When I entered the showroom at Total Awards & Promotions, a family owned and operated business on Madison’s west side, I was immediately struck by the shiny trophies, unique art sculpture awards, distinguished-looking plaques, a wall display of fun promotional items and the tall gold ‘actor’ statue. I was given the back-room tour, which reveled hundreds of colorful vintage-style trophies, piles of trophy parts, boxes of donated trophies and plaques, and an in-house assembly shop. Then I learned about their biggest success … how they give back to the community and continue to look for ways to get involved. Janet Gray, CEO, is passionate about what her family’s business means not only to their customers, but also to local non-profits.
What products and services do you offer?
Total Awards & Promotions offers a variety of awards, promotional items and engraving services. We are the ‘awards experts.
We have a great selection of deliverable food gifts, which are perfect for the holiday season!
We pride ourselves in supporting regional businesses for as many of our products as possible.
We run the only nationwide trophy recycling program. We accept donations of old trophies, plaques and ribbons to be re-purposed and given free to nonprofits. Contact us for more information about donating!
What is your favorite thing about being a business owner in Madison? I love networking with others and being a ‘connector.’ Networking allows me to introduce people within our community who can help each other. I am the type of person that sees a need and does it. I enjoy finding ways to be part of our community as a means to give back to the community. I grew up watching my mom, Donna Gray, build a strong network in the Madison area, so it comes naturally to me.
What is less known about your business that you wish more people knew?
The number one thing we do is give back! We support many local nonprofits by donating trophies and plaques. We are always able to work out a deal for nonprofits and if we are not able to give the items free, then we work out the best possible discounted price.
Recently we received 27,000 donated certificate plaques from the Ford Motor Company, and we are so excited to pay it forward to Madison non-profits and charitable groups.
What is your favorite aspect of your business so far? Obviously, I love how we are able to give back to our community. Also, I love providing presentations with creative options to our customers. If I can find them the right product and idea that fits them, I’m thrilled.
What is your favorite item you offer? The donor displays – donor trees, wooden donor books, donor walls. There are so many different types of donor displays and each one is uniquely designed. I love the creativity and collaboration with our customers during the process of designing and implementing the donor displays.
What is your favorite quote? Pay it Forward
How did you end up in Madison? I grew up in Madison and then went to college in Whitewater. I earned a degree in women’s studies and anthropology, and eventually had my own business there and became the president of the Whitewater Chamber of Commerce. I moved back to Madison to help my parents at Total Awards & Promotions. I am now the CEO of Total Awards & Promotions.
What’s your favorite area festival? Le Fete de Marquette. I love the French Creole music!
Total Awards & Promotions
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