PPAI Announces Departure Of President/CEO
Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, will conclude his employment with the Association at the end of March 2021, marking the end of more than 20 years of service to the Association. “The past 20-plus years have been nothing short of extraordinary,” Bellantone said. “This decision was not easy, but I am confident knowing that our strong staff and dedicated Board of Directors have PPAI in a solid position to move forward to protect, grow and engage the promotional products industry.” Bellantone notified the Board in late October of his intention to conclude his tenure before his next contract extension which was set to begin on April 1, 2021.
PPAI Board Chair Ira Neaman, MAS, said, “The Board and countless others in the industry are so grateful for Paul’s many years of leadership and dedication to serve and engage the industry. Under his leadership, PPAI has grown and evolved into one of the most respected associations worldwide. I am truly thankful for all Paul has done for PPAI, including instilling a strong ‘confidence to evolve’ mentality among the PPAI Board, staff and volunteer corps.” Executive Vice President Robert (Bob) McLean, Jr., CPA, CAE, CEM, said, “Paul has been an inspirational leader and advocate of the PPAI community and the industry. Due to his tireless leadership and team building, our staff and volunteer leaders are well-positioned for this change and to continue to move the Association forward.”
Bellantone added, “It has been a pleasure to serve the Association and I am tremendously appreciative of the opportunities I have been given and for the relationships I have built during my time with PPAI. It is no secret that this has been a challenging year for many, both personally and professionally. But with such challenges come opportunities to evolve and thrive. That’s why I believe this is not only the right time for me, but the best time for PPAI.”
PPAI’s mission to grow, protect, inform and engage its members and the industry remains foremost. Coupled with a focused and strategic continuity plan, the Board and leadership staff will work closely with Bellantone over the coming months to evaluate internal and external market conditions against the needs of the members, industry and the Association. These efforts will ensure a smooth transition that will drive meaningful value and the long-term success of the Association.
Founded in 1903, the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI; ppai.org) is the world’s largest and oldest not-for-profit association serving more than 15,500 corporate members of the $24.7 billion promotional products industry, which is comprised of more than 40,500 businesses and a workforce of more than 533,000 professionals. PPAI represents the industry in Washington, D.C. and advocates on its behalf. PPAI operates The PPAI Expo, the industry’s largest trade show; provides the leading promotional products safety and compliance program; offers a prestigious professional development and certification program; and publishes industry trade journals and periodicals. The multibillion-dollar industry includes wearables, writing instruments, calendars, drinkware and many other items, usually imprinted with a company’s name, logo or message. For more information, visit PPAI.org and follow us on Twitter @PPAI_HQ, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.
SAGE® Releases SAGE Mobile™10.0
The industry’s most popular mobile app has been upgraded to the newest version, SAGE Mobile 10.0. The app now features Project Management, where distributors can easily view and manage all projects with just one tool.
Addison, Texas (November 5, 2020) – SAGE, the leading provider of information, marketing, and business management solutions to the promotional products industry, announces the release of SAGE Mobile™ 10.0. The app, available for iOS and Android devices, allows industry distributors easy access to all their critical research and business management operations while on the go.
SAGE Mobile™ 10.0 now includes the Project Management area, introduced earlier this year in SAGE Online 16. This highly praised feature allows distributors to easily view and manage projects, all while improving their team's organization. The Project Management area was created exclusively for the promotional products industry and can be customized to each distributor's specific workflow.
“Our goal has always been to take our features and modules from SAGE Online and incorporate them into SAGE Mobile, providing clients with the same experience, but on the go,” said SAGE President, David Natinsky, MAS. “We are thrilled to add the Project Management area to SAGE Mobile, because now you can oversee your projects and track the status from anywhere.”
Some additional new features in the SAGE Mobile™ 10.0 release include:
· Dynamic font sizing for SAGE Chat
· Ratings now includes supplier and product ratings
· Leave comments on your supplier and product ratings
· Select custom suppliers in addition to SAGE suppliers for forms in Order Management
· Share presentations via text messaging
· SAGE Chat status automatically goes to “away” when leave chat area
· Unread SAGE Chat notifications on app badge icon
SAGE Mobile™ 10.0 is available now. Current SAGE Total Access subscribers can download SAGE Mobile™ for free from the Apple App Store, Google Play, or the Amazon App Store. For users who have automatic app updates turned on, the update will download automatically.
