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

ASI NYC: Getting Our Gotham On…

Filed under: ASI Shows, Fun, Travel

Hi Everyone!

Hope you’re all doing well and getting ready for a spectacular Memorial Day weekend. Me? I’ll be in my Happy Place — Avalon, NJ (the sunny place for shady people!) — acting like a libertine heathen with the rest of my beach-going pals. Can. Not. Wait.

With the ASI NYC Show in our rear view, I’ve compiled some of my favorite pics from the festivities surrounding the three-day event. And oh my, were there festivities…  Special shout-outs to: Boundless’ Brad White, who taught me the plausible deniability involved with the use of just one word, “allegedly”; Jetline’s Megan Erber, whose lust for life is infectious; my ASI colleague Jake Krolick, who has all the virtues and vices I admire; and my beloved BFF, Polyconcept’s Michael Bernstein, who just happened to be in town and left an interesting event to come have drinks with me at 11:00 one evening. When he shines the bat light in the sky, I drop what I’m doing and go.

Read on for scads of fun photos, and see you next at Promotions East in Atlantic City from June 4-6.

— M

Here’s me and my pal, Craig Nadel, president of Counselor Top 40 distributor Jack Nadel Int’l. Craig was in town to visit JNI’s New York office and nicely invited me to dinner with him and his team. Craig is one of my oldest and closest friends in the industry. Know the “if you were stuck on a desert island, who are the three people you’d want with you” game? Craig is #2 on my list, after Polyconcept’s Michael Bernstein. Why? He’s whip-smart, hilariously funny and delightfully eccentric. First, he once bought a gorilla suit, “because everyone should have one”; Second, he is obsessed with Roombas, those battery-operated floor cleaners; Third, one year in Vegas, he taught me how to play blackjack and insisted upon using his own money to do so; and lastly, he tells me he likes being my friend because we can talk about “all the fun stuff” — the industry, politics and sex. “If you knew anything at all about sports, Michele, you’d be perfect,” he says.
My BFF, Craig Nadel, account executive David Frank and Jeff Jacobs, vice president and partner at Jack Nadel International.
The lovely Lauren Goldrich and Dan Aronesty, account execs with JNI. There was nothing about the company’s New York team that didn’t impress me. They are fan-tastic!
Lisa Danzinger (sitting), Stephanie Kraut and the fabulous John Batista, who – the next time I’m in NYC – is on my list to spend more time with. He is a hoot!
Ron Ball, ASI’s vice president of sales and my Work Husband, famously takes groups of friends and clients to dinners when he’s at a show. We call these his “Bar-Mitzvah Dinners” because they’re big, raucous and tons of fun. In New York, he took his group to Del Frisco’s. Here he is with Kathryn Cumming, with the innovative Canadian distributor Top of the Line Sportswear.
My pal Scottie Nussinow from Points of Light with Samantha Gotlieb, marketing director for iPROMOTEu.
Larry Abels, chairman of the board for Selco Watch Co.
The guests at Ron Ball’s NYC dinner at Del Frisco’s.
Kathryn Cumming and my pal Melissa Cantor, with Poly-Pak. If you don’t know Melissa, you should. She’s always smiling, always happy and always a delight. Love her!
All in One’s Shantel Strong and the always-awesome Pat Caccamo, iPROMOTEu’s senior director of business development and, as I call him, Ross Silverstein’s consigliere.
(From left): Liqui-Mark’s Josh Goodelman (“Joshy,” to his nearest and dearest) and The Fabulous Tadmor Boys – Taylor and Roee – from Tekweld.
Mary Bostwick from Delta Apparel and the illustrious Ross Silverstein, president/CEO of Counselor Top 40 distributor iPROMOTEu.
Here’s my old friend Eric Johnson, owner of Halls & Co./IDLine, or “E,” as I call him. E is my reality check at trade shows, as he always gets a chair for his booth so I can slink over and we can catch up on industry craziness.
How cool is this? Activate! Promotions & Marketing (formerly Bluegrass Promotions) held a Supplier Appreciation Party at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square, complete with open bar and hors d’oeuvres. I love this, because it’s so rare that suppliers get their due; however, I’m not surprised that the Activate folks held this event – they are class personified.
