End of a Decade: 2019 Year in Review

Take a moment to look back on some noteworthy events from the past year.

Another year has come and gone in the recognition industry. The last year of this decade did not go by without some change – from company anniversaries and acquisitions to new shops opening and industry veterans passing on, there has been quite a bit to keep up with. In case you missed any of the major happenings from 2019, take a moment to look back with us. For more news, visit www.a-e-mag.com/news.

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Downeast Trophies Marks 40 Years of Business

Downeast Trophies, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, marks 40 years of business this year. The shop has been a consistent provider of trophies for local sports teams, corporate events, and more since its opening.

D&H Engraving Marks 50 Years in Business

D&H Engraving, based in Broomfield, Colorado, has been mechanically marking for the last 50 years, serving the electrical and utility industries across the country. 

Nothers Signs and Recognition Celebrates 50 Years of Business

Based in London, Ontario, Nothers Signs and Recognition celebrated 50 years of business while moving into a larger facility. 

Viking Trophies Celebrates 50 Years of Business

Based in the Twin Cities of the state with a thousand lakes (AKA, Minnesota) is a seller of awards and promotional products, justly named Viking Trophies. This year is the shop’s 50th year in the recognition business.

GCC Celebrates 30 Years of Business

GCC, a global manufacturing company that produces a range of decorating equipment for signage, apparel, identification, gifts, and promotions, celebrates 30 years of business this year. To promote the anniversary, the company unveiled a special logo.

Acquisitions and Partnerships: 

 Mimaki USA Announces Partnership with Gravograph


Mimaki USA announces a strategic partnership with Gravograph that enables Mimaki USA to distribute Gravotech’s full line of products, including software, consumables, and machinery throughout the   U.S.

 InkSoft Acquires Digital Art Solutions

 InkSoft announces the acquisition of Digital Art Solutions. Both Arizona-based companies, Digital Art Solutions (DAS) has served the apparel decorating and graphics community since 1992 while   InkSoft’s origins date back to 2009.

 Catania Medallic Specialty Inc. Acquires GA Promo

 Catania Medallic Specialty Inc. announces the acquisition of GA Promo. According to a company statement, the merger serves to unite two family-owned companies and broadens the portfolio of   awards, recognition, and promotional products for each. 

 Trotec Laser Acquires Engravers Network

Trotec Laser announced that the company acquired the assets of laser distributor Engravers Network. The acquisition gives the laser manufacturer opportunities to extend its market reach and broaden the services and support for new and existing customers.

Awards and Accolades:

Roland DGA Named 2018 Top Workplace for 8th Consecutive Year

Roland DGA earned a spot on the Orange County Register’s 2018 Top Workplaces list. This marked the eighth consecutive year Roland is in the lineup.

Engraving by Lin Recognized as Historic Business

Engraving by Lin, a trophy and engraving shop based in western Illinois, was recognized as a Historic Downtown Legacy Business Enterprise by the city of Macomb, where it has sat for almost 40 years. 

Texas-Based Awards & Engraving Wins Readers’ Choice Award for Second Year

Awards & Engraving, a Baytown, Texas-based trophy business, won the 2019 Readers’ Choice award for being the best awards company in town.

OrderMyGear Makes Inc. 5000 List for 3rd Year in a Row

OrderMyGear makes Inc. magazine’s annual Inc. 5000 list for the third year in a row. The yearly roundup picks a set of the country’s fastest-growing private companies.

Closing Doors:

Howard’s Athletic Goods to Close after 74 Years 


Right off of the Mississippi River and directly southeast of Missouri State University sits Howard’s Athletic Goods in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. After serving the greater area with trophies and sporting   goods for the last 74 years, Howard’s closed this summer. 

 Rose Engraving Closes After 80 Years of Business

 Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Rose Engraving, a paper engraving company specializing in letterhead, envelopes, and business cards, closed in August.

 Helping Hands:

 Hit Trophy Helps El Refugio in Guatemala

 Ohio-based Hit Trophy announces a partnership with El Refugio in Guatemala. For the next year, the company plans to donate $500 each month to sponsor a room at the refuge. 

 9th Street Designs Donates Running Buffs to National Running Organization

9th Street Designs, the company owned by Shon Roti, contributing writer to A&E, donated 1,000 running buffs to Girls on the Run in coordination with the Sioux Falls Running Club.

The Recognition Industry Takes Part in Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Several vendors and small businesses in the recognition and personalization industry offered Breast Cancer Awareness-themed items, such as awards featuring the notable pink ribbon and customizable promotional items with the same pink theme to represent the cause. 

Sublimation101 Spends Weekend Honoring Veterans

Sublimation101 spent a weekend in the middle of October raising funds for veterans at not one, but two car shows. The efforts stem from Sublimation CFO Michael Kaminsky paying homage to his father, who fought in the Korean War starting at the age of 18. 

