awards.

Considered “the Pulitzer Prize of business media,” the Neal Awards recognize the best in business-to-business editorial achievement and are B-to-B’s most prestigious and sought-after editorial honors. ABM, the association of business information and media companies, honored Stitches, Wearables and other winning magazines during its 61st Annual Neal Awards ceremony in New York City.

Winning entries were selected for exhibiting journalistic enterprise, service to the field and editorial craftsmanship. The annual contest attracts nationally recognized publications such as Architectural Record and Advertising Age. In less than 10 years, ASI magazines have been honored with over 140 journalism awards and remain the only industry publications to ever win a Neal Award.

Stitches senior writer Theresa Hegel won Neal awards in the categories of “Best Cross-Platform Package” for the cover story “Can This Shop Be Saved?” The magazine sent Joyce Jagger, the “Embroidery Coach,” to Wisconsin for two days to help revamp a troubled embroidery shop. Judges said: “Use of the multiplatform elements helped humanize this story and make its points more salient to the audience.”

Hegel, an award-winning journalist from Emmaus, PA, was also honored for “Best Range of Work by a Single Author.” Her work was singled out by judges for “covering the field broadly with good multi-media content.”

Stitches, edited by Nicole Rollender, is the go-to resource for the embroidery and decorating marketplace. In 2013, Stitches won a Neal for “Best Single Issue” for its annual State of the Industry.

C.J. Mittica, editor of Wearables magazine, won in the category of “Best Subject-Related Package” for his story, “The T-shirt That Thinks.” The cover story package put a spotlight on the immense potential wearable technology has to not only change branding, but the fundamental way we live our lives. Judges said, “Everyone is writing about wearables this year, but given that this is their core market, Wearables had to do it and did it well.” Mittica, of Lafayette Hill, PA, has been a finalist for three previous Neal awards.

“Everyone involved in creating our magazines should feel proud of their individual contributions that allowed our coverage to be judged among the best in business journalism in the U.S.,” said ASI CEO Tim Andrews.
“We’re really pleased the judges recognized a breadth of efforts, from traditional long-form journalism to social media.”


ASI editorial staff members Hegel, Joe Haley, Sara Lavenduski, Rachel Abraham, Glen Karpowich and Melinda Ligos contributed to the winning package.

Wearables is the promotional products industry’s number-one source for commercial apparel business owners and screen printers.

“I’d like to congratulate C.J. and Theresa for the hard work and creativity they put into their winning entries and to also recognize them for the outstanding journalism they practice each and every day to provide our print and online readers with the best resources in the industry,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president and chief executive officer of ASI. “Everyone involved in creating our magazines should feel proud of their individual contributions that allowed our coverage to be judged among the best in business journalism in the U.S. We’re really pleased the judges recognized a breadth of efforts, from traditional long-form journalism to social media.”

Below are the ASI magazines honored as Neal Award finalists:

  • Stitches, Best News Story: “Mending the Apparel Trade,” written by Theresa Hegel.
  • Stitches, Best Media Brand (Overall Editorial Excellence).
  • Stitches, Best Use of Social Media.
  • Advantages, edited by Kathy Huston, Best Instructional Content: Sales Boost, written by Christopher Ruvo.
  • Counselor, edited by Andy Cohen, Best Theme Issue of a Magazine or Newspaper: 2014 State of the Industry.
  • Counselor, Best Subject-Related Package: 2014 State of the Industry.
  • Counselor, Best Cross-Platform Package: 2014 Best Places to Work Road Tour.

Melinda Ligos is editor-in-chief of ASI publications.

ASI publishes seven catalogs, five magazines and nine newsletters. ASI’s magazine circulation is audited and growing, and Counselor’s Top 40 and Power 50 lists are now the industry standard.

To learn more about ASI’s publications, contact Melinda Ligos at [email protected]. For info on advertising, contact Ed Koehler, ASI’s VP of magazines and catalogs at [email protected].

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. ASI leads the industry in technology solutions, providing cloud-based e-commerce, enterprise resource planning software (ERP) and customer relationship management software (CRM). ESP Web® is the industry’s leading tool for sourcing hundreds of thousands of products. A family-owned business since 1962, ASI also provides online research, marketing, advertising opportunities, trade shows, education, award-winning magazines, newsletters, custom websites and catalogs to help members sell, market and promote their brands. Visit ASI at and on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and the CEO’s blog.