Jeff Lederer (left), president of Counselor Top 40 supplier Prime Line, with the one and only Billy Booe, vice president of business development at Activate! Billy (who puts the “Boo” in “booze”!) is like a human disco ball – add him to any party and it becomes that much more fun.
Social media guru Dana Zezzo and the perpetually-sardonic Joe Hoffman, with Jetline. Dana recently joined the company, which is lucky to have him – he is a marketing phenom!
ETS Express’ president, Sharon Eyal (left) and Fred Parker, president of Activate! At the Counselor Awards banquet, held at the famed Cipriani Midtown, Sharon was presented with the Supplier Family Business of the Year award for ETS’s phenomenal growth and stellar reputation with distributors (see his award presentation and acceptance speech here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njlKCzIH30w), and my old friend Fred Parker was lauded with the prestigious Distributor Entrepreneur of the Year award. Fred was one of the very first people I ever profiled for Counselor magazine some 15 years ago, and since we’ve met, he has always been hyper-prolific in the areas of innovation and creativity. I just adore him, his lovely wife, Amy, and his whole team at Activate! Click here to see Fred’s award presentation and acceptance speech at the Distributor Entreprenuer of the Year at this year’s Counselor banquet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sj1vBA4GInc.
Look at this group! Industry bon vivant, BIC/Norwood’s Dave Saracino, with his colleagues: the beautiful Lori Bauer (center) and respected industry veteran Eileen Lynch (what a nice surprise to see her!) at the Activate! party.
Industry legend and vice president of sales at J. Charles Crystal, Fran Ford (left), and the incredibly charming Alfred Brand, the Wizard of Oz behind the curtains at Activate! At the Counselor Awards, Fran was presented with this year’s Marvin Spike Lifetime Achievement Award. Upon the award’s announcement, Fran was greeted with a standing ovation from everyone in the place. Why? I maintain that Fran single-handedly mentored half the people in the room full of heavy-hitters. Click here to see his award presentation and acceptance speech at the Counselor banquet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCF4Y46Cgxs.
Fran Ford and CJ Schmidt, vice president of sales for Counselor Top 40 supplier Hit Promotional Products. Equal parts smart and crazy fun, CJ is one of my favorites.
CJ Schmidt and the gorgeous Jennifer Grigorian, vice president of marketing for Hit. Jenn and I marvel that we have known each other for 15 years and maintain that we were about 16 when we started in the industry. ; )
Ash City’s vice president of sales, Chris Clark (left), and Logomark’s vice president of sales, Brian Padian. I have the utmost respect for these two, because their respective bosses – Garry Hurvitz and Trevor Gnesin – are as wicked brilliant as they are characters.
Photographer extraordinaire Lyall Ashton (left), and one of my favorite ASI colleagues, Jake (“Jakey” to his pals) Krolick, creative director of our marketing department. Jake herded me out of the Activate! party and took me to a dive bar in Brooklyn, to see an awesome live band with some select industry pals (photos ahead). Spoiler Alert: There Will Be Booze.
(From left): Jetline’s Dana Zezzo and Joe Hoffman, shown here with ASI’s managing editor Joe Haley and editor-in-chief and senior vice president of professional development, Melinda Ligos.
ASI’s Joe Haley (left) and Activate’s Billy Booe. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone more extroverted than these two…
Joe Haley and Prime Line’s beloved Paula Shulman, vice president of sales.
The gregarious Fran Ford (left) and Billy Booe.
ASI’s Melinda Ligos and Counselor editor Andy Cohen. I love Andy because his sarcastic smirks and snarky comments may even exceed my own.
Activate! president Fred Parker, shown here with ASI’s Melinda Ligos and Andy Cohen.
No sleep til Brooklyn! Here’s the group Jakey Krolick put together for his foray into Brooklyn to see some live music at dive bars. Our merry little band of revelers (clockwise): Raffi Najarian with Bey-Berk International, Boundless Network’s Brad White, ASI’s Jake Krolick, Jetline’s Megan Erber, ASI’s Barry Melito and World Wide Line’s Steve Rone.
