Ask Ron Rodak what his company’s best-kept secret is and he’ll tell you: “we’ll do whatever it takes to never miss an event date and let a client down.”
So it’s somewhat ironic that in 2020, the year he planned a major event to celebrate his organization’s 30th anniversary, everyone was forced to forego it.
Rodak is president of ASAP Advertising Specialties And Printing, a promotional product branding company in North Canton. ASAP prints logos on anything and everything for customers to promote their brand at trade shows, distribute as corporate gifts, or even wear as corporate attire. From business cards and signage, to wearables, drinkware, flash drives and beyond, ASAP does it all.
To ensure these items arrive to customers with plenty of time before their deadlines, Rodak has driven to far away cities to pick up finished products instead of hoping the mail service delivers it in time.
“We go out of our way to make things happen for our customers,” said Rodak. “That’s because we recognize that ASAP wouldn’t have grown and sustained our success for 30 years without their support.”
The company planned a signature trade show back in April to celebrate its 30th anniversary, but was forced to cancel when the pandemic erupted. Despite this and other challenges brought on by Covid-19, Rodak wasn’t going to let the company’s milestone year end without making an impact.
Remembering 30 Years
In lieu of a large gathering to remember its three decades of success, ASAP launched an initiative to honor those who can no longer remember — those suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Rodak and his team invited vendors, clients and friends to submit pictures and a short story or memory of their loved one(s) fighting the disease. They called it “30 Faces for 30 Years” and set out with a goal to collect 30 photos. The Alzheimer’s Association was so grateful for this support that it decided to feature these photos at the Stark County virtual Walk to End Alzheimer’s on October 3.
“In honor of my mom, Beverly Rodak, and her struggle with Alzheimer’s, I teamed up with the Alzheimer’s Association to build awareness for the disease,” says Rodak. “With business shut down during the pandemic, I was able to spend a lot more time with Mom, and saw how much time and effort my dad puts in caring for her day in and day out. They are very long days and he never gets a moment for himself.”
The company’s effort to raise awareness was just the beginning. Rodak and his wife, Becky, teamed up with their three children and their spouses, four grandchildren, his five sisters and all their extended families spread out from the East Coast to Hawaii to raise money for the organization leading up to the virtual walk day.
“We’re thrilled that Team Rodak raised more than $3,300 for the Alzheimer’s Association,” said Rodak. “It was really special to come together in this way for Mom and to raise money for such a worthy cause.”
Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest fundraiser for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
Rodak and company trekked a trail together on walk day before Ron visited his inspiration -- Mom. His children escorted Beverly down her driveway and back, while the grandkids cheered her on. Family across the country sent walk-day photos and messages of support, which Rodak says helps both the patient and their caregiver.
“Sometimes people avoid visiting someone with Alzheimer’s because they don’t want to say the wrong thing, but getting to sit and talk is so important for the caregiver,” says Rodak. “They need to maintain some normalcy, too, and friends stopping by can help in big ways.”
Team Rodak took home the Top Rookie Team and Top Friends & Family Team fundraising awards in Stark County for their efforts. The Alzheimer’s Association will continue collecting donations through the end of the year. To donate via Team Rodak, visit act.alz.org/goto/Rodak.
Where It All Started
Initially, Rodak set up the promotional company to meet his own needs while working for a trade show environments business. Local vendors couldn’t meet his deadlines or provide even basic levels of service, so he found a better way and did it himself. He started serving colleagues and before long, Rodak and his wife, Becky, both quit their full-time jobs to run the business.
"Thirty years ago we called them cottage businesses, but today it’s called a 'start-up company," says Rodak. "Either way, we left corporate America and invested all we had into our new business in our home."
After a few years, they moved into a space on Middlebranch, then landed in 2008 in the current space on Mayfair road. Regardless of location, Rodak finds pride in maintaining the same level of service — and relationships — he founded the business on.
"We provide a consultative approach to help our clients reach their marketing and advertising goals," says Rodak. “Many of our clients have become long-time friends over these 30 years. Some day, however, when we retire, no one will be a client — they will be friends. And friends remember friends forever.”
5757 Mayfair Rd, North Canton