John Lynch, founder of European garment decorator Lynka, has been named international person of the year in awards for the branded products industry.

He was one of the winners in the 2022 Counselor Awards, organised by ASI, the Advertising Specialty Institute, which represents garment decorators and promotional product distributors and suppliers across North America.

Other awards included the title of person of the year going to Jim Shannon, CEO of US-based S&S Activewear, a wholesale distributor of clothing for the promotional sector.

John, who is the founder of Lynka based in Kraków in eastern Poland, was named international person of the year after his humanitarian work helping Ukrainian refugees.

He spearheaded the launch of Corporate Aid for Ukraine (CAU), a rapid response, front-line charitable organisation for raising funds, helping to transport Ukrainian refugees to shelters and the homes of Polish citizens.

The award citation also mentioned two landmarks for Lynka in 2021: its launch of a new print-on-demand business and John’s sale of majority ownership to US-based supplier Vantage Apparel. He also published his first novel, The Ark, which topped the Polish bestseller list.

Announcing the awards, ASI president and chief executive officer Timothy M Andrews said: “Two years of Covid taught us many lessons – foremost among them is the certainty that we can triumph over anything.”

Founded in 1992, Lynka supplies corporate clothing, casual retail fashion and sportswear and manufactures, decorates and distributes a wide variety of apparel and accessories. It services thousands of clients in 32 countries from its 10,000 sq.m facility in Kraków.