October 2019
Board Member Spotlight:
This month's Board Member Spotlight is on Aaron Kist. Kist has served on the board since 2017 and is employed by American Solutions for Business. He has shared the following fun facts:
Q: At which store would you like to max-out your credit card?
A: Cabelas

Q: What was your favorite TV show when growing up?  
A: A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty Hi-Yo Silver!  The Lone Ranger !

Q: What was your favorite toy as a kid?
A: A blue BMX bike with yellow mags.
Q: Can you play any instruments?
A: Drums and a little guitar. It has been awhile but I also played the trumpet when I was in grade school.

Q: What is the oldest thing in your refrigerator?
A: I’m sure it is a condiment of some sort or if I’m lucky a bottle of wine.

Q: What is your favorite cereal?
A: When I eat cereal it would be Captain Crunch.

Q: What’s your favorite flavor of Pringles?
A: Cheddar

Q: Which way does your toilet paper hang on the wall – over or under?
A: Over please.

Q: What, or who, are you a “closet” fan of?
A: Professional Tennis

Q: What are three things still left on your bucket list?
A: A Yukon hunting moose trip, to play a concert at the Fillmore, to finish an Ironman.

Q: If you could have any one superpower, which would you choose?
A: Invisibility of course!
Join your PPAMidwest membership and some very special four legged & furry friends from KC Pet Project for Puppies, Pints & Promos!
Enjoy some appetizers, chatting with industry friends and snuggling a puppy if you want!

KC Pet Project representatives will join us to share information on how guests can help KC Pet Project care for more than 10,000 homeless, abandoned, and often injured pets each year as well as answer any questions you might have about fostering or adopting a furry family member. KC Pet Project couldn't do their life saving work without their amazing volunteers and support by the public. If you would like to help support their efforts, please  click here  to see their wish list of needed items. A critical need is always canned dog food and peanut butter is also always popular with the pets!

We hope to see you on the 30th ... first drink is on us!

PPAMidwest News
American Solutions for Business Volunteers for Adopt a Highway

Glenwood, MNA group of ASB employees and their families volunteered for an afternoon of ditch cleanup for Adopt A Highway.
Volunteers were split into small teams and assigned a stretch of highway. Each person was provided a hi-vis vest and gloves for safety and a garbage bag before driving out to their dedicated area. When they were finished, the group celebrated with a pizza party back at the office.
"We have participated in Adopt a Highway since 2011," explained Justin Zavadil, ASB President and fellow cleanup volunteer. "We take pride in our community and share a responsibility to keep it clean and safe."
CHOCOLATE INN| LANCO Announces New Relationship with M&M's Retail Group

Hicksville, NY Chocolate Inn| Lanco has announced that it has entered into a new relationship with Mars Retail Group (ASI: 68888), to represent the company's MYM&M'S® B2B product line in the promotional products industry.

The relationship unites the promotional products industry's leader in food and specialty candy with the M&M'S® Brand, a market leader in the candy industry since 1941.

"We are ecstatic to be working closely with Mars Retail Group and their MYM&M'S® B2B team to grow its personalized chocolate business within the promotional products B2B channel," said Lance Stier, CEO of NC Custom, the parent company of Chocolate Inn / Lanco. "M&M'S® Chocolate Candies are an industry-leading brand and we believe B2B is a huge growth opportunity for Mars Retail Group. We look forward to representing the brand across the United States and Canada, collaborating to bring the best experience of the M&M'S Brand to life through tradeshows, gifting, special events, and business occasions."

The initial product offering from Chocolate Inn / Lanco will allow customers to choose three colors from a selection of 25, offer an array of packaging options, and provide the ability to customize or personalize M&M'S® Chocolate candies. With the ability to add two personalized logos and two messages per item, customers will be able to add a more personal item to their product portfolio.

Packaging options include: Clear Party Packs, Single Color Party Packs, Full Color Party Packs, Bulk Bags, as well as a variety of gifting items. There is also a slate of future products planned to continue to expand the brand within the category.

"We are happy to bring this new product offering to our distributor partners," said David Miller, President of Chocolate Inn / Lanco. "Chocolate Inn / Lanco has had much success in the promotional food and specialty segment and can tap into that industry knowledge as we help to represent and build MYM&M'S® presence in the B2B sector."
Vantage Apparel Names Marc Loeb Its New COO

Avenel, NJVantage Apparel has announced that retail apparel executive Marc Loeb has joined the company as chief operating officer.

Prior to joining Vantage, Loeb was the CEO for NewYorkDress.com and TheDressWareHouse.com, a global designer dress retailer. There, he was responsible for streamlining operation expenses, renegotiating domestic and international deals, and strengthening the company's brand equity internationally.

