PromoKitchen, an all-volunteer, 501c3 nonprofit organization in the promotional products industry, announced the recipients of its first-ever scholarship program, the Tee Hamilton Creative Scholarship, at its Spring Fling Virtual Mixer on April 8. Tee Hamilton, a long-time industry veteran and PromoKitchen founder, who was known for her incredible passion for all things creative in the promotional products industry, lost her battle with cancer in December 2020.

The Tee Hamilton Creative Fund was established with the intent of raising money to support promotional product industry professionals in their pursuit of creative or business education. The fund would be awarded as a grant that would help applicants reduce the financial barriers associated with participating in continued education. PromoKitchen notes that Hamilton believed that industry professionals who bettered themselves through education could create a strong and lasting legacy for themselves and the industry.

The scholarship announcements were made at PromoKitchen’s second virtual mixer event of 2021. More than 300 tickets were issued, and while the Spring Fling Virtual Mixer was a free-to-attend event, supporters of PromoKitchen collectively donated over $2,500 to the volunteer-driven organization in the weeks leading up to the mixer. Donations will be put back into creating and elevating the educational content it provides, as well as contribute to ongoing efforts to enhance and enrich various programs, such as the rapidly growing mentorship program and future speaker events.

PromoKitchen Chairs Johanna Gotleibb, Axis Promotions, and Kate Plummer, Clearmount, took the "stage" at the mixer to announce the recipients of the scholarship.

Recipient Rebecca Kubat, in sales and account management for service provider ZOOMcatalog, applied for the scholarship to help her attend skucon 2022 (whether virtual or in-person). “It is my goal to present our sales tools or resources to distributors and suppliers in an education session at Skucon, ASI Orlando, or PPAI Expo within the next three years,” Kubat says. With gaining more brand awareness as her overall objective, and speaking publicly within the industry her plan to find the means to do just that, she adds, “Attending skucon would help give me the chance to connect with some of the most knowledgeable people in our industry, and give me confidence that I can get there one day too.”

Jonathan Porcasi, vice president of design and marketing for the HALO-powered distributor Axis Promotions, applied for the scholarship in hopes of becoming a member of the AIGA, the professional association for design. Porcasi says, “AIGA has a robust student network, and I would like to use the community to attend educational events and to continue to expand my knowledge base. As a design leader myself, I also want to become a mentor for future designers and help cultivate a creative community within the promotional marketing world. Becoming a member will also allow Axis to participate in student portfolio reviews, which is critical when recruiting.”

Amanda Delaney, PromoKitchen sous-chef and volunteer, says, “The goal was always to be able to extend the scholarship for at least three years. We were so excited to be able to offer the first scholarship to two extremely deserving applicants, and we are even more excited to (hopefully) do even more with the scholarship in the years to come.”

PromoKitchen’s next virtual, free-to-attend speaker event, “PromoKitchen Presents: Dan Nevins | Overcoming & Giving Back, A Story Around Mental Health,” will be held May 13.