November 2022
A Message From Our PPAMidwest President......

The busy season begins

It’s November. The time of the year when we’re either so prepared and feeling calm or we’re in the thick of things trying to get it all done. Are your clients rushing to get their holiday orders in? Or have proofs long been approved & orders in production? Are you hosting Thanksgiving? Do you love mashed potatoes as much as I do?
Gratitude helps us to see what is there instead of what isn’t.
I’m grateful for my clients who have chosen me as their branding partner and continue to trust me to work hard for them. I’m grateful for my supplier reps, the CSR and production teams and all who allow me to do my job. I’m grateful for the PPAMidwest Board of Directors who have been instrumental in making this a great year for our
members. I’m extremely grateful for our members who show up and participate at our education events, our tradeshows, our social gatherings. Thank you.
It has been a tremendous honor to be this year’s PPAMidwest President. I am proud of the things our Board has accomplished this year (education scholarship, growth in membership, increased attendance at social events & tradeshows to name a few). We recently had our Strategic Planning session for 2023 and I can say with complete confidence … it’s going to be a fantastic year for our association with Dennis Oglesby at the helm!

A personal note of gratitude for our Executive Director extraordinaire, Tiffany Kanak. She is the heart of our association and keeps us all in line. Thank you Tiffany for being you & making us all look good.
I hope to see you at one of our Holiday Parties:
  • 11/30 (KC) – Pinstripes
  • 12/1 (STL) – Trainwreck Saloon
While my tenure as PPAMidwest President is coming to a close, I am not going far. Please
let me know how I may be of help to you. Please feel free to reach out to me directly at Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and all great things in the new year!
I am truly thankful.


Mandi Rudd
2022 PPAMidwest President
Who is ready to ROCK!?!?
Are you a lover of giving? Of listening? Are you passionate about this amazing industry and of all things good? PPEF is full of humans who know the true happiness that comes with the power of giving to others and this is why PPEF is presenting to you, the PPEF Concert Series. This second concert series is taking place TODAY, November 10, 2022 at 3:45 central and will feature talent from around the industry to play for YOU!!!.
Register for FREE here
November 16, 2022 Wild Wednesday Webinar: "Adapting to the Ever-Changing Business Climate...Avoiding Burnout & Always Bringing your "A" Game"

During this presentation, attendees will learn what is most important in avoiding burnout and staying engaged in an ever-changing business climate. Simple philosophies will be shared through upbeat, positive case histories and stories that have helped thousands of others grow, flourish, and stay focused during both flush and turbulent times
Learning Outcomes:
  • How to develop a positive, optimistic mindset & build your personal skills even when busy
  • The PERSONAL GROWTH PYRAMID defined & Understanding Real Commitment
  • Redefine Your Business, define a baseline, doing a reset
  • How to avoid the poison of mediocrity & The Power of W.S.L.T.C. 

Enjoy a fun evening out with industry friends as
we mingle, network and enjoy the holiday season

We're having a social in both Overland Park and St. Louis, so please choose your city, mark your calendar and make plans to attend.

  • Event includes 2 drink tickets, light fare and a great time!
  • Both socials begin at 5:30 pm
  • Live music at both locations!
  • No Charge for PPAMidwest members and their guest! 

We look forward to celebrating the season with you!

PPAMidwest News
Advertising Premium Sales Celebrates 60 Years in Business
St. Louis, MO – 1962 was a monumental year for a lot of reasons. John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. The 1st Beatles single “Love Me Do” was released. Marilyn Monroe was found dead from an overdose. Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Frozen bread, frozen pie crust, Hawaiian pizza, Planters dry roasted peanuts, powdered butter, and the pull tab for soft drink cans were all introduced. Bo Jackson, Jerry Rice, Jodie Foster, Kate Spade, Paula Abdul, Rosie O'Donnell, Tom Cruise, and Wesley Snipes were all born. And companies founded include AccuWeather, Crate & Barrel, Dress Barn, Enterprise Car Sales, Kohl’s, Lotus Communications, National Stores, Pier 1, Rite Aid, Rodeway Inn, Taco Bell, Walmart, Wet Seal, Woolco and Advertising Premium Sales. 

