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

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping”
– Mister Rogers

I’ve probably used that quote this year already. But it’s one that I have loved and tried to emulate in my life. Being a helper and surrounding myself with helpers. Mister Rogers has been a beacon of goodness for me my entire life.

In the past couple of weeks, Mother Nature reminded us just what she’s capable of by unleashing Hurricane Ian on our friends in Florida. Many of us had friends who evacuated their homes. Industry colleagues whose companies and jobs were in question of surviving Ian’s wrath. And so much more.

Instead of arguing about an opposing candidate’s sign in a front yard … or what type of bumper sticker someone put on their car (both great promo items!) … neighbors were helping neighbors. Strangers were helping strangers. They all came together for the greater good of safety & survival.

With so much going on in the world, it’s impossible to support all causes. Whether it’s by giving of our time, talent or treasure, helping others is a nice deposit to make in the karma bank. From helping fill sandbags to slow storm surge, to giving a few extra bucks at the school’s book fair to be used by a kiddo who doesn’t have the means to buy a new book, to donating household items to a help center … we can all help.

If you aren’t sure where to start, let’s chat. I’d love to help. Here are some helpful resources to get started:
  • For more information on promo industry suppliers giving back, visit PromoCares.org.
  • For information on general philanthropic decision making, visit CharityNavigator.org.
Thank you to everyone who came out to our Fall Holiday Showcase in both St. Louis and Kansas City! We’ve received lots of great feedback on BOTH venues (‘the best yet!’, ‘better than a ballroom, please do it again here!’, ‘loved it!’). Special thanks to Dawn Olds (PPAI Board Chair & SVP for HALO) for providing a great education session in both locations.

And don’t forget to save the date for these upcoming in person events!
•Factory tour at Cap America (10/19)
•Holiday Parties 11/30 (KC) and 12/1 (STL)

Please let me know how I may be of help to you. If I don’t know the answer, I can surely connect you with someone who does. What would you like to see from PPAMidwest this year? Please feel free to reach out to me directly at mandi@brandenergymarketing.com

Thank you!


Mandi Rudd
2022 PPAMidwest President
Thank you to those that exhibited at or attended the PPAMidwest Fall Promo Expo recently at The Foundry Arts Centre or at The Museum at Prairiefire! We truly hope that you enjoyed the show and obtained some great information that will be beneficial to your 4th quarter sales. We appreciate your continued support of PPAMidwest and look forward to seeing you at upcoming PPAMidwest events! In case you missed the education session at the show, you may find a copy of the presentation here. For a copy of the show directory, click here
October 18, 2022 Tuesday Learning Lab: "Big Game Hunting: How to Sell Larger Accounts" 

In selling, large accounts are a different animal. Like big game, they are at once exhilarating and frightening. The tactics you use to sell to small clients might cause your death if you try them on the big game. In this session, you will learn the strategies and tactics that can give you a chance to bag the big client and how to keep it from killing you. The rules are different. From prospecting, to pre-approach, to getting started and then keeping them happy; profitable large accounts are rare and take a great deal of care and feeding. The payoffs can be huge but require patience, persistence and commitment. Not everyone can do it, but if you want to go for it — come prepared.

Learning Outcomes:
  • How to prospect for the large accounts
  • How to become invaluable
  • How to position your small company to service a gigantic one

This is a sixty minute presentation for sales people comfortable with program selling and the consultative sale
We are limited to 30 participants so act quickly to reserve your spot!

 For event details and to register, click here
October 26, 2022 Wild Wednesday Webinar: "Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging is for Everyone" 

DEIB is a major initiative in the business world today. How much do you know about it? How can you include it in your business or organization? How are other companies implementing it? Join us to learn more about this important initiative and how it can impact the workplace.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Learn what DEIB is
  • Learn how other companies are making it a part of their culture
  • How it can positively impact your business

PPAMidwest News
American Associate Achieves Record Year
Glenwood, MN – American Solutions for Business sales associate, Rod Kuncaitis, achieves his personal best in sales this year. Rod Kuncaitis has been with ASB since 1993 and he is in no way slowing down. With customers in a wide variety of industries, Rod is able to adjust and evolve as his customers’ needs change. Serving customers in insurance, retail, medical religious/non-profit, education and manufacturing markets, Rod has pretty much seen it all. He started his career selling print and has expanded to include everything from branded merch to office products, PPE, kitting, signage and so much more. After 29 years, Rod breaks his own record and has his best year ever, qualifying for ASB’s recent Sales Summit in Chicago, IL
“Rod isn’t one to just sit around and wait for things to happen,” explained VP of Strategic Operations Support, Amy Spychalla. “He is a forward thinker and pushes for progress, always coming with new ideas to take to his customers.”
Rod recently hosted an end-user show in Traverse City, Michigan. Nearly 30 people attended, including long-standing customers, new customers, and brand-new prospects. He also recently scheduled a visit with one of his customers to ASB’s home office in Glenwood, MN. He spent several days taking his key contacts to visit supplier facilities, tour ASB’s new state-of-the art warehouse facility, meeting day-to-day contacts within the organization and showed them the highlights of Minnesota. Not only was the trip productive, but Rod’s customer contracts are already asking when they can come back.
Did you know PPAMidwest members can automatically see Free Setup coupons and more than 100+ supplier websites with PromoHunt?
That's right -- just install the free PromoHunt browser extension, and then PPAMidwest coupons, supplier phone numbers, and other helpful details will appear automatically at the bottom of supplier website pages.
Want to earn points and join in on the fun?
Simply complete the easy request form to have your points credited
for the activities you participate in. For live events and activities, your attendance will automatically be recorded and points assigned, provided you are an active member of PPAMidwest. For recorded webinars, referrals and completion of PPAI Certifications or renewals, simply complete the easy request form to have your points credited.
It is that simple! (click on above image for more information).
PPAMidwest Member Job Board

