(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.)

October 3, 2022

MiPPA Names 2022 Hall Of Fame, Rep Of The Year And Volunteer Of The Year Honorees

The Michigan Promotional Professionals Association (MiPPA) has announced the 2022 Award Honorees to be recognized at the Awards Celebration Dinner
on November 3 at the Carpe Diem Banquet Hall in Southfield, MI.

The association’s highest honor — induction into the Hall of Fame will be recognizing Jane Mitchell MAS - Jungle Jane Promotions and Paul Zafarana MAS MASI - Pica Marketing Group. Jane Mitchell MAS started Jungle Jane Promotions in her home twenty-eight years ago. She joined MiPPA and immediately became an engaged volunteer. Joining the board in 2013, she served as President in 2018 and when her service on the Executive Committee ended in 2019, continued on as the regional delegate to PPAI. Jane created MiPPA's Legislative Education Action Day in Lansing in 2016 and has continued as a leader in that very successful initiative since. She has been MiPPA’s delegate to Washington DC similarly advocating for members and the industry. Jane made contributions to the governance of MiPPA, with job descriptions and process recording for continuous succession of our leadership in the regional community. She is also a leader in the Lansing community Rotary Club, her church, chamber, and area women's leadership groups.

Paul Zafarana MAS MASI has built Pica Marketing Group into a creative and innovation leader in the industry. Paul joined the MiPPA Board in 2013, served as President in 2015 and continued to make significant contributions to MiPPA in the years since. He headed up the initial Michigan Leadership Conference in 2019 and helped create the MiPPA Cares charitable initiatives. Paul served on the trade show committees throughout his years of service and was Chair of the Promotions That ROAR! Committee in 2016. At the initial Promotions That ROAR! Destination End User Show in 2014. he worked until the earlv morning hours to prepare the name badges for the show. The winner of 13 PPAl Pyramid Awards for Creativity, he is known for his innovative promotions and professionalism. He has been deeply involved in his community serving as a Scout Troop Leader since 2006 to present. He has also been a youth baseball coach, involved with University of Detroit Jesuit Dads, Sacred Heart Parish and Knights of Columbus.

The Great Lakes Supplier Rep of the Year Award will be presented to Kerry Schmock - KS Sales, Inc, a multiline rep for Cap America, Landway Apparel, Precision Crystal Gifts, EG PRO, Southern Plus and Premium Custom Products. Each year the association surveys its distributor members to find the supplier rep who has become their Most Valuable Partner and best exemplifies the qualities of the best supplier representative. One of her nominators wrote, ""Kerry is not only the kindest person in our industry, but the offers help in any of the most challenging situations with a smile on her face. Her wealth of knowledge and helper attitude exhibits the best of the best for every company she represents as well as distributor she serves.”

The Volunteer of the Year Award will be presented to Monica Whitfield MBA MAS - Divine Edge Marketing Solutions, LLC. Ms Whitfield has been a valuable volunteer for the association’s trade shows and in 2022 was the Volunteer Coordinator for the Promotions That ROAR! End User Show at Ford Field. “Organizing the volunteers needed for a show with more than a thousand attendees and more than one hundred exhibitor personnel is a big job. From planning to the two days required to set-up and deliver the show, Monica recruited, placed and kept everything running smoothly,” said David Szidik - Proforma Infinite Marketing Solutions - MiPPA Board Member and the Trade Show Chair.

All of the honorees will be recognized at the Annual Members Meeting and Awards Celebration Dinner on Thursday, November 3 at Carpe Diem Banquet Hall in Southfield. Visit www.mippa.org for tickets.

Gemline’s Upcoming FREE Webinar To Focus On Selling After The Pandemic

The pandemic is receding, but inflation is a reality and recession a looming possibility. Gemline will be hosting a free live webinar on Thursday, October 13th, 2022 from 1:00 PM EDT – 2:15 PM where we will dive into what’s changing in buying and selling and the implications for profitable business development.

The 45-minute presentation will be delivered by Frank V. Cespedes, who teaches at Harvard Business School. He is the author of 6 books and articles in the Harvard Business Review, European Business Review, Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. A 30-minute Q&A session facilitated by Gemline’s CEO, Jonathan Isaacson, will follow the presentation.

This is an inclusive event and all are welcome. Space is limited, so be sure to reserve your spot today! Register Now.

