May 2020
Board Member Spotlight:

This month's Board Member Spotlight is on Dennis Oglesby. Oglesby joined the board at the beginning of 2020 and has shared the following fun facts:

Q: What was your favorite TV show when growing up?
A: Always was and always will be The Golden Girls. I am a total Dorothy!

Q: What is the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time?
A: Likely politics. I am heavily involved in local, state and national politics and attend political meetings for fun!

Q: What was the worst punishment you received at school?
A: I got 3 days of in school suspension after I was beaten down by a girl in 6th grade. Yes I got beat up by a girl. I am not much of a fighter, but in my defense she was a big girl.

Q: What was your childhood nickname?
A: I was a very fat child growing up and went to an inner city school. But due to my sense of humor, I was pretty popular and they all called me "Big D"

Q: What, or who, are you a “closet” fan of?
A: I am the biggest fan of Reba McEntire. Like huge fan. Pretty sure I was never in the closet on that one.

Q: Where and when did you have your first kiss?
A: In 5th grade, under an empty galvanized swimming pool in the backyard. 

Q: What is one thing that all of your love-interests have had in common?
A: They have always been younger. Sometimes A LOT younger!

Q: What are three things still left on your bucket list?
A: A trip to Scotland (my family is Scottish), performing a duet with Reba McEntire, winning my first election
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PPAMidwest News
PPAMidwest Member Update
Due to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, PPAMidwest has created a temporary page on our website to help educate & update our community. This is a public forum for our local promotional products community ( both PPAMidwest members & non-members alike ) to post about their company's current operational status as well as obtain up-to-date information. This page contains links with a wealth of information about the virus and how it is affecting our industry.

Have you been joining our webinars?
PPAMidwest regularly provides webinars 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
Speaking of Webinars ..........

PPAMidwest is here to help you
Connect, Collaborate, Learn and Grow!
Suppliers ~ Have you thought about presenting a PPAMidwest webinar?

Distributor members want to learn about new innovative processes, tech options, how to sell your products, target audiences, case studies, and ways to improve their business and yours!

Stay connected with Distributors Without Leaving Home! 
Reach Out to PPAMidwest  today to schedule a webinar!

IMAGEN Brands Donates to
The National League of Nursing
IMAGEN Brands and many of the businesses of EBSCO Industries are making generous donations to their local communities, including sourcing and providing face masks, developing online learning centers for parents, teachers and students, and donating to community funds and local food banks.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, for every Hey Buddy™ Bear sold, IMAGEN Brands will donate a percentage of its teddy bear sales to The National League for Nursing’s (NLN) education foundation. Comprised of 40,000 individuals and 1,200 institutional members, the NLN is the oldest nursing organization in the United States and the voice for nursing education at all levels, vocational nursing to doctorates.

“During this time, we know that nurses are some of the critical heroes, and we want to contribute to help new and existing nurses pursue their careers .  We appreciate all the special people who are helping us get through this situation,” says Paul Lage, President.

AAkron Line Donates Face Mask Ear Savers to Frontline Workers
AKRON, NY  - AAkron Line, a top 40 promotional products supplier and manufacturer, has donated over 5,000 face mask ear savers to frontline workers in their local communities in Western New York, Chattanooga, TN, and San Francisco, CA.

AAkron Line recently introduced an exclusive design of an ear saver that allows elastic bands of the face mask to be comfortably hooked together to prevent rubbing behind the ears. The Fask Mask Ear Savers are made in the USA of a latex-free, thermoplastic rubber.

"These soft and durable ear savers will help keep first responders comfortable while staying safe. It's our way to say thank you for all they are doing," says Devin Piscitelli, CEO and co-owner of AAkron Line.
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Wild Wednesday Webinars - Lunch and Learn at your desk!
“COVI19-19 and the Advertising Specialty Inustry Town Hall"
Wed, May 20, 2020 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM CST

In this Special Wild Wednesday Presentation, Tim Andrews, President and CEO of the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) shares his views on the impact of COVID-19 and the accompanying economic downturn on our industry. Mr. Andrews will answer many of the questions submitted by our attendees when they register for this event and during the broadcast.

During this special Town Hall style presentation, attendees will learn:
  • What the largest industry service company is predicting
  • Strategies to pursue now to prepare for the recovery
  • Information and service resources available through ASI
Like all Wednesday Webinars, this session will be recorded and available for on-demand viewing. You will have the opportunity to post a question when you register and our host, Sandra Kelley CAS will be monitoring your questions during the broadcast. The question and answers will be moderated by industry veteran, Paul Kiewiet MAS+, Executive Director of MiPPA.

 1 CAS Credit when you submit your PPAI Pin Number with your survey.

Did You Know that 
PPAI Online Education
offers live webinars
throughout the year?

Click here to learn more or
register for an upcoming webinar
Industry News
PPAI Expo 2021
From PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAS

A Message from 
PPAI President & CEO 
Paul Bellantone, CAS

Each week, over the past couple of months, I've reached out to you by way of these emails and video updates. My goal has been to stay in touch with you and, in some way, offer words of encouragement and information to help you through this pandemic. I hope these updates have been helpful. As we look ahead, PPAI will continue to offer opportunities and solutions for individual and company growth.

One such solution will undoubtedly be The PPAI Expo 2021. For 18 years, the promotional products industry has gathered in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to celebrate the power of promotional products. And we are planning to do the same in 2021. The PPAI Expo will certainly look different than it has in the past, but its purpose will be the same-to provide community, knowledge and a forum to do business. You can trust that we will have your safety in mind as well.         Read More
8 Ways the Crisis Will Forever Change the Future Workforce
Ryan Jenkins  Contributor Speaker and Author, Co-Founder of

The global health crisis will alter how Generation Z approaches work, views employers and pursues education.

This year's public health crisis has reoriented our relationships with each other, the media, technology and the work we do. Humanity has never experienced such a swift and universal shift. 
  • Friends are hosting live parties on Instagram. 
  • Teachers are uploading lessons to YouTube for the first time. 
  • Doctors are utilizing FaceTime or Google Duo for telemedicine services with patients. 
  • Musicians are live-streaming concerts on Facebook. 
  • Consumers are using Apply Pay to purchase essential services remotely.
  • Workers are using Teams to digitally collaborate with colleagues. 
The return back to "normal," will change education, jobs and industries. But perhaps the biggest changes will affect the future workforce, Generation Z. Gen Z (those born after 1998) grew up in a post-9/11 world and during the Great Recession. Now, during the most formative time of their lives, they face a challenge like no generation before them. This unprecedented event will have an indelible influence on their behaviors, decisions and expectations.
Industry Spotlight
By ZoomCatalog
Industry Spotlight Interviews: The Promotional Products Industry before, during, and-eventually after-the Coronavirus 
Whether The last few months have been quite different. We've all been inside, trying to maintain normalcy and routine, while we continue to push our businesses forward. These times have proved to be tough, but many suppliers and distributors are finding success and opportunity in this new market that is evolving.        Read More