PPAI has made the difficult decision to cancel the Association’s 2020 North American Leadership Conference (NALC) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was made in consultation with the PPAI Board of Directors, past attendees of NALC and Association staff. The event was scheduled to be held in August in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

NALC brings together the top minds in the promotional products industry and features accomplished speakers focused on the timeliest topics. It has served as PPAI’s flagship professional development event for decades. And while the Association designs the program for attendees, PPAI also benefits from the high level of interaction and idea sharing.  

PPAI did consider offering a virtual NALC option, but felt strongly that the level of in-person interaction with colleagues was an integral and important part of the event’s annual agenda. The Association promises to deliver an even stronger and potentially reformatted and reimagined event in 2021.

While NALC has been cancelled this year, PPAI continues to recognize its 2020 PPB Rising Stars, which has been part of the conference in the past. The Rising Star program spotlights the industry’s up-and-coming leaders and is one of PPB’s most popular and coveted honors. Since the program began in 2010, it has recognized nearly 140 of the most watchable young professionals at companies across the industry. These 12 individuals were selected this year based on their accomplishments, demonstrated leadership and involvement in the industry and in their communities. Read more about them in PPB’s September issue. 

Jeff Franklin, CAS, Headwear USA 
Alyssa Inkrott, CAS, Raining Rose 
Sam Kabert, SwagWorx 
Jason Loui, AnyPromo.com 
William Lovelace, Diamondback Branding 
Kate Masewich, commonsku 
Rachel Minogue, Monarch & Company 
Kate Plummer, MAS, Clearmount Plastics Ltd. 
Alicia Skipper, PromoPros/IncentPros 
Justin Washburn, Full Throttle Marketing 
Tiffany Wu, Bagworld 
Colton Young, Storm Creek 


James Khattak is news editor of PPB.