(Editor’s Note: PromoWire by PPAI Media is a running digest of updates from organizations around the promotional products industry. PPAI Media will consider newsworthy entries submitted by any member organization.)

January 22

Amber Dobson Named 2023 Fran Ford Award Winner

The Magnet Group (PPAI 338534, S11) has named Amber Dobson as the sixth recipient of its annual Fran Ford Award.

  • The award honors the memory of Fran Ford, Jr., CAS, president of supplier Castelli (formerly a division of Magnet), who passed away in 2018.
  • The Magnet Group employee selected for recognition embodies the outstanding characteristics that defined Ford, such as being a great friend, a valuable mentor, a willing volunteer inside and outside of the promotional products industry, and simply being kind and generous.
  • Dobson was nominated by her TMG teammates in recognition of her volunteerism and dedication. For many years, she was the lead coordinator for the nonprofit We Care Volunteers, which helps to feed and care for those in the homeless community by donating food, organizing clothing drives and arranging haircuts. She even converted an old school bus into a mobile food truck to feed the homeless during the winter months.

“As a member of the committee since the award’s inception, I am always amazed by those that are nominated and this year is no exception,” says Jessica Hiner, vice president of business development, and chair of the Fran Ford Award Committee. “Amber embodies the true meaning behind the Fran Ford Award, and she should be proud of her accomplishment. I know Fran would be.”

Two Top Women-Owned Agencies Rebrand As Dryvve

Consolidated Marketing Services and Progressive Promotions, both East-Coast based, award-winning branded merchandise agencies, announce a new entity called Dryvve.

  • The move marks the official rebranding of the firm created in January 2021 when Consolidated Marketing Services acquired Progressive Promotions. 

“As a WBENC-certified company, we empower women-owned businesses and foster a more equitable and inclusive business landscape,” says Charleen Smotrycz, founder of Consolidated Marketing Services and president of Dryvve. “We make that our priority by maintaining an active database of minority-owned suppliers and work with our clients to refer as much business as possible toward them, so each dollar spent qualifies for Tier 1 and Tier 2 diversity spend.”

Jessica Hiner And Bill Nault Win Top Sales Awards From The Magnet Group

The Magnet Group (PPAI 338534, S11) celebrated 2023 sales achievements during its national sales meeting in Las Vegas last week.

  • Among the honorees, two individuals received special recognition for exponential growth in consecutive years. Jessica Hiner, vice president business development, was awarded Top Salesperson of the Year and Bill Nault, regional sales manager, was awarded Top Rep.

Aaron Gunderson, senior vice president of sales, says, “We are thrilled for the growth that Jessica and Bill worked so hard to achieve with their clients last year and are looking forward to another great year for them both.”

January 19

Fully Promoted Ranks At No. 413 On Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 List

Fully Promoted (PPAI 240143, D7) has been named to Entrepreneur magazine’s 2024 Franchise 500 ranking, the world’s first and most comprehensive franchise ranking.

  • Coming in at No. 413, up from No. 429 in 2023, Fully Promoted has landed on this prestigious ranking for 22 years.
  • The distributor is one of five brands in the Starpoint Brands division of United Franchise Group (UFG) recognized this year for outstanding performance in unit growth, financial strength and stability, and brand power. The ranking is both a dominant competitive measure for franchisors and a primary research tool for potential franchisees. 

“Once again, we are proud to announce our brands’ achievement of this prestigious recognition,” says Ray Titus, founder and CEO of UFG. “Seeing them recognized year after year is continued validation of the work we do to support our brands in providing excellent service to our customers. It’s an inspiring way to start the new year and gives us the momentum to continue driving toward success.”