June 2020
Wishing all of the PPAMidwest Fathers
a wonderful, relaxing weekend!
Make Sure to Visit the PPAMidwest Website Regularly for Upcoming Events!
Distributors are invited to join us on June 23rd at 9:30 am for Breakfast with Cutter & Buck presented by Stephanie Thompson
Grab your breakfast and join Stephanie to learn more about apparel from Cutter & Buck, Clique and Ahead caps. She will cover the benefits of your partnership as well as introduce you to some great new pieces. You will also learn exciting new features of their website!
PPAMidwest News

PPAMidwest Members Consider Using the Get In Touch! Program When Marketing to Your Clients
Did you know that the PPAI website has resources that you can use to enhance your marketing efforts to your clients?

The primary goal of Get In Touch! is to increase awareness and enhance the overall perception of the promotional products industry, however, PPAI also aims to direct a larger share of advertising dollars to the $24.7 billion dollar promotional products industry.

If you would like to learn more about this program you can download the toolkit   click here

Have you been joining our weekly webinars?
PPAMidwest has been providing webinars this year for our members to view, most of which offer credit for the education session. These credits may be applied towards working on obtaining your CAS/MAS certification.

If you haven't had a chance to participate in the live webinars, you mind find links to access to the recordings here

Now is a great time to catch up on these as the certification process offered through PPAI is FREE until the end of June. You may find more details here
ZOOMcatalog LAUNCHES ZOOMacademy
BOULDER, CO  - 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.
Association Memberships are like gym memberships. You have to use them to get stronger. Are you using yours? Ask yourself........ 

  • Distributors, are you using the member only coupon book?
  • Distributors, are you attending the breakfast and lunch sessions the Suppliers are presenting?
  • Suppliers, are you hosting a virtual presentation for our Distributor members? Email admin@ppam.org to schedule your session
  • All members, are you using the online member database?
  • Check out the member benefits page here

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!
“The Day After Tomorrow"
Wed, June 17, 2020 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM CST

This made for the moment webinar looks at strategies for a “whole new world” as the current epidemic abates, and business reopens. I will provide a brief overview of the future as compared to the past from the eyes of a 50-year promotional products veteran, including a S.W.O.T analysis of our industry and our distributors facing the “new world”. Darwin’s theory applied to us.

Attendees will learn:
  • Identify new markets
  • Knowledge on how to prepare marketing tools
  • Strategies for shorter recovery
  • Repositioning a business

 1 CAS Credit when you submit your PPAI Pin Number with your survey.
Contact Ben Haynes, Corporate Program Manager, at ben.haynes@qti.com or
call 214.560.4551 to take advantage of this PPAMidwest member benefit
Industry News
PPAI PPB Newslink
PPEF Awards A Record-Breaking $276,750 In Scholarships This Year 
The Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF), the industry's nonprofit dedicated to recognizing and encouraging scholastic excellence and academic performance among promotional products industry employees and their college-aged children, will award a record-breaking $276,750 in scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic year. This brings the total amount awarded since PPEF's founding to more than $2.4 million.           Read More
Why Empathy Is One of the Most Overlooked Skills in Business
Aytekin Tank  VIP Contributor Entrepreneur; Founder and CEO, JotForm

Empathy fuels productive conversations.

This It was a sunny day in April. The air was crisp and the walk ahead of us enjoyable. I stared at the beautiful Embarcadero situated near our San Francisco office, feeling grateful for working close to such a stunning view.

Then I shifted my gaze over to Tim, my walking mate for the afternoon. We were on one of many walking meetings we'd shared over the past year. But this time was different. Tim, a normally talkative employee, was dragging his heels and appeared disgruntled whenever I asked for status updates. He kept his head down, answering only in curt replies. Something was off.

As his supervisor, I could have easily approached his behavior with a stern stance, by grilling him, or asserting my authority. But 14-plus years of entrepreneurship have taught me one thing: A harsh, adversarial response is never the answer. Instead, I slowed my pace and asked him how things were going at home. "Is everything OK?" Tim confided then that his father had recently had a stroke, and that he was taking turns spending nights at the hospital, leaving him tense and run-down.     Read More
From PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAS

A Message from 
PPAI President & CEO 
Paul Bellantone, CAS

Each The past few weeks have been heavy for our country and our hearts, as we learned of the unjustifiable deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and were reminded of far too many others-too many to list here. I want our black communities to know that we stand with you against the systemic barriers and injustice you have endured. We stand ready to listen, learn and take action. 
As I stated in my previous social media post, our world is incredibly diverse, and every person is worthy to live in dignity and peace. Amid the grief our communities are feeling, it is our obligation to work together to embrace diversity regardless of what it looks like and, now more than ever, create safe spaces for conversations that effect change. 
If you have found yourself asking what you can do, you can start by donating your time, energy and money to one of the many worthy social justice organizations that are fighting for the civil and human rights of all people. You can work within your own organization to effect change-helping your company move toward increased diversity, equity and inclusion. PPAI's new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Playbook is a practical guide with actionable steps you can take for your organization. And, in the coming weeks, we will also provide additional resources and opportunities for you to engage in the conversation on diversity, equity and inclusion in our industry. 
As Maya Angelou said, "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." Now we know. And now we need to do better.

A couple of weeks ago I sent an email outlining our plans for moving forward with the PPAI Expo 2021. I could not have imagined the encouraging and supportive response the announcement received. Everyone on the PPAI team always considered the PPAI Expo to be the premier event in our industry. Knowing that you do as well is extraordinarily gratifying and makes us work even harder to deliver the quality show you have come to expect. Email after email, social post after social post, your message was loud and clear. You want and need the strong sense of community the PPAI Expo provides, and we intend to bring that to you. Yes, there will be some changes in 2021. To some degree, we may not know all these changes until later this year. Rest assured, the PPAI Expo 2021 will happen in a way that assures all of you-our guests-a healthy and productive event.                  Read More