News & Blog

News & Blog 2017-03-30T21:09:44+00:00

ASI Central News

Michele Bell

  • The Best of the Best: SGR’s Supplier Sales Rep & CSR of the Year!
    by Michele Bell on November 11, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Hi Everyone! Truly, one of the best parts of my job (and there are many) is the privilege of giving awards each year to the SGR Supplier Sales Reps of the Year and Customer Service Rep of the Year. Now in its fifth year, these awards are based on distributor voting what I think is […]

  • Meet Lion Circle, the Supplier Family Business of the Year!
    by Michele Bell on July 31, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Hi Everyone! In my last blog post, I shared with you the full version of the article I wrote on Brown & Bigelow’s Cindy Jorgenson, this year’s Counselor Woman of Distinction. Well, this time around, I’m sharing the full article on this year’s Supplier Family Business, Lion Circle. The Chicago-based company is owned by the […]

  • Meet Cindy Jorgenson, Counselor’s 2014 Woman of Distinction
    by Michele Bell on July 22, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    Hi Everyone! I’m just back from Chicago, where I spent a week at the ASI Show, the Counselor Best Places to Work conference and squatting at my BFF Sharon Biernat’s house, an oasis of cool in the middle of the city that I never want to leave. Sharon, a distributor sales rep with Skokie-based Creative […]

  • In Defense of Dov Charney…
    by Michele Bell on July 10, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Well, hey there! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are enjoying a fabulous summer! I was on vacation last week, and had the opportunity to get a call from my friend, Dov Charney, the embattled founder of Counselor Top 40 supplier American Apparel. Our chat was off-the-record, but it reminded me of […]

  • Asia’s Spring Shows: Can a Quarter Million People Be Wrong?
    by Michele Bell on May 19, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Well, hey there friends, cohorts, revelers and raconteurs! Am I the only one beside myself with giddiness that summer is almost here after a dark, dismal, Game of Thrones-esque (all hail the Kingslayer!) long winter? One marker I always use for the start of summer is my return from Asia’s premier spring shows – the […]

  • PPPC’s Show is Bang On!
    by Michele Bell on February 24, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Well, hey there, Everyone! Lest you think I’m way too sassy and salacious for a Monday morning with that headline, understand that my Canadian friends tell me the phrase “Bang On” means “spot on” or, in the case of this year’s PPPC National Convention, just perfect. With events like its first-ever industry hockey game and […]

  • Danke Schoen, Dusseldorf!
    by Michele Bell on January 17, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Happy New Year, Everyone! As we’re deep into show season, I just returned from the fabulous PSI Show in Dusseldorf, Germany, held from January 8-10. Now in its 52nd year, attendance at the PSI Show grew 18% from last year’s event, due primarily to the event staff giving distributors free access to attend. With a […]

  • Dogs & Beer Floats & Big Wheels… Oh My!
    by Michele Bell on December 12, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Happy Holidays, Everyone! As today is ASI’s annual holiday party, spearheaded by the wildly clever and imaginative Stephanie Cohn-Schaeffer who each year comes up with a different fun theme, during which ASI’s owners and management recognize and laud the accomplishments and contributions of the company’s 500+ employees, I was reminded of the first-ever Counselor Best […]

  • ASI’s 2013 Power Summit: Rocky Mountain High
    by Michele Bell on September 27, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Hi Everyone! Hope you’re all doing well and reveling in the awesome Fall colors! Recently, ASI hosted its 7th annual Power Summit, in stunningly picturesque Park City, Utah. Having been to all seven Power Summits, this one was something special… From the amazing panelists and speakers, to the networking activities, to the locale, it was […]

  • Making “Her”story
    by Michele Bell on August 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    Hi Everyone! Hope you’re doing well and enjoying the last fabulous days of summer! I wanted to share with you something I was asked to be a part of in the industry that really gave me pause, because I think it’s so, so special. A few months ago, the lovely Kim Laffer Nick with the […]

ASI Central News

Tim Andrews

  • Let School Kids Know We Still Care
    on February 16, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    The past 24 hours have generated personal feelings of hopelessness and confusion. How could someone take innocent souls? Why do elected officials stand by, doing nothing? What could they do to really solve the problems we face? Why can’t we pass bipartisan immigration reform that allows children to stay in the country? Or can we? What can I do, besides continue to support politicians and institutions I trust? Tonight I happened to see a short post about a project in a Trenton, N.J. […]

