January 2023
PPAMidwest Wishes You A Very Happy New Year!
As the New Year begins, we are filled with hope and new expectations for 2023.
PPAMidwest is thankful for all the support we have received from each of you in 2022
and look forward to working alongside all of you this year. 
As the new year begins, so do our membership renewals.
Memberships renew every year on January 1 and last for the entire calendar year.
You should have received an email with a membership renewal notification in December.
If you have not already done so, please click here to renew for 2023.
A Message From Our PPAMidwest President......
PPAMidwest Members,
Greetings and a very happy new year to each of you! As we look forward to 2023, I am reminded of a quote by Anne Frank, “What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet.” Many times 2022 may have felt a bit like 2021 on repeat, but I am amazed at what our association accomplished last year under the graceful leadership of our now Past President Mandi Rudd and the rest of our awesome board. However, we remember that nothing is accomplished without our wonderful members, like you, who we are honored to serve.

But in Anne’s words, the best days of our lives haven’t happened yet. In 2023, we will have some awesome days in place for our members. We look forward to:
  • Our Spring Showcase, with a new Kansas City venue and a social happy hour to boot. Save the date for 3/28 in St. Louis and 3/30 in Kansas City. Registrations will be opening soon!
  • The return of our annual golf tournament and popular pickleball outing
  • By member demand, you’ll even have an opportunity to “Bombard the Board” with paintballs! Keep watching your emails and follow our Facebook page to stay up to date on those details.
  • Our Fall Showcase October 3rd and 4th in Kansas City and St. Louis respectively

All these amazing events are on the horizon this year as well as others, but we also continue to understand our need to support the interests of our members. As such, I am most looking forward to our “February Fonebank” where myself and many others on the board will be reaching out directly to you, our members, to gain feedback and guidance for this year and the years to come.

It is humbling and deeply honoring to be serving as your President in 2023. I want to ensure that you continue to see the value in your membership every day. Please reach out directly to me with your comments, questions, or even just to yell at me. I can be reached via email at dennis.oglesby@go2partners.com

Yours in Service,

Dennis Oglesby, MAS
2023 PPAMidwest President
January 17, 2023 Tuesday Learning Lab:
"It's Never Too Early to Position Your Business for a Successful Exit"

Rick Brenner, President of Logical Advisors, will walk attendees through the process of how professional buyers value promotional products distributors and suppliers and what sellers should do to position their business for the best possible outcome.  
Learning Outcomes:
  • Gain an understanding of the key factors that will yield the highest value for your business
  • Learn step by step how the sale process works
  • Learn how to protect yourself, your business and confidentiality in case a deal goes South
  • Learn what to do long in advance to prepare for the day you put your business on the market
  • Review of the different options for selling your business, and the pros and cons of each
1 MAS Credit when you submit your PPAI Certification PIN Number with your survey

January 25, 2023 Wild Wednesday Webinar: "Promotional Products Industry TRENDS for 2023 presented by Dale Denham, President & CEO of PPAI"

We will look at the trends in the Promotional Products Industry and learn how to use those trends to position your business for a successful new year.
Learning Outcomes:
  • What is up and coming for 2023
  • Best ways to use this knowledge to position your business for success
  • PPAI updates to help grow and manage your business
1 PPAI Credit when you submit your PPAI Certification PIN Number with your survey

PPAMidwest News
American Solutions for Business raises over $25,000 for local families in need
Glenwood, MN – American Solutions for Business raised over $25,000 for families in the Pope County area through their annual Adopt-A-Family fundraiser. Raising over double the amount they achieved last year, ASB was able to sponsor 16 families, including 36 kids, and a special gift for an individual in the area spending the holidays alone. This tradition began two decades ago as a special gift for ASB’s Founder Larry Zavadil, and his wife Diane, as a collective effort from team members and sales associates at American Solutions for Business.
“I look forward to seeing the numbers every year,” expressed Zavadil. “I’ve always known our American family was generous just by the good they do throughout the year, but I am astonished once again!”
The families are kept anonymous by county administrators, and the only details given to the American team are ages and genders of the children. Volunteers spend an afternoon of shopping finding items that the children need and want, doing what they can to make sure their holiday season is filled with smiles. 
Brian Porter Promoted to CRO of Starline

Promo industry veteran Brian Porter has entered the C-suite at Top 40 supplier Starline. The Grand Island, NY-based company just promoted Porter from senior vice president of sales and marketing to chief revenue officer. Executives said the move was well-earned: Porter’s leadership was integral to Starline increasing sales 62.7% in 2021 to $48 million – a performance that returned the company to Counselor’s Top 40 list of the industry’s largest suppliers.

