(Editor’s Note: PromoWire by PPAI Media is a running digest of news releases and updates submitted from organizations around the promotional products industry. PPAI Media edits these only slightly, including for length, and will consider newsworthy entries from any member organization.)

February 1, 2023

ACS Affiliate Services Welcomes Shawna Fruth To ACS Account Coordinator Team

ACS Affiliate Services announced that Shawna Fruth has joined the company’s account services team as an account coordinator to support the distributor affiliate program with time-saving services, simplified daily processes and full business financing. 

  • In 2019, to answer the demand of AIM’s (PPAI 230461, D12) membership, ACS Affiliate Services was launched. Distributors now have access to extensive administrative support, marketing services, technology solutions, exclusive price advantages and full-order financing.
  • Fruth has been in the promotional products industry for 10 years, the last four working as an Account Executive for a large apparel company. She looks forward to assisting with the company’s growth mission while providing excellent service.
  • “I’m truly excited to have Shawna join a highly motivated and amazing team at ACS,” said Kirk Ross, executive vice president of ACS Affiliate Services. “The strong culture we have is something special to be a part of everyday. With Shawna’s years of distributor and supplier experience she will be a great asset to ACS and its affiliates.”

January 31, 2023

AAA Innovations Hires Debra Amato As New Regional Sales Manager

AAA Innovations (PPAI 110972) announced that Debra Amato has joined the team as a regional sales manager.

  • In her new role, Debra is responsible for sales revenue in North Carolina, Virginia, Washington D.C., Maryland, and Michigan.
  • Debra joins the team from Brooklyn, New York and brings with her more than 23 years of experience as a regional sales manager.
  • “Debra is a proven sales professional with lots of experience selling umbrellas, bags and outdoor items,” says Jeffrey Nanus, CEO of AAA Innovations. “I have known Debra for a very long time and know her to be extremely hard working, client-centric and most importantly, very successful!”

Flywheel Brands Launches New Website, MomentumBox.com

MomentumBox.com, launched by Flywheel Brands (PPAI 342144, D7) is designed to help clients easily recognize team members, engage with clients, convert prospects and make virtual work more enjoyable.

  • “In our experience, finding the right products can feel cumbersome or disappointing for a one-size fits all model. So, the question presented itself: How do we combine quality, sustainable products with easy customization and transparent ordering?" Flywheel Brands says in a press release announcing the launch.
  • This initiative supports Flywheel's commitment to their clients, making merch simple with custom boxes already built for them. All the client is required to do is pick their preferred box(s), upload their brand logo, and checkout.

Powerstick.com Announces Supplier Rep Of The Year Award

Powerstick.com (PPAI 383252, S8) announced that Matt Eysoldt, who has been PowerStick’s multi-line rep in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky for the past four years, won the Supplier Rep of the Year award from Ohio Promotional Products Association.

  • This is Eysoldt’s fourth time to win the coveted honor. He previously won in 2018, 2020 and 2021.
  • The award was presented at OPPA’s annual awards and passing of the gavel event on January 17 in Columbus.
  • Eysoldt, president of Eysoldt Marketing Group in Mason, Ohio, was nominated and selected by OPPA distributor members based on his outstanding service, support, dedication and accessibility, his skills in providing valuable sales presentations and follow through on orders and projects, and his excellent product knowledge, creative ideas and dedication to work as part of a distributor’s team.

PPAI Pushes Back Against Tariffs In USTR Review

PPAI has posted comments to the USTR portal in response to the four-year review process of Section 301 tariffs levied against Chinese imports in 2018 stemming from an investigation of China’s intellectual property policies and practices. In total, four lists of imported products from China were levied with additional tariffs, representing more than $300 billion in goods.

  • PPAI claims that tariffs have not been effective and “have not accomplished their stated goals.” Meanwhile, they have “had inflationary effects on American small businesses and consumers.”
  • The comments also state that the “Section 301 actions have not caused an uptick in domestic manufacturing that would be sufficient to meet this industry’s product needs. Conversely, due to the inflation that is exacerbated and partially driven by the tariffs, companies are reportedly hesitant to make capital investments that would fuel their growth.”
  • PPAI explains to the USTR that the tariffs have forced promo companies to explore moving manufacturing away from China, a process that has proved challenging for many companies attempting the move in earnest.
  • Furthermore, “the tariffs have applied upward pressure on pricing for this industry’s clients, which negatively affects consumer behavior. The tariff’s additional impact on the supply chain challenges continues to affect product availability in a way that is problematic for small businesses in this industry.”
  • On its own and with partners from across U.S. industry, PPAI has pushed back against the tariffs since their introduction as many items used in the promotional products industry are affected. The Association has advocated for the inclusion of relevant goods in the USTR’s exclusion lists.
  • Last year, PPAI joined with Americans For Free Trade, a broad coalition of more than 175 organizations representing U.S. businesses, trade organizations and workers united against tariffs, to encourage United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai to hold a transparent review of the Section 301 tariffs and their effects on the U.S. economy and industry.