  • Reflections On Turning 85 Years Young
    on February 1, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    ASI Chairman Norman Cohn recently turned 85. In observing the occasion, he gathered a few personal reflections for his family that I think are worth sharing: In thinking over what I have learned in the first 85 years of my life . . . rather than go through year by year, I summarized with seven points: Be honest (it takes a lifetime to build a reputation; only one misstep can ruin it). Not only be honest with others, but yourself. Your word should be your bond. It isn’t work if you […]

  • My First Handshake
    on January 24, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Shortly after I joined ASI nearly 15 years ago, I was headed to Chicago when our chairman, Norman Cohn, told me to be sure to visit DARD Products, a multimillion-dollar supplier headed by his long-standing friend, Cary Shevin. Norman assured me I’d enjoy meeting Cary, his wife, Harriette, and their daughter, Bonni. And that’s how Cary became the very first supplier in our industry I ever shook hands with. That first meeting included a brown bag lunch in the company’s […]

  • A Special Message from the Eternal Optimist
    on December 20, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    I like to end every year with a message to our members, as thanks to everyone for doing business with ASI. This year, my “holiday card” is actually a 2-minute video with five quick tips for success. My hope is that it helps entrepreneurs in our industry plan for a productive and profitable 2018. Click here to watch. If there’s one theme that resonated with me in 2017 it’s “change.” It’s inevitable – and it’s happening faster than ever […]

  • I Hear You
    on December 14, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    As CEO of a 450-employee company, I’ve closely followed the unexpected firings and resignations of powerful men toppled by shocking allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace and beyond. The news spurred serious conversations with co-workers and friends (male and female), both online and in the office, along with a close review of our own company policies.  Everyone seems to agree on the basics: No one should harass or assault a co-worker, and if you do, you will be […]

  • Rowing 3,000 Miles For Charity
    on December 4, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    “Mom: Rowing across Atlantic. Alone. Mostly naked. See you in 3 months. Love, Oliver” When I was a teen, my most challenging feat was biking eight miles to the Dairy Queen for a large (not medium!) hot fudge sundae. Not Oliver Crane. My Princeton, NJ, neighbor is days away from an incredible undertaking: rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. His “gap year” feat, taking place between high school and college, will help raise money for two worthy causes – and fulfill a […]

  • Mom: Rowing across Atlantic. Alone. Naked. See you in 3 Months. Love, Oliver
    on December 4, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    When I was a teen, my most challenging feat was biking eight miles to the Dairy Queen for a large (not medium!) hot fudge sundae. Not Oliver Crane. My Princeton, NJ, neighbor is days away from an incredible undertaking: rowing across the Atlantic Ocean. His “gap year” feat, taking place between high school and college, will help raise money for two worthy causes – and fulfill a family tradition of derring-do. He could become the youngest person to ever accomplish this 3,000 […]

  • Change Is Here: Are You Ready?
    on November 8, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Throughout 10 years of moderating the annual ASI Power Summit, I resisted taking the stage as a panelist. But this year, at our 11 th event in San Diego, CA, I agreed to sit onstage with Gemline President Jonathan Isaacson for a 30-minute Q&A, hoping it would be worthwhile to share my views of the industry, along with a bit of my personal story. Lucky for me, Jonathan was a thoughtful moderator, asking insightful questions – especially about working for a family business – […]

  • Opening Doors, As One Closes
    on October 17, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    I was saddened this week to learn of the unexpected passing of a long-time ASI colleague, Maria Welsh. After several weeks of treatment, Maria was recuperating in a nursing facility after a hospital stay but, unfortunately, her health deteriorated from complications. Maria joined ASI 31 years ago in the order processing department and served in a number of supervisory and “always willing to help” positions in finance and credit.  As I told our staff, Maria was a real example […]

  • Thank You for Caring
    on October 5, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Here’s what I love most about this industry: Its people. When the call went out to help those whose lives were upended by devastating hurricanes, you responded in full force, sending cash, clothes, bandages, baby wipes, rubber gloves and laundry detergent, water, coolers and even doggie rain jackets, organizing school supply fundraisers and even driving trucks packed with much-needed items to faraway states. You cared. To do our part, ASI organized two fundraisers to help people in […]


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