That’s right, Advertising Premium Sales, the St. Louis based promotional products distributor, is celebrating its 60th year in business. 
My grandfather, Harold (Buddy) Shucart, built this business from the ground up selling sports guides, buttons, matches and more, to local companies around the St. Louis area in the summer of 1962. He would stop everything to take care of his clients and operated his business at a higher standard than most for the services he provided. One story that still stands out of Grandpa Buddy taking off his tie and helping one of my dad’s customers unload their holiday gifts as he was dropping something off to them. He was truly people helping people and he stood for kindness, honesty and integrity and that was something he instilled in my father, Jay, the next generation of APS. 
Shortly after college, Dad started at APS and helped grow the company to what it is today. Creating relationships was more important to him than having clients. He used to tell me that the vendors you have are your best friends in this business. Develop those relationships and learn from all of them. He treated his clients like family and loved making sure everyone was happy and taken care of.
My mom, Sheila, came on board in 1976 and started with filing catalogs and writing checks part-time because my grandpa told her she needed to be home every day to get us off of the bus from school. Family was first and always most important. Mom is still running the finances today as our CFO and has been involved with a lot of change over the years evolving our company to the 21st century from her days starting in the 1970’s. 
10 years ago, I came to work at the family business after years of wanting nothing to do with pens and coffee mugs. Prior to this, I spent a lot of time working in the restaurant industry and finally realized this is where I was supposed to be. Working from the bottom up, I learned the ins and outs of the business and eventually took over as third generation owner after my dad passed away in May of 2021. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. 
With all of this great history with where we came from, let’s not forget that you can only be as good as the people you have working with you. One of the biggest things that I attribute our longevity to is the people we have working here. Most of our Account Executives have been here for 10, 15, even 20 years or more. Our employees and the relationships they have built are what has made Advertising Premium Sales so successful and able to stand the test of time. 
Steve Deutsch, our longest tenured Account Executive, came on board with my grandfather in the early 80’s. His quick study of new products and extensive industry experience has been a valued asset for his customers, for APS and often for the factory reps that present their wares. Steve has been with APS for over 40 years, and 3 company presidents, which is amazing if you think about it.
Another longtime employee, Lori Brown, is coming up on 27 years of being the office manager, art department, and right-hand go-to person for most things around APS. Lori attributes her longevity to Jay and Sheila, who have “fostered a partnership of ideas and openness, and valued her contribution to the company.” She believes that taking the time to help grow our business has been rewarding, and encourages the next generation to stay engaged and invested in the process and the rewards will follow.
We have continued to grow and evolve as a company, joining the Facilis group last year and adding on more salespeople and support staff as well. This has been a big change but Mom and I believe it will be the pathway to bigger and better things for the next 60 years. 
We celebrated with family, friends, clients and vendors at Bristol’s in Creve Coeur on Friday night and we were all overwhelmed at the turnout and kind words that everyone had to say. 
Thank you to everyone for the first 60. Here’s to at least 60 more!!!
(submitted by Matt Shucart, Advertising Premium Sales)
American Solutions for Business donates $1,500 and necessities to local nonprofit, Someplace Safe
Glenwood, MN American Solutions for Business donated monetary and physical items to local 501c3 organization, Someplace Safe of Pope County. Donated items were collected throughout the month of October, and a $1,500 check was presented to Crime Victim Advocate, Jenna Kettner.
“We are so incredibly grateful for this donation,” expressed Kettner. “We have loved working with ASB and hope to continue the relationship for years to come.”
Someplace Safe serves victims and survivors of crime in West Central Minnesota, as those families navigate the social, emotional and economic impacts they face. They also serve families through their parenting time centers. These services include safe exchanges, supervised parenting time, phone calls and Skype, contact exchanges and scheduling.
“Domestic Violence Awareness Month was the perfect opportunity to give to this organization,” explained Founder and CEO of American, Larry Zavadil. “We take the time to remember those we’ve lost to domestic violence and hope this donation will help those fighting to get out of those relationships.”
In addition to the $1,500 raised, 6 boxes of items were also donated, including various gift cards, baby items, cleaning products and birthday party supplies.
In Memoriam.....PPAMidwest member John R. Matthies

John R. Matthies, 59, of Olathe, KS passed away October 17, 2022. Celebration of life will held from 1:00pm-3:00pm, Saturday, November 12, 2022 at Shaddow Glenn County Club, 26000 Shaddow Glenn Dr. Olathe, KS 66061.