“In his new position of CRO, Brian will take on a more strategic sales and marketing leadership role within the organization, while continuing his active engagement in the industry,” said CEO Mason Lapsker.

The intersection of technology and sales/marketing at Starline will be among Porter’s key focuses.

“Brian understands the important role that technology and operations play in the evolving sales and marketing industry landscape,” said Jon Norris, Starline chief operating officer and a member of Counselor’s Power 50 list of promo’s most influential people. “I look forward to working with him in this new role as we drive Starline forward as a continued industry innovator and leader.”

Porter joined Starline in 2018. He has almost 30 years of experience in promo, having started his career in the industry as a regional sales director at Norwood. Past positions include being national sales director of Canada-headquartered supplier Spector & Co.’s U.S. Division. Porter was also previously vice president of North American sales at supplier Pro Towels and a national sales director at Bebco.

A prominent figure in the promo products market, Porter has served in industry volunteer roles. Those include being chair of the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) and serving with the Promotional Products Association of the Midwest (PPAMidwest) regional association, where he was president in 2016.

In addition to Grand Island, NY, Starline has a location in Vaughn, Ontario. The company offers a patented digital decoration technique, TruColor, and carries name brands that include uniball, Stanley, Pelican, JanSport, and Urban Peak.
Did You Miss Some of our Informative Webinars and Want to Catch Up?
As a PPAMidwest member, you have access to these webinars that may be watched when it is convenient for you. By watching a recording you can still earn CAS/MAS credit. 
The webinars may be found HERE on the PPAMidwest website. Please make sure that you are logged in at www.ppam.org with your email address and password as this is a PPAMidwest Member Only benefit. Don't know your password? Reset it at any time on the main page to the right of the Log In button. 

Suppliers and Multi-Line Reps ~ Are you interested in hosting a virtual webinar or Lunch and Learn session in 2023? Please reach out to Tiffany at admin@ppam.org for more information and to schedule your date.
HPG Acquires Evans Manufacturing
Chris Anderson, CEO of Boston-based supplier HPG announced the company's acquisition of fellow supplier Evans Manufacturing based in Garden Grove, California.

The deal brings Evans Manufacturing together with HPG and its many industry brands – Hub, Beacon, Best, Debco, BCG Creations, Origaudio, Handstands, Batch & Bodega, Mixie and SugarSpot – and adds new North American manufacturing capabilities to HPG’s portfolio with the addition of Evans’ facilities in Southern California and Nogales, Mexico.

Evans was founded in 1983 as an injection molding company with a focus on retail markets. It moved into promotional products in 1992. Today, it specializes in plastics and fabric products for the promotional merchandise field.
  • It operates in many categories, including healthcare, household, office, drinkware, pet, writing instruments, travel, auto, golf, outdoor, tech, spirit, school and more.
  • Most of its products are designed and manufactured in-house.
  • It added a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Nogales in 2008. There, it produces tote bags and other cut-and-sew items. In the U.S., it produces more than 200 additional products.

The supplier has won numerous industry awards, including the PPAI Supplier Star award, and has been named to the PPAI Magazine Greatest Companies To Work For list as recently as 2021.

As part of the transaction, Alan Vaught, president of Evans, will continue to lead it as division president and is a significant HPG shareholder.

“The partnership with HPG represents the culmination of many years of hard work and dedicated service by the entire Evans team,” says Vaught. “I have been blessed by the talents of so many key contributors throughout the journey, and it is humbling to see this business that started as a two-person operation evolve into the respected market leader that it has become. I am thrilled to embark on this next chapter, in partnership with the proven team at HPG, and our shared values and perspective on the bright future of the combined Evans-HPG enterprise, and the industry, generally, has made for a seamless transition.”

