Remi Walle  /

Volunteers from the promotional products industry are an important and vital part of PPAI’s success. This third installment of an ongoing PPB series introducing the volunteers and initiatives that have helped make the Association what it is today, focuses on Kevin Flynn, MAS, director of sales at distributor TBK Promotions in Chicago, Illinois, and a member of PPAI’s Research Committee.

Flynn started volunteering in his teens, something that he says was encouraged by his mother’s own philanthropic involvement. “Since I have been alive, my mother has held at least one volunteer position,” says Flynn. “My first ‘job’ was a volunteer receptionist for a nonprofit. I guess I have always been exposed and see firsthand what a volunteer group can accomplish. Doing it for love of the cause and not personal monetary gain is personally fulfilling to me.”  

With that said, volunteer work can pay professional dividends. Flynn notes, “I can honestly say that the network of people I have today has been greatly increased due to my volunteer work. From my banking relationship to our top suppliers, many of them have resulted from someone I worked side by side with as a volunteer. Our business has grown and become far more profitable due to the people I have met inside and outside of the industry as a result of my volunteerism.”

As with so many of the volunteers who make PPAI’s accomplishments possible, Flynn is also involved in causes supporting his community. He says, “Last year, I helped a good friend do a fundraiser for LOSS, an outreach program for survivors of suicide. While I am not a person with a Rolodex of calls to big donors, I am a person who is good at finding resources to accomplish tasks. In the end, that event turned in about $800,000 in profit for the cause. Currently, my only ongoing volunteer work is with our local church and school. I spend time helping the two major fundraisers there, which raise about $200,000 annually to offset tuition costs.”  


James Khattak is news editor of PPB.