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Counselor Senior Editor Michele Bell's slanted view of the world.

ASI NYC: Start Spreading the News!

Filed under: ASI Shows, Editorial, Travel

Hi Everyone!

We’re just back from ASI’s second annual New York Show and it was both a success and a blast! The trade show posted strong attendance of nearly 2,800 distributors from 1,338 firms, up more than 7% from 1,247 firms last year. Education day attracted nearly 450 distributors up about 8% from a year ago. Even more impressive because education day was held on a Sunday.

I’m a little out of my comfort zone in New York, but with the help of some friends, managed to hang out in some of the best places. For example, at the legendary Algonquin Hotel, where writer Dorothy Parker and other renowned writers traded bon mots and barbs around the notorious “vicious circle,” Shepenco’s Dan Townes and I had quite a few cocktails. A New York landmark, lounging at this hotel and it’s amazing bar — steeped in tons of local lore — was the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Had I known it existed, I would have shaken Dan down to buy me the Algonquin’s $10,000 martini — into which they plop a diamond in lieu of ice. (Click here to learn more about the famous — and infamous — writers who used to frequent the Algonquin: and here for some trivia regarding the historic establishment.)

This napkin, mystifying free from any spillage from my three Cosmo martinis, bears a famous quote from Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker’s BFF and prodigiously talented writer for The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Life magazines in the ’20s and ’30s.

So, without further adieu, enjoy the sights from the show!

More at the end of the week when I give a heartfelt send-off to the best show on TV, Battlestar Galactica. Get ready to get your CYL-ON, my little toasters! ; )



