Tom Leahy, CPIM, retired corporate gifting and incentive industry leader, was awarded the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2022 IMA Summit Awards.
The IMA Lifetime Achievement Award (formerly IMA Hall of Fame) was established in 2016 to honor individuals who, through a lifetime of achievements in the incentive marketplace, played a major role in the success of the industry. This award recognizes an individual who best represents career and industry achievement and longevity as well as has demonstrated outstanding leadership characteristics throughout their career, and inspired others to achieve similar success.
Leahy had a nearly 50-year career in the incentive industry filled with many firsts. He was instrumental in creating the Silent Auction, now a mainstay at every Incentive Merchandise To Reward & Appreciate (IMRA) Marketing Conference and IMA Summit, as a source of non-dues revenue. He initiated and designed the first Golden Achievement Award, a predecessor to today’s Excellence Awards, to recognize a company that exemplified effective use of incentives. Leahy’s volunteer contributions included serving on the board of directors for IMRA and the IMA, ultimately serving as president of each organization. He also served on the board of the National Premium Sales Executives. A pioneer in many activities, Leahy served on the committee that led to the creation of the umbrella IMA organization comprising strategic industry groups from across the incentive industry.
As much as Leahy gave to the organizations, he was also known for his mentorship and willingness to consult with and help suppliers interested in entering the premium/incentive field. Leahy said the award is “indeed an honor for me to have my name added to the distinguished list of previous recipients. The benefits I received from my involvement in the industry associations far exceeded the time and personal expense I put into it.”