July 2020
Distributors are invited to join us for
two upcoming Virtual Lunch and Learn sessions!
American Ad Bag
July 16th at 11 am
presented by Stacie Woltman,

Please join Stacie from American Ad bag for an informative lunch and learn. Stacie will highlight American Ad Bags new products(including our PPE Chill MASK item, new washable paper item and the LULU lemon laminated totes) and she will share some great ideas on how bags can be applied in the hospital and restaurant take out and carry out markets.  She will also touch on the benefits of doing business with AAB and provide some bag case histories for the distributors to share with the customers.

Charles River Apparel/MW Reps
July 23rd at 11 am
presented by Rich Corvalan and Bryan Mercer, MW Reps

Join Rich Corvalan, VP of Sales for Charles River, and Bryan Mercer of MW Reps for an hour of learning and sharing as we walk you through what’s new and exciting from Charles River Apparel.You’ll get a first look at some of our newest styles as well as an overview of our top sellers. Like what you see, we’ll share how you can get a sample at a great cost with flat rate shipping. While product is king, we’re also excited to show you our new website and all the exciting new features that will make it even easier to do business with us.

Make Sure to Visit the PPAMidwest Website Regularly for Upcoming Events!
PPAMidwest News
American Solutions for Business Promotes Amy Spychalla to VP of Strategic Operations Support
GLENWOOD, MN - ASB has officially promoted Amy Spychalla to Vice President of Strategic Operations Support.
Spychalla joined the company in January 2003 as a promotional product specialist, helping to promote the promotional product category to sales associates before moving into strategic operations support shortly after its inception. She currently leads ASB's strategic operations support and vertical market teams which work to support sales associates in their sales efforts - from discovery, proposal and presentation through to implementation, go live and customer reviews.
"SOS and vertical markets has helped many of our sales associates land accounts that they may not have been able to secure on their own," explains Spychalla. "The team is well rounded, responsive and serves as a wonderful liaison between sales associates, customers, supply chain partners and internal staff, resulting in streamlined program implementations. I want to reach even more associates so that they fully understand our services and how we can help them keep and grow their business. I am so proud of the team and the support they provide."
""I have had the pleasure of working with Amy for my entire time at ASB," says Justin Zavadil, President of American Solutions for Business. "She is one of the most caring, considerate, and hardest working people that I know. Her knowledge, experience, and personality make ASB a better company and we're lucky to have her in a role that is shaping our future. She is most deserving of this promotion!"
Spychalla adds, "I am so grateful for the mentors that have helped me throughout my career. I've had a lot of people believe in me and provide me with opportunities for continued growth. I will strive to do the same for others."
American Solutions for Business Promotes Miriah Cassidy to VP of Sales Support
GLENWOOD, MN - ASB has officially promoted Miriah Cassidy to Vice President of Sales Support.
Cassidy joined the company in October 2008 as a Sales Support CSR before rising through the ranks as a Sales Support Supervisor, Process Improvement Manager, Director of Order Management, Senior Director of Sales Support and Executive Director of Sales Support. She leads a team of individuals that work hard every day to support ASB's sales team.
Cassidy is responsible for leading ASB's following teams: Sales Support CSRs, Prompt Pay Compliance, Expanded Services, Operational System Training and Support and Sales Support Leadership teams. She is focused on people and operational process and efficiencies with offices in Glenwood and Starbuck, MN, Missouri and multiple at-home workers, remote leadership and team support.
"I want to continue to be the voice for our team as our company grows and evolves," shares Cassidy. "We have so many talented individuals. I have a goal to find the right challenges that will allow them to further their careers."
"We are extremely lucky to have someone as talented as Miriah on our team. The contributions she has made to the betterment of ASB during her time with the company have been numerous. She more than deserves this promotion and the fact that she is in a long-term position to drive the strategy and success of ASB is such as benefit to our sales associates and their customers!" says Justin Zavadil, President of American Solutions for Business.
"My time with American has been challenging and rewarding - such a great combination! I look forward to many more wonderful years as a part of this great team!" Cassidy concludes.
American Solutions for Business Partners with Valenti Print Group
BHONOLULU, HI  - American Solutions for Business is proud to announce that Valenti Print Group (Valenti) of Honolulu, HI has joined the ASB team.
Valenti specializes in print and mailing services and shares many other similarities with ASB; they are also an employee-owned company founded in 1981 with a creative, family-friendly culture. Their team is local to Hawaii and is a dynamic group of individuals from different cultures, nationalities and professional experience.
"This partnership will provide us the resources to enhance and help grow the specialty products side of Valenti," explains Mary Valenti, title. "Joining together, our customers will benefit from a greatly expanded array of solutions to their needs."
Mary's late husband, Patrick, founded Valenti and she sees this new partnership as a way to fulfill the vision he had before falling ill - to expand the business by adding specialty products to their offering. Another major player in Valenti's success was Scott O'Brien, who has also since passed. The current team expresses dedication to allow both Patrick's and Scott's legacies to go on and grow.
"I look forward to working with ASB," shares Alex Eyre, sales executive with Valenti. "The support and kindness that I've felt from the ASB crew has been extremely encouraging. On top of that, the range of products and services offered by ASB is staggering."
Despite the challenges of a global pandemic, both teams were able to facilitate the onboarding process smoothly after months of constant communication at every level.
"We're incredibly honored to have Valenti Print Group as part of the American Family," said Larry Zavadil, Founder & CEO of American Solutions for Business. "There's a saying that 'if you want to go fast, go alone - if you want to go far, go together'...our plan is to be the last company standing together. It's not often that we find another company with the same missions, values and culture - we have found that in our partnership with Valenti."