Anderson says, “Evans has rightfully earned a stellar reputation for promotional hard goods and customer service excellence, which makes it a perfect fit for the HPG family. I am delighted to welcome the abundance of talent and expanded capabilities Evans has to offer and can reassure customers HPG’s philosophy is to do no harm – we will not disrupt what clearly has been working so well. We look forward to knowledge-sharing with our new team members and working together to make HPG the preeminent promotional hard goods supplier.”
Want to earn points and join in on the fun?
Simply complete the easy request form to have your points credited
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Industry News
PPAI Awards Celebration - January 9, 2023
PPAI Newslink
Four Industry Icons Honored At Chair’s Leadership Dinner
January 9, 2023 - During the Chair’s Leadership Dinner at The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas, PPAI recognized four men and women who have set a standard for excellence in the world of promo – not only as successful entrepreneurs, but as industry ambassadors who have given back to their profession and their communities. The night also included a salute to the Promotional Products Education Foundation and 2022 PPAI Rising Stars.
Late in the evening came a traditional ceremony at The PPAI Expo, the passing of the gavel from PPAI Board Chair Dawn Olds, MAS+, to Incoming Chair Kevin Walsh, CAS. Olds' term will expire at the conclusion of The PPAI Expo. She opened the evening with a welcome to all attendees, and over the course of the night gave way to Walsh, who wished everyone a successful experience at The PPAI Expo 2023.
This year's PPAI Hall of Fame Inductees are Carol D. Aastad, MAS, and Mary Ellen Sokalski, MAS. Aastad and Sokalski, both industry trailblazers, have made history as the first two women ever inducted into the same PPAI Hall of Fame class. The annual award gives permanent recognition to individuals selected for their generous and monumental contributions of time and talent to the Association and industry.
In addition to the Hall of Fame Awards, PPAI also presented its H. Ted Olson Humanitarian Award to Danny Rosin, CAS, president of Brand Fuel, and its Distinguished Service Award to Roger Burnett, CAS, founder of Social Good Promotions.

10 Tips to Make 2023 Your Best and Boldest Year Yet
Leigh Burgess  Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor CEO & Founder of Bold Industries Group, Inc.

Think bold, big, and get creative when it comes to planning out how to reach your goals.
Here are 10 tips to help you have the boldest and best year yet! 
Want to be bolder in 2023? Start by clarifying your purpose. Before you take any action, spend some time reflecting on your values and what is most important to you. Visualize where you want to be in 12 months and the kind of life you want to live. Once these goals are clearer, work to create an action plan and write it down.

Think bold and big, and get creative when it comes to planning out how to reach your goals. Consider new strategies, resources or people who can help propel you forward. Take some thoughtful risks, and set yourself up for success by making use of all the resources available to you.

One of the best ways to create your best year yet is by being bold and daring. This means taking risks, speaking up and going after what you want. When you take a risk, it can be scary, but it could also lead to amazing opportunities. Being willing to step out of your comfort zone can open up many doors that would have otherwise remained closed.

When you take a chance on a bold move, make sure you are aligning yourself with your purpose. Know your "why," and stay focused on what matters most to you. If a particular opportunity or venture doesn't align with your core values, it might be worth passing up, even if it could potentially lead to success. That success won't mean much if it doesn't align with your purpose. Read More
PPEF Golf Tournament Fundraiser
PPB Newslink
PPEF Golf Tournament Raises Over $39,000
In support of the Promotional Products Education Foundation, 112 golfers from 30+ industry companies took a swing at the Bali Hai Golf Club in Las Vegas during the Glen Holt & Fran Ford Memorial Golf Tournament. The tournament raised more than $39,000 in support of PPEF’s college scholarship program.

“Thank you to the golfers, sponsors, volunteers and all those who made this tournament happen through their support,” says PPEF Executive Director Kathlene Brethowr. “It was another momentous tournament honoring the legacies of Glen Holt and Fran Ford.”

The late Glen Holt, MAS, was a former PPAI board member and Hall of Fame inductee who passed away in 2010, and Fran Ford Jr., CAS, was president of supplier Castelli, a division of Magnet, and PPAI Hall of Fame inductee who passed away in 2018. As a dedicated supporter of PPEF, Ford launched the PPEF Glen Holt Scholarship Golf invitational in 2014. The tournament celebrates their lasting legacies with PPEF scholarships named in their honor.

The foursome of Nathan Cotter and Scott Leonard with Hit Promotional Products (team sponsor); Brent Belles with B-Squared Printing and Marketing Solutions; and Bobby Hazan with Overture Promotions won first place and bragging rights for the year – plus hats autographed by pro golfer John Daly. And one lucky golfer – Billy Booe, midsouth regional VP of sales with Geiger – got a hole in one on the ninth hole.

Event sponsors included Cap America, Fossil, Hit Promotional Products, HPG, IceMule Company, Laura Holt, Pilot Pen, Promo Marketing, SanMar, Sock101, Spector & Co. and Stormtech. All players were automatically entered into a drawing for a “Weekend in Vegas” package provided by Mandalay Bay, including a two-night hotel stay at Mandalay Bay plus a $250 food and beverage credit.