Bankers Advertising Company (PPAI 101972, D8) welcomed more than 35 sales partners and their guests to its in-person National Sales Meeting and celebration of the Iowa City, Iowa-based distributor’s 125th anniversary as a business. The meeting, held at the Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center, was themed “Generations of Success.”

Bankers, currently under fifth-generation family leadership, has been embracing this theme throughout its entire quasquicentennial year. The company notes that not just leadership, but staff and sales representatives, have generational connections to the company, and many of its customers have partnered with the distributor over multiple generations.

On July 18, the company welcomed meeting attendees and several special friends and guests important to Bankers and its history for a celebratory gathering. Also at that event, staff surprised board chair Bill Bywater with recognition of his special 60th anniversary with Bankers.

The next day, sales representatives and their guests were given a tour of Bankers’ Iowa City facilities, one of the few remaining U.S. distributors that still produces some of the products it sells. The sales team got a closer look at the processes and to meet the production staff. At a company-wide luncheon, company president David Bywater spoke to the positive outlook on the current state of Bankers and the curve of industry recovery.

That evening, Bankers held its awards gala, naming Fort Wayne, Indiana, sales partner Chris Hanke its 2020 Salesperson of the Year. In addition to her 40-plus percent sales growth in 2020 over 2019, Hanke was recognized for her professionalism, dedication, creativity and perseverance over the course of a difficult year, consistently stepping out of her comfort zone to create new ways to connect with clients. This was Hanke’s second time taking home the award.

“Our gathering this year, our 125th, was more special than ever as it was the first time in almost two years that we have seen our sales and supplier partners,” says Erica Kelley-Gogel, CAS, vice president of sales. “Our goal this year was to celebrate 125 years and enjoy each other’s company, while learning and motivating each other to reach new heights of achievement and sales.”

The meeting also included a successful end- user show, where local sales representatives invited clients to walk the show floor and connect with vendors. A total of 140 community members came through the doors for a complementary catered lunch and the inside scoop on all the newest promotional trends.

“Bankers Advertising has always adapted and evolved with the times to stay a thriving business,” adds Kelley-Gogel. “We look forward to the next 125 years.”