Volunteers from the promotional products industry are an important and vital part of PPAI’s success. With April being National Volunteer Month, PPB is beginning an ongoing series introducing the volunteers and initiatives that have helped make the Association what it is today. The inaugural entry in the series is Alicia Skipper, CPIM, promo guru and customer care specialist at Spring, Texas, distributor PromoPros, IncentPros, Inc.

Skipper is also a member of the workgroup for SPARK, PPAI’s fast-growing leadership conference offering a unique perspective for young professionals in the promotional products industry. She is also working with PPAI to host a new podcast the Association is rolling out, Generation SPARK. The podcast aims to highlight SPARK’s role in the professional lives of young industry practitioners. Skipper says, “A big issue that I found while talking to people about SPARK on the Expo floor this year in Vegas was that most of the people I interacted with were not aware of what the conference is. The podcast is designed to help enlighten what SPARK is, who SPARK is for and why SPARK is an asset to the promotional products industry. We really want to give our answers to the unasked questions and explain the need for our perspective.”

Skipper has been with PromoPros since 2016 and first became involved with SPARK when the conference was first held in 2017. Attending that first conference grew into something more for the new promo professional. She says, “In all honesty, I just began talking with the workgroup about my opinions and was really interested in helping out and being involved. I was incredibly honored to have been asked to join the work group in 2018.”

Skipper’s involvement is paying dividends toward her career. “The networking alone has been invaluable,” she says. “The connections I made at Expo this year alone, inviting others to the networking event, were amazing. It also solidified my passion for this phenomenal industry. I’m happy to say that I’m hooked!”

SPARK isn’t Skipper’s only volunteer engagement with her industry and career. She is active in her regional association, Houston Promotional Products Association, and with Incentive Marketing Association. Volunteerism isn’t new for her, either. At Texas State University – San Marcos, she was part of the Alpha Psi Omega service fraternity.


James Khattak is news editor of PPB.