SAGE, based in Addison, Texas, is the leading provider of information, marketing, and business management solutions to the promotional products industry. In addition to SAGE’s flagship SAGE Online™, SAGE Web™, and SAGE Mobile™ research and business management services, SAGE also provides the industry with other research services, order management, project management, website and email services, e-commerce solutions, end-buyer catalogs, artwork services, payment processing, tradeshows, tradeshow management services, and lead retrieval software. SAGE is also the exclusive technology provider for members of the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), the industry’s non-profit association, as well as Promotional Products Professionals of Canada (PPPC), Canada’s non-profit association. For more information, please visit www.sageworld.com or call 800.925.7243.
Director of Marketing
Janet McMaster, MAS
2020 PPAI RAC Volunteer
PPAI Honors Janet McMaster, MAS, As 2020 PPAI RAC Volunteer Award Recipient
IRVING, TX, (September 17, 2019) – Promotional Products Association International (PPAI; ppai.org), the world’s largest not-for-profit trade association serving the more than 15,500 corporate members of the $24.7 billion promotional products industry, has named Janet McMaster, MAS, the recipient of the 2020 PPAI RAC (Regional Association Council) Volunteer Award. McMaster is the regional vice president at Geiger, a Lewiston, Maine-headquartered promotional products distributor. She received the award on October 15 during the PPAI Leadership Development Workshop.
The PPAI RAC Volunteer Award is presented annually to regional association members who have demonstrated an outstanding level of volunteerism and leadership and who have made significant and measurable contributions to a regional association. McMaster is the 18th recipient of the laurel, which has been awarded annually since 2010.
McMaster is currently serving a three-year term on the Promotional Products Education Foundation’s (PPEF) Board of Trustees and has a distinguished history of service with the industry’s regional associations. She served as a leader for the Philadelphia Area Promotional Products Association (PAPPA) from 2004-2005 and from 2007-2010 as well as on the board of the Carolinas Association of Advertising and Marketing Professionals (CAAMP) board from 2012-2017, where she served as board president in 2015. She also served on the RAC board from 2015-2018, presiding as president in 2017.
During her years of volunteer service, McMaster is credited with establishing a new education program, Rapid Fire Presentations, at the CAAMP Carolinas Connection Show in 2012, which has become an annual event, and she facilitated the RAC board’s creation of a new three-year strategic plan during her term as president. She was named a PPAI Fellow in 2016.
Along with her service to the regional community and PPEF, McMaster has volunteered in many capacities with PPAI. She served on the Professional Development Committee in 2013-2014, the PPAI Women’s Leadership Conference Workgroup in 2013-2014, the RAC Volunteer Advisory Group in 2016 and the Donna Hall Memorial Grant Committee in 2015.
PROMOTIONAL MARKETING ASSOCIATION OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA JOINS SAGE AFFILIATE PROGRAM EXTENDING SAGE BENEFITS TO MEMBERS.
Addison, Texas (September 28, 2020) – SAGE is pleased to announce that the Promotional Marketing Association of Northern California (PMANC) has joined the SAGE Affiliate Program, a customized program designed to give regional associations in the promotional products industry and their members special access to SAGE’s business management products and services.
“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with the Promotional Marketing Association of Northern California and provide their members with access to cutting-edge business management solutions for every aspect of their operations,” said Jarod Thorndike, Director of Business Development at SAGE. “SAGE tries to go above and beyond for regional associations, and the SAGE Affiliate Program is one way we can show it.”
SAGE offers PMANC distributor members a 10% discount on products and services including websites, company stores, and SAGE Total Access subscriptions. The Total Access subscription consists of SAGE Online, the promotional product industry’s most popular product research and business management solution; SAGE Web, the browser-based platform to access SAGE products from any device with web access; and SAGE Mobile, the full-featured mobile application for iOS and Android devices.
In addition, all members subscribing to SAGE Total Access will receive a full membership to Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), the world's largest not-for-profit association for the more than $23 billion promotional products industry. This is part of the Power of Two program, in which SAGE and PPAI have entered into a strategic alliance to provide the industry with the combined benefits of a PPAI membership and SAGE products and services.
