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Celebrating Excellence at the 2024 Expo: ARIEF Scholarships and Gold Obelisk Awards Recap

In the whirlwind of activities at the 2024 International Personalization Expo, two significant events stood as pillars of celebration and recognition: the Awards and Recognition Industry Educational Foundation (ARIEF) Scholarships and the esteemed Gold Obelisk Award Ceremony. Nestled within the vibrant atmosphere of the expo, these events underscored the industry's commitment to education, innovation, and excellence.

ARIEF, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting education and research in the awards industry, continued its mission by offering 10 scholarships annually to eligible students pursuing higher education in any field. Recipients, selected by a dedicated scholarship committee, underwent a rigorous blind review process of applications, recommendation letters, and essays. These scholarships, open to all APA member company employees, their children, or grandchildren, provide crucial financial assistance and are sent directly to the recipient's chosen school.

During the 2024 International Personalization Expo, APA also hosted the ARIEF silent auction, a cornerstone event that raised over $3,000 to benefit continued education in the industry.

debbie susdorf

The recipients of the 2024 ARIEF scholarships are as follows:

Cornerstone Scholarships:

  • George J. Waas Memorial Scholarship: Kendall Forman, Trophy Awards & Manufacturing, Florence, Kentucky
  • Estelle Funk Memorial Scholarship: Ammon Castillo, Recognition Awards & More!, Breese, Illinois
  • JDS Industries Scholarship: Aiden Fouhy, Moonlight Laser Works, Peerless, Montana
  • Owen R. Siegel/R.S. Owens Memorial Scholarship: Chase Harr, Winner’s Choice, Fairmont, West Virginia
  • Calvin E. Miller Memorial Scholarship: Kayla Mitchiner, Epilog Laser, Golden, Colorado

Chairman Scholarships:

  • Peter V. Ilaria Memorial Scholarship: Kieran Chapellaz, CT Awards and Promotions, St. Francis, Manitoba, Canada
  • Engraving Concepts – Roy Brewer, CRM, Educational Scholarship: Kiley Hill, Advanced Graphics, New Iberia, Louisiana

Presidential Scholarships:

  • Award Associates Scholarship: Morgan Frank, Catania Medallic Specialty
  • Recognition Roundtable Scholarship: Abigail Reckinger, Ed’s Trophies, Cottage Grove, Minnesota
  • ARIEF Scholarship: Riley Guy, Cowart Awards Inc., Greenville, South Carolina

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our generous scholarship donors, including PDU/CAT, JDS Industries, R.S. Owens & Company, Tower Ribbons & Awards, Engraving Concepts, Tropar Manufacturing, Awards Associates of America, and Recognition Roundtable.

"Thank you so much for awarding me this scholarship. I'm grateful to APA for helping me further my educational career!" - Ammon Castillo, 2024 Scholarship Recipient

In addition to the scholarships, the prestigious 2024 Gold Obelisk Awards recognized outstanding contributions within the personalization community. These recipients, chosen by their peers, exemplify excellence in creativity, customer service, and employee engagement.

gold obelisk awards

The 2024 Gold Obelisk Award Winners include:

  • Founders Award: John Stangle, CRM, Creative Awards Screen Printing, Wichita, Kansas
  • Speaker of the Year Award: Darin Jones, IKONICS Imaging, Duluth, Minnesota
  • Volunteer of the Year Award: Richard Korbyl, Columbia Awards & Recognition, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Customer Service Representative of the Year Award: Billy Willis, Rayzist Photomask, Inc., Vista, California
  • Outside Sales Representative of the Year Award: Marla Francis, Marco Awards Group, Ellicott City, Maryland
  • Small Business Retailer of the Year Award: Bux-Mont Awards, Sellersville, PA
  • Large Business Retailer of the Year Award: World Trophies Company, Inc., Providence, Rhode Island
  • Supplier of the Year Award–Multiple Locations: JDS Industries, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Supplier of the Year Award–Single Location: LogoJET, Lafayette, Louisiana

If you can, join us in supporting ARIEF by donating a meaningful gift to further education in the industry. Additionally, visit our website to meet the remarkable 2024 Gold Obelisk Award Winners who continue to elevate our industry with their exceptional work and dedication.

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