PromoWire (2/9-2/13): News And Notes From Around The Industry
(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 14, 2023
Proforma Team Members Complete Acts of Service to Honor Dr. King’s Legacy
Proforma (PPAI 196835, D13) celebrated a “Day On” for Martin Luther King Day through individual acts of service. Over the past month, Proforma offered all of its employees a floating holiday in honor of Martin Luther King Day for the performance of a service, and Proforma’s team members stepped up through a multitude of community and charitable acts.
- “In 1994, Congress designated Martin Luther King Day as a National Day of Service, a "Day On,” not a day off. It has been 60 years since Dr. King Jr. gave his historical “I Have a Dream” speech, and we at Proforma believe that it is the duty of all Americans to continue in the fight of seeing that dream become a reality,” says Vera Muzzillo, Proforma’s CEO. “We recognize, applaud and honor the ideology and bravery Dr. King exemplified in his attempt to unite us in the fight against inequality and the vision of living a life of service to one another.”
- To honor Dr. King’s legacy, Proforma’s support center team members individually identified the service that each believed exemplified Dr. King’s legacy and submitted pictures from these charitable events. These acts of service included: riding for veterans, donating time at a local food bank, reading to students at neighboring schools, participating in the clean-up and beautification of Tampa Bay and supporting efforts for international relief for the citizens of Ukraine, earthquake victims and refugees of Turkey and Syria, and many others.
- “While we celebrate his extraordinary, enduring legacy and the tremendous progress that has been achieved over the years, we acknowledge there is so much work yet to be done,” added Kathy Mayo, Proforma’s director of human resources. “As Dr. King so eloquently stated, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is “What are you doing for others?”
February 13, 2023
In Memoriam: Bridget Hanchette
Bridget Hanchette, longtime vice president of Identity Works (PPAI 144318), passed away February 8 after a long battle with a Glioblastoma (GBM) brain tumor.
Hanchette and her husband Tom founded Identity Works, a Wisconsin-based supplier, and ran the company together for the past 24 years. She was diagnosed with a GBM brain tumor in 2009, but through a successful operation by Dr. Behnam Badie at California-based City of Hope, was able to resume a normal life until a tumor resurfaced in 2021.
In an obituary, Bridget is remembered as "an angel that spread happiness and joy everywhere she went. Truly a life well lived. She was so loved by many. Her pure compassion, gratitude, optimism, kindness, and ability to be present for everyone she met and in all situations was truly unmatched." Her husband Tom, her three children, three siblings and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends will carry on her legacy.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like to raise at least $125,000 in donations to toward GBM cancer research at City of Hope in Bridget’s honor. The family plans to match up to $125,000 for a total of $250,000. Monetary contributions can be made here.
American Solutions for Business Hosts National Sales Conference
American Solutions for Business (PPAI 101656, D12) hosted over 660 attendees at its National Sales Conference, including over 150 exhibiting supplier partners, marking its highest attended conference to date.
- A select group of ASB attendees began the week early by joining a distillery tour sponsored by ASI, alphabroder, PDF Print, The Chest, and BEL Promo on Thursday, February 2nd. The majority of arrivals happened Friday, February 3rd, with professional development sessions featuring PPAI’s Anne Stone, OrderMyGear, brandivate’s Bill Petrie and various ASB representatives.
- “My favorite part of this event each year is seeing the American family connect in person,” says Larry Zavadil, founder & CEO of American. “Somewhere between our packed schedule and exploring the city, we always make time for an American family reunion.”
- As with all ASB events, there were opportunities to contribute to charitable efforts. The American Memorial Walk was hosted in honor of late ASB sales associate Frank Quinlan, which resulted in $8,000 to St. Christopher’s Hospital. Another independent effort allowed attendees to purchase and sign floor decal records at the event, contributing $15,000 to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Keepsake Products Teams Up With Mariano Rivera Foundation
Keepsake Products (PPAI 634695) has teamed up with the Mariano Rivera Foundation and its “SAVE 653” mentorship program. Keepsake is set to host an on-site training classroom along with an in-depth program to teach the community’s underserved high school students the fine art of printing and packaging.
- The program is slated to start in March 2023 and will provide a class size of 10 students and require each of them to pass a 360-hour Class/Lab certification process.
- The foundation was created by Hall of Fame pitcher Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees with a mission to create a reality where each child is afforded an opportunity to see beyond their circumstances and to discover new ways to make a better life for themselves confidently.
- “We are very excited to have this opportunity with the foundation and its partners to reach out to our local community on behalf of the Promotional Products industry and help create a change in many of these kids’ lives,” says Andy Griffin, managing partner of Keepsake Products and Keepsake Box. “The on-hands training that the program provides each student is invaluable, and we are proud to provide the classroom, the expertise, and the equipment to help these kids understand the vast opportunities the Promotional Products industry has available to them. Our industry needs more of this; it just feels so good to give back and to make a difference, and we cannot wait to get the kids in here and get started.
- Luis Villa of the Mariano Rivera Foundation adds, “Students can walk straight from the classroom, across the hall and into the Keepsake Printing Facility and see the lessons they are learning happen right in front of them. No other facility can provide that type of experience.”
February 10, 2023
Outdoor Cap Announces Michelle Thomas As New Head Of Customer Experience
Michelle Thomas has joined Outdoor Cap (PPAI 213485, S10) as the new head of customer experience.
- Thomas began her career at J.B Hunt Transport, Inc. For 20 years, she grew her background in customer care and experience managing vital accounts and eventually becoming a senior business analyst. She most recently served as a strategic accounts director at Transplace/Uber Freight.
- “Michelle is a great fit for Outdoor Cap. Her passion for service and strong background with customers will be vital assets to our team,” says Outdoor Cap CEO, Jeanelle Harris. “She has a vision that aligns with our growth mindset and will help us continually improve our customers' experience.”
Storm Creek Expands Its National Sales Team
Storm Creek (PPAI 438091, S6) has announced the additions of TCJ Marketing, Spector Marketing Group, Mercer Enterprises and Steven Mitchell to its team of outside multi-line sales reps.
- “We are thrilled to add these four outstanding individuals to our rep force to help grow our brand presence in key territories,” says Derek Walters, director of sales. “All of them embody the values and mission of Storm Creek and share our passion for delivering exceptional products and customer experiences. Their drive, enthusiasm, and commitment to Better will be an asset to our team (and customers) as we continue to grow.”
- The new Storm Creek Sales Representatives will be representing the following states:
Doug Mercer - Mercer Enterprises (Kansas, Missouri)
Tobin James - TCJ Marketing (Florida, Georgia)
Steven Mitchell (Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Washington D.C.)
Richard Spector - Spector Marketing Group, LLC (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine)
February 9, 2023
The Magnet Group Announces Sales Promotion
The Magnet Group (PPAI 338534, S11) is pleased to announce the promotion of Nikki Hudson to Customer Success Lead.
- Hudson has been a customer service associate with TMG for five years and has demonstrated her strong work ethic and dedication to her clients. She will cover the Midwest, Kentucky and Colorado.