John was born on January 21, 1963 in Cumberland, Maryland. John graduated from Shawnee Mission East H.S. in 1981. After graduation, John started working in the promotional headwear business where he met his wife Diana and were married for 34 years. John started his own print and embroidery business in 1991 until he retired and was diagnosed with ALS in 2021. John and Diana fostered over 150 children in 13 years. Adopted Jamaica and Keyronniqua with three grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by: father, Orville; mother, Rosemary; and brother, Gregory Matthies. Survivors include: wife, Diana Matthies; children, Keyronniqua and Jamaica; grandchildren, Raqu’elle, Kyrell, and Jazmyn; sisters, Sarah Matthies and Mariann Haner; and half-brother, Bob (Bruce) Matthies.

John was a loving husband, brother and father and he will be missed.
SAGE Announces This Year’s Highest-Rated Suppliers And Decorators
Addison, TX PPAI technology partner SAGE has announced its 2023 rating award winners, which distinguishes suppliers and decorators who earn A+ or A grades as rated by industry distributors using SAGE Online, SAGE Web and SAGE Mobile.

These distinctions are the results of distributor ratings throughout the year. In essence, they represent the top suppliers, as decided by the industry’s distributors. SAGE bases the awards solely on its distributor rating system.

“We are proud to offer these awards to those that have persevered and really raised the bar for the standard of quality, transparency and integrity in the industry,” says SAGE President David Natinsky, MAS.
Calling all PPAMidwest Suppliers....It's Time to Submit Your
Coupons for the 2023 Regional Coupon Book!

As a supplier in our industry, you are invited to participate in two separate Regional Association Digital Coupon programs for 2023. These are no-charge opportunities for you to gain exposure and earn more business from thousands of distributors across the country through our separate partnerships with ZOOMcatalog and PromoHunt.
To participate, please click on each logo below and follow the instructions given by each program.
Submission Deadline for both is December 5th
Industry News
Independent Contractor or Employee? New Rule Would Decide
ASI Promogram
Independent Contractor or Employee?
New Government Rule Would Decide
Companies have until Nov. 28 to submit formal comments on a proposed Labor Department change that would reclassify independent contractors.
A newly proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Labor would make it harder for companies to classify workers as independent contractors as opposed to employees – a change that stands to affect the operations and livelihoods of companies and workers in industries that range from ride-sharing services and trucking to promotional products. Promo companies and any other interested parties are invited to submit formal comments on how the proposed rule would impact them. The comment period began Oct. 13 and runs until Nov. 28.
On Oct. 13, the Labor Department published a proposed rule to revise its guidance on how to determine who is an employee or independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Put most basically, the practical effect of the rule would be that many people currently classified as independent contractors would have to be considered employees under FLSA, analysts say.
The Top Technology Challenges Businesses Are Facing Today (and Solutions for Each)
Steve Taplin  Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor CEO of Sonatafy Technology

Here are the top technology challenges businesses have been facing this year, along with some advice for overcoming each challenge.
The technology, software and innovations industries will have some of the most booming businesses going into 2023. Many financial advisors will direct you toward the software and technology industries if you are looking to invest in shares or a startup. But does this mean there are minimal risks and struggles in this market? Far from it. Like any other growing market, the tech industry comes with its challenges.
Some might argue that such companies require a more hands-on approach due to consistent changes and improvements. The tech world does not take a break! And while a software company might be flourishing at one point, it can quickly plummet to the bottom of the charts in no time. Therefore, staying with the times, keeping a close eye on the competition and incorporating all relevant measures to deal with the developing challenges is essential.
PPAI Expo 2023
PPB Newslink
Making The Most of The PPAI Expo 2023
Held every January – coming up on its 20th year in Las Vegas and at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center – the longest-running and largest promo trade show is a burst of energy and excitement that propels the industry forward throughout the year. Registration is now open.
The thrill and inspiration are always there, but The PPAI Expo 2023 will further perfect what it offers the industry. And much like Las Vegas itself, it has several new features, services and programs to level up attendees’ show experience.
The PPAI Expo brings tremendous value to attendees, and those who act quickly can do so for free. PPAI member distributors who register before December 4 pay nothing and have full access to the exhibit hall and conference. The fee for PPAI members who register after December 4 is $49 per person.
Read on to discover how to maximize your experience and business results at The PPAI Expo 2023 and discover changes at Mandalay Bay and around Sin City.