PMANC members who are SAGE subscribers may contact SAGE to learn more about custom offerings, effective as of the next renewal. New association members who add SAGE services can be informed of their options by noting their specific association membership on their application.
To learn more about the SAGE Affiliate Program, visit go.sageworld.com/affiliate.
SAGE, based in Addison, Texas, is the leading provider of information, marketing, and business management solutions to the promotional products industry. In addition to SAGE’s flagship SAGE Online™, SAGE Web™, and SAGE Mobile™ research and business management services, SAGE also provides the industry with other research services, order management, project management, website and email services, e-commerce solutions, end-buyer catalogs, artwork services, payment processing, tradeshows, tradeshow management services, and lead retrieval software. SAGE is also the exclusive technology provider for members of the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), the industry’s non-profit association as well as Promotional Products Professionals of Canada (PPPC), Canada’s non-profit association. For more information, please visit www.sageworld.com or call 800.925.7243.
ZOOM catalog Adds Rob Alley as Director of Marketing
Boulder, CO, October 1, 2020 – Rob Alley has been hired to lead marketing for ZOOMcatalog; the industry’s leader in digital marketing technologies. Alley will play a key role in all branding, product and digital marketing, growth initiatives, sales enablement, customer experience, internal and external communications, and more.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to announce Rob has joined our team. He’s a perfect fit for ZOOMcatalog as he brings years of experience across the promotional products industry and B2B technology services.” --Bryony Zasman, Co-Founder.
Alley, based in Seattle, will make an immediate impact resulting from his unique mix of positions at the distributors BDA and Juice Marketing, plus the supplier iClick, where he was responsible for all marketing activities, while helping drive go-to-market strategies and business development. Alley has also been a senior product marketer at B2B SaaS providers ProQuest and Nintex.
“I’m super excited to join ZOOMcatalog, a true technology innovator. I believe my blend of experience will benefit the company, as well as promotional products suppliers, distributors, and end-users," Alley said.
ZOOMcatalog is a leading technology provider in the promotional products industry, helping companies customize and share powerful digital marketing materials.
Dear CAAMP Members,
I’m excited to confirm that effective January 1, 2021, BIC Graphic is changing our company name to Koozie Group! As a leading promotional products supplier, we are evolving as a company to better provide reliable and comprehensive solutions that help customers build their brand image and continue to work together to leave positive, lasting memories. It makes sense to change our name to best reflect this vision and mission. A new name separates us from our old parent company and aligns with our future business goals.
We will continue to operate as BIC Graphic through the end of 2020, until we officially make the switch to Koozie Group on January 1, 2021 but wanted to give you advanced notice of what will change.
EVERYTHING remains the same except the below changes will go into effect on January 1, 2021:
· Our PPAI UPIC number will change to KOOZIEGP
· Our “Bill/Remit to” name will change to Koozie Group
· bicgraphic.com will change to kooziegroup.com
· Industry portal product listings will be under Koozie Group; still searchable by their item #
· All marketing collateral and communication will be branded Koozie Group and come from email addresses ending in @m.kooziegroup.com
As we get closer to January, updated email addresses will be provided. Until then, please continue to use our existing email addresses as outlined below:
· General Customer Service questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
· Send your Orders directly to: email@example.com
· For 24-Hour Service orders: 24Hour@bicgraphic.com
· For Random Samples & Collateral requests: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep an eye out for new Koozie Group branding, messaging and more exciting things to come!
You can learn more about how we are making a change for good and how we plan to keep the good going® at bicgraphic.com/US/change-for-good.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out! Our team is ready to help with any concerns and process transitions as we become Koozie Group. Please visit bicgraphic.com for updates throughout 2020.
All the best,
Harold Wood,Field Sales And RAC Board President
ZOOMcatalog LAUNCHES ZOOMacademy
With fresh, customizable marketing materials added by promotional product suppliers daily, digital marketing has never been easier.
BOULDER, COLORADO (May 20 , 2020) – ZOOMcatalog today announced the launch of ZOOMacademy, an educational platform designed for Promotional Product professionals, which will be available at no cost to the entire industry. The ZOOMacademy will include straight forward, in-depth, and on-demand courses focused on digital marketing and sales. Individuals who complete courses in the academy can also earn credit towards their PPAI certification.
