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Earth Day 2014 Freebies!

Filed under: Fun, General

Free EVOS milkshake on Earth DayWho doesn’t love freebies? After all, this is the promotional products industry, where giving away free branded stuff is how our clients do business!

And since today is Earth Day, we figured we’d highlight several eco-friendly Earth Day-freebies being offered by some major brands. Here’s a list of some great promotions that include cool giveaways in honor of Mother Earth. So get your green on and enjoy!

Got any you’d like to add? Post a comment now!

25 Years and Counting

Filed under: Fun, General

BethOn April 3rd, Beth Deitz celebrated 25 years with ASI. We recently sat down with Beth to find out what the years have meant to her and how things have changed. Find out why she compares ASI to her favorite sports team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and how working hard is in her blood.

Q: What is your title and job description?
BD: I am the team leader of materials intake for the ESP Information Team. I’m responsible for processing all the product data that gets into ESP.

Q: What do you like about your position?
BD: It’s nonstop, so I’m always busy. I can never learn enough; to me it’s a never-ending process.

Q: How have things changed over the years?
BD: The change has been unreal. We went from everything being done manually to a totally paperless system. The basics haven’t changed but the format in which we enter and use it is totally different. When I first started 25 years ago I was a classifier, which would be today’s editor for EIT. I was responsible for getting the data into the correct format. Back then there was no ESP, they were just building it at the time, so it was dial-in. I also worked on Infoline, where distributors would call in and ask for the supplier of a product. We then had to go to leaf through our catalogs by hand; everything was manual.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
BD: When I am not working I do volunteer work. I work with military veterans, USO’s, I’m part of an AOH (Ancient Order of Hibernians) where we support the visitation home outside of Trenton (NJ). We take care of older adults who have mental difficulties. It’s so wonderful to work with them. I am also a sports junkie and love Steelers, mostly because of how the family runs them and how there is a level of respect. I also like the Phillies, and enjoy listening to them on the radio.

Q: What is something that people don’t know about you?
BD: I sew, but mostly to fix things. People probably see me walking around with my jacket that has all of these patches on it. I collect patches from everywhere I go, from girl scouts to military patches, and I sew them onto my jacket. It’s like my road map.

Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t working for ASI?
BD: I would be a historian. I’m pretty good at research and finding things, my head is always full of useless information.

Q: What is the strangest promotional product you have seen?
BD: The weirdest product I saw was an imprinted urinal screen.

Q: Do you have any memories you’d like to share from the early days at ASI?
BD: When I first started here, I would go home in tears. I had this assignment to read category definitions and one category was called decalcomania. I would read this definition over and over again but I had no clue what this was and I would get so upset because I couldn’t figure it out. It turns out it was decals and stickers; I was losing my mind over stickers! It’s funny now when I look back on that.

Q: What’s it been like to work here for 25 years?
BD: I like to compare ASI to the Steelers. ASI is so family oriented and they treat us well, so I am grateful to have this job. When I first started here I was thankful to have a job, to just be doing something. Both of my parents worked for Sears, my dad worked there for 28 years and my mom was there for 20 plus years. The mentality of my family was to go to work every day, and pay the bill, that’s the way it was. I take each day as it comes and accept the changes, and the changes are what make it fun.


– Interview by Lauren Medina

ASI Employee Anticipates Her First Trade Show

Filed under: Fun, General, Profile


The ASI Show New York is right around the corner and for new ASI employees, like Emily Gilberg, that means a trip to their first trade show.

Q: What is your title and job description?
EG: I am an Advertising Coordinator, which is a part of the production and advertising operations department. I am responsible for collecting materials from advertisers and then making sure the advertising happens. This can be completed once the sales representatives have sold the advertising space.

Q: How did you get the opportunity to attend the ASI Show New York?
EG: ASI offers new employees the opportunity to attend the ASI Show New York. I have been working with ASI for about six months and I have never been to a trade show before, so this is a great opportunity.