Bey-Berk’s Raffi Najarian with the effervescent Megan Erber from Jetline.
Here’s me and my girl, Megan. Backstory: We met for the first time last year at ASI’s Dallas Show, holding court at the bar at The Palm. We became fast friends, as there is nothing about this chica I don’t adore.
The night we were in Brooklyn, it was pouring rain. Did Megan care? Nope. This girl’s joie de vivre knows no bounds. She merely danced in the rain and exclaimed, “I love the taste of rain in my mouth!” Love, love, love her!
Here’s my friend Jeff Hinds from Rainkist. Isn’t he the cat’s meow?
ASI’s Joe Haley, star of The Joe Show, models a blinking fedora he found in an exhibitor’s booth – an item destined to make an appearance on The Joe Show.
Brad White (left), vice president of sales for Counselor Top 40 distributor Boundless Network, shown here with Kris Robinson, chief sustainability officer and executive vice president of Counselor Top 40 distributor PromoShop.
K-Rob & C-Rob! Kris Robinson and his stunning and charming wife, Carolyn.
Chuckles in the house!!! Here’s my pal Chuck Fandos, CEO of Gateway/CDI (left), shown here with BIC/Norwood’s Lori Bauer and my new favorite person, Tom Savio, president of Counselor Top 40 distributor Caliendo-Savio Enterprises (CSE). What. A. Pistol. At the Counselor Awards banquet held at the jaw-droppingly beautiful Cipriani Midtown, I hosted the Best Table Ever with these three, Brad White, Kris & Caroline Robinson and John & Sara Papa with John Michael Associates. Too much fun…
Dave Saracino (left) and Chuck (“Chuckles”) Fandos. If the industry has a Rat Pack, these two are Frank and Dean.
The delightful John & Sara Papa, two new friends I met at the banquet. Seated next to me at dinner, I couldn’t have asked for nicer and more interesting conversationalists.
CSE’s president Tom Savio, who accepted my offer to be a panelist at this year’s ASI Power Summit in Naples, FL (www.asicentral.com/powersummit). Can Not Wait to spend more time with him!
The Meeting of the Loudmouths (says the female loudmouth): Boundless’ Brad White (left) and ASI’s Joe Haley. These two could talk the ears off corn, as my mother would say…
(From left): CSE’s Tom Savio, Boundless’ Brad White and PromoShop’s Kris Robinson, all with their Counselor Top 40 Distributor awards.
One of my all-time favorites, Jim Hagan (left), president of Counselor Top 40 supplier Sweda, here with Gateway/CDI’s Chuck Fandos. Did you ever know someone who, by just seeing them, induces miles of smile? That’s my reaction when I’m with Jim Hagan…
(From left): BIC/Norwood’s Dave Saracino, Hit’s CJ Schmidt and Gateway/CDI’s Chuckles Fandos.
The awesome Mike Riddle, sales director at Counselor Top 40 distributor WorkflowOne, shown here with my colleague Joe Haley.
(From left): Three of the best guys in the industry, PromoShop’s Kris Robinson, Sweda’s Jim Hagan and BDA’s Jay Deutsch. A word, now, about Jay: Every time I see him, he just cracks me up and, while I’m normally the one bestowing nicknames on people, he’s got one for me: Rona Barrett. Love, love, love ya, Captain Invisible. ; )
Have you ever met the Honorable Prime Minister of Canada? Well, here’s the industry’s version, Fred Oesen, with another beloved industry veteran, Mary Sells.
The amazing and famous Cipriani on 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan, decorated for this year’s Counselor Awards banquet.
One of the coolest and most fun chicas at ASI, Supplier Internet Sales rep Krista Taylor.
My BFF Jakey Krolick, who always looks like a rock star in his photos.
The expression on my colleague Colin Graf’s face just slays me. Colin is the director of supplier marketing at ASI, and more importantly, someone I’ve given the nickname El Diablo.
Activate!’s Fred Parker, this year’s Distributor Entrepreneur of the Year – in the best photo ever – with ASI editor-in-chief Melinda Ligos and Activate!’s Alfred Brand.
ASI’s president/CEO, Tim Andrews, sporting his jaunty ASI hat during the last hour of the show. I recently celebrated my 15th anniversary as an editor with the company and Tim sent a hand-written note to my house that was so touching, it nearly brought me to tears. Seriously.