A throng of attendees enter the second annual ASI New York Show on opening day, this past Monday.
At the famed and fabulous Del Frisco’s steak house, here I am (center) with Randee Horwitch (left), vice president of sales at Counselor Top 40 supplier Dard and my gal pal Bonni Sandy, the company’s executive vice president and the president of Dard Design. A savvy, wicked-smart cookie, Bonni’s brilliance is only exceeded by her wit.
Brett Hersh, president of AdMints (left) and Sean Huban, director of sales for ePromos, enjoy a drink after the first day of the show at ASI’s “Welcome NYC” reception.
Ron Ball, ASI’s vice president of supplier sales and my weapons-grade wacko work husband, raises a glass at Balthazar. Not a huge fan of New York City, my boss Rich Fairfield — ASI’s senior vice president, publisher and a native New Yorker — made it his mission to show me a side of New York I would love (trust me… that’s not such an easy thing). Knowing what a Francophile I am, he took Ron, Dard’s Bonni Sandy and Randee Horwitch and I to Balthazar on Spring Street in SoHo — a French bistro that looked (and felt) as though I was back in my beloved Paris. I drank quite a few Kir Royales (champagne with a drizzle of Chambord) and declared it my favorite place in New York. What can I say? Rich knows me well…
Cliff Quicksell and I, at the Marriott Marquis bar. Cliff was one of the first people I met in the industry, about 11 years ago at an industry networking mixer. His name badge said, “Hello! My name is… Buffy.” And that is what I still call him to this day… “Buffy Quicksell.”
ASI’s Executive Director of Distributor Services, Christian Brandt and one of the ASI Show’s top-drawing education facilitators, Cliff Quicksell.
Star magnets Matt George (above, left) & Joe Haley took turns cozying up to Tracy Morgan, one of the stars of NBC’s hit sitcom “30 Rock.” Joe and I love “30 Rock,” due in large part to the tour de force performance by Alec Baldwin. If we had seen him, I would have coerced him to join us for cocktails, with the intent of doing naughty things.
With stunning views of New York City, hundreds of guests enjoyed ASI’s hospitality at the “Top of the Rock” gala, held on the famed building’s 64th floor. With a sumptuous spread of food, top-shelf open bar and a fabulously fun band, it was the perfect night in mid-town Manhattan.
(From left): Dan Townes, owner of Shelbyville Pencil/Shepenco & his wife Natalie — both of whom resemble the fabulously witty and cocktailing bon vivants Nick & Nora Charles from “The Thin Man” television series from the 1930s — shown here with industry educator extraordinaire, Cliff Quicksell.
(From left): ASI’s editorial staff, in all their wacky glory, at the bar inside the Marriott Marquis in NYC: Wearables editor C.J. Mittica, Staff Writer Dave Vagnoni, Education Director & Stitches editor Nicole Rollender, Staff Writer Matt George, Senior Application Developer Samantha Tucker, Web Designer Steve Hawk, Counselor editor Andy Cohen and Managing Editor & star of The Joe Show, Joe Haley.
ASI’s radio and Internet celebs at the swanky and high-class Rodeo bar, located at 375 3rd Ave. in NYC. Taking advantage of the bar’s “Recession Special” (a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a shot of Whiskey for $7) are Web Designer extraordinaire Steve Hawk, Staff Writer Matt George, managing editor and star of “The Joe Show” Joe Haley and Counselor editor Andy Cohen. Steve Hawk, who is a beer aficionado and brews his own award-winning beer would have rather swallowed shards of glass, I think, than PBR.
As guest photographer Joe Haley said, “Check out the Oy-Veys… the toughest Jewish street gang in New York City!” From left: Counselor editor Andy Cohen, Web Designer Steve Hawk, Senior Application Developer Sam Tucker — the shiksa mascot of the group — and Wearableseditor C.J. Mittica.
You have to hand it to ASI marketing rock star Jake Krolick, who always — regardless of what city we’re in — finds the most high-brow, refined establishments. This one, Rudy’s Bar & Grill, comes up under the search phrases: “dive bars” and “free hotdogs.” ASI’s cast of characters, from left to right: Dan “The Man” Brown, director of distributor services (honking Porky’s snout); Jake Krolick, marketing manager & Dionysian degenerate; Mike Landis, distributor services account executive; Porky, the other white meat; Shannon Blaszczyk, account executive, catalog sales; and Chris Glowacki, account executive, supplier Internet sales and recipient of ASI’s prestigious Rising Star Employee of the Year Award.
(From left): Ross Silverstein, iPROMOTEu’s director of marketing Linda Forsvall, and ASI’s senior vice president Dan O’Hallaran enjoy the “Rat Pack”-style atmosphere of the Carnegie Cigar and Scotch Bar in New York City.
IPromoteU’s Ross Silverstein and my new favorite gal pal Sheila Johnshoy, director of promotional products for the Deluxe Corp. What a pair… For those of you who know Ross, he’s a pistol; Sheila is as whip-smart as she is fun!
(From left): Ross Silverstein, CEO of Counselor Top 40 distributor iPROMOTEu; Glen Carrigan, president of Counselor Top 40 distributor EmbroidMe (Canada)/Plan Ahead Events Canada; and Tipton Shonkwiler, brand director for EmbroidMe/Plan Ahead Events relax after the show at the Carnegie Cigar & Scotch bar for an exclusive event hosted by ASI executive director of distributor services, Christian Brandt.
The lovely and lively Missy Kilpatrick, vice president of Castelli, and my old pal Michael Bistocchi, vice president of CleggPromo, party like rock stars at the ASI Show gala at the Top of the Rock.
In full view of the patrons at Rudy’s Bar & Grill on 9th Ave. between 44th & 45th Streets, this fine young gentleman leans against this upstanding young lady for some late-night support. Let it never be said that the City that Never Sleeps isn’t one super-duper friendly town!
Karyn Coates, ASI’s executive director of E-Media & Member Benefits, meets Anthony Geary, a.k.a. “Luke Spencer” — a super-celeb on ABC’s legendary soap opera “General Hospital.” At the hotel where we all stayed in NYC, the Marriott Marquis, there was a party being held for ABC’s soaps. Karyn, being all super-stealthy, managed to slip into the party and sidled up to some of her favorite stars. We just want to know, Karyn, where was that hottie guy who plays Nikolas Cassadine? He would have had us in a lather… ; )
Here’s ‘Lil Joe Haley, ASI’s managing editor and star of “The Joe Show,” posing with Cameron Mathison — who stands 6’ 1″ — and is a star of the ABC soap opera “All My Children” and was on season five of “Dancing with the Stars.” Our colleague Karyn Coates, executive director of ASI’s E-Media and Member Benefits, apparently squealed like a teenybopper when she saw the soap star… though, sadly, not “The Joe Show” star… ; )
ASI’s Brandon “B-Rabbit” Miller (above) and Steve Cattau, both distributor services account executives, go down for the count on the bus ride back to Trevose after a high-energy, non-stop ASI NYC Show.


  1. Bonni Sandy Says:

    ASI NY was an awesome show!!! It was busy with exceptional events. The Gala, was very well attended and very upscale,yet a whole lot of fun!!!

    Dinner with Michele Bell (my VBFF), and drinks later with Rich and Ron, was an awesome evening as well!!!

    Thank you ASI for a job well done!!!


    Bonni Shevin-Sandy
    Dard Products/Dard Design

    Tuesday March 17, 2009
  2. RaiulBaztepo Says:

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    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

    Saturday March 28, 2009
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    Tuesday April 7, 2009

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