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Ken Laffer
President & CEO


Ken Laffer, MAS, President and CEO of Motivators, Inc. began his career in the Men's fashion industry. After many successful years as an apparel manufacturer, Ken was looking for a new business opportunity in an equally demanding and ever growing field. Being accustomed to rapidly changing taste in fashion, Ken found the swiftly growing Advertising Specialty industry paralleled the fashion apparel business, and set off for a new challenge. Founding Motivators, Inc. in 1979, Ken fast learned that education was a key factor when planning, designing and executing a successful marketing campaign.

In 1981, just two years after forming Motivators, Inc. Ken landed on the doorstep of the then Specialty Advertising Association(SAA) looking for formal education. At that time, the SAA, had a program called the College of Continuing Education, located in Texas. Ken hopped a plane to Houston, and quickly completed his initial education. Soon after, he enrolled in the Certified Advertising Specialist (CAS) program. After graduating with his CAS certification, he decided to pursue his training further and work towards the coveted Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) certification. To this day only a handful of industry members have achieved this level of industry education.

Armed with his new education and inspired by his new passion for Advertising Specialties, Ken immersed himself in the industry. While growing Motivators, he joined the Specialty Advertising Agency of Greater New York (SAAGNY), and by 1983 he was elected to the Board of Directors, a position he held for many years.

In 1986, Ken was nominated for the National Board of SAA, and again was elected to the Board of Directors. With his now Master level of education and his business acumen, he and his freshmen class set off to achieve two goals: create a better name for the industry and to make education more readily available to members of the industry. Ken worked with others to identify buying patterns and find a term that better represented the products and ideas that they were all selling. He and his class changed the name of the SSA to Promotional Products Association(PPA), a name that is now synonymous with every aspect of our industry. The term Promotional Products better represented the business they were all in and is still the term most widely used today.

As an advocate for industry education, Ken has been widely recognized and applauded for his efforts. His experience and input has led to many of the industry training programs that are used for training for any level of experience in the Promotional Products field. Ken's own pursuit of education within the industry has made him an authority on Promotional Products and has always led him to search out new ways to simplify the buying process. This pursuit led him to begin reaching out to the newest frontier, the Internet. was first launched in 1995, beginning the embrace of all the newest technologies. At first, was a simple portal- an online catalog where customers could view several hundred Promotional Products in one simple easy to use place. As the rest of the world used the Internet more readily, Ken realized that it was time for a re-invention of the site. What customers needed was a 24/7 all-inclusive tool to plan and purchase products. In 2003, Motivators re-launched as a fully e-commerce enabled, secure website. Customers are capable of completing every aspect of the buying process, from choosing their item to submitting their artwork- on their own time, all from the easy access of any PC. To date, has more than 40,000 Promotional Products available for on-line purchase.

Under Ken's leadership, Motivators has developed into a highly regarded Promotional Products distributor. Motivators has twice been awarded the coveted PPAI Web Award, and for his personal accomplishments, Ken has received many industry accolades.

Motivators has recently experienced tremendous growth. Inc.Magazine ranked Motivators on their list of the 5,000 fastest growing private companies. Additionally, the company placed 93rd on the list of the Top 100 Businesses in the New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania regions. Most recently, in the September issue of their Counselor Magazine, the Advertising Specialties Institute (ASI) listed Motivators as one of the "Best Places to Work" in the Promotional Products industry.