AIA Corporation (PPAI 101364, D12) held its 2020 National Sales Meeting virtually last week, with more than 250 members of its community attending the online event. Bringing together the Appleton, Wisconsin-headquartered distributor’s owners, employees and suppliers, the meeting featured four days of collaborative, peer-to-peer conversations and learning.

The packed agenda included inspirational keynotes and educational training sessions aimed at helping AIA owners reignite their brands, elevate customer relationships, leverage company stores to maximize sales and learn about trends that have emerged since the pandemic. In her opening keynote, AIA CEO Nancy Schmidt acknowledged that there’s no greater moment to unite than now. She said, “We’ve weathered hard times before and as a community, we're stronger and better for it. Now it’s time to reimagine how we successfully move forward.”

Paul Bellantone, CAE, president and CEO of PPAI, and Jonathan Isaacson, CEO of Gemline, participated in the sales meeting’s Present and Future of Promo panel and spoke to the importance of building relationships that go beyond procurement and discovering opportunities to solve new problems by listening and adjusting solutions to create value and build ROI.

To close out the meeting, AIA celebrated 2019’s successes with its annual awards ceremony, recognizing owners and suppliers who exemplify AIA’s core values. Recipients of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors former AIA CEO, the late David Woods, MAS, and recognizes individuals who show passion, leadership and commitment to the AIA Community, include Bob Simmons of NDS, Maria Perez of Effective Promos, Mindy Moss of Moss Marketing, Larry Schendelman of A&J Graphics & Promotions and Joy Smith of Joy of Advertising.

In addition, more than 60 owners also received awards for achieving sales milestones:

AIA Hall of Fame Award – Recognizes individuals who have been a part of AIA for 15 or more years. Through their exceptional work and achievements, they have made a significant contribution to the promotional products industry and a profound difference living through AIA’s core values.

Multimillion Dollar Summit Award – Recognizes owners who billed more than $2 million in the past calendar year.

Million Dollar Circle of Excellence – Recognizes owners who billed between $1 million and $1,999,999 in the past calendar year.

Newcomer of the Year Award – Recognizes an AIA newcomer who has shown outstanding integration of the AIA core values.

Heavy Hitter Award – Recognizes the salesperson who had the largest dollar volume of sales in 2019.

Velocity Award – Recognizes the top three fastest-growing owners, represented by at least 20 percent year-over-year growth.

“Excelleration” Award – Recognizes the top three owners who increased their sales by 10 to 19 percent year-over-year.

Momentum Award – Recognizes the top three owners who have increased sales by five to nine percent over the previous year.

AIA recognized MVP suppliers with awards to celebrate the largest dollar or percentage growth from 2018 to 2019 within each MVP level. Additionally, Peerless Umbrella received the Workplace Engagement Award for fully embracing and utilizing AIA’s business collaboration platform with product suggestions and insights to help all AIA owners. This year’s winners include:

Platinum Supplier Awards
Largest YOY percentage growth – WOW Line
Largest YOY dollar growth – PCNA

Gold Supplier Awards
Largest YOY percentage growth – The Hershey Group, Custom Importers
Largest YOY dollar growth – Fields

Silver Supplier Awards
Largest YOY percentage growth – Midnite Snax
Largest YOY dollar growth – Midnite Snax