The Asian Gift Shows: The Good, The Bad & The Skeezy

Filed under: Asia, Fun, Travel

Hi Everyone!

I'm back from Asia, slightly jet-lagged but no worse for wear. For those of you who follow me on Twitter (@ASI_MBell), you probably have a sense of my feelings on the shows I attended (read: Canton Fair = Awful; Hong Kong Gift Show = Awesome). But there are a few thoughts I'd like to convey, lest anyone accuse me of being vague.

First, the Canton Show. This event is held in Guangzhou, China, which is about 2.5 hours outside of Hong Kong. The show is divided into three phases and attracts well over 100,000 attendees from around the globe, with exhibitors showing items like electronics and household goods, hardware and tools, consumer goods, gifts and home decorations, textiles, office supplies and bags, among others. Many of the ad specialty suppliers here in North America attend the show to find new items for their lines; I attended in my capacity as editor of ASI's supplier magazine, Supplier Global Resource, looking for product trends for our upcoming show report.

While I will concede that there were massive amounts of products on display, here are some other tidbits about the show: You know how in movies and literature, hell is portrayed as a sulfurous slog of mind-melting heat and unrelenting torment? That's the Canton Fair, only with a crappier floor plan and a nastier smell. If you've ever had a doubt that we (ASI, PPAI, etc.) do a stellar job at organizing trade shows, I defy you to visit this dystopian mess just once. With a staggering lack of show staff, directional signage, printed materials like booth listings or basic services (the "Press Room" was a metal chair and a Xerox machine),  I had a meltdown of epic proportions -- complete with Homeric yelling -- on Day Two, as I tried to find the area where the shuttle buses were parked. Literally no one could tell me. I finally found the buses on the last day of the show, parked somewhere near Beijing.

And while this may be a cultural thing, I take issue with exhibitors sitting and eating their lunch while attendees are in their booth. I don't know one supplier in North America who would be okay with their booth staff slurping down noodles in front of clients and prospects. There's right, there's wrong and there's just plain rude.

Now, my boss, Rich Fairfield, ASI's executive vice president and publisher who accompanied me to the show and became my de facto "handler," pointed out that many people love this show. Maybe, but I don't know any of them. The people from our North American industry in attendance were hardly avid fans. I think Rich is afraid the Canton show organizers will read this blog and ban me from future shows. I should be so lucky.

By contrast, the Shenzhen Gift Fair was a delight. Run by the fine folks at Reed Exhibitions (the same group who does the fabulous PSI Show in Dusseldorf), this event was cohesive, air-conditioned, easy to follow and had beautiful booths with higher-end products. Next year, when the Canton Fair shuns me, this is where I'll be.

Lastly, the Hong Kong Gifts & Premiums Show is really quite fabulous. It's at this event where I found a ton of cool, new products -- especially in its expansive Hall of Fine Designs -- that knocked my Manolos off. You'll be seeing many of them, I'm sure, coming to a supplier's line near you.

And now, without further ado, scores of fun and weird photos from the shows, starring my favorite industry celebs and new friends too!

More next week from the ASI New York Show, where the saltiness, sassiness and snarkiness I accumulated in China will have dissipated, and I'll be my usual perky, rah-rah, chipper self (she says sarcastically). ; )