If you have a position that you need to be filled with someone with industry experience, tell us about it and we will post the job on our Job Board on the PPAMidwest Website under the Members Only Section. This is offered at no charge as part of your membership benefit. 
Those people who may have found themselves searching for a job in the industry, please let us know and we can post your name and contact information if you wish, or simply keep your name handy to give the potential employers when we hear of an opening. Please email admin@ppam.org and we can add your information.
Industry News
PPAI 2023 Icon Awards
PPB Newslink
PPAI Announces Winners Of Its Most Prestigious Awards
PPAI has announced the recipients of its 2023 Icon Awards, including the PPAI Hall of Fame, Distinguished Service Award and H. Ted Olson Humanitarian Award.
These awards celebrate the accomplishments of individuals who have gone above and beyond in service to the promotional products industry, the Association and their communities.

Recipients of the Association’s most prestigious awards will be recognized at the Chair’s Leadership Dinner at The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas, on Monday, January 9, 2023, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
‘Forever Changed’: Firms Work to Move Forward in Ian’s Aftermath
Christopher Ruvo  Digital News Editor Editor, PromoGram

With Hurricane Ian finally over, companies in Florida and the Carolinas are dealing with scenarios that range from virtually no impact at all to massive business-and-community-changing problems..
The storm has ended. The recovery has just begun.
Promotional products companies and their communities in Florida and the Carolinas are assessing damage and working to get back to normal after Hurricane Ian ripped through recently.
The storm hit Florida hardest, making landfall as a Category 4 and causing catastrophic damage in areas. It then weakened into a tropical storm, before regathering strength in the Atlantic Ocean and slamming into South Carolina (at Georgetown) as a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph sustained winds and storm surges of several feet. 
Depending exactly on where their businesses are located, suppliers, distributors and decorators in Florida and the Carolinas are dealing with scenarios that range from virtually no impact at all to massive business-and-community-changing issues. Here’s a look at where things stand. Read More
PPAI Regional Volunteer Award
Thea Bruce
Thea Bruce Named Recipient Of The PPAI Regional Volunteer Award
PPAl, the not-for-profit association representing the $22 billion promotional products industry, is pleased to announce its 2022 PPAI Regional Volunteer Award recipient. The 2022 recipient is Thea Bruce, CAS, from multi-line rep firm Incentives West and the Northwest Promotional Marketing Association (NWPMA.)
The PPAI Regional Volunteer Award is presented annually to regional association members who demonstrate an outstanding level of volunteerism, leadership and/or have made other significant and measurable contributions to one or more regional associations. Whether recipients have been actively involved in association programs or impacted association growth and stewardship, the PPAI Regional Volunteer is an enthusiastic advocate who has taken their involvement and commitment to ever higher levels of participation.
“Associations thrive due to the hours of dedication and hard work of volunteers. It is individuals like Thea that enable regionals to provide to their members,” said PPAI President and CEO Dale Denham, MAS+. “I’m proud of Thea for being recognized as the PPAI Regional Volunteer Recipient in a field full of so many fantastic regional volunteers.”
Throughout the past 20-years, Bruce’s contributions to NWPMA have been significant, including serving as treasurer, secretary, and the association’s executive director. Additionally, she proved integral in developing the brand shift and name change to NWPMA in 2003. Thea served as a mentor for four different executive directors and has been a resource whether on the board or not. She has developed the regional association’s shows, budget and weighed in on its strategy for 17 years. She’s credited with playing an instrumental role in keeping NWPMA healthy and providing great value to members.
Bruce has helped NWPMA with all of its tradeshows and events through her roles as well as tireless volunteerism. “She’s been the glue and face of NWPMA for years,” says Joel Halberg of McKenzie SewOn and the NWPMA board, and Bruce’s nominator. “People that work with her all respect and appreciate her.”
The 2022 PPAI Regional Volunteer will be recognized during the upcoming 2022 PPAI Leadership Development Workshop in Grapevine, Texas during the Regional Volunteer Recognition Dinner.