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October  2 0 1 6

n e w s  b r i e f s

Kerusso Again Earns a Place on the Inc. 5000 List

Inc. magazine ranked Kerusso among the companies on its 35th annual Inc. 5000 list. The honor marks the sixth time Kerusso has earned the coveted distinction in nine years and helps solidify the company as the leader in Christian apparel and gifts.

The list represents a prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing privately held companies, and provides a unique look at the top companies in the American economy’s most dynamic segment.

Founder and CEO Vic Kennett started Kerusso (which means to preach in Greek) in 1987 in his home in Eureka Springs, Ark. His Christian-themed silk-screen T-shirt business quickly blossomed, and he began producing apparel for retailers through mail order.

Twenty-nine years later, his company, which is now located in Berryville, Ark., employs 160 employees within its 100,000 square-foot facilities with distribution in more than 100 countries.

“Our success is directly attributable to our team of associates, who don’t just believe in our mission, but live it every time they walk through the door. It is precisely why our motto is, One Team, One Mission,” said Kennett. “Our success is also attributable to our thousands of retail partners who are on the front lines, helping us accomplish our mission every day.”

Kalan LP Announces Fall Acquisition and Partnerships

Kalan LP, a leading supplier and manufacturer of novelty and souvenir merchandise, acquired WTBI (What’s The Big Idea?), Inc. on September 1. WTBI, Inc. specialized in producing souvenir magnets, keychains, bookmarks, and other Made in the USA products for gift shops, museums, zoos, and tourist attractions around the nation. The agreement is the result of WTBI President Jeff Vogel ’s plan to retire and Andrew Kalan’s goal of expanding within the tourist and resort marketplace.

Kalan is also preparing to take over distribution of all National Design products. National Design is an industry-leading supplier of stationery, accessories, and drinkware for souvenir and gift retailers in the U.S. These recent changes are very much reflective of Kalan’s business philosophy of fostering mutually beneficial relationships with other companies within the wholesale marketplace. It is these relationships that have helped Kalan build its reputation for consistent excellence.

September Was Balloon Month

Nathan Deal, Maxine Burton and Bob Burton.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal issued a proclamation declaring September as Balloon Month. Maxine Burton, president and founder, and Bob Burton, CEO, spearheaded the initiative to coincide with International Balloon Month.

Lasergifts Reveals the Swing Thing

LaserGifts, the innovator of the first Solar Powered Key Ring and the subsequent Flash-n-Flip lenticular key ring, has revealed their newest solar souvenir - The Swing Thing (patent pending). LaserGifts solar-powered souvenirs have sold more than 20 million units, and early indicators predict that The Swing Thing will exceed these numbers.

The Swing Thing was seen at the Las Vegas Souvenir & Gift Show, Las Vegas, Nev., September 18-21, 2016.

It took an international team of designers and engineers nearly a year to develop The Swing Thing. “We have combined cutting-edge technology and trend analysis to bring to market the most dynamic souvenir since the Solar Key Ring,” said Vice President of Product Development Ross Johns.

The Swing Thing may be seen for the first time at the LaserGifts tradeshow booths at the following shows: The Gathering, Orlando, Fla., October 5-8, 2016; Smoky Mountain Gift Show, Gatlinburg, Tenn., November 2- 5, 2016; Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach, Fla., December 4-7, 2016; and SURF Expo, Orlando, Fla., January 26-28, 2017. Visit to learn more or circle 273 on the card.

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