-- M

At each entrance to the Canton Fair in Guangzhou, China, a very somber, perfectly postured Chinese soldier stood in full regalia. By the end of the first day of this hellish show, I was ready to throw myself at his feet and beg to be put out of my misery.
The main entrance to the Canton Show, which draws over 100,000 international attendees during its three phases at the end of each April.
Here’s my boss, Rich Fairfield, ASI’s publisher and executive vice president, with Rob Spector, owner of Spector & Co., one of the largest and most respected suppliers in Canada, at the Canton Show. Poor Rob… Every time he saw me on the show floor, I wailed at him like a crazy woman about how much I loathe that show. He exhibited the patience of Job with me.
The best, and prettiest, booth I saw at the Canton Show, for a supplier of housewares. By decorating their exhibit area with foliage and white lights, it looked like an enchanted forest.
Rich Fairfield, of whom I’m so fond, could eat Chinese noodles and dumplings (from questionable origins, mind you) every day of his life. Me, not so much.
Brace yourselves: While at the aforementioned Canton Show in Guangzhou, I, Rich and Alan Lee, our wonderful colleague based in Hong Kong, had lunch. I am not an adventurous eater at all, and shied away from anything but the basics while in Asia, sticking to white rice. Alan, however, embraces his culture and eats all sorts of exotic fare. When he cracked open this one-year-old (yep) egg, I happened to have a mouthful of rice — which I then promptly spit all over Rich, gagging in the process. I don’t know about your boss, but I thank God that mine is so laid back that he actually laughed til he cried, despite the fact that I hurled on him.
While in Guangzhou, I received a delightful e-mail from PCNA’s enigmatic president, David Nicholson, asking me to join him and his team, who would be going out that evening to celebrate his birthday. Of course, I jumped at the chance. What I didn’t know at the time was that a river of tequila and sombreros would be involved. Here’s the whole group — members of PCNA, PFConcept (the company’s European arm) and its World Source sourcing team. They were such wonderful, fun people I even thought well of them the next morning, when — in the cold, hard light of day — my eyelashes were stuck together and I was begging for a quick and painless death.
Here’s me with PCNA’s president, David Nicholson. I have no idea what we’re looking at off camera, but would hazard a guess that it’s my dignity and restraint.
PCNA’s David Nicholson (left) with Rodolph Garnier, director of sourcing for Polyconcept GBS, based in Shanghai.
(From left): Peter Healy, PCNA’s vice president of product development and sourcing; AJ Dickson, category manager; Diane Gerken, assistant category manager; and Mindy Hoffman, category manager for PCNA. I had never met any of these people before that night, and they were just awesome. Special props to Diane, who was the youngest of the group yet acted infinitely more mature than those of us in an older demographic, and Peter, who had the singular distinction of making me laugh so hard that I snorted vodka through my nose. Good times.
A moment now, about Jeff Brown, PCNA’s senior vice president of sales & marketing: Every time I get to spend time with Jeff, I enjoy him even more — he’s one of the most entertaining conversationalists I’ve come across in the industry. He’s shown here with the lovely and talented Heather Smartt, product category manager for Bullet. While Heather’s last name is perfect for her, Heather Sassy would be equally apropos. ; )
In addition to the multitude of talents David possesses in the business arena, he has one of the steadiest pours I’ve ever seen and kept the tequila flowing during his birthday celebration. That tequila looks innocent enough, doesn’t it? The next morning, though… Hoo Boy. You just want to heave yourself into a coffin and shut the lid.
Here’s the whole group, celebrating David Nicholson’s 42nd birthday at a fun bar in Guangzhou, China. Truly, being with this amazing team was the highlight of this leg of the trip. (Where’s my sombrero, you may ask? Stuffed under my chair, with my willpower…)
Here’s one to make my Mom proud, with a sombrero around my neck, kissing a bottle of Jose Quervo.
Do you know my Joshy Goodelman (left)? Well, you should. He’s the vice president of sales for the NY-based supplier Liqui-Mark Corp., and is the cat’s meow. Here, he’s with his BFF Taylor Tadmor, owner of Tekweld and one of my new favorites (I call him the “Crazy Israeli” — he rocks) and Jacky Chan, who runs Taylor’s China office. “Jacky has a team of four people that go out to the factories that we use to do quality control,” Taylor says.
This is the view of the harbour in Hong Kong, from my room at the W Hotel. Once I got to Hong Kong, my mood improved dramatically.
The welcome display at the main entrance of the Hong Kong Gifts & Premiums Show.
When I asked Rich Fairfield to go stand next to this plush QR code mascot for the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, he looked at me with such disdain it was as though I asked to drain his marrow. “I don’t like fuzzy walking mascots… they freak me out.” This from the man who’ll eat skeezy dumplings from vendors in the streets of China.
My boys!!! [Insert teenybopper squeal here] Oh, let me count the ways that I adore Polyconcept’s Yann Leca (left) and Michael Bernstein. A large part of the reason why I made the trek (a 16-hour flight each way) to Asia was to spend time with them. So gleefully giddy was I to be with them, that Rich is considering paying them just to travel with us to keep my bitchiness at bay.
