by Incentive Staff | November 21, 2017


Sherri K. Lindenberg

Senior Vice President, Marketing Communications, Crump Life Insurance Services

Lindenberg is one of the top incentive planners working in the insurance industry. As a board member at Financial & Insurance Conference Professionals she has been a thought leader for the past two-and-a-half years. The incentive programs she plans for Crump Life Insurance Services reflect a professional who keeps up with what's happening at destinations and properties, yet also realizes the true heart of programs comes from staying current with trends in the insurance industry, the MICE industry, technology, and pop culture.

"I have seen a general shift toward incorporation of personalized experiences -- whether for gifts, by expanding on the traditional Maui Jim Sunglasses format to include things like the Blue Jeans Bar, Bose Experience, or OluKai sandals selection, or for food and beverage, with creative and customized meals to meet various dietary differences," she says.

Chief Executive Officer, AlliedPRA

This past year, AlliedPRA realized unprecedented growth through talent and business acquisitions, and continuation of its ongoing plan initiatives. The company plans to continue building its business through talent, technology, partnerships, service extensions, and acquisitions.

"Our sector of the industry is critical, and yet does not typically realize a broader view of its strategic importance. We will necessarily have to earn that view through closer alignment with market needs," says Lorenz. "Services, partnerships, pricing models, talent delivery, are all roads to a more prominent place in the business events industry. As leaders, it is our responsibility to redefine our sector."

Marty MacKay

President, Hosts Global

2017 was a big year for MacKay. She was named president-elect of the Association of Destination Management Executives International (ADMEI); her company won 10 ADMEI awards, two BI WORLDWIDE Inspirational Partner awards, and was recognized as the Supplier of the Year by both Experient and Maritz Travel; she personally appeared on numerous industry "top professionals" lists; added three new international destinations (Romania, Australia, and New Zealand) while increasing DMC member standards; and increased her industry involvement and service on industry boards including SITE, ADMEI, and HSMAI.

MacKay is predicting a busy 2018 as well. According to MacKay, "there may be some shifts in destination selection but incentives will continue to be on the rise and meetings are continuing to book, and book farther out, due to lower inventory in the marketplace."  

Bob Miller

President and CEO, One10 LLC

When Bob Miller and two partners bought industry giant Aimia's Proprietary Loyalty U.S. and its Canada Meetings & Events divisions, they instantly became leaders in the North American channel and employee engagement industry (to say nothing of meetings and events). Miller is a veteran of Carlson Marketing Group and Excellence in Motivation -- the two companies that formed Aimia's non-consumer-focused business. The firm's clients include the world's largest retailer, six main global auto manufacturers, and a bevy of global pharma, tech, and financial services firms, among others. After spending much of the year focused on minimizing disruption to clients and employees, One10 is getting ready to "pivot toward pursuing our aggressive growth plans," in 2018, Miller says. "Nurturing our culture is my primary goal because it will become the foundation that will enable us to execute our strategies."

One of the trends Miller sees dominating the industry in 2018 is consolidation, and he intends to be one of the consolidators, noting, "for large clients, scale and stability matter and will become increasingly important factors in the buying decisions." Another is the growing recognition by corporate America that connections matter. This means recognizing that employee engagement is a key differentiator, but also that "creating connections between individuals, groups, and brands is at the core of this industry," he says. Miller adds that he intends to intensify One10's "focus on data-driven results analysis combined with a renewed emphasis on creativity and excitement."

Talbott Roche

CEO and President, Blackhawk Network

It has been a busy few years for Blackhawk. It's been making a long series of acquisitions, culminating with CashStar this past August, expanding the global financial tech company's already substantial footprint in the incentive gift card market, particularly in the mobile and digital sector.

Most relevant to the incentive industry, this year saw the organization launch Hawk Incentives, growing from supplier to actual incentive house. Recently, it announced a new-to-the-market, digital-wallet-enabled Mastercard, allowing clients to connect incentives or promotional rewards to a mobile wallet. The company plans to keep exploring innovative ideas in the future.

"Mobile wallets are often underutilized channels for brands to engage with consumers because most don't provide the same functionality as a leather billfold; they don't provide added value by storing credit/debit cards, gift cards, loyalty information, rewards, etc.," says Roche. The organization continues to expand its rewards portfolio, offer original research and incentive content aimed at meeting clients' goals, and to expand SaaS incentive solutions that are cost-effective and easy to implement.


Roy Saunderson

Chief Learning Officer, Rideau Recognition

"Better recognition skills lead to better performance and people results," says Saunderson, and through his efforts, Rideau Recognition has brought cutting-edge technologies to its clients, providing them with analytics data that clearly measures ROI. He has designed the prescriptive learning content that allows clients to target key behaviors they seek to recognize and develop in incentive program participants.

An influential thought leader in the industry, Saunderson has leveraged as many outlets as he can to spread the word about what he calls "Real Recognition," including social media posts, streaming videos on Facebook Live, recognition-focused books (he is currently completing), and, of course, his monthly columns for Incentive. Under his guidance, Rideau is also developing some new Vistance Learning Modules to add to its Vistance Analytics and Prescriptive Learning platform.

"Few companies understand the power behind creating a solid, sustainable recognition strategy as a leveraging tool to achieve their overall business goals," Saunderson says of his work with Rideau. "In the months ahead I think incentive industry members need to become far more strategic. Research is increasingly showing reduced budgets for incentives and recognition because leaders feel there is insufficient ROI."