The first three courses available in the ZOOMacademy focus on building a communication plan during the pandemic, becoming a remote promotional product company, and an introduction to branding. Students of the academy will decide what classes will be released next, which may include how to transition catalogs from print to digital, how to use objectives to grow your business and a complete reference guide for industry professionals.
“The ZOOMacademy is a platform we have been planning for a long time. With extensive experience in technology, sales, marketing, and the promotional product industry, we have an opportunity to share our knowledge and help others in the industry grow.” Said co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Bryony Zasman. “In response to recent events, we decided to expedite the completion and launch of the ZOOMacademy. During these unprecedented times, people in the industry find themselves with more time on their hands and are looking for ways to build their skills and prepare themselves for success once business returns to the new normal”.
In addition to the library of courses, the ZOOMacademy also includes a talent pool. Industry professionals are invited to submit their resume and create a profile. The talent pool will be accessible to companies in the industry that are seeking new team members.
“If we can help one person find their next role, that’s a win for us.” Said Head of Design, Alex Hughes.
To access the ZOOMacademy and talent pool, visit www.academy.zoomcatalog.com.
ZOOMcatalog is a leading technology provider in the promotional product industry, helping companies customize and share powerful digital marketing materials. Suppliers add fresh catalogs, flyers, and more to ZOOMcatalog daily, which distributors can use in digital sales and marketing initiatives.
To learn more about ZOOMcatalog visit www.zoomcatalog.com.
AAkron Line Begins Production of Face Shields
Akron, NY – April 29, 2020 – Top 40 promotional product supplier and manufacturer, AAkron Line, announced today they have begun manufacturing face shields, after waiting nearly a full month for proper certification from the federal government. The new face shields will be immediately available to state and federal first responders while being available to promotional distributors next week.
“We immediately began to look at the whole spectrum of PPE products to see where and how we could use our manufacturing expertise to help in the COVID-19 fight. We have also seen first-hand numerous products that are available with no certification or documentation so we felt very strongly that whatever we did had to be done to the highest standards” says Devin Piscitelli, CEO & Co-owner of AAkron Line.
AAkron’s face shield is a FDA Listed Device and has passed ANSI testing. The test conducted and passed are ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2015-Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices – Full Requirement , and ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2015-Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices – Droplets and Splashes.
The face shields have an elastic band for flexible fit, a crystal clear shield and are foam padded for comfort. The company will sell the face shields with the option of imprinting or they can be purchased blank.
These face shields are the second item AAkron Line has introduced in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Last week the company introduced their new Face Mask Ear Saver. The ear saver is also Made in the USA of a latex-free, thermoplastic rubber which allows elastic bands of the face mask to be comfortably hooked together to prevent rubbing behind the ears.
About AAkron Line
AAkron Line is a family-owned and operated supplier that entered the promotional products industry in 1967. Over the decades, the company has won several Supplier Star and Merit Awards for service and innovation. Currently, their product line includes over 750 different items. Domestically manufactured products include stadium cups, sports bottles, pencils, rulers, yardsticks, key chains, bracelets, hand fans and much more. To view AAkron Line’s full product offerings, visit www.aakronline.com.
Dear PPAI Members:
One of the most important things an association does for its members is advocacy. This is at the core of every industry association, including yours. In both good times and bad, PPAI focuses on informing influential, targeted audiences on the power of promotional products and the businesses and stories that make up the industry.
In recent years, our efforts on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and with the GET IN TOUCH! advertising campaign have paid great dividends. Most federal and state legislators are well aware of the promotional products industry. There is also significant awareness of our industry's relevance in the advertising and marketing communities. Complementing the awareness driven by the GET IN TOUCH! campaign are the multi-million-dollar marketing campaign tools members are encouraged to use in their own marketing efforts. These robust advocacy efforts continue today and are the focus of this update.
This year, as I mentioned in a previous update, we've had to cancel our annual Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.) and our in-person visits to D.C. Instead, next week we will embark on a virtual L.E.A.D.—L.E.A.D. From Home—one that every member can participate in. Personally, I will miss seeing those of you who would have joined us in D.C., but the current situation leaves us with no other options.
We urge all of you to join us in thanking your members of Congress for their support of small businesses. Encourage them to continue to give you the tools and resources you need to keep your doors open and your employees paid because small businesses will be the backbone of this country's economic recovery.
