by Lisa Grimaldi | December 01, 2007

The Incentive Marketing Association has named the 2007 winners of its annual Circle of Excellence Awards, which recognize outstanding incentive programs. Among the firms honored:

* Sovereign Bank, Boston, won for its customer referral program, which increased referrals by 400 percent. The program was created by
New Brunswick, N.J.-based Dittman Incentive Marketing.

* Phoenix-based Allied Waste, working with Sturbridge, Mass.-based All Star Incentive Marketing, won for developing a safety incentive program that reduced accident frequency by 27 percent.

* Australian telecommunications firm Singtel Opus, based in North Sydney, worked with South Melbourne-based Solterbeck Performance to create a sales incentive for which 32 percent of its sales force met individual goals, increasing the firm’s revenues by 9 percent.

* American Express Incentive Services, based in Fenton, Mo., was lauded for its internal recognition program, which increased the number of employees who met their personal goals and improved employee satisfaction scores.