Five Incentive Industry Leaders Inducted into IMA Hall of Fame 

Diane Freeland, Cindy Mielke, Mike Murrell, Donna Oldenburg and Melissa Van Dyke honored for their research, education and leadership to advance the incentive industry. 


CHICAGO – July 24, 2019 – The Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) recognized five industry leaders who have championed the incentive industry through association leadership, education, leading-edge research and publishing by inducting them into the IMA Hall of Fame. The induction took place at the awards ceremony at the 2019 IMA Summit in Chicago this week.

The 2019 inductees are:

  • Diane Freeland, IP
  • Cindy Mielke, CPIM 
  • Mike Murrell
  • Melissa Van Dyke
  • Donna Oldenburg

Diane Freeland, IP (posthumously) – Diane Freeland was at the forefront of delivering digital gift card options, enabling customization of rewards and using social media, all of which are now standards today in delivering gift card incentive programs. Freeland managed gift card programs at Macy’s, SpaFinder and Gift Card Partners.  She was a member of the Incentive Gift Card Council (IGCC) and an active participant in the incentive industry. Freeland was often a presenter at industry events. She also shared her knowledge through media interviews, online articles and more. She was admired by many for her professionalism and knowledge of the incentive marketplace. 

Cindy Mielke, CPIM, director brand relationships, Tango Card Inc. –
Cindy Mielke is an incentive industry trailblazer, thought leader and consummate incentive-industry ambassador. She is viewed as a “go to” person for mentorship and leadership and for setting high standards and working tirelessly for the IMA and the industry. Mielke regularly speaks on event and webinar panels, participates in media interviews and passionately champions the business benefits of well-designed incentive programs. Throughout her more than 20-year incentive-industry career Mielke has been active in the IMA and many IMA-Strategic Industry Group (SIG) initiatives. Known for her forward-thinking approach, Mielke was the IMA’s first female president in 2005. She has also been actively involved in the gift card and solution provider segments of the industry, including serving as the Incentive Gift Card Council (IGCC) president in 2008. Mielke was instrumental in reaching across several IMA SIGs to encourage them to combine efforts as the Incentive Engagement & Solution Providers (IESP). She chaired the IESP board in 2016 and continues to serve as an IESP board director. Note: Cindy Mielke also received the 2019 Karen Renk Fellowship Award.

Mike Murrell, President, Lakewood Media Group; Publisher, Training and Sales & Marketing Management magazines – Mike Murrell became involved in the incentive industry over 20 years ago when he joined Lakewood Publishing as publisher of Potentials in Marketing magazine. At Lakewood, Murrell’s publishing leadership grew to include Incentive magazine. When Incentive moved to a New York publisher, Murrell launched his own custom B2B publication called SalesForceXP, in partnership with BI Worldwide. Later, he also acquired Training magazine and transitioned SalesForceXP to what is now Sales & Marketing Management (SMM) magazine. Murrell is currently President and Publisher over both media brands (Training and SMM), which encompass conferences, webinar networks, digital presence and bi-monthly print publications. Through his journalistic leadership at these publications, Murrell ensures the content, featured articles and product features provide relevant content to help readers improve their businesses. Content often focuses on resources for merchandise, gift card and travel incentives; and incentive solution providers, in ways that businesses of all sizes can relate to. Murrell is a charter IMA member having served on the task force that developed the IMA. 

Donna Oldenburg –
Donna Oldenburg’s many contributions to the incentive industry over the past 25 years have contributed to growth for the industry and the IMA.  Oldenburg championed the industry and delivered the message of the business benefits of incentive programs through multiple channels. She was actively involved in publishing and industry events with Premium Incentive Business, Meeting News, Business & Incentive, and Incentive magazines. Oldenburg was also involved in show management for the New York Premium Show and the Motivation Show. She a founding member of the IMA. Throughout her career she has been an active supporter of the IMA as well as many of the IMA’s Strategic Industry Groups. Oldenburg led the steering committee that engaged the incentive industry groups in joining together under the IMA umbrella. She received the IMA President’s Award in 2008.

Melissa Van Dyke, president, the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) – Throughout her career, Melissa Van Dyke has been a driving force in advancing the business case for incentives and recognition. From her early Maritz days (and as an IMA member and Recognition Council volunteer) to her present role as President of the IRF, Van Dyke has been tireless in her pursuit of the data the C-suite needs to support engagement recognition and incentives as a business strategy. Her IRF team brings the research to life, and puts it in the hands of the industry, the clients, and the business owners. Van Dyke has been named one of the "Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry", a "Perennial Leader in the Meetings Industry", and was selected as Incentive magazine’s “Top 25 Most Influential People in the Incentives Industry." She has authored numerous magazine articles and several chapters in leading management best practice books such as the “Compensation Handbook.” 

About the Incentive Marketing Association – The Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) connects members from leading companies across the marketplace to create a unified voice and growth for the incentive industry. IMA is the umbrella organization for the Incentive & Engagement Solution Providers (IESP), Incentive Gift Card Council (IGCC), Incentive Manufacturers & Representatives Alliance (IMRA), Incentive Travel Council (ITC), and IMA Europe. IMA members have the expertise, leading brands and services to help companies improve their business with recognition, reward and engagement programs.

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Contact: Ione Terrio ● iterrio@incentivemarketing.org ● 952-928-4649