by Leo Jakobson | July 31, 2017

The annual Incentive Marketing Association Summit is a chance to network, learn, and do business, but it is also an opportunity to honor both people and programs that exemplify the best of the incentive industry.

This year, the IMA Summit 2017 took place July 23-27 in Orlando at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Walt Disney World. 

Outgoing IMA President Sean Roark presented the President's Award to Pete Mitchell, a widely respected and influential industry veteran who retired recently after a 23-year career as a manufacturer's representative that began at video game maker Atari and ended with a long run at luggage maker Samsonite. 

An exceptionally active member of the Incentive Marketing Association and a past president of its Incentive Manufacturers and Representatives Alliance (IMRA) special interest group, Mitchell was also facilitator of the annual Special Markets Dialogues, a think tank in which manufacturers and representatives get together to discuss issues affecting the incentive industry in a frank, closed-door environment.

Mitchell (pictured with his wife Marjorie) described the award as "a cherry on top of an ice cream sundae of a career."

The IMA's other major award, the third annual Karen Renk Fellowship Award, was named after the IMA's late and well-loved founding director who passed away in 2014. The award was presented in an emotional ceremony by Renk's daughter, Kate Marie Renk, who followed her mother into the incentive business. It was awarded to Brian Dunne, CPIM, CEO of Giftcard.Consulting and a past president of IMA Europe. 

The award goes to an IMA member who best exemplifies the qualities Karen Renk brought to the association, including mentoring, character, collaboration, and professionalism.

Dunne was a leader in establishing and expanding the IMA Europe chapter, serving as its president for eight years. A captivating speaker, he frequently addresses the topics of incentives, motivation, loyalty, and gift card awards.

"Brian's contributions, his leadership and mentoring approach are exactly what Karen Renk valued and demonstrated daily," said Spencer Toomey, CPIM, president emeritus of the IMA Board of Directors and vice president of the special markets division of Revo Sunglasses, in a statement. "Brian has given the IMA and the industry enormous amounts of time and energy that have helped move the industry forward in Europe and the US. He truly is an incentive ambassador and he engages people everywhere he goes."