(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.)

February 26

Pro Towels Launches New Dedicated Sports Division

Pro Towels (PPAI 112755, S8) has formed Pro Towels Sports, a specialized division solely committed to serving the unique needs of teams and organizations across various sports leagues.

  • Nick Mason, sports marketing coordinator, will head up the newly formed division. Growing up in the sports-centric city of Boston, Mason brings a wealth of experience and a keen understanding of the unique promotional needs of teams and fans alike.

Keith Lofton, vice president of sales for Pro Towels, says, “Our sports category partners are the best. For rally towels, promotional giveaways like blankets or beach towels, or t-shirt decorating with Superior, adding Nick and launching this new exclusive division will only help serve our best partners even better.”

ASB Hosts Largest Sales Conference In Company History

American Solutions for Business (PPAI 101656, D12) – the No. 9 distributor in the 2023 PPAI 100 – welcomed nearly 800 attendees, a record high in the company’s 43-year history, at its national sales conference on February 18-21 in Fort Worth, Texas.

  • The four-day event featured networking, professional development and workshop sessions, a merch show, welcome kickoff, fund raising for two separate charities, memorial walk and a trade show featuring more than 200 vendor partners. On Monday night, the group enjoyed a private rodeo at Cowtown Coliseum and dinner at Billy Bob’s in the Stockyards. On Tuesday night, ASB rented the entire second floor at Texas Live.

“I’m so proud of the event experience our team creates,” says Dana Zezzo, ASB’s VP of vendor relations, marketing and events. “It’s powerful to bring together our sales associates, vendor partners and home office teams to create the collaboration needed to best serve our customers through product knowledge, new ideas and better processes. It’s hard work, but every ounce of planning is worth it!”

AAkron Line Named Exclusive Supplier Of A.T. Cross

AAkron Rule (PPAI 111082, S10) has been named a key supplier partner of A.T. Cross writing instruments.

  • Effective immediately, A.T. Cross writing instruments are available from AAkron Line for laser engraving, full color decoration and one-color screen printing.
  • A.T. Cross will continue its in-house decoration processes and AAkron will serve as the primary channel for distribution for businesses in the promo market.

AAkron Executive Vice President Stan Dohan, MAS, says, “A.T. Cross is an iconic writing instrument brand, and the gold standard in pens for over 150 years. We are so excited to exclusively represent Cross in the promotional products industry. We cannot be more pleased to have the opportunity to add our award-winning, decorating, full color, and laser engraving to deliver a premium, packaged writing instrument line for our valued distributor customers.”

February 23

Joe Huber Joins The Kanata Group

The Kanata Group (PPAI 111063, S7) has brought on Joe Huber as its senior vice president of promotional sales.

  • Huber comes into the role with more than 10 years of industry experience at The Magnet Group where he was most recently national sales manager.

“I couldn’t be more excited to be joining The Kanata Group team and to get the opportunity to continue to learn and grow in my career,” says Huber.

The Kanata Group CEO Bill Decker says, “We are excited to add Joe to our team. He is a well-respected, forward-thinking leader in the promotional channel space, and he will be instrumental in taking The Kanata Group to the next level.”

February 22

Outdoor Cap Named One Of The Most Bike-Friendly Businesses In The U.S.

The League of American Bicyclists has recognized Outdoor Cap (PPAI 213485, S10) – the No. 25 supplier in the 2023 PPAI 100 – with its silver-level Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) award.

  • The honor earns the Bentonville, Arkansas supplier a place alongside more than 1,400 businesses across the country that welcoming to both customers and employees who bike.
  • As part of the BFB network, Outdoor Cap will have access to a variety of tools and technical assistance from the League.

“It is incredibly gratifying to see Outdoor Cap recognized for the steps we have undertaken to make our campus accessible and welcoming to bicyclists,” says Neil Harris, Outdoor Cap’s head of employee experience. “As much as this award celebrates our current efforts, I’m excited to have the expertise and insights of the League of American Bicyclists at our fingertips to help pave the way for future bike-friendly efforts.”

Four Nonprofits Benefit From Crystal D’s 2024 Giveback Program

Crystal D (PPAI 112326, S8) has chosen four nonprofit organizations to receive donations as part of its 2024 giveback program, Crystal D Cares.

  • Water for South Sudan helps provide access to clean, safe water for the people of South Sudan.
  • International Rett Syndrome Foundation is making strides with research breakthroughs.
  • Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is dedicated to finding forever families for the more than 140,000 children waiting to be adopted from foster care in the U.S. and Canada.
  • 4 Paws for Ability has provided more than 18,000 service dogs to those with disabilities and special needs.
  • The company donates 20 percent of the total product sale with every purchase from its Legacy Gallery.

“We created Crystal D Cares to honor the legacy of our late founder, Chuck Dahlgren, recognizing his deep belief in the power of generosity and profound desire to share what we have with others,” says Crystal D President and CEO Jeanne Dahlgren. “We are excited about the organizations we have chosen for this year, and beyond thankful for the work they do in our world.”

Infinity Her Partners With Nonprofit Boutique To Empower Women

Women’s headwear brand, Infinity Her (PPAI 791471, S1), has teamed up with Beautiful Lives Thrift Boutique, a local non-profit dedicated to empowering women and offering assistance during difficult times.

  • Founded in 2016, the boutique operates as a redemptive, revenue-focused nonprofit in Northwest Arkansas.
  • Throughout the year, Infinity Her will donate fashion-forward headwear exclusively designed for women to the three boutique locations.
  • The initiative aims to restore dignity and a sense of normalcy to women navigating through challenging circumstances such as addiction recovery, escaping from unsafe environments, natural disaster recovery, reintegration after prison release, and coping with grief and loss.

February 21

Liftoff Commerce Achieves High Level Of Compliance

Liftoff Commerce (PPAI 818074, A01) a provider of web-to-print and online commerce solutions for the print and branded merchandise industries, has achieved Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) Level 1 Version 4.0 compliance.

  • The compliance carries the highest level of scrutiny for transactional security and is required for service providers processing more than six million credit card transactions per year.
  • The process was supported by Security Metrics, a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA).

"Everyone deserves the peace of mind of knowing their data and financial information are safe," says Andrew Alford, president of Liftoff Commerce. "Achieving PCI DSS Level 1 Version 4.0 compliance is not simply checking a required box; it’s a reflection of our commitment to enforcing best practices across our organization every day we conduct business."

February 20

StrombergBrand Executive Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Michael Pastore, director of operations at StrombergBrand, is celebrating 15 years with the supplier.

  • Pastore started as accounting manager when StrombergBrand was based in Peekskill, New York and navigated the company’s move to Valley Cottage, New York in 2012. In the years since, he has helped grow the business by providing exceptional service, increasing production efficiencies and capacity, and assisting in the company’s ownership transition under Arch Promo Group (PPAI 820951, S10) .
  • In 2020, Pastore was named a PPB Service Superhero.

“After 15 years with us, Michael knows this business inside and out and is always looking for ways to continually improve our customers’ experience, as well as that of our employees,” says General Manager Helen Stromberg. “His experience and work ethic will help us navigate our business model for future years and bring increased value to our distributors.”