"Marc has an impressive zest for the apparel industry and has been a proven leader in shaping the direction of companies—from boosting online sales processes to innovations in operational efficiencies," says Ira Neaman, CAS, Vantage's president and CEO. "Vantage led the industry when it offered single-piece decoration services to distributors, and with Marc's vision, we'll be able to bring even more innovations to the market."

Loeb joined Vantage Apparel on September 9 and leads Vantage's production and customer experience teams.
Wild Wednesday Webinars - Lunch and Learn at your desk!
“The Satisfaction Formula S.E.R.V.E. F.I.R.S.T. For Maximum Customer Engagement”
Wed, October 30, 2019 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM CST

Dave Sweet, President of automatik, says that when it comes to customer service, his life has been a “case study”, having mostly experienced what customers DO NOT want. Then Jayna Sweet, automatik, also started to experience “life” as a customer and shared many of the same kinds of frustrations Dave talked about over the years. Based on their combined life experiences they developed, “the formula”. They will discuss key behaviors that when implemented guarantee happier and more engaged internal and external customers.

Attendees will learn: 
  • Key behaviors to guarantee happier more engaged customers
  • What customers DO NOT want
  • Strategies to help business DO BETTER

 1 CAS Credit when you submit your PPAI Pin Number with your survey.
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Industry News
The PPAI Expo 2020
Exhibits Open Jan 14-16 ~ Education Jan 12-16 ~ Mandalay Bay Convention Ctr, Las Vegas
Get Ready To Be Inspired

PPAI is excited to announce Dr. Rick Rigsby and Molly Fletcher as the featured speakers at The PPAI Expo 2020 in Las Vegas. 

On Monday, January 13, Dr. Rigsby will deliver his  Power Keynote: Making An Impact , sharing the wisdom of past generations. You will leave inspired, motivated, and empowered to make an impact. Rediscover what is essential and meaningful, not only in your professional career but in your personal life as well. 

Molly Fletcher will open the show with the Tuesday General Session: Unleash Your Potential  on January 14. Hailed as the "female Jerry Maguire" by CNN, Fletcher has represented hundreds of sport's biggest names, including Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz, broadcaster Erin Andrews, and champion basketball coaches Tom Izzo and Doc Rivers. In her presentation, Fletcher outlines the five-step process of unleashing your potential and achieving peak performance. 

These are just two of the 100-plus sessions available at the industry's biggest event. Make your plans now to join more than 20,000 of your colleagues at the PPAI Expo (exhibits open January 14-16, education January 12-16).

The Biggest Mistake You're Making on LinkedIn and What You Should Do Instead
Terry Rice  VIP Contributor Entrepreneur

Carlos Gil, author of 'The End of Marketing: Humanizing Your Brand in the Age of Social Media and AI,' shares his do's and don'ts for LinkedIn.

Getting 10,000 followers on Instagram is a common goal for many people who are trying to "build their brand". This magic number is the key to unlocking the swipe up feature in Stories, which allows users to steer traffic off of Instagram. However, if you're trying to grow your business, you'll most likely want to focus on LinkedIn, too. As per Neil Patel, about 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn, followed by Twitter at 13%.

But, just because its a professional network, that doesn't mean everyone is just waiting for you to pitch them. At the end of the day, it's still a social media platform.         Read More
Donna Hall Memorial Grant
Tiffany Kanak Named 2019 Donna Hall Memorial Grant Recipient

The Regional Association Council (RAC) has named Tiffany Kanak, executive director of the Chesapeake Promotional Products Association (CPPA) and the Promotional Products Association Midwest (PPAMidwest), as the recipient of the 2019 Donna Hall Memorial Grant.

Kanak was selected from a pool of executive directors who applied for the grant, and was chosen by an advisory group. She will receive up to $1,500 in tuition and travel expense reimbursement to attend education and professional development workshops and events. The award presentation will take place during a celebration dinner at the 2019 RAC Leadership Development Workshop held in Grapevine, Texas, on October 21.

"I am extremely honored and grateful to be this year's recipient of the Donna Hall Memorial Grant," says Kanak. "I plan to use the award to attend the 2020 Women's Leadership Conference and am looking forward to networking and learning from other professional women in the promotional products industry. This opportunity will enhance my association management skills by utilizing the techniques that others have found to be most productive, which, in turn, will help me to better serve both CPPA and PPAMidwest. I would like to thank the Regional Association Council for selecting me and for making this grant available to regional association executive directors. To be recognized for our work as executive directors is gratifying and it also makes us to strive to build our regional associations and partnerships to be stronger year after year."

Created by the RAC Board in 2013, the Donna Hall Memorial Grant honors the memory of Donna Hall, who served as executive director of the Michigan Promotional Professionals Association (MiPPA). Funded by RAC, the Donna Hall Memorial Grant provides regional association executive directors the opportunity to advance their education and careers by providing financial support to attend education conferences and events.