Members of the 2023 PPAI Technology Committee met at the Association’s headquarters in Irving, Texas on Wednesday for an all-day meeting, which mostly addressed PDX’s future in the promotional products industry.


Bringing Together Promo’s Technology Visionaries

PPAI put together the Technology Committee with an eye on balance in those represented as well as size of companies.

Wednesday’s meeting represents the coming together of tech experts across the industry, bringing with them – in the building or via video connection – different perspectives and, potentially at times, different opinions on how to unlock a more efficient promo world.

“The value of us all coming together is we represent the industry,” says Rose Arendarczyk, SVP of transformation at HALO and chair of the Tech Committee. “While we have our own individual corporate strategies and business practices, to have everyone in the room together collectively, bringing their voices and input together to shape how best to move forward on behalf of the industry is powerful.”

The 2023 Technology Committee members include: 

Rose Arendarczyk, SVP of transformation, HALO (Committee Chair)

  • Chris Anderson, CEO, (Board Liaison)
  • Nick DiNicola, digital transformation manager, PPAI (Staff Liaison)
  • Joe Hoffmann, vice president of vendor management, iPROMOTEu
  • Malik Hemani, creative director, branding & advertising, Graphic Stylus
  • Ryan Feigenblatt, founder and president, The Boca Ratonian
  • Todd Bold, chief operating officer, Americas at adm Group ltd.
  • Andrea Kramer, president, City Apparel
  • Taylor Tadmor, president, Tekweld
  • Paul Hirsch, president, Hirsch
  • Jeison Ortega, chief technology officer, Charles River Apparel
  • Matt Price, manager, information technology, Gold Bond
  • Dustin Downing, chief product officer, OrderMyGear
  • Jeremy Holley, vice president of technology, HPG
  • Edward Streiff, senior manager application development, PCNA
  • Shawn Reed, director of information technology, Showdown Displays
  • Jarod Thorndike, VP of business development, SAGE


PDX On The Agenda

The topic dominating Tech Committee’s meeting was PDX – Promo Data Exchange – an open standards formula supported by PPAI.

PDX makes it easy for suppliers to share order status and inventory with distributors with a single integration which will eliminate thousands of hours of wasted effort, friction and unnecessary phone calls.

How the industry gets to a digital landscape with greatly reduced friction has been up for debate among its tech leaders over the past few years.

  • The Tech Committee’s focus on Wednesday was PDX in specific terms –  adoption possibilities, implementation success, common frustrations and the role distributors and suppliers play in making an open standards formula work.
  • The group of experts went through a “Best Practices” workshop while also posing hypotheticals and debating what strategies serve the industry as a whole.


“The recommendations that we are coming up with and some of the challenging topics we are discussing are leading us to a better place,” Arendarczyk says. “What we’re recognizing and agreeing on is that it’s not a one-size-fits-all. It’s an ‘and’, not an ‘or.’ Because of the diversity of the industry represented in the room, we’re able to see that we need to meet people where they are and provide options and support.”

At one point in the meeting, Andrea Kramer of City Apparel posed the question to the group, “What does success look like?” in regard to PDX, which led to a lengthy discussion of short-term goals and what is important to promo companies in the process.

  • PPAI has leveraged its partnership with SAGE to make PDX more accessible, along with creating the ability within the SAGE app for distributors to see order statuses and inventory that suppliers supply live.
  • Jarod Thorndike, VP of business development at SAGE and Carmen Murphy, the industry software and service povider’s supplier support manager, were on hand in the meeting to answer questions and lend insight on what they have seen and heard from the integration process of companies.

Committee Business

In addition to PDX, the Tech Committee also discussed:

  • The metrics for the “Innovation” category of PPAI 100.
  • An update on developments within the SAGE platform.

As she adjourned the meeting, Arendarczyk reminded the group that had productively discussed technology for more than five hours, “We still have work to do.”

The journey of eliminating friction through technology is ongoing, but PPAI believes collaboration brings progress.