Thea Bruce, CAS, operations manager at Newcastle, Washington-based multi-line rep firm Incentives West, former executive director of the Northwest Promotional Marketing Association (NWPMA) and current board treasurer of the regional association, has been named the 2022 recipient of the PPAI Regional Volunteer Award.

The Award

The PPAI Regional Volunteer Award is presented annually to regional association members who demonstrate an outstanding level of volunteerism, leadership and/or have made other significant and measurable contributions to one or more regional associations. Whether recipients have been actively involved in association programs or impacted association growth and stewardship, the PPAI Regional Volunteer is an enthusiastic advocate who has taken their involvement and commitment to ever higher levels of participation.

“Associations thrive due to the hours of dedication and hard work of volunteers. It is individuals like Thea that enable regionals to provide to their members,” says PPAI President and CEO Dale Denham, MAS+. “I’m proud of Thea for being recognized as the PPAI Regional Volunteer recipient in a field full of so many fantastic regional volunteers.”

The 2022 PPAI Regional Volunteer will be recognized during the upcoming 2022 PPAI Leadership Development Workshop in Grapevine, Texas, with the recognition being held on October 11 during the Regional Volunteer Recognition Dinner.

The Recipient

For the past 20 years, Bruce has been actively engaged with NWPMA at every level – as a volunteer, as a board member and as executive director. She is credited with doing the majority of the event planning work for the association through the years and helped it not only execute great events but taught others how to do so as well.

Along with planning the association’s shows, she has played a significant role in its budgeting and strategy and developing several of its executive directors. Bruce trained them and served as their go-to for questions.

“Thea has a longer history with the regional association than many have with being in the industry,” says Joel Halberg, director of sales at Eugene, Oregon, distributor McKenzie SewOn; NWPMA’s immediate past president and Bruce’s nominator. “Her accomplishments, and total hours of service have to be among the very top of achievers. She's truly deserving of this award, and the timing of this honor would be a wonderful thing to our members, our board and to Thea.”

Halberg, describing Bruce as “the glue and the face of NWPMA,” noted that most of the association’s members know her and would do anything she needed, and that she was one of the reasons he personally decided to get involved with the organization.