Company Overview

Founded by Gordon Campbell and Robert LaFrenier in 1985, Award Concepts is a leading designer and provider of distinctive employee appreciation solutions. From consultation to fulfillment, we strategically handcraft, customize and personalize programs on time and on budget. We are located in St. Charles, Illinois, 45 miles west of Chicago.

Our focus: providing recognition programs. That’s it. No retail store, no gimmicks or giveaways. Instead, we continually perfect and streamline our offerings and processes. That’s why we’re the best at what we do.

We provide the following types of recognition programs:

  • Anniversary (years of service)
  • Performance
  • Achievement
  • Retirement
  • Safety
  • Onboarding
  • Special occasions

Mission, Vision and Values

Our mission is to develop and deliver exceptional, cost-effective programs that support your culture of employee recognition while producing positive results and return on investment.

Our vision is to engage your people and inspire them to perform with meaningful determination to achieve their very best.

Our values form the basis of our business, our culture and our way of thinking. We’re proud of our integrity, sincerity, quality and teamwork. We have great enthusiasm for exceeding your expectations!

Our philosophy is simple. We provide award programs that reflect how we would want to be recognized. Each of our employees understands the value in recognition and puts special care into each program. We’re more of a family than a company. On any given day, our owners and factory workers interact. We love our jobs. And we know we’re fortunate!

Innovations in the Recognition Industry

No other company provides the level of innovation, customization or service that we do. Our programs are tailored to your needs, and evolve as your business does. We offer suggestions based upon best practices in the industry, but ultimately you determine your program. We’re small enough to react quickly to change, yet large enough to handle it easily.

Our level of personalization and customization in programs, awardee literature and jewelry is unmatched by our competition. It’s essential to our success and – ultimately – yours.

Award Concepts designs and manufactures customized emblems in our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in St. Charles, Illinois. Our jewelry designers use the latest in CAD software to create beautiful pieces of corporate emblematic jewelry.

We’ve developed many new and impressive jewelry items throughout our history. Our most recent innovation is our Badge ACcent™, a unique way for employees to wear their service award pins/emblems on their name badges on a daily basis.

We keep ahead of current trends in technology, including social internet developments applicable to employee recognition. Our administrator- and awardee-based recognition portal websites are prime examples of how we stay ahead of the curve.

Awards and Recognition

The Santa Fe Symposium is a non-commercial event that brings the best minds in the jewelry industry together to discuss the latest ideas and advancements in jewelry manufacturing. Speakers from around the world present their research and share their experience and expertise. Our Plant Manager, Rick Greinke, has presented two published papers at this event: A Look at the Manufacturing of Emblematic and Corporate Award Jewelry and Gold-Filled: Its Usage in Jewelry Manufacturing.

Awards from the Santa Fe Symposium:

Presented to Award Concepts – Industry Leader Award for Significant Contribution by a Manufacturer in Sharing Quality Technical Information within our Industry.

Presented to Rick Greinke – Ambassador Award: In recognition of your cumulative work and the significant contribution it represents to the jewelry industry.

What Makes Us Unique

We take a hands-on approach to recognition by listening to our clients’ needs and crafting tailor-made programs to meet them.

We provide engaging customer care support for program administrators and awardees.

Customized and personalized literature supports your program.

We use the most current CAD/CAM software and hardware for design and rapid prototyping manufacturing, all right in-house, with outstanding quality control maintained by all of our departments and employees.

Our dedicated staff of recognition experts is always on hand to support your employees and program administrators.

Quality and Flexibility of Award Offerings

More than 4,000 awards are available to our customers, plus innumerable customized emblematic jewelry options. In the case of out-of-stock and/or discontinued items, we will notify awardees and give them the choice to wait for the item to return to stock or select a comparable gift selection.

Please take time to review the list of offerings for that can be included in your program. Don’t be surprised by the valued brand names! We believe that offering gifts of lasting value is the best way to show your employees how much you value them.

We view gift offerings as fluid and flexible during the term of the program. We invite, encourage and sincerely want your involvement.

Award Concepts publishes award selection catalogs in-house, so changes are timely and seamless. Plus, with online ordering, your employees can review product updates and changes immediately.

