Incentive Marketing Association and Recognition Professionals International Join Forces

RPI will move its headquarters to the IMA office and members of both groups will receive expanded education opportunities and benefits.


Two industry organizations, the Incentive Marketing Association and Recognition Professionals International, have signed an affiliation agreement.

"This past year has brought us all unprecedented challenges." notes a statement posted on RPI's website. "As the recognition industry has evolved, the RPI board of directors has assessed strategies to address the changing demands. We evaluated alternative ways RPI could deliver added value to our members and provide growth opportunities for the organization while retaining our recognition industry leadership. As we explored options, one clear strategy surfaced: a relationship with the Incentive Marketing Association."

IMA president Len Sadek, CPIM,  in announcing the move to IMA members, noted the shared interests of the organizations. "RPI and the IMA are a strong fit because the missions of our organizations are closely aligned, with some members carrying memberships in both organizations," he said. "This affiliation gives our organizations a larger network and scope of education, combines our reach and resources to build a stronger voice for the industry, and offers operational efficiencies."

To streamline operations, RPI will move its headquarters, currently in Naperville, Ill., to the IMA office in Minneapolis, where RPI will be supported by IMA staff for daily operations. 

Other goals of the collaboration, as outlined by Sadek are to build a stronger industry voice. "The alignment of our missions will increase our voice and our reach. The IMA advocates for and promotes the use of incentives and recognition to improve business performance. RPI’s mission is to enhance organizational performance through employee recognition by providing access to best practice standards, education, research, and the exchange of ideas. Both are important components in amplifying the message that incentive and recognition programs benefit business production and the work environment."

Another advantage of this partnership, Sadek continued, is to "provide a means for our two organizations to better explore the opportunity for RPI to join the IMA family as a strategic industry group. The addition of RPI’s business practitioners and business solution providers would broaden the IMA’s scope to represent all aspects of the industry more completely. The opportunity to become a SIG within the IMA would allow RPI to grow and increase its reach while retaining its brand equity and best practices," Sadek concluded.

The boards of both organizations are working together to ensure a smooth transition of daily operations; a date for the complete transition has not been announced.