AIA Corporation (PPAI 101364, D11) announced on Friday that Nancy Schmidt has been appointed chief executive officer of the Appleton, Wisconsin, distributor by its board of directors. Schmidt, the first woman in AIA history to hold the position of CEO, has been with the company for two years and most recently served as its chief financial officer.

“During her tenure, Nancy has been ingrained in every aspect of AIA’s business and is the architect behind the organization’s strong financial teams and infrastructure,” says John Rompon, AIA board member. “Her contributions thus far have enabled AIA to keep pace in—and stay ahead of—this rapidly changing industry, and I have no doubt as CEO she will successfully lead and support the resilience and growth of the AIA community.”

While serving as CFO at AIA, Schmidt worked closely with marketing, operations, sales, owner success and technology team leaders to build relationships, develop growth strategies, analyze risk, build financial forecasts, and lead teams to optimal functionality and performance.

As CEO, Schmidt will manage all aspects of the business including profit and loss accountability, and organizational management and development. She will drive the execution of the strategic plan, leading AIA through its next stage of growth in partnership with the leadership team. Together, they will ensure the success of AIA's distributors, grow AIA's community of distributors, develop and execute high impact sales and marketing programs to support distributor sales growth and provide distributors with advanced technology to streamline sales and operations.

“I’m honored and thrilled to lead AIA and usher in a season of resilience, stability and, ultimately, growth,” says Schmidt. “I remain focused on helping our owners build efficient and profitable businesses and on continuing our team-driven leadership model to provide a strong infrastructure to execute the services the AIA community values most.”

Schmidt replaces Matt Gresge, who, after three-and-a-half years with AIA, is leaving to pursue a new leadership opportunity. Under his guidance, AIA upgraded its technology, modernized marketing programs and opened a new headquarters in Appleton.

Speaking on behalf of the board, Rompon adds, “We thank Matt for his contributions to AIA. He worked tirelessly to transform this organization and reestablish its leadership position in the promotional products industry.”