Les Morris, vice president of distributor I.D. Me Promotions LLC in Tarzana, California, passed away on December 12. He was 86. Morris was the former vice president/partner of distributor Idea Man, Inc., former president of Specialty Advertising Association of California in 1986-87, and a beloved mentor and sales professional serving the promotional products industry for almost 50 years.

“Les was my original partner when I started Idea Man in 1972,” says Bob Waldorf, CAS, founder of Los Angeles-based HALO Branded Solutions affiliate Waldorf Marketing Group. “His reputation was as a very kind and thoughtful person. The sales staff appreciated Les as being a person they could always talk to. Les was a very happy family man. He and his wife Judy had two daughters and a son and three grandchildren. After retirement we stayed in touch often. His last few years were dedicated to taking care of his wife Judy, who was partly paralyzed from a stroke. I will miss sharing Idea Man stories with him.”

Bob Levitt, SAAC vice president and a close friend to Morris, says, “In 1984, family friend Les Morris, allowed me to become the first part-time sales rep for Idea Man. I was still in college and had no idea what I was doing, but Les and the Idea Man team in San Diego showed me the ropes to an amazing life-long career. Les was a constant in my life, both personally and professionally. These last months, Les was always quick to share a story, advise and lend an ear. He loved this industry so much and never lost interest in the stories of what was happening today. [He was] a quiet giant who influenced and helped so many of us. He will be missed."

Steve Parker, former SAAC president and Starline regional sales manager, says, “What I remember most about Les was that he was always there for me early in my career, as he was running one of the largest, most successful distributor companies in our industry. He was warm, supportive and sincere.”

A virtual service for Morris was held on December 15.