PPAMidwest Member Job Board
Due to these uncertain times and inconsistency our industry is faced with, you may need your association more now than ever. We at PPAMidwest know and understand that our industry has taken a big hit for our distributors as well as our suppliers. This might mean changes in personnel. If you have a position that you need to be filled with someone with industry experience, tell us about it and we will post the job on our Job Board  on the PPAMidwest Website under the Members Only Section. This is offered at no charge as part of your membership benefit. Those people who may have found themselves searching for a job in the industry, please let us know and we can post your name and contact information if you wish, or simply keep your name handy to give the potential employers when we hear of an opening. Please email admin@ppam.org and we can add your information.
Do you have news or information that you would like to share with the PPAMidwest Community?

Would you like to have a profile published? Got an amusing or interesting industry story to share? Do you have a proven success story with a particular product that you would like to share with our members?
Send it to: admin@ppam.org
Wild Wednesday Webinars - Lunch and Learn at your desk!
“State of the Industry Across North America: A Regional Association Town Hall Meeting"
Wed, July 15, 2020 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM CST

Join regional executive directors from east to west and north to south and in between as they answer your questions about what is happening around the country and Canada as we continue to work through the social, economic and health issues created by the global pandemic. Learn what is working and not working in all parts of North America and what is opening up and what is still closed up tight. Find out what other professionals are seeing, feeling and experiencing and the questions they are facing. 

Attendees Will Learn:
  • What are the biggest challenges faced by regional associations throughout the USA and Canada
  • What leaders are hearing from their members about promising developments
  • When regional leaders expect to see their areas open up again
  • Answers to their most pressing questions and those of their colleagues around the USA and Canada

 1 CAS Credit when you submit your PPAI Pin Number with your survey.
Industry News
From Home - July 16, 2020
Marketing: Post-COVID-19: What Role Will
Promotional Products Play In Marketing? 
Now that states have reopened and people are back to work, at least to some degree, business will be different, but how? Will client budgets be right-sized and constricted? What will events, such as trade shows, look like in our post-corona virus world? To what extent will virtual communications opportunities remain? How will companies approach hiring practices when they begin to hire again? Will there be challenges relating to employee morale and productivity? Is social media going to have a hangover? Will businesses be eager to invest and spend money?Here are a few predictions and ruminations that hopefully will help as we all dig out and get back to business.             Read More
Escape Your Head: How Overthinking Is Hurting Your Business
Aytekin Tank  VIP Contributor Entrepreneur; Founder and CEO, JotForm

Negative thought loops derailing your workday? Her are four easy tips for quieting a busy mind.

In light of recent world events, it's hard not to find yourself chronically overthinking. We worry about our health and our loved ones' health, just like we worry about our businesses and what the future holds. We can easily slide down the slippery slope of trying to deliberate ourselves into a better situation.

But according to clinical psychologist Helen Odessky, that couldn't be more counterproductive. As she told the Headspace blog: "So often people confuse overthinking with problem-solving. But what ends up happening is we just sort of go in a loop," says Odessky. "We're not really solving a problem."

Psychologists say it's a vicious cycle: The more you worry about something, the more you train your brain to think about it - and the more you activate the amygdala, the brain's worry center. Overthinking isn't just ineffective, either. It's bad for your business and left unchecked, it only gets worse.     Read More
More On The PPAI Expo 2021
From PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAS

A Brief Update from 
PPAI President & CEO 
Paul Bellantone, CAS

Happy belated Independence Day. I hope you are doing well and were able to enjoy a long holiday weekend, taking a welcome and well-deserved break with friends and family. I know many of you are struggling with the new challenges brought on by the recent spike in COVID cases and its impact on our families and businesses. Hopefully, you were able to set all that aside for a day or two to rest, relax, reset and refocus.

This week I only have a few items I want to cover:
  • Payroll Protection Program Extension 
  • Gathering Industry Sales Data
  • PPAI's Rapid Re-planning Efforts

As previously reported in PPB Newslink, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate passed legislation to extend the Payroll Protection Program deadline until August 8, giving you more time to take advantage of money allocated to small businesses. President Trump signed the legislation Saturday. The PPP provides forgivable loans of up to $10 million to small business to help meet payroll and other day-to-day operation expenses. Be sure and take advantage of this opportunity. At last report, billions of dollars were still available. If you need more information, visit the U.S. Small Business Administration website. 

In the next week or so, PPAI will be sending out a survey focused on benchmarking our industry sales through the first two quarters of 2020. While we've heard numerous reports of companies being significantly down, we've also heard from others who have found ways to pivot and make progress. Additionally, there are signs that 'traditional' (non-PPE) business has been picking up overall. Help us report reliable information on industry sales by responding. The survey will have no more than 10 questions and won't take longer than a few minutes to complete. Whether it's a "misery loves company" scenario or one that offers cautious optimism, this benchmarking survey will give us some clear indication of where we stand as an industry and hopefully some best practices and benchmarks for moving forward.                   Read More