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All’s Fair in Love, War and Politics

Filed under: ASI Shows, Member Benefits, News About ASI

No matter which candidate you support, ASI has you covered, starting with a special keynote Q&A at our Chicago show with political odd couple James Carville and Mary Matalin, and extending to presidential polls, convention coverage and stories on selling political promo products.

As Counselor reported, political swag is a multimillion-dollar business. In fact, investing millions in promotional products helped fuel the unexpected rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders – and reinforced promo’s essential role in the race for our nation’s highest office, according to a story by ASI editor C. J. Mittica.

(Tip: if you do sell political promo products on the local, state or federal level – yard signs, buttons and brochures etc. – make sure you get paid upon delivery, especially by losing candidates!)

This is an important election. We the people will be responsible for electing the next leader of the free world. I’m thrilled Carville and Matalin will provide some insight into how the outcome will impact small business and the U.S. economy as a whole.

Since I’m moderating the Q&A at ASI Show® Chicago, I’d love to know what you think I should ask, so please leave a comment with your question, or email them to me at tim.andrews@asicentral.com.

Interestingly, Matalin recently switched parties, from Republican to Libertarian. As it happens, the first presidential candidate I ever voted for was Libertarian, so we’ll definitely discuss the motives behind her switch. To listen to ASI’s podcast with Mary Matalin, click here.

I also want to know exactly how the husband-and-wife political strategists have maintained a very happy marriage in spite of being polar political opposites. Do they ban politics from the dinner table – or thrive on fiery discussions?

Matalin, a conservative, grew up in the Chicago suburb of Burnham, IL. James “The Ragin’ Cajun” Carville, a liberal Democrat, is from rural Carville, LA. The couple married in 1993. Together, they have over 30 years of experience in politics and have individually worked for Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. In 2014, they co-wrote Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home.

For answers, attend the keynote at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 14, the last day of the three-day Chicago show – the largest promo products trade show of the summer. It’s free to any distributor or decorator registered for the show and all exhibiting suppliers, but it’s not open to the general public.

And, a limited number of tickets are still available for ASI members to gain early admission to the keynote or to attend a meet-and-greet with Carville and Matalin.

So please send me your questions! And if you haven’t already, to register for ASI Chicago call (800) 546-3300 or visit www.asishow.com/shows/2016/chicago.


Tribute to a Friend, a Mentor, a Father

Filed under: Community

I am mourning the passing of Everett Groseclose, who was more like a father to me than my own. I met Ev 33 years ago when I was working as an intern at Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal.

He was the “big boss,” one of the first and best writers of the off-beat stories that appear on the front page of the Journal, and I spoke with him only in passing that summer. The next winter, I answered a blind ad – to a PO box – and my resume ended up on his desk.

He invited me back to New York for an interview, and he later called long-distance to hire me for my first full-time job: I took calls all day from Journal reporters, who dictated their stories as I typed as fast as I could and tried to ask questions and edit their stories along the way.

Ev was a constant coach, adviser and mentor. After seven years working for him, Ev helped me move from editorial to the business side, a foreign place and one usually distrusted by editors. But Ev told me I could do it, and he believed in me.

On the 25th anniversary of my first day working for him (June 4, 1984), I flew to his home in Santa Fe and presented him with an engraved Rolex watch: “Thank you for believing. Rgds, TA.” (Ev’s sign-off was always “Rgds, EG,” the origin of my use of TA.)

He gave me advice whenever I asked, most recently about two months ago when he also shared that his cancer had returned. I loved Ev Groseclose and thank him for everything he allowed me to do for myself simply because he believed in me. My prayers are with his daughters, Kirsten Rose and Megan, and all his family and friends.

Securing Your Online Accounts

Filed under: Community, News About ASI

Whether you have a mom-and-pop shop or a huge corporation, online security has never been more important, especially in light of recent criminal data breaches at social media sites LinkedIn, MySpace and Tumblr.

In what is the online equivalent of a superstore break-in, hackers stole and then tried to sell what they claimed were 117 million LinkedIn email addresses and passwords. This is a huge deal because lots of people routinely use the same password on multiple sites, meaning hackers could use one piece of stolen info as a gateway to break into banking websites and other key accounts.

If your LinkedIn info was stolen, LinkedIn was supposed to notify you with instructions to reset your password and consider adding two-step verification. Regularly changing passwords – and using long passwords that are a mix of letters, numbers and symbols – should be routine at every home and office these days.

But I admit, when I first heard about the breaches I had to think, “Did LinkedIn notify me? Do I still have a MySpace account? Did I ever use Tumblr?”

We’re all super busy, and it’s easy to get lazy about personal online security – just as it’s easy to forget to lock your front door or your car. Make no mistake, cybercrime is very real and growing more sophisticated every day. There’s malware, email worms, like-jacking, link-jacking – the threat list goes on.

To alert ASI members to the latest breaches, ASI’s CTO, Armughan Rafat, sent an advisory email I’m sharing in full below. Please note: the LinkedIn, MySpace and Tumblr breaches are not related to your safe, secure ASI accounts and, unfortunately, ASI cannot help you change settings to your personal external accounts.

Here is Armughan’s email:

If you have used LinkedIn, Tumblr or MySpace, I highly recommend you take the following actions to protect your account(s):


If you already changed your password in response to a breach notification from LinkedIn, there’s no need to change it again. But if you wish to change it as a precaution:

  1. Log on to LinkedIn and select a new, unique password only used for LinkedIn. Never use the same password across multiple websites because criminals will use breached data to attempt access to your other accounts. Choose long passwords that are a mix of letters, numbers and symbols.
  1. As added security, enable two-step verification, which protects your account by sending a verification code to your cellphone when you sign on to LinkedIn from a device they don’t recognize. Get directions here: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/suggested/544.


  1. Log on and click your account “Settings,” located in your footer next to “Messages” and “Notifications.” Click on the “Settings Icon” to open your account menu options and change your password, following the cautions above.


  1. Log on and click “Settings” under the “Account” menu at the top of the dashboard. Update your password in the “Password” section, following the cautions above. Click “Save.”
  1. As added security, enable two-factor authentication. Click “Settings” under the “Account” menu at the top of the dashboard. In the “Security” section, enable “two-factor authentication.” Enter your phone number and continue following steps.

General guidance:

  1. Use unique passwords for each of your accounts.
  1. If the site offers two-step verification or multi-factor authentication, enable it.
  1. Never use your employer-provided email account for your personal activities, as you have no ownership of the account.
  1. Search your email address (es) and usernames on the data-breach search service “Have I Been Pwned?” (victimized, in Internet-speak) at: https://haveibeenpwned.com/. This is a trusted resource that makes many of the publicly disclosed breaches searchable. Register your email address with the site to be notified in case of a breach.

For more information on the data breaches, please visit: