August 2019
Board Member Spotlight:
This month's Board Member Spotlight is on Stephanie Thompson. Thompson has served on the board since 2018 and holds the current position of Secretary. Thompson is employed by Cutter & Buck and has shared the following fun facts:
Q: Can you play any instruments?
A: I played the piano for a couple of years; however, it has been so long ago that I think I'd struggle with chopsticks at this point.

Q: What’s the strangest talent you have?
A: I can cut hair; I do all of my kids' haircuts. My mom was a beautician and I watched her when I was growing up. 

Q: What was your childhood nickname?
A: Tuffy. My older brother couldn't say "Stephanie" so it came out "Tuffy" - it just stuck.

Q: Do you have any strange phobias?
A: No, I can't think of any strange phobias. I do hate spiders though.

Q: Which way does your toilet paper hang on the wall – over or under?
A: Always over.

Q: What, or who, are you a “closet” fan of?
A: Reggae and ska music
PPAMidwest Night at the Ballpark:
Brewers vs Cardinals

Join us at Busch Stadium on 8/20/19 as the Cardinals take on the Brewers! 

First Pitch: 6:45pm

Just a few tickets left.....get yours by 8/13/19!

PPAMidwest News
American Solutions for Business Announces Sarah Louden as Executive Director of HR

Glenwood, MNAmerican Solutions for Business is happy to introduce Sarah Louden as Executive Director of Human Resources. Sarah joins ASB from the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota area where she was the Senior Vice President of People, Talent & Change at Supervalu, Inc., a grocery retail and supply chain service across the United States. She began her career with them in 2007 as an HR Business Partner, gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience in the competencies of Human Resources throughout her 10 years with Supervalu.  

ASB’s VP of Human Resources, Katie Hallstrom, will continue in her current role with Sarah working alongside her in leading the HR/Payroll teams, managing the day-to-day activities and developing value-added programs for American.
“We’re excited by the experience and enthusiasm Sarah brings to American as we continue to grow as a leading distributor in our industry,” said Justin Zavadil, ASB President. “We’re confident that she will be a perfect fit here.”

Industy Tech Veteran Launches PromoPulse

Gardner, KSJason Nokes, a long-time promotional products and technology leader, has launched PromoPulse, the first
mobile app in the promotional products industry dedicated to sales ideas, inspiration and information.

PromoPulse combines social posts, blogs, products, videos, specials and offers from over 2,000 suppliers,
distributors, service providers and thought leaders. It is the only resource that has complete coverage of the
industry, including information from both ASI and PPAI. Industry professionals can search, browse, save and share content on the app for no charge.

“The industry was missing an easy, mobile-based solution to stay on top of the news, get inspiration and generate client ideas. Suppliers and service providers post wonderful content on Facebook and Twitter that is often lost in the news feed.”

Prior to founding PromoPulse, Nokes served as president of DistributorCentral for eight years and has been both a supplier and a distributor in his 26-year career. He has won numerous industry and technology awards and has served on PPAI committees and standards organizations.

Download the free app and sign up for the Daily Pulse email on the PromoPulse website: . For more information email or call 720-727-7666.
CHOCOLATE INN| LANCO Adds Contract Printing Services   

Hicksville, NY – Chocolate Inn| Lanco has added contract printing services to its roster of customization capabilities and products for the promotional products industry.

These new services, offered under the name Lanco Contract Printing Services (ASI Decorator: 738101), will provide the most complex and most requested decorating processes, including vibrant multi-colored screen printing, 3D embroidery, specialty inks like glitter, metallic and glow-in-the-dark; heat transfers (including full color sublimation), glitter and rhinestone embellishments, pad printing, and DTG (direct to garment) printing.

Those promotional product distributors looking for assistance with the look of their projects will have access to the Lanco Printing’s experienced and creative team of graphic designers. Customers can supply their own apparel or take advantage of the company’s “One Invoice Solution” where Lanco Printing will purchase the goods to be customized as well as decorate.

All decorating processes will take place in Chocolate Inn | Lanco’s 100,000 square foot Ronkonkoma facility, which will help to keep projects on schedule and help ensure print quality.  This also allows Lanco Printing to have a quicker turnaround on projects.

“As our contract decorating services expanded and the requests from our distributor client base for such services grew exponentially, we made a decision to add a standalone brand and robust website dedicated exclusively to these services,” said David Miller president of Chocolate Inn | Lanco.

