PPAI’s business development staff have been on the road, connecting with PPAI member companies across the country to learn more about them, their needs and how the Association can be a better partner in their success. Melissa Massey, PPAI’s major account manager-West, recently connected with several companies in California’s Bay Area, including Alpi International, Ltd. (PPAI 111221, S8) in Oakland; Big Accessories, Inc. (PPAI 177369, S1) in Petaluma; and Chameleon like, Inc. (PPAI 209189, S7) in Gilroy.

At Alpi International, Massey met with Rebecca and Marco Indrio. The company is working toward a transition in ownership. After 36 years in business, company President Francesco Indrio is aiming to step down and hand over operational control to his son, Marco. Marco Indrio says, “This transition is going to be done over the course of five years or so, because there is an incredible amount of knowledge to be handed over before making the final transition. We are both very excited about the transition but want to make sure it is done right so there is no lapse leadership for our employees or quality of service for our customers.”

Beth Villa, operations manager at Big Accessories, showed Massey around the supplier’s facility and walked her through the company’s line-up of hats, bags and aprons, the materials they are constructed from and the global retail trends that inspire their design.

Pierre Martichoux, president; Stephanie Esse, marketing and art director, and Jasmine Sullivan, national account executive, met with Massey at Chameleon like. Martichoux described the company as “passionately ‘category-specific,’” referring to its focus on journals, the majority of which are manufactured in Gilroy, although it recently acquired a small custom packaging and gift box supplier in Houston, Texas, and expects the category to be responsible for most of its growth next year.