Here's how to participate in this year's L.E.A.D. From Home:
Our hope is that these messages will keep our industry top of mind in Congress and help to ensure a brighter future for the industry that has been so good to all of us.
The GET IN TOUCH! campaign, which was recently updated, can also be used without leaving your home. It is the perfect way to keep your brand and messaging in front of your customers. The campaign is even more important now as you work to stay in touch with your customers and prospects. Get the buyer outreach toolkit, and take advantage of the thought-provoking images, engaging videos, new research-based infographics and more. In fact, many members are currently working with our staff to customize their own branded broadcast-ready video spots that were created as part of the campaign. To get your customized video spot, reach out to Get In Touch! program manager, Kim Todora at KimT@ppai.org.
Finally, I want to update you on some of the organizational changes we've had to make here at PPAI. As I committed to you in March, our primary goals during this period of COVID-19 uncertainty are twofold. First, to make sure we continue to provide essential services to members and the promotional products industry and marketplace. Second, to make the necessary business decisions to ensure that there is a strong and relevant trade association in place to help you recover and rebuild when the business constraints of the pandemic are eased, if not lifted.
PPAI is a lagging indicator of our industry's business climate, specifically as it relates to membership recruitment and retention, whereby reported sales volume determines the dues payable to the Association. Membership dues account for about 50 percent of the Association's total revenue. The other half of our revenue—and the driver behind most of our profitability—involves trade shows, live events, conferences, advertising, sponsorships and registrations fees. So how will the pandemic impact PPAI in the short- and long-term?
We expect member companies will continue to experience an annual decline in sales which will adversely affect the dues revenue we collect. On top of that, to the extent that I can reasonably foresee the future, those other revenue sources will suffer significant declines through 2020, somewhat predictably through 2021 and quite possibly beyond that. We just do not know, but, pursuant to our strategic plan, we strive to see as far as possible into the future to best gauge the business climate for our members, the industry and the Association. In any event, for the first time since I joined PPAI over 20 years ago, normal Association operations will face significant losses.
As a result, I, like so many of you, have implemented staffing, salary and benefit reductions to help PPAI manage through this challenging economic time. As a 501(c)(6) trade association, PPAI was not eligible to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program which might have assisted us in mitigating staff cuts. These actions are never easy, nor should they be. And they were not taken without deep concern and late nights of worry for our internal colleagues who have worked diligently to help make PPAI the Mark of a Professional.
In addition to staff cuts, we've also made changes to the structure of the business with the consolidation of departments and management. All of this was advanced with a mandate to retain the essential products and services you are promised as part of your membership in PPAI.
My goal in all of this is to manage and restructure PPAI, your Association, to reflect current realities and likely scenarios we will all face in the near and foreseeable future.
As I communicated to the PPAI team, we have no crystal ball to tell us when the economic constraints of the pandemic will end or when our businesses will recover. But, I remain positive—the constraints will end and our businesses will recover. Even then, industry events will likely be reduced in size and profitability for the foreseeable future.
As we regroup and reposition the Association for a post-coronavirus future, you have my commitment that the leadership team—and a smaller, leaner, restructured and reimagined PPAI—will work tirelessly to make thoughtful decisions to maximize the value of your membership.
Our challenges are real and pressing, both as an association and an industry of professionals. But, our resolve is as intense as ever. And, this Association will move forward as the Mark of a Professional to serve you and the promotional products industry in this most challenging of times to ensure promotional products and our associated businesses continue to be a cost-effective and powerful marketing media.
In my next update I'll share the latest on The PPAI Expo. So, stay tuned and stay healthy.
3125 Skyway Circle North, Irving, TX 75038 · www.ppai.org · 1-888-I-AM-PPAI · fax 972-258-3004 · www.facebook.com/ppai.hq
PPAI Presents 30 CAS, MAS Certifications In March; Waives Fees During Health Crisis
In March, 30 industry professionals earned their Certified Advertising Specialist (CAS) and Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) certifications. PPAI is also taking steps to expand certification opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruptions it has brought to the industry. Beginning April 1 and running through June 30, PPAI has waived the Trained Advertising Specialist (TAS) certificate and CAS and MAS certification application fees for Association members and reduced pricing for Associates by 50 percent.
PO Box 949 Waynesboro, PA 17268
240.217.6470 | email@example.com