Q: Why is it important for people who work at ASI to attend a show?
EG: I work with suppliers and distributors on a daily basis and trade shows are a really big part of the industry. Having the opportunity to go to this trade show is a great way to get a better understanding of what my clients are going through. This will help me better serve them in the long run.

Q: What do you hope to see and do at the show?
EG:  Everyone that attends the show is asked to participate in some way. Most people are responsible for either seating people for the keynote speaker, scanning badges or helping with registration.  I am listed “as needed,” so I will be helping with whatever comes up. When we are not helping out we do have the opportunity to walk around the show floor and explore. I hope to have the chance to go to a few seminars and see the keynote. I also want to walk around the floor and meet some of the people I work with every day. I think it would be great to introduce myself to suppliers and distributors that I work with on a daily basis, to put a face to the name.

Q: What are you hoping to get out of this experience?
EG: Trade shows play a very important role in this industry and I think by attending the show I will gain a better understanding of the industry as a whole. They are a huge part of the day-to-day business of the clients I work with so I think by seeing how a show works and what goes on behind the scenes will be a great learning experience.


ESP Web Searching: Tips and Tricks!

Filed under: ESP Updates and Tips, General

Hi, everyone…let’s get out of our ESP searching slump, shall we? I’m going to give you some ideas on how to find your products. Tips and tricks if you will.

I know it can be more challenging than you might think to find a pen, or even a notebook…there are tons of products on ESP; I’m overwhelmed just thinking about it. But, have no fear, and don’t fret – ESP has what you’re looking for!

Click here to view our crafty Tips and Tricks document for product searching on ESP, where we help you decide how to search using categories, advanced searching, and even the neat visual search.

Left Navigation Templates in ESP Websites!

Filed under: ESP Updates and Tips, General

It’s time to have some fun with ESP Websites! I know, how can you possibly have fun in ESP Websites?  I’ll tell you. Left navigation, everyone, let me say it again…left navigation! We just recently added several new fabulous templates that have so much to offer (like a left navigation).

So sign onto ESP Websites and check out these brand-new, just-for-you templates! While you’re at it, if you haven’t published a website, ever, dig into these really helpful articles on our ASI Knowledge Base:

Accessing ESP Websites, Build Your ESP Website: Quick Launch, and hey, if you’re not all about taking the learn-it-yourself route, sign up for an ESP Websites training with one of our really great Technical Support representatives.


Filed under: Fun, General, Profile

Jake KrolickSouth by Southwest (SXSW) is a set of film, interactive, music festivals and conferences that happens once a year. This year, ASI is sending Jake Krolick, ASI’s creative director of marketing, to attend the festival to see promotional products in full effect. Find out why events like SXSW are so important to this industry and what you can expect to see from Jake’s journey.

Q: Why did you decide to attend SXSW?
JK: SXSW is the largest event of its kind. It’s all about discovery and what’s new, and a great way for me to showcase the promotional product industry in a real-world situation. I’m really excited about bringing back good content and showing it to this industry.

Q: How are promotional products used at SXSW?
JK: Promotional products are everywhere. We will see them from different bands, at merchandise tables and at parties. A lot of companies sponsor day parties and have items that are branded with their logo. For example, Jack White is having The Third Man Record party where they have items they will be giving out, and for purchase, that you can only get at SXSW. The party also has a gift bag with T-shirts, coffee mugs, stickers - all items to promote themselves. Rachael Ray also has a day party where she has food and music and she hands it all out in Rachel Ray-branded cups.

Q: Why are events like SXSW so important to this industry?
JK: It’s important for the industry to be aware of events like SXSW. This specific venue launches products, ideas and music all in one, but it shows us what will trend for the next year. It’s not just SXSW, it’s other major event like the X Games, New York Fashion Week, the Olympics. It’s important for the industry to see what comes out of these events.

Q: What is one of the top promotional products at SXSW?
JK:  The hottest item right now is a wristband. The reason the wristband is so hot is because there are non-stop parties and only a limited number of people can attend. The people who are lucky enough to attend get a wristband to get into one of these sold-out shows. So these people are getting the hottest item without really knowing they are getting a promotional product.