In Memoriam:

Long-Time Chewbarka Manager Debra Ricci Passes Away

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 Debra Ann (Couto) Ricci, 52, passed away on January 20, 2019 in Providence, Rhode Island, leaving behind son Frank T. Ricci Jr. According to Ricci Jr., Debra had a role at Chewbarka that not a lot of   people got to see. 

 Champion Awards and Apparel CEO Mike Bowen Passes Away

 Mike Bowen, CEO of Champion Awards and Apparel Inc. in Memphis, Tennessee, passed away on February 9, two days after being involved in a car accident while on vacation with his wife in Costa   Rica. 

 Remembering Glen Jackson: An Awards Industry Veteran

 The awards industry lost a leader, Glen Jackson. Glen lived and breathed trophies, putting over 60 years into the awards business.

 Industry Veteran Jeff McCubbin Passes Away

 Longtime member of the recognition industry, Jeff McCubbin, passed away after fighting a long battle with cancer this past September. McCubbin is missed by many, including his wife of 47 years and co-owner of McCubbin Trophies & Engraving, Lee McCubbin. 

New Looks and Launches:

CrystalEdge Launches New Website

You might remember CrystalEdge’s old website – a site that existed since the early days of the internet. While it served its purpose, it was time to bring it up to speed with the new generation of B2B e-commerce sites. 

LaserSketch Launches New Website

With a focus on security and searchability, the new site is more user-friendly than the old site, which had been around for 16 years. 

Epilog Laser Announces Rebrand

The Colorado-based company launched a new corporate brand identity including a website redesign, logo, graphics, communications, and correspondence to reflect the evolving business and expansion of laser product offerings.

Radian Laser Systems Debuts New Website

Radian Laser Systems, producer of galvo-based CO2 and fiber laser sources, launched a new website as part of a company-wide initiative to increase productivity. 

New Shops, New Owners:

New Owner Takes Over Xcaliber Trophies


 After working in journalism for 28 years, Gino Donato was looking for a new challenge. Around the same time, the owners of Xcaliber Trophies, Sandra and Barry Lind, were ready to retire.

 All-Star Awards and Trophies Changes Owners, Moves Locations After 48 Years

 After 48 years in Collingswood, New Jersey, All-Star Awards and Trophies moved to a new location in Glendora, but customers can still expect the same service and attention to detail, according to   former owner Bill Sonsini. Mark Fanelli, friend of Sonsini for 30 years, purchased the business after Sonsini sold the property. 

 Saratoga Custom Engraving Opens in Saratoga Springs

 Saratoga Springs, New York, a hub for horse racing and natural springs, is now home to a new engraving shop, Saratoga Custom Engraving.

 Recently Launched inKindStore Personalizes Products for Kentuckians and Beyond

 inKindStore opened at the beginning of September in Prestonburg, Kentucky. Owners Kaitlyn and Nathan Wright aim to connect with their community by creating long-lasting memories with custom   creations.  

On the Move:

Randy Deutsch Retires from JDS Industries after 25 Years

Randy Deutsch, a warehouse operations manager at JDS Industries, is retiring after 25 years of working for the company. When he turned 65 in July, he decided it was time to start the next chapter in his life. 

Dave Pomeroy Named New President at NBM

Dave Pomeroy, a 25-year veteran of National Business Media, is the company’s new president, effective August 1, 2019. The announcement was made by the company’s founder and CEO, Bob Wieber. 

Marco Awards Group Names New South-Central Regional Sales Manager

Marco Awards Group welcomes Lisa Chandler to its team as the new south-central regional sales manager. Chandler brings over 25 years of wholesale awards industry experience. 

Rowmark Names New President of Company

Rowmark announces Eric Hausserman as its president, which is a new role within the company’s structure. Hausserman transitioned into the role officially on August 26, 2019, following his time as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Rowmark. 

Jay Donlin Joins J.Charles as Vice President of Sales and Marketing

J.Charles announced on Monday, November 11, that Jay Donlin joined the organization as the vice president of sales and marketing, serving on the leadership team that supports the company’s recent growth. 


THE NBM SHOW Checks Texas Off the List

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 THE NBM SHOW held its second show of the year in Irving, Texas on March 28-30. 

 RECAP: THE NBM SHOW at Meadowlands

 On July 25-26, the Meadowlands Exposition hosted producers in the awards and engraving, sign and digital graphics, and apparel decoration   industries.

 THE NBM SHOW Marks a Quarter-Century Coming to Long Beach

 With mild August temperatures on the outside to match the perfect 72 degrees inside, THE NBM SHOW visited Long Beach, California, on the   fifth stop of its 2019 tour.

 THE NBM SHOW Concludes its 2019 Tour

 THE NBM SHOW wrapped up its 2019 schedule in Charlotte, North Carolina on November 8-9 at the Charlotte Convention Center. THE NBM   SHOW provides educational face-to-face opportunities across the country for the awards and engraving, sign and digital graphics, and garment   decorating industries. 

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Julia Schroeder

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