PCNA Partners With SONY® For Premium Audio Products

Polyconcept North America (PCNA) is excited to announce a new partnership with SONY, offering three of the iconic brand’s most popular portable speakers – just in time for gift season. With the addition of SONY, PCNA strengthens its industry-leading lineup of over 50 retail brands.

“SONY has unmatched brand recognition around the globe, with a history of innovation and product excellence spanning many generations,” says Mindy Hoffmann, PCNA Senior Category Director. “We’re committed to offering the best assortment of technology and electronics brands, and SONY gives distributors a valuable new option within our portfolio of premium portable speakers.”

SONY believes PCNA is an ideal partner for the promotional products channel.

“We couldn’t be more excited about our new relationship with PCNA,” says Shelly Colla, SONY National Sales Manager-Premium Incentive & Military. “As the world’s leading consumer electronics brand, we wanted to partner with one of the world’s top promotional products suppliers. We trust PCNA to provide high-quality customization of our products and quickly deliver orders to distributors and their customers.”

PCNA is offering three popular portable Bluetooth® speakers, all with EXTRA BASS™ technology for powerful sound, as well as an IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating – an essential feature given the trend of people spending more time outdoors.

Hoffmann adds that SONY also gives distributors the ability to serve another big trend: retail brands.

“The trend in corporate gift-giving has clearly shifted toward well-made, premium-quality products, even at slightly higher price points,” Hoffmann says. “Choosing these types of gifts – gifts people would buy for themselves – creates a real connection that’s well worth it.”

SONY will be part of ProudPath™, the PCNA platform that helps distributors meet their customers’ environmental and social responsibility objectives. Through its Green Management 2025 initiative, SONY has clearly defined sustainability targets for reducing its environmental footprint by 2025, with the ultimate goal of a zero environmental footprint.

“We’ve made a commitment to only partner with retail brands that share our commitment to environmental and social responsibility,” Hoffmann says. “This is just one more way that SONY is a perfect fit, and we couldn’t be prouder to partner with them.”

September 30, 2022

ACS Affiliate Services Announces Addition of Two New Affiliate Partners

ACS Affiliate Services is proud to announce the addition of two new affiliate partners to its affiliate community during the months of August and September.

The new affiliate partners are LoGo Goods LLC and Southern Branding.

“We are excited about the future of ACS with the addition of these new affiliate partners,” said Kirk Ross, Executive Vice President of ACS Affiliate Services. “The strong culture inside ACS and the valued affiliate community is something special to be a part of every day. The ACS team truly cares about the growth and success of those affiliates we serve. We are big enough to take care of our affiliates’ everyday needs, but our approach is collaborative, personal, and focused on them and their growth goals. The difference is in the strategy.”

September 29, 2022

PromoStandards Hosts First Annual Hack-A-Thon, Postpones 2022 Tech Summit Due To Hurricane Ian

 PromoStandards hosted its first Hack-a-Thon, sponsored by Essent, virtually from September 19 to September 26, 2022. During this annual event, cross-functional teams use PromoStandards protocols to access trading partner data and services to develop solutions for real-world promotional product industry challenges.

“PromoStandards and Essent, along with the PromoStandards community, have a shared vision to remove friction from the supply chain through tight trading partner systems integration,” said Eric Alessi, President & CEO of Essent Corporation and Chair of PromoStandards. “The Hack-A-Thon is another productive and fun opportunity for the community to collaborate on making the industry stronger, and we're thrilled to make it happen.”

More than 50 participants, representing 33 companies from multiple countries, formed 7 teams. They met throughout the week, collaborated, and presented their solution to a panel of guest judges. These judges included David Nicholson, Vice Chairman of PCNA, Vera Muzzillo, CEO of Proforma, Kate Alavez of PromoShop Inc, and Wade Williams of OrderMyGear.

“It's very exciting and refreshing to see as an industry we are coming together to solve problems,” said guest judge Vera Muzzillo. “Kudos to PromoStandards, team leaders, and participants.”

Guest judge Kate Alavez added, “It has been incredible having all these cross-functional teams bring innovation to the forefront of industry discussions.”

Each team was judged on problem statement clarity, presentation creativity, and technical feasibility and had 10 minutes to pitch. Live presentations were recorded and will be shared at the virtual Hack-A-Thon Awards Ceremony. Winning teams will share $5,000 in cash prizes and receive additional swag.

Additionally, PromoStandards is announcing its decision to postpone their first annual Technology Summit in Tampa, FL, due to Hurricane Ian. The Tampa Marriott Water Street hotel has been evacuated and cannot guarantee it will accept guests in time for the event. For the sake of PromoStandards members, vendors, and the Tampa Bay community, the event previously scheduled for October 2 to October 5, 2022, will take place in early 2023.