For more information on Lanco Printing’s contract decorator services, visit, or call, 800-526-3437.
Rod Williamson
We are sad to announce that Rod Williamson passed away last Thursday evening, August 1, 2019.

Rod was a long-time PPAMidwest member and touched many lives over the years in the Promotional Products Industry and will be sorely missed.
Wild Wednesday Webinars - Lunch and Learn at your desk!
Wed, August 28, 2019 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM CST

Learn what makes up a “complete profile” and actual examples of how Joe used LinkedIn to prospect and gain a new client. The presentation will include a brief history of LinkedIn along with some relevant statistics.

Attendees will discover: 
  • How to properly complete your LinkedIn profiles
  • How to prospect for new business using LinkedIn
  • How to find content and keep your LinkedIn networks engaged 

 1 CAS Credit when you submit your PPAI Pin Number with your survey.
PPAMidwest Members....are you taking advantage of your Member Benefits?
PPAMidwest Coupon Book   - Did you know that you can save thousands of dollars by using the member only coupon book?

The coupon book is located on the  PPAMidwest website   and is only available to current PPAMidwest members.

PPAMidwest has also partnered with   to provide 1-Click access to PPAMidwest coupons when you visit supplier websites. Make sure to visit and follow the steps on their website to install the browser extension and toolbar which will make accessing the coupons even easier! You may also reference this step-by-step video to see how to install PromoHunt and access PPAMidwest coupons:

As a PPAMidwest member, you receive 10% off of SAGE products and services!
Industry News
PPB Service Superheroes
Nomination Period Is Now Open

The nomination period for Service Superheroes is now open. Customer service representatives play a vital role in supporting the success of any organization. Service superheroes go above and beyond the line of duty to provide the best customer experience possible.
If you know a Service Superhero—in your company or a vendor company—who proves great service does still exist, PPB magazine wants to hear about them.
Nominate your Service Superhero by August 27.
Individuals selected will be featured in the November PPB magazine. All nominees must be affiliated with a PPAI member company and may not be a previous honoree . Deadline for nominations is August 27, 2019.
Product Responsibility Summit 2019
September 15-17 · Alexandria, Virginia · The Westin Alexandria
This Is A Trip Worth Taking
The 2019 PPAI Product Responsibility Summit is heading to Alexandria, Virginia, September 15-17. Industry and compliance experts facilitate Summit education so every session is g eared to your needs. Understanding the importance of product responsibility in today's economy can help differentiate your business from your competition.

Attendees will earn MAS-level credits and receive a Product Responsibility Resource Manual – a treasure trove of information whose value exceeds the cost of attendance. This year's Summit will include sessions on Prop 65, challenges of being a compliance officer, sourcing beyond China, intellectual property and much more.
Bonus this year: Free Wednesday tours of the CPSC testing lab and Patent Museum.
5 Body Language Cues Entrepreneurs Should Pay Attention to in Any Meeting
David Neagle  Guest Writer Entrepreneur

Sometimes body language can speak louder than words.

In order to thrive (and survive), entrepreneurs need to always be selling, whether it is to potential customers, investors or employees. Yet, sometimes founders believe they sealed the deal, only to find out later the person wasn’t interested.

So how can they tell if you are going to get a “yes” from a meeting? Well, it has more to do with what someone doesn’t say.

Potential customers, partners and investors may be saying they are interested, but if their nonverbal communication is saying something else, it is unlikely you will close the deal. Falsehoods, lies and impossible promises can easily come out of someone’s mouth, but a person’s  body language  will not lie.      Read More
Professional Development
Simplifying The PPAI Certification Process

By now you've probably noticed the various acronyms behind industry professionals' names. PPAI offers a professional certification program for all stages of your career: Trained Advertising Specialist (TAS) certificate, Certified Advertising Specialist (CAS) certification, Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) certification and Master Advertising Specialist Plus (MAS+) certification.
Recently, PPAI updated the TAS, CAS and MAS programs to better engage and support you in your pursuit of professional development. The simplified process now allows you to take a five-question quiz after each dedicated course you attend. There are no lengthy tests and no project requirements necessary to submit your certification application.
As an all-inclusive, industry-wide program for all stages of your career, PPAI Certification is a program you can customize to fit your needs. Here's a peek at the revised programs:

  • TAS Certificate - 4.5 dedicated courses
  • CAS Certification - 26 dedicated courses and 25 elective courses
  • MAS Certification - CAS designation + 15 dedicated courses and 35 elective courses
A revised MAS+ program will launch Tuesday, August 6, as well. If you have any questions about the programs, the requirements or certification in general, please email