ASI Announces Winners of Prestigious 2020 Counselor Awards

Geiger President/CEO Jo-an Lantz named Person of the Year; Michael Freter, managing director of PSI, named International Person of the Year

TREVOSE, PA – July 23, 2020 –The Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI), today announced the honorees of the 2020 Counselor® Awards, including Geiger President/CEO Jo-an Lantz as Person of the Year and Michael Freter, managing director of Europe’s PSI promo trade organization, as International Person of the Year.

Joan Lantz

The annual awards, nominated by industry peers and chosen by the editors of ASI’s award-winning Counselor magazine, recognize the industry’s outstanding individuals and companies. Each winner is profiled in the annual Counselor State of the Industry issue. Using data from the magazine’s annual SOI survey, Counselor provides coverage and analysis of what matters most to the promo market. This year, the annual SOI survey was updated to reflect the economic disruptions caused by the pandemic.

For the first time, the awards ceremony was a virtual presentation (#ASIawards), hosted by ASI President and Chief Executive Officer Timothy M. Andrews and featuring acceptance speeches shot by the honorees themselves.

“I’m proud of every one of our Counselor Award honorees, who displayed ingenuity, creativity, leadership and generosity during an unprecedented period in our industry’s history,” said Andrews. “Our Person of the Year, Jo-an Lantz, is an industry rock star for three very important reasons: she’s transparent, which she proved repeatedly throughout this crisis; she’s a strategic business thinker, recognizing earlier than most that business is international and conducted in a global economy; and she’s super smart, never hesitating to seek the counsel and advice of others, making her an ideal leader during times of great prosperity and in times of great uncertainty.” 

During the online ceremony, ASI also unveiled the Top 40 Distributor and Top 40 Supplier rankings – the largest companies in the industry based on 2019 revenue. Watch the recording of the awards ceremony on YouTube. 

Among suppliers, SanMar (asi/84863), headquartered in Issaquah, WA, was number one, becoming the first company in the industry to crack the $2 billion mark, with an estimated $2.4 billion in total 2019 sales of promotional products. Jeremy Lott is president of SanMar. Coming in at number two and three in the list of Top 40 Suppliers was alphabroder (asi/34063) and S&S Activewear (asi/84358).

Among distributors, 4imprint (asi/197045), headquartered in London, U.K., was once again number one, with a record-setting $839.3 million in sales. Kevin Lyons-Tarr is CEO of 4imprint. HALO Branded Solutions (asi/356000) and Staples (asi/120601) were number two and three on the list of Top 40 Distributors.

The 2020 Counselor Award winners are:

  • Person of the Year: Jo-an Lantz, president/CEO of Geiger (asi/202900)
  • International Person of the Year: Michael Freter, managing director of PSI
  • Technology Executive of the Year: Sai Koppaka, president/CEO of BEL USA
  • Distributor Entrepreneurs of the Year: Spencer Kramer, CEO; Chris Ferriter, VP of business development; and Scott Latimer, CFO, of Sobe Promos (asi/245603)
  • Supplier Entrepreneur of the Year: Ryan Moor, CEO of Ryonet (asi/528500) and Allmade Apparel (asi/34341)
  • Supplier Family Business of the Year: Jornik Manufacturing (asi/63549)
  • Distributor Family Business of the Year: City Paper Company (asi/162267)
  • Bess Cohn Humanitarians of the Year: Jordan Bartlett, co-founder; Scott Henderson, co-founder/CEO; and Logan Altman, director of customer experience, of Doing Good Works (asi/222095)
  • Woman of Distinction: Carol de Ville, president of The Branding Co. (asi/145376)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Marty Lott, SanMar (asi/84863)

During the awards, ASI also acknowledged everyone in the industry who donated to the #ASIcares food bank fund drive, which raised a total of over $100,000 to benefit food banks and pantries nationwide. ASI matched the over $50,000 raised through individual and company donations and donated it to the nonprofit Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization.

For more information on the Counselor Awards, please contact Michele Bell, ASI vice president of editorial and events, at [email protected].

About ASI
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI®; serves a network of 25,000 suppliers, distributors and decorators in the $25.8 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 53 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.