Q: What are you most excited for outside of promotional products?
JK: Besides for all the content I will bring back, I am excited about the music. Besides working at ASI, I have been working in the music industry for 20 years. I am a huge music snob, so I am excited to see a few bands that I have never seen live before, such as Together Pangea, Gardens & Villa, and Plastic Visions. I do have a Spotify profile, so if anyone is interested they can follow me.

Q: What content will you bring back from SXSW?
JK: Be on the lookout for photos of different promotional products from different bands, merchandise tables, and parties. I will also produce eight videos. For example, I will interview three bands about how they promote themselves, and two publicists on how they find new products to promote the bands and why they pick the things they do.

Make sure to check out our Facebook page to see photos and videos from SXSW.

Introducing Ask Julee!

Filed under: ESP Updates and Tips, General

Hi there, everybody! Do you have a question about an ASI product or service? Ask me! If you are interested in learning neat tips and tricks about ESP and other products, read this column! And hey, if it generates a question or an interest in another topic for next time, email me!

This is the new one stop location for all things ASI Knowledgebase, from member benefits to product searching, the sky is the limit – so sit back and let the learning begin!

Behind the Scenes with ASI Show’s Karen DiTomasso

Filed under: Fun, General, Uncategorized

Karen DiTomasso

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

Top 10 Worst Passwords To Use

Filed under: Education, Fun, General, Tip of the Day

Data SecurityData breaches and security seem to be in the news a lot lately. LinkedIn and Target were recently hacked, and now Apple has come out and admitted a serious security flaw in its mobile operating system.

Now more than ever, distributors have to be absolutely sure that their customer information is protected. Counselor’s cover story for March is all over data security and how you can protect yourself. Read on for more, and in the meantime here are the Top 10 worst passwords to use.

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. qwerty
  4. abc123
  5. 111111
  6. iloveyou
  7. adobe123
  8. admin
  9. letmein
  10. photoshop

ASI Employee Finds Caring Community Amid Turnpike Chaos

Filed under: General

Jennifer Multiple accidents involving as many as 100 vehicles closed the Pennsylvania Turnpike I-276 between Routes 611 and Route 1 in Bucks County for several hours last Friday. Jennifer Shinberg, an ASI employee, was one of the many people caught in the middle of it all.  She shares with us her experience of being stuck in traffic for six hours with her 22-month-old son Tommy,  and how she went from feeling panicked to relief after seeing the community come together to help.

Q: How did your day start?
JS: I was on my way to work at ASI with my son, Tommy, where he attends day care.  There was snow overnight but the speed restrictions on the turnpike were lifted so I assumed the roads were fine.  Once I was on the roads I quickly realized they were terrible.  Everyone was going slow but all of a sudden I heard a noise and then all the cars started to stop. We just thought it was traffic but after about 40 minutes we heard the sirens.

Q: How did you feel once you realized the severity of the situation?
JS: The first thing that went through my mind was I need to feed Tommy.  I had packed some snacks for the day so I gave him those.  But then the worry started to kick in that I don’t have water for him and I don’t have a diaper for him.  I was trying to figure out what I was going to do.  As time went on I was getting more worried about him.

Q: How did the community come together during this time?
JS: After a while everyone started to get out of their cars and walk around.  At this point strangers were helping each other and seeing if anyone needed anything.  There were even people in the neighborhood buying food at the stores and coming down the side of the overpass and giving it out. One woman noticed me and my son and offered us a yogurt and some water.  Three hours later, a fireman knocked on my window and offered me water.  I asked him if he had diapers and he went asking around for some.  Another guy came over to me with a bag and gave me diapers and changing pads.  I was so thankful I could have cried. I knew at that point we would be okay.  It was great to see the community come together. We all just took it in stride and everyone just helped everyone out.

Q: What have you learned from this experience?
JS: I am just so thankful my son was okay.  I am definitely more prepared now. If you look in the back of the car now you will find a container with diapers, wipes, water, snacks and a change of clothes for Tommy.

– Interview by Lauren Medina

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