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by Leo Jakobson | October 27, 2015
A leading supplier of merchandise awards to the incentive industry has changed hands. 

Industry veteran Norma Jean Knollenberg, a founder and former past president of the Incentive Marketing Association, and her husband Gus announced yesterday that they have sold Oshkosh, WI-based Top Brands to Pam and Gary Slavonic, also longtime industry vets.

In 1990, Gary Slavonic started Carrollton, TX-based Premier Incentives, where he was managing partner until taking up the role of director of business development at the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI). At that organization, Slavonic was heavily involved in the continued growth of the PPAI Expo's "brand. pavilion" as the leading trade show of incentive-quality branded merchandise awards following the death of the Motivation Show in 2012.

"Top Brands will be 55 years old next year, and its success has primarily been because of the commitment and hard work of our employees and that will not change," said Norma Jean Knollenberg.  "The foundation of this company isn't changing. Gary and Pam share the same philosophies in business with Gus and me and they bring years of experience and knowledge in the channel, so I feel strongly that with Gary and Pam at the helm, and with the staff to support them, Top Brands will continue to flourish and grow."

Gary Slavonic noted that, "Pam and I are excited about helping to write the next chapter in the successful history of Top Brands and look forward to providing our customers and vendors with a seamless experience." 

The Knollenbergs plan to stay on at Top Brands through the end of the year, and then retire. The company will remain in its Oshkosh home.