Gemline Chairman and CEO Jonathan Isaacson named Person of the Year; Fluid Branding co-owners Matt Franks and Miles Lovegrove named International Persons of the Year
TREVOSE, PA – July 9, 2021 – The Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI) today announced the honorees of the 2021 Counselor Awards, including Gemline Chairman and CEO Jonathan Isaacson as Person of the Year and Fluid Branding co-owners Matt Franks and Miles Lovegrove as International Persons of the Year.
The annual awards recognize the promotional products industry’s outstanding individuals and companies, including the Top 40 suppliers and distributors based on 2020 revenue. Among suppliers, SanMar (asi/84863) was number one with $2.3 billion in sales, with alphabroder (asi/34063) and S&S Activewear (asi/84358) rounding out the top three spots. Among distributors, HALO Branded Solutions (asi/356000) was number one with $765.7 million in North American promotional products sales, with Staples Promotional Products (asi/120601) and 4imprint (asi/197045) at numbers two and three.
Video of the 2021 Counselor Awards (#ASIawards), historically presented live during ASI’s Chicago trade show, taking place in person July 13-15, is now available online.
The Counselor Awards were hosted by ASI President and Chief Executive Officer Timothy M. Andrews and featured video acceptance speeches. “Congratulations to our 2021 honorees and Top 40 companies,” said Andrews. “This year, more than any other, they deserve recognition and accolades for exemplifying the power of our industry, our products and most of all, our people.”
The 2021 Counselor Awards, nominated by industry peers and chosen by an in-house committee, honored promo leaders and companies in 10 different awards categories as part of Counselor magazine’s annual State of the Industry issue, published in mid-July and available at asicentral.com/news. Using data from the award-winning magazine’s annual SOI survey, Counselor provides coverage and analysis of what matters most to the promo market.
|Jonathan Isaacson, Gemline|
|“Congratulations to our 2021 honorees and Top 40 companies. This year, more than any other, they deserve recognition and accolades for exemplifying the power of our industry, our products and most of all, our people,” said ASI CEO Tim Andrews.|
The 2021 Counselor Award winners are:
Person of the Year: Jonathan Isaacson, chairman and CEO of Gemline (asi/56070)
International Persons of the Year: Matt Franks and Miles Lovegrove, co-owners of Fluid Branding (asi/195718)
Technology Executive of the Year: Mike Pfeiffer, vice president of IT at American Solutions for Business (asi/120075)
Distributor Entrepreneurs of the Year: Menda Wright and Ann Vidro, co-owners of Creative Studio Promotions (asi/170976)
Supplier Entrepreneur of the Year: Chuck Hammond, president and CEO of Raining Rose (asi/80489)
Distributor Family Business of the Year: Bankers Advertising Company (asi/131650)
Supplier Family Business of the Year: Warwick Publishing Company (asi/95280)
Woman of Distinction: Sandy Gonzalez, CEO of MadeToOrder (asi/259540)
Lifetime Achievement Award: Steve Levschuk, president of Talbot Marketing (asi/341500)
Bess Cohn Humanitarian Award: The Promotional Products Industry
For the first time, instead of an individual, Counselor honored the entire industry with its humanitarian award, for its collective charitable efforts since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to providing critically needed PPE products, many in the industry also donated to the #ASIcares campaign, which raised $100,000 for Feeding America, allowing the nonprofit organization to donate 1 million meals during the pandemic. “Once again,” said Andrews, “caring people throughout our industry proved that simple human kindness will always win out, no matter how dark the day.”
Person of the Year Jonathan Isaacson was at the heart of deeply impactful public health initiatives, from guiding local taskforces to getting vaccines to people in his community of Lawrence, MA. At the same time, he spearheaded Gemline’s pivot to PPE, while also saving countless distributors as traditional sales evaporated. The company achieved 10% growth in 2020 for a total of $115.5 million – standout results in a year when the promo industry’s revenue collectively dropped 20%. Earlier this year, Counselor recognized Gemline as its 2021 Supplier of the Year for those achievements.
“This award wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless efforts of Team Gemline in the midst of very difficult circumstances and the outstanding loyalty and support of our distributor partners,” Isaacson said during his acceptance speech.
Counselor’s International Persons of the Year recipients Matt Franks and Miles Lovegrove, co-owners of the U.K.’s second largest distributor, shifted to PPE while still focusing on individual gifting, shipping, fulfilment and logistics, pushing sales up 190% to 31 million pounds ($43 million in U.S. dollars) last year. “We’re so grateful for this award, but we’re also grateful that we get to go to work every single day and be excited about all the huge brands that allow us to deliver meaningful merchandise for them,” Lovegrove said in his and Franks’ speech.
Steve Levschuk, the Counselor Lifetime Achievement Award honoree, spent over 35 years building Talbot’s universally respected reputation, serving on a variety of industry committee boards and supporting numerous charities throughout Canada. “Whatever success I’ve had along the way is because of the men and women I’ve previously worked with and the men and women I work with today,” Levschuk said during his speech.
For more information on the Counselor Awards or on ASI Media, please contact Michele Bell, ASI vice president of editorial, education and special events, at [email protected]. Check the ASI Show website for the latest updates and schedules on all ASI shows and events.
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI®; asicentral.com) serves a network of 25,000 suppliers, distributors and decorators in the $20.7 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 content, live events and educational programs that enable companies in 53 countries to be more efficient, productive and profitable. ASI’s media and research operation provides the most authoritative business content in the industry, and the ASI Certification Program features 200+ live and online education courses for industry 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.