(Editor’s Note: Amid the ongoing voting for the new slate of nominees for the PPAI Board of Directors, PPAI Media is profiling each potential new addition. Be sure to also check out today's introduction to Pop! Promos Founder and CEO Erin Reilly.)

Zack Ottenstein, president of The Image Group (PPAI 103424, D10) – ranked the No. 41 distributor in this year’s PPAI 100 – joined the company in 2016 after serving as an investment analyst and director of marketing communications for Welltower, a $40 billion-plus enterprise value company.

During his tenure in the promotional products industry, he has led the Holland, Ohio-based firm’s transformation into a vertical-focused marketing solutions business. 

Ottenstein, named a 2018 PPB Rising Star and a highly involved member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, has been nominated to serve on the PPAI Board of Directors.

The election to approve the two-person slate (which also includes Erin Reilly, founder and CEO of Pop! Promos) begins August 28 and closes September 4. Each PPAI member company’s voting contact is eligible to cast a vote for the slate. Voting will be done electronically, and a new 2023 username and password will be emailed to the voting contacts when voting opens. A candidate must receive majority approval among votes cast to be named to the board of directors following The PPAI Expo 2024.

In this interview with PPAI Media, Ottenstein explains why he wants to serve and what he brings to the table.

PPAI Media: Why are you interested in being part of the PPAI Board of Directors?

Zack Ottenstein: It’s important to support the industry, especially during such a transformative time. We all face a long list of changes and challenges: industry consolidation, prohibitive technology investments, disintermediation and emerging competitive technologies. As a result, PPAI’s mission has never been more relevant. The industry’s well-being will require creativity and industry-wide contributions. PPAI should be the convening force of these efforts.

PPAI Media: What unique experience or perspective do you bring that will be valuable to the board?

Ottenstein: During my time in financial services, I gained experience working with several industry associations and boards. I’m excited to use this experience, as well as my perspective running a fast-growth promotional products distributor, to help PPAI add value to all its members.

PPAI Media: What do you hope PPAI can accomplish during your potential board tenure?

Ottenstein: I would like to see PPAI, as well as our industry, continue to make significant strides in DEI and CSR initiatives. They’re a critical part of our future. Furthermore, I’m passionate about developing great teams. The success of any industry hinges upon its ability to attract great people. I see an important role for PPAI in supporting our industry’s profile as a great place to spend a career.

PPAI Media: What do you see as the greatest challenge for the industry? What potential solutions do you envision?

Ottenstein: To remain relevant. Our clients’ needs are constantly adapting to changing consumer demands, emerging marketing trends, the movement of budgets to digital channels and technological advancements. The solutions lie in a renewed commitment to continuing education and investing more resources in technology.

PPAI Media: What is the greatest opportunity for the industry, and what is required to meet it?

Ottenstein: I’m passionate about the intersection between our clients’ digital transformations and dimensional marketing. Our clients are asking for more data-based, measurable strategies. Along with generative AI, the opportunities before us all are extraordinary.