Crader Distributing to be Honored with Triumph Award at Marketing and Small Business Conference


triumph-award-logoA Marketing and Small Business Conference focusing on high impact marketing, including free and low cost resources for small businesses, digital marketing and how to prevent common mistakes in local and regional advertising, is planned for Tuesday, Oct. 25, at Ray’s Plaza Banquet Center in Cape Girardeau.

The conference offers an opportunity to support student learning, highlighted by the presentation of the Triumph Award, an honor recognizing long-term marketing excellence in this region. This year’s award will go to Crader Distributing Company of Marble Hill, Missouri, and will be presented at noon during the Triumph Award Luncheon.

Selection of the recipient of the Triumph Award was by the Tri-State Advertising & Marketing Professionals, and the Department of Management and Marketing, and the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Southeast Missouri State University.  The Tri-State Advertising & Marketing Professionals is a non-profit organization of communications professionals in the Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Paducah, Kentucky; and Harrisburg, Illinois, areas. The organization has previously presented this award to Auto Tire & Parts, Inc., Drury Hotels, Rhodes 101 Convenience Stores, Plaza Tire, and Bluff City Beer.

“Crader Distributing Company definitely fulfills all of the five Triumph Award criteria – legacy of sustained marketing and business success, appetite for innovation and continuous improvement, leadership in their business category, willing to take risks to grow their business and geographically located in this region,” said Dr. Charles Wiles, Triumph Award Committee chair. “We salute their long-time dedication and commitment to marketing excellence.”

crader-distributing-logoFounded in 1944, Crader Distributing and Blue Mountain Equipment (CDC-BME-STIHL) is the exclusive distributor of STIHL Outdoor Power Equipment in Missouri, Nebraska, southern Illinois, Texas and Oklahoma. The company has grown to serve more than 1,300 Outdoor Power Equipment dealers throughout the Midwest with sales of more than $150 million.

Co-moderating the conference will be Andrew Chronister, president of the Tri-State Advertising and Marketing Professionals, and Dr. Judy Wiles, chair of the Department and Management and Marketing and director of the Douglas C. Greene Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Conference sessions are scheduled for 8:30-11:50 a.m.

“Free and Low-Cost Resources for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs” will be the topic of the opening session at 8:30 a.m. Assistance available from state, federal and University resources will be shared by panelists, including Richard Proffer, business development specialist with the University of Missouri Cape Girardeau County Extension; Mark Christian, Southeast Small Business Technology Development Center; Shad Burner, Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce; Brian Gerau, Jackson Chamber of Commerce; and Susanne Stearman, U.S. Small Business Administration. Moderating this session will be Dr. Foster Roberts, Southeast assistant professor of management.

A presentation from 9:40-10:40 a.m., “Digital marketing: Strategic Connections,” will focus on identifying digital trends, prioritizing the appropriate avenues for your business and consistently applying them to create unique consumer experiences. This presentation will be given by Roxanne Brown, director of marketing with Crader Distributing Co. and Blue Mountain Equipment, and moderated by Dr. Dena Hale, assistant professor of marketing at Southeast. Brown is a veteran marketer with more than 15 years of professional experience. A Southeast alumna, she is responsible for the marketing of the STIHL product line, along with strategy and planning for market and dealer development.

The final session, “How to Prevent Common Mistakes in Local and Regional Advertising,” is scheduled for 10:50-11:50 a.m. This session will identify strategies and tactics to effectively use advertising and promotion, and avoid and correct the most common advertising mistakes made by small businesses. Presenting this session will be Jim Riley, founder and chief executive officer of Red Letter Communications in Cape Girardeau. Moderating the talk will be Dr. John Cherry, Southeast professor of marketing. Red Letter is the U.S. agency of record for STIHL, Inc., and the 8,000 associated STIHL Dealers. Red Letter also serves clients in healthcare, agribusiness and other industries. Riley is the primary author and owner of DogTown Press, Children’s Books With Purpose. He is a Southeast alumnus and founded the Taylor Endowment for Media Excellence at the University. He is the recipient of the American Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal.

Advance registration received by Oct. 19, including the conference and lunch, is $50.  Advance registration for lunch only is $25. Registrations received after Oct. 19 are $60 for the conference, including lunch, and $35 for lunch only. For information and reservations for luncheon tables of eight, contact Charles Wiles at (573) 225-5277 or email Checks should be made payable to Tri-State Advertising and Marketing Professionals and mailed to P.O. Box 541, Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63702-0541. To register online, visit

For more information, contact Chronister at (573) 200-9036 or; or Dr. Judy Wiles at (573) 651-2913 or