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Bob Lilly designated one of industry's "Top 40 under 40

Bob Lilly designated one of industry's "Top 40 under 40

Counselor Magazine celebrates the industry's "Top 40 Under 40".

Bob Lilly Professional Promotions CEO, Bob Lilly, is honored as one of the designees.

You might say Divine Intervention led Bob Lilly to the promotional products industry. "[It was] divine intervention!" he says. "After re-evaluating my career path, I concluded that a new direction was in order. A chance conversation at church led to an interview with a local distributor, and within a week I was in the business."

With such a divine beginning, it's no surprise that Lilly has held his business to high standards. He continually works to exceed client expectations; a practice that seems to be working well. Within two years of opening its doors, Lilly Professional Promotions posted $3 million in sales - $2 million of which Lilly generated himself.

Lilly gained some of his good business sense from his first business mentor, Mike Sanders of Mike Sanders & Associates (asi/318070). "With over 25 years in the business, Mike has forgotten more than most people will ever know about promotional products," he says. "He taught by example the importance of integrity and fairness as well as the art of listening to the customer."

And being in the right place at the right time - like that day in church five years ago - has its benefits. Now, with a future full of potential for the industry, Bob's also at the right age to be a part of that growth: "While I can still communicate with the younger generation of business projessionals entering the workforce, my peers are climbing the ranks to positions of responsibility and influence, leading to increase opportunities."

Aside from work, Lilly lists his biggest loves as "my wife, Julie, and the game of golf." And which three publications does a successful businessman who graduated from Texas Christian University and got his start in church read religiously? "Inc. magazine, the Wall Street Journel and the Bible."

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