October 2018
PPAMidwest Board Member Spotlight
This month's Board Member Spotlight is on Edmund Carson. Carson has served on the board since the beginning of 2018. Carson is employed by Creative Services and has shared the following fun facts:

Q: What was your favorite TV show when growing up?
A: Simpsons

Q: Choose a movie title for the story of your life:
A: It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World!

Q: What is the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time?
A: Watch the stock market

Q: What's the strangest talent you have?
A: Ride horses

Q: What was your childhood nickname?
A: Missourah

Q: What is your favorite cereal?
A: Honey Nut Cheerios

Q: What’s your favorite flavor of Pringles?
A: Sour Cream & Onion

Q: What are three things still left on your bucket list?
A: See Europe, build a new home, have another baby

Q: If you could have any one superpower, which would you choose?
A: See the future 
PPAMidwest News
HUB Pen’s Colleen Bibby Named a PPB Service Superhero

Irving, TX - HUB Promotional Group’s Hub Pen Company is pleased to announce that customer service representative Colleen Bibby has been named one of 2018  PPB  Magazine Service Superheroes. Colleen joined Hub Pen over five years ago, where she quickly became an integral part of the customer service team. Just three years later she was named the SAAGNY Customer Service Rep of the year by her customers in New York.   
Colleen is one of 14 dedicated industry professionals selected from the 45 exceptional individuals that were nominated. “I love trying to help other people with their workload and helping move our customers’ orders along,” says Colleen. “Service excellence is very important to me.” 
PPB , published by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), has been recognizing Service Superheroes since 2011. “A common theme in many of this year’s nominations was a commitment to do whatever it takes to solve problems, correct mistakes and make the customer—both internal and external—truly happy with the results,” says  PPB  Editor Tina Berres Filipski. 
Colleen is a proud aunt and spends her time off with her 3 month old nephew and her close knit family.  “Family is everything to me and I think of my coworkers and customers here at HUB as family too.” 
Towel Specialties promotes Sarah Harris to Inside Sales Director

Baltimore, MD - Towel Specialties announced this week that Sarah Harris has been promoted to the position of Inside Sales Coordinator. She will be responsible for assisting customers primarily in parts of the Southeast and Midwest.

Sarah started with Towel Specialties in 2013 in order entry.
“We’re very happy that Sarah has accepted this position,” says Shawn Kanak, Vice President of Sales. “She has demonstrated a great ability to work with customers both in the office and at trade shows and we know she will continue to be a huge asset to us.”

Towel Specialties is the parent company of Cobblestone Mills and Xpress Towels.
American Solutions for Business Donates to Local Preschool
GLENWOOD, MN – American Solutions for Business recently donated over $600 and three boxes of school supplies to the Minnewaska Little Lakers Pre-School.

The money was raised by our local employees who participated and donated during a recent Alley Party event, with a lunch and raffle. Supplies were collected in each office over the last month.

“We’re pleased to have the opportunity to get involved in our community,” commented Larry Zavadil, American Solutions for Business Founder & CEO. “Education is near and dear to our hearts, and the ability to influence our youngest members of the local community makes me incredibly proud.” 
Michael Clark joins the Clark & Clark Sales Team

Michael began his career with Clark & Clark in 1997 where he helped grow sales in our premium and promotional product lines. He then joined Norwood / BIC Graphic in 2004 as a Regional Account Manager. After two years was promoted to National Account Manager and managed accounts with sales of over $20,000,000. Michael’s responsibilities included working with marketing, production and supply chain to develop strategies to grow revenue within the national account channel. He also worked closely with field and inside sales, to implement the sales strategies.

In his current role at Clark & Clark, Michael will help develop and implement campaigns to grow sales within our premium and promotional product lines and customers. Additionally, he will be responsible for developing strategic marketing plans and promoting our social media presence. Clark & Clark products include Samsonite, American Tourister, and Hartmann luggage, MV Sport/Weatherproof , St. Regis Group including K&R, Promobilia, MI Pen/Ritter Pen, Prestige Glass Awards, Gempire, and Power Sales & Advertising Premium Brands.

Michael and his wife, Gina, reside in St. Louis and have two daughters. Karlie, is living abroad in Vietnam teaching English and Kahlie is at Missouri State University earning a degree in Psychology. The Clarks also have two hound dogs, Rudy and Willie.
Wild Wednesday Webinars - Lunch and Learn at your desk!
“Customer Engagement Through the Use of Technology” presented by David Shultz with commonsku
Wed, October 31, 2018 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM CST

This session is designed for distributors interested in learning how to leverage technology to increase customer engagement and streamline your workflow. We'll touch on website best practices such as overall design and usability, the importance of responsiveness/mobile usability, product research and presentation tools, social sharing tools, and the incorporation of video into your efforts. We will also explore ways to use blogs, social media and email marketing to build and grow relationships with your customers to keep them coming back for more. 

Attendees will learn and:
  • Grasp the basics of "digital engagement" and how it can streamline your relationship-building efforts with your customers
  • Understand the basics of the various digital channels available to distributors and which ones might be appropriate for you
  • Gain an understanding of the analytics available to evaluate and refine your efforts 
Industry News
Affinity Partners 

How You Fit In At The AMA

No one likes to feel like an outsider. We get it.

That's why we want you to know that the American Marketing Association is your professional home. Through more than  70 local chapters across North America, you can connect with other professionals in your community to learn the latest marketing trends, make new business contacts and find volunteer opportunities.
Because the AMA is a PPAI Trusted Affinity Partner, you can take advantage of discounts on membership and national events.

We believe your voice is important in building a marketing community that understands what a truly integrated marketing strategy looks like. We hope when you join the AMA you will feel like you've found kindred spirits who are ready to make a difference in the industry.
Ready to learn about all the AMA member benefits ? Click below to get started. 

Promotional Products Education Foundation 

$1.9 Million In Scholarships And Counting

#GivingTuesday is a national holiday celebrated around the world where people come together to give back. Giving Tuesday is celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and this year the date to remember is November 27.  
This year, Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) is participating in Giving Tuesday to raise money for college scholarships for those with parents in the promotional products indsutry. Since 1989, PPEF has awarded more than $1.9 million in college scholarships to 1,013 students. This year, PPEF has awarded $200,000 to 132 recipients. Help us reach our current goal of $10,000 by participating in #GivingTuesday and donate to PPEF for tomorrow's future leaders in the promotional products industry.
Let's Get Social

We Share the reason you support PPEF with a #unselfie. Here's how: on a piece of paper, write why you are supporting PPEF, take an unselfie with the paper in front of your face and post it to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or any other social media to raise awareness for PPEF's Scholarship Fund. Don't forget to use the hashtags #givingtuesday and #PPAIunselfie.  

Nina Zipkin  Staff Writer Entrepreneur

Stay Focused and Set Boundaries

Remote work certainly has its upsides, as you can set your own hours and tailor your workspace to your needs. But as you’re on your own, you're susceptible to feeling lonely and it can be tough to focus and stay accountable.
Here are 10 ways you can make sure you’re at your most productive and positive, no matter where you’re doing your work.
Legislator Of The Year 

Nominations Open For The PPAI Legislator Of The Year Award  

Streamline The PPAI Legislator Of The Year award is the perfect way to recognize lawmakers who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to advocating and advancing your business and the promotional products industry as a whole. Eligible candidates must have introduced or supported legislation that is aligned with PPAI's mission and goals, met with industry leaders and attended a national or regional tradeshow or other industry event.