Once the aftermath of the storm has passed, PromoStandards will continue coordinating with the hotel and vendors in planning this Tampa event.

A virtual Hack-A-Thon Awards Ceremony to celebrate the winners and participants of the 7 teams that participated in the 2022 virtual Hack-A-Thon will be scheduled, as well as an exclusive launch of PromoStandards Order Management Service in an upcoming monthly education event.

All registrations for the Tech Summit will be honored for the rescheduled event, and any refunds needed will be issued upon request. Attendees with questions are encouraged to reach out to Amy Rabideau, MMEC Committee Chair, at admin@promostandards.org.

September 29, 2022

Facilisgroup Appoints Three New Promotions

Facilisgroup, a leading software-as-a-service company and partnering community within the promotional products industry, is pleased to announce its new Vice President of Marketing, Jim Manno; Vice President of Supplier Relations, Michele Dando; and Supplier Success Manager, Sam Ross.

Manno started at Facilisgroup in March of 2021 and previously worked as the Director of Communications. “I couldn’t be happier to lead this talented marketing team into the next phase of Facilisgroup,” said Manno. “It’s an exciting time within our company, and the industry as a whole, so I’m looking forward to our team making a positive impact on both.”

Facilisgroup’s new Vice President of Supplier Relations, Michele Dando, joined the team in August of 2022. Dando has devoted a significant amount of her adult education to researching and understanding the supply chain and apparel manufacturing. She previously worked as the Vice President of Global Sourcing for the retail brand Soft Surroundings. Dando said that she is “thrilled to plug into this industry, which is so entwined with my passion for understanding and addressing the complexities of manufacturing and the supply chain.”

Sam Ross has served in a variety of roles in her seven years at Facilisgroup, including managing events and incentives. Most recently she worked as the Supplier Experience Marketing Manager before her promotion to Supplier Success Manager. Ross said, “I’ve been immersed in the supplier experience and marketing side for so long that the transition was a natural fit, and I’m excited about the added value we’ll bring to our Preferred Suppliers.”

“Jim, Michele and Sam’s passion for what we do and their willingness to go beyond what we’ve done before is going to bring our marketing and supplier partnerships to the next level,” said Facilisgroup President Ashley McCune. “They’ve continued to impress me with their ability to adapt and succeed.”

September 29, 2022

iPROMOTEu Hosts Successful Networking and Educational Sessions During PPPC’s National Convention, NATCON22

iPromoteU, one of the largest and most respected distributor organizations in the promotional products industry, amplified its Canadian presence through a series of successful networking and educational sessions at PPPC’s National Convention (NATCON22), September 13-15 in Toronto.

“The Canadian market is an important segment of our business,” said iPROMOTEu Founder, President and CEO, Ross Silverstein. “The PPPC show provided valuable insights for our team as we expand our focus on welcoming more Canadian distributor owners and salespeople into the iPROMOTEu network.”

iPROMOTEu Affiliates kicked-off the event with a Debco/HPG facility tour in Concord, Ontario. In addition to touring the site, all iPROMOTEu Canadian Affiliates joined Debco for in-depth educational sessions about its sales tools, resources, services and new products.

The iPROMOTEu Canadian Affiliate Council also held a meeting to identify, discuss and pursue opportunities to support the growth and success of iPROMOTEu’s Canadian Affiliates. “The Canadian Affiliate Council is a forward-thinking and dynamic group of distributors who are essential to the growth and success of all our iPROMOTEu Affiliates in Canada,” said Lori Bauer, Senior Vice President, Affiliate Sales and Support. “NATCON provided a valuable opportunity for the council to collaborate in-person and identify initiatives to further expand iPROMOTEu’s support of our Canadian Affiliates.”

During the show, iPROMOTEu Affiliates were invited to use the company’s Affiliate Meeting Room at the International Centre for networking and breaks throughout the day. iPROMOTEu also hosted breakfast and held an Affiliate-focused business luncheon including special guest speaker, Jonathan Strauss, PPPC President and CEO.

“We are committed to helping iPROMOTEu’s Canadian Affiliates grow their independent businesses by providing extensive services that allow them to accomplish their personal and professional goals,” said Bauer. “It was fantastic to connect with this important group at the show to identify new opportunities for collaboration and also hear their impressive success stories.”