ASI Recognizes Counselor® Power 50 Ranking

BIC Group General Manager Nicolas Paillot and Norwood President
Paul Lage share No. 1 spot; 14 newcomers join list

TREVOSE, PA – November 3, 2009 – The Advertising Specialty Institute®, the largest media and marketing organization serving the advertising specialty industry, today announced the 2009 Counselor Power 50 list to recognize the industry’s most influential leaders.  

The Counselor Power 50 represents a group of executives who have the most influence on the ad specialty marketplace.  They set the daily agenda, create business strategies that others emulate, and impact how both distributors and suppliers go to market.

The top-ranked executives in the 2009 Counselor Power 50 ranking include:

  • Nicolas Paillot, general manager of BIC Group (asi/40480) and Paul Lage, president of Norwood Promotional Products
  • Marty Lott, president of SanMar (asi/84863)
  • Greg Muzzillo and Vera Muzzillo, co-CEOs of Proforma (asi/300094)
  • Marc Simon, CEO of Halo/Lee Wayne (asi/356000)
  • Gene Geiger and Jo-an Lantz, CEO and executive vice president, respectively, of Geiger (asi/202900)

“The Power 50 includes the ‘Who’s Who’ of the promotional products industry,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president and chief executive officer of ASI.  “This year, the top spot represents the biggest industry news story of the year – BIC’s acquisition of Norwood – and it’s shared by executives of both companies for their dynamic and lively leadership.”

The ranking is determined by a panel of editorial experts at the award-winning Counselor magazine.  The panel first sent a survey to industry distributors and suppliers, asking them to nominate candidates for the list and to also indicate whether those on last year’s list should move up or down, or be removed.  It also carefully weighed other factors, such as nominees’ achievements throughout the year and the health of their companies.

The list also includes 14 newcomers, including:

  • Derek Block, CEO of Touchstone (asi/345631)
  • Maribeth Sandford, CEO of Bag Makers (asi/37940)
  • Anthony Corsano, CEO of Anvil (asi/36350)
  • Jim Hagan, CEO from Sweda (asi/90305)
  • Judith Zimmerman, CEO from Artcraft Promotional Concepts (asi/125050)  

In addition, one mover-and-shaker to watch is Lands’ End (asi/20040) CEO Nick Coe, who debuted on the list.  His company expanded this year to include hard goods through Lands’ End Business Outfitters, which has the potential to become one of the largest ad specialty distributors and is sourcing from industry suppliers as part of its new strategy.

This year’s group was announced at the third ASI Power Summit, an exclusive event attended by nearly 200 executives and business leaders from around the globe who discuss issues vital to the advertising specialty industry, identify best practices and determine ways in which the industry can productively move forward.

Distributors and suppliers can learn more about the lessons learned from these successful leaders and timely initiatives at their companies in the upcoming issues of Counselor magazine.

Nominees for the list can be either ASI members or non-members, and nominations can be made by a representative working at any advertising specialty company in North America.

For the complete Counselor Power 50 ranking, visit  To view photos from the 2009 ASI Power Summit, click hereFor more information, contact Rich Fairfield, publisher for ASI, at [email protected].

About ASI
Advertising Specialty Institute is the largest media and marketing organization serving the advertising specialty industry, with a membership of over 26,000 distributor firms (sellers) and supplier firms (manufacturers) of advertising specialties.  Supplier firms use ASI print and electronic resources to market products to over 22,000 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 ASI online at and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, the CEO’s blog, and the ASI Social Network.