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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.

Beth

– Interview by Lauren Medina


ASI Employee Anticipates Her First Trade Show

Filed under: Fun, General, Profile

EmilyGilberg

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.

ASINewYorkASINewYork


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


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


Take A Walk Down Memory Lane With ASI’s Ron Ball

Filed under: Fun, General

RonBall

On January 3, Ron Ball — senior VP of Supplier Sales — celebrated his 36th anniversary with ASI. We sat down with Ron to find out how things have changed since 1978. Take a walk down Memory Lane with Ron and find out what few people know about him (Hint: Think Boy Band) and how he never thought he’d be a salesman.

Q: What is your title and job description?
RB: Senior vice president of Supplier Sales. I work with suppliers. I sell them advertising, the ASI publications and digital.

Q: What was your position when you first started in 1978?
RB: I was hired into the marketing department by Marvin Spike. After working in marketing for some time, Marvin — who was my mentor at the time — said I belong in the sales department. I didn’t want to be in the sales department because I thought all salespeople were shysters, like car salesmen. After almost two years of Marvin constantly saying I should join sales, I finally decided I would take him up on it, and I became a sales associate. It was all uphill from there.

Q: What do you like about your position?
RB: I like everything about the job. My favorite thing is talking to clients, they’re just wonderful. I also like the challenge of selling. When I came in with the marketing department, I thought selling was a slippery kind of thing, but it wasn’t. Selling is an interesting path to take because you are constantly thinking of what you can do to help people, and helping people is the thing that I like.

Q: How has your position changed over the years?
RB: Originally I worked with Don, who was my boss, and we would put on these Saturday afternoon sales meetings, which people just loved (laughs). We would actually videotape the meetings, which was new for that time, so we had a whole library of sales videotapes. The meetings were crazy because everyone was pissed they had to be here on a Saturday. We worked very late those days.

Q: How has ASI changed over the years?
RB: When I first started, Norman’s father Maurice just bought the company … he was such a gentleman. Norman was an easygoing kind of a guy, and still is to this day. The company was young and small – about 30 people — but growing quickly. We were in an old skating rink in Trevose, PA. The atmosphere was just about the same as it is today. It was very family oriented and everybody felt as if they were family, and they were. It’s been a lovely ride here. Everybody has been wonderful to work with. I’ve made a lot of friends along the way and I’m just happy that everything worked out.

Q: How have you changed as a person?
RB: I’ve gotten a lot older, I’ll tell you that much (laughs). I think I’m more tolerant of people now. I’m more tolerant of the way people work with each other, too. I can attribute that to getting older.

Q: What is something people don’t know about you?
RB: I think a lot of people don’t know that I sang with a group called The Dovells when I was a teenager. There were four of us and we sang rock ‘n’ roll. It was basically a local group, but we got quite a bit of coverage throughout the United States. The group was still singing when I was applying to college, so I made the decision to go to college and dropped out of the group.

Q: What is your best memory?
RB: There used to be about 30 or 40 of us who would go to shows and we would fly all over. I remember being interviewed by Norman for end-of-year interviews and I said, “Norman, I would like to get my pilot’s license and become the pilot for the company.” He thought I was crazy and said, “No, I think we will stick with what we’re doing right now.” I thought I was nuts, but I said it anyway. It was very funny.

Q: If your story here were to be made into a movie, who would you want to play you?
B: Jonah hill. He’s a funny guy and I pride myself on being a funny person.

– Interview by Lauren Medina


Get to Know Jeanmarie Yososoegito - 20 Years at ASI

Filed under: Fun, General

Jeanmarie YososoegitoToday marks a milestone for one of our ASI employees. Jeanmarie Yososoegito, the senior member support specialist, has been working at ASI for 20 years! We sat down recently with Jeanmarie to get an inside look at her journey. Find out why she calls herself the “GPS of ASI” and what she has to say about hitting the 20-year mark.

Q: What is your title and job description?
JY: Senior member support specialist. Right now I am currently the receptionist which means I do a little bit of everything. I answer the calls that come in, redirect people that are lost, take the deliveries, direct candidates and visitors. Plus, internally I have employees that need to know where payroll is, human resources, so I’m the “GPS of ASI.”

Q: What was your position when you first started?
JY: I was hired for Central Files. We had a room where every member had their own file and everything was hand-filed. It was an extension of the mail room, so I used to open up the mail as well.

Q: What do you like about your position?
JY: Meeting and greeting people. I always gravitated toward helping individuals. When I left Central Files I went to process the distributor membership applications. I was able to instruct and educate our members on how to get their ASI number and get involved in the industry. I’ve always liked sharing the knowledge and pointing individuals in the right direction.

Q: What don’t you like about your position?
JY: I guess the one drawback is the freedom of movement. We really can’t leave that desk unattended. We have to rely on someone to be there for us to leave at the end of the day.

Q: How has ASI changed over the years?
JY: ASI is such a fabulous company to work for. I choose to work here because it’s family-oriented. I like that. I remember when we were a small company. We used to be at a different location and we had about 100 people. Back then we were under four different locations. In 2001 we moved here all under one roof.

Just to let you know how family-oriented ASI is, I actually started in the beginning of January, January 2nd. I didn’t have coverage for my kids, so ASI gave me the two-week leeway of getting coverage for my kids before I started full-time. And that’s why January 17th is considered my anniversary, because of the flexibility they gave me for getting coverage for my kids.

Q: What is your best memory?
JY: One of my best memories is when I was working at Central Files with Mike and Jeanette. Mike was planning on getting married and I thought he and Jeannette already were because the two of them just spoke like a married couple, bickering back and forth. I guess when I realized they weren’t a couple, WOW!

This comes full circle because I remember when Mike was celebrating a milestone there was always a fabulous gift of acknowledgment, and it was back then that I said, ‘I’m going to be one of those people.’ I was really proud when I hit the 15-year mark and now I’m even prouder that I’m hitting the 20-year mark. It’s been fabulous. I enjoy coming to work every day and I enjoy helping people, and I would say ‘thank you’ to ASI for giving me the opportunity.

Q: What are a few perks of working at ASI:
JY: There is so much! I love the blood drives and I participate in them faithfully. Our health care, the fitness program. I would put them pretty high on the list. A lot of times when I tell people we have a fitness coach that comes once a week they just look at me in disbelief.

Q: What are your favorite activities outside of work?
JY: Now that I am a grandmother of two, a lot of my spare time is with my grandchildren. That’s one of the reasons I like the fitness program, because when I’m running after the six- and two-year-old you have to be quick!

Q: If your story here were to be made into a movie, who would you want to play you?
JY: Sandra Bullock. I’ve liked her from when she played Annie in Speed. In fact it’s still my favorite movie. I like how she was thrown into a situation and it didn’t matter how much she had to sweat, she persevered and trumped through it. I would want someone to say that we can throw anything at Jeanmarie and she would be able to take it and run with it.

– Interview by Lauren Medina

Enjoy a few more images of Jeanmarie!

Jeanmarie Yososoegito

Jeanmarie Yososoegito


 

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