I just love who you randomly run into when traveling overseas. While at an Italian restaurant with my Polyconcept pals, I spotted Bill and Sharon Miller, distributors from BCG Creations in Canada, who I had met at a dinner last year at the ASI Dallas Show. They are quite the fun characters…
Here’s PCNA’s Jeff Brown (left) and Rodolphe Normandin, director of marketing and product development for PFConcept, Polyconcept’s European arm.
Meet Rob Brandegee (left) of too-cool-for-school company, Littlearth, and Patrick Tornqvist, president of OneSource IML (learn more about them here: www.osiml.com). These two are at the top of my “get to know better and party with more” list, as the look on Patrick’s face leads me to believe he’s got quite a few fabulous stories to tell.
Polyconcept CEO Michael Bernstein (left), Steve Kaufman, the president of Creative Design & Marketing Inc., (is it me, or does he look like a young Albert Brooks?) and Rob Brandegee, who’s been friends with Michael for years. The CEO of Littlearth, Rob’s company is a licensee for the NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA and collegiate teams (check out his site here: www.littlearth.com). Rob was rocking a hoop earring, lots of Keith Richards-esque bracelets and a Jim Morrison slithery-come-hithery vibe, so I anointed him with the nickname “The Sexy Pirate,” which is how I shall refer to him henceforth.
Me, with my brother-from-another-mother, Michael Bernstein. One of the first people I met in the industry nearly 15 years ago, my affection for him knows no bounds. So comfortable am I with him, that he has the distinction of being one of three people in the industry who’s seen me barefoot (no stilettos!) and without makeup. Eeesh.
Here’s me and my beloved Yann Leca, or “Shakira,” as I call him. Why? If you ever saw him dance, you’d know. His hips don’t lie.
One of my favorite couples ever, Philippe and Martine Varnier. So gracious and charming are they, that they had me to their home in Paris for dinner a few months back, and it was one of the most enjoyable meals I’ve had in quite some time. Monsieur Varnier, who recently stepped down as Polyconcept’s CEO, has a special place in my heart and is so charismatic, his aura has an aura.
Meet my friend Allon Todres (right), shown here with his business partner, Conor O’ Donovan, who run a sourcing company and they are awesome! Click here for more information: www.theODMGroup.com.
One of my great regrets at this year’s Hong Kong Show is that everyone’s schedule was so busy, I didn’t have a chance to cocktail with the fabulous and hilarious Bryan Peach (left) and Bert Prevoo, who run the Corporate Gifts Association of South Africa (www.cgasa.com). They are men after my own liver, and I look forward to hanging out with them and embracing our inner-libertines together the next time we’re all in the same city. Cheers, Guys!
Michael Freter, managing director of the PSI Show, which is held every January in Düsseldorf, Germany.
If you’ve never met the Tangle Man (aka Richie Zawitz), you’re really missing out. Here he is (right) with his son, Nick, in their fun and phantasmagorical booth at the Hong Kong Show. Richie is the creator of the famous Tangle toy (www.tangletoys.com) and is one of the most unique characters I’ve ever come across. A true San Francisco-based hippie, he also says “groovy” more than anyone I know.
A view of Hong Kong from the ferry to Kowloon.
Two of my favorites! Gene Geiger and Jo-an Lantz, who were in Hong Kong for their annual WAGE (World Advertising Gift Exchange) meeting, graciously made some time to have drinks with Rich and me. The WAGE group is really cool because there’s one distributor who gets voted into the group from more than 15 countries across the globe. Geiger has been the designated US member for years, and this year, Jo-an is president of the group. You go, Girl!
Here’s the always-awesome Steve Levschuk, president of Toronto-based Talbot Marketing and WAGE’s Canadian member, and Tatiana Zaragoza, whose company is the WAGE member from Spain.
Oh my Lord, it’s Randy Chen, who — at 6’2″, 220 lbs — is the other Great Wall of China! The loquacious Mr. Chen, the straw that stirs the industry cocktail, acted as tour guide and translator for Brett Hersh, who visited the Asian shows for the first time. Truly, he couldn’t have been in better hands and Randy knows everyone in China through his importing company, Impex, which does product sourcing, warehousing and safety testing for suppliers. Love, love, love these boys.
Liqui-Mark’s Joshy Goodelman (left) and ASI’s Rich Fairfield, relaxing at the Grand Hyatt after the Hong Kong Show.
Rich Fairfield and Brad Gnesin, who handles sourcing for Counselor Top 40 supplier Logomark, at dinner at Tango!, an Argentinean steakhouse in Hong Kong.
Here’s Maggie Wheeler, vice president of new product development for Logomark, with the one and only Trevor Gnesin, owner/president of Logomark, and me. Never one to suppress his opinions, the only thing in rarer form than him that evening was my filet. If the industry were a movie and we were casting “crazy CEO with a big heart and bigger mouth,” Trev-ah would get a callback.


And last but certainly not least is my girl Bonni Sandy, president of Dard Design. Bonni has been attending the Asian shows for years and knows her stuff down cold. She is simply one of the smartest — and sweetest — people I know. Great seeing you, Sista!