Award Personalization and In-House Manufacturing

We encourage award personalization. We want your employees to forever associate their awards with your organization. Many programs require that each item either have an attached corporate emblem or companion lapel tac (in the cases of items like crystal). We also manufacture customized keyrings and rings that reflect your corporate branding. Watches can have engraved backs and clocks can be provided with engraved plates.

A portion of our clients’ award selections are designed and manufactured in-house by Award Concepts, including rings, lapel pins, keyrings and charms. From design to final product, all manufacturing is done at our plant in St. Charles by skilled jewelers and polishers and fully staffed stamping, casting, engraving and plating departments.

Marketing and Communication Services

We listen to what you want and create a program just for you, based upon our experience and best practices. Award Concepts considers your industry, employee demographics, culture, core values and budget to design and develop a highly effective recognition program. You’ll see these parameters reflected in your program development, gift selections, literature design and emblematic choices.

After implementing your program, we continuously support its evolution to further promote successful employee engagement and recognition. It’s all based on how you want to enforce your company values and goals. After all, it’s your program! From the award brochure design, to the gift selections, to the orders placed with our Customer Care team, everything reflects your goodwill towards your employees. And rest assured, the quality of the products and service will reflect your high standards as well.

Website and Award Selection Brochure Customization

Your options are endless at Award Concepts! Our talented group of in-house graphic and web designers will work closely with your organization’s marketing and/or branding personnel to develop high-quality customized literature and websites that abide by your branding standards. Personalization and customization are available with our on-demand printing processes.

Customer Service Support

One word: engaging! That’s the best way to describe our customer service organization. Our customer care team personally congratulates each awardee who calls, reaffirming the gratitude your company has shown them. Think of us as an extension of your recognition presentation. We operate an “open floor plan” that encourages interaction and cooperation among all departments. That means our customer care team knows your program from development to implementation.

Got a specific question about an award item? Give a customer care specialist a couple of minutes to pull the item from the warehouse and ask away!

Internet Capabilities

Award Concepts will provide a customized web-based award catalog and ordering portal for your award recipients. Awardees sign into the website with a username and password, view their award selections and seamlessly place their orders. Our web-based merchandise catalog and ordering portal uptime is nearly flawless. We can successfully update and maintain our systems without going offline.

Over the last three years, Award Concepts has received and successfully processed over 40,000 orders online. Our web-based ordering system is custom programmed for efficiency and ease. No hardware or software requirements are needed to install or run our merchandise catalog or ordering portal. Internet access is required. Adobe Flash is also recommended for viewing the merchandise catalog(s).

The awardee ordering portal website, along with an administrator-only website, are customizable. Our technology experts will work with your designated staff to customize your employee online order experience.

Media Temple provides secure web hosting for all of Award Concepts’ domains. Media Temple hosts well over 700,000 domains internationally, including multi-billion dollar corporations such as Sony, Toyota, Starbucks Coffee, NBC-Universal, Time, Inc. and ABC.

Real-time Reporting

All of our reports are easy to run and provide program administrators with specific data in seconds. Reports provided include:

  • Open Orders – View a full listing of awardees that have placed their orders but have yet to receive them.
  • Shipped Orders – View all orders that have shipped between the date ranges you have specified.
  • Non-Response – View all awardees that have been sent literature and/or ordering instructions but have yet to place their orders.
  • Usage – View which items have or have not been ordered by the awardees in your recognition program.
  • Response Type – View how your program’s awardees have placed orders (i.e. internet, phone, fax, mail) within a given timeframe.

Warranties and Guarantees

Our Satisfaction Guaranteed Return Policy states that if upon receipt, an employee is not satisfied with the quality of their award, it can be returned for full credit and a new award can be selected in its place. No additional shipping charges will be incurred. A credit memo will be created for the first invoice and a new sales order created for the replacement choice. Our guiding principles regarding warranty and return issues are to maintain an open line of communication to resolve all issues in a manner acceptable to all parties involved.

All returns are coordinated through our Customer Care Department. Through a packing list that accompanies the award shipment, employees are directed to contact the Customer Care Specialist directly to report cases of damage upon receipt or inspection, and/or non-operating merchandise awards. Upon contacting the Customer Care Department, a Return Good Authorization Number (RGA) will be issued for tracking the return, and a UPS shipping label will be forwarded to the employee for shipping the award back to us. A new sales order will be entered to ship out a replacement award upon receipt of the damaged/non-operative piece and there will be no additional shipping charges or merchandise charges.