Filed under: Fun, General, Uncategorized
On February 5th, Karen DiTomasso – vice president of sales for ASI Show – celebrated 26 years with ASI. We recently sat down with Karen to find out what 26 years has meant to her and what the future holds. Find out how she started in a world of Medical Technology specializing in Oncology to working in sales, and what her favorite promotional product is.
Q: What is your title and job description?
KD: I am the vice president of sales for ASI Show. I manage a team of seven account managers with a lot of interaction between myself and the team. I deal directly with the customers, helping our suppliers to get the best ROI from our tradeshows, Roadshows and hosted buyer events. I attend all the shows, walk the floors, and interact with all the suppliers. My team also sells exciting keynote sponsorships with a recent big highlight this past Dallas show with President Bush where we had four sponsors. My team ultimately is responsible for selling an audience to our suppliers and it is important to our exhibitors who invest in our shows that we have quality attendees.
Q: What was your position when you first started?
KD: I originally started with a company that the Cohn family owned called Medical Data Institute. It was a mirror image of what ASI was doing for the promotional product industry, but for the medical equipment industry. I started there in sales and moved up to president. I transitioned into the ASI Show while I was still running Medical Data Institute. I was asked to spearhead and oversee both the supplier and distributor side. When our shows started to grow it required having the distributor team separated under other direction, so I stayed with the core supplier sales team. I started out as supplier director of sales and worked my way up to vice president.
Q: What do you like about your position?
KD: I enjoy the customer base and love interacting with both the distributors and suppliers. We built some great relationships and I’ve developed some good friendships. I came from a medical industry, so all of this is different for me. I grew into an area of sales which is what I always wanted to do so it gave me an opportunity to grow. I also love the products. There are products for everything in this world that you could possibly want.
Q: What is one promotional product that you must have?
KD: One of our exhibitors had a stretchy band that you put around your waist when you are power walking or at the gym, and you can put your cell phone in it or glasses so you don’t have to hold anything. I just saw it and thought I want one of those!
Q: Which is your favorite ASI Show?
KD: Orlando is the flagship show. It’s the first show of the year in the industry and it’s our largest show.
Q: What has it been like to work here for 26 years?
KD: I can’t believe it’s been 26 years! I’ve had so many opportunities in 26 years that has really kept it creative and different. It’s almost like starting a new job every two weeks – it’s fresh and that’s what I love. Every year brings on new challenges and more opportunities. The Cohn family has been very supportive and a great family to work for.
Q: What does the future hold for you here at ASI?
KD: We have new leadership here at ASI Show and are going to be developing more products. We are looking at different ways to bring suppliers and distributors together, not necessarily trade shows, but more organized power meetings. I am so excited because all of these things are off-shoots from the trade show and this will help our members to make more money. We launched a Hosted Buyer event in October 2012 where we go out with a select group of supplier and distributors and give them 20 minutes of one-on-one, to build programs, relationships and business. We have four of these coming up.
Q: What would you be if you weren’t vice president of sales for ASI Show?
KD: An Interior decorator. I change everything in my house every year; the color, the accessories.
Q: What do you enjoy outside of work?
KD: I have a beach house and we try to use it all the time, even in snowstorms if we can. I prefer to be down by the beach in the winter, when no one is around, where I can put a hoodie on, walk by myself and relax and ride my bike.
Q: If your story here were to be made into a movie, who would you want to play you?
KD: She is no longer with us, but Natalie Wood. I was so in love with the movie West Side Story. We would just have to bleach her hair blonde.
– Interview by Lauren Medina