David Woods, MAS, president and CEO of AIA Corporation, has announced he will be stepping down as an officer and director of the Neenah, Wisconsin, distributor, and retiring by year end. The company has launched a search to identify his successor—a process AIA expects to take three to six months—and Woods will stay on until a successor has been identified.

“I’ve been privileged to lead one of the industry’s great companies,” says Woods. “After almost 14 years as CEO, 25 years in the promotional products industry, and 50 years of professional accomplishment and dedication, the time is right to transfer leadership of AIA to a new generation. I look forward to working closely with the board of directors to find my successor and then shift to a series of family and personal projects I’ve wanted to begin.”

Woods’s retirement brings to an end an industry career that includes 14 years of service with AIA as well as time on the PPAI staff, where he served as COO in 2002-2003. When Woods joined AIA in February 2003, the distributor was called Adventures in Advertising and based in Quincy, Massachusetts. Accomplishments during his tenure include the company’s relocation to Neenah, growth in sales from $90 million to $170 million, the acquisition of distributor Flagship Promotional Services and AIA’s own acquisition by private investment firm McNally Capital.

“David Woods has been a very strong leader, only the third CEO in the company’s great 36-year history, and one who has managed the company through challenging times and market transitions,” says Tom Lehr, COO and executive vice president. “The company is grateful for his innumerable contributions and his distinguished tenure with the promotional products industry over the last 25 years.”

Woods’s professional history also includes extensive volunteer leadership for PPAI. He served two terms on the PPAI Board of Directors, from 1997-2002 and 2008-2011, and led it as chair in 2000-2001. He served on the International Committee from 2002-2006 and was chair in 2004-2006. He was also on the Strategic Planning Committee from 1997-2002 and the Events Action Group from 1993-1997 and served as chair from 1995-1997. In addition, Woods was on the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) Board of Trustees from 2005-2009.