Michael Freter, Managing Director of RX Global Germany, has been named ‘International Person of the Year’ by the Advertising Speciality Institute.

The annual awards, nominated by industry peers and chosen by the editors of ASI’s award-winning Counselor magazine, recognize the industry’s outstanding individuals and companies. This year, for the first time, the awards ceremony was virtual (#ASIawards), hosted by ASI President and Chief Executive Officer Timothy M. Andrews and featuring acceptance speeches filmed by Michael and his fellow honorees.

Since his appointment as Managing Director in 2008, Michael has emerged as an ambassador for the global promo industry – connecting professionals, networking, collecting and analyzing market research and data, and continually updating his main event to keep it fresh and enticing to the thousands of attendees and exhibitors alike.

Held in Düsseldorf, Germany, PSI celebrated its 60th anniversary in January – just before the onset of COVID-19. Ever the pragmatist, Michael has some advice for an industry hit by its worst disruption ever, with promo businesses in Europe down an average of 80%. “Never get complacent and always be flexible,” he says. “I’ve never faced a situation like this, but the most important thing is we take care of our people and their families. The other is technology. Everybody is well-equipped, and we’ve learned that communication worked well from day one in the home office. The industry is fast, flexible and creative.”

Michael says that in addition to his family, he’s most proud of launching the PSI Sustainability Awards, as consumers around the globe have really started to embrace the meaning of corporate social responsibility and ecology for the industry.

As for the PSI 2021 show, slated to be held from January 12-14, Michael maintains it will take place. “We’re in a regular planning process for PSI 2021; the show will happen,” he says. “It’s a different world with less travelling, but with more understanding for each other and the virus. The best advice I ever received was from my grandma, who would always say ‘never give up.’”

Watch the video of Michael’s award citation and acceptance speech (Starts at 2.21 minutes).