September 2019
Board Member Spotlight:
This month's Board Member Spotlight is on Meredith Wallace. Wallace has served on the board since 2015 and holds the current position of RAC Delegate. Wallace is employed by Grapevine Designs and has shared the following fun facts:
Q: Choose a movie title for the story of your life.
A: Hairspray

Q:What was your favorite TV show when growing up?
A: The Brady Bunch, can't wait for their house reno to start on HGTV. 

Q: What was your favorite toy as a kid?
A: Roller Skates, I rarely took them off. 

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

Q: What is your favorite cereal?
A: Special K Fruit and Yogurt

Q: Where and when did you have your first kiss?
A: Puerto Rico (I was living there), 5th Grade, my front yard 

Q: What are three things still left on your bucket list?
A: They are all places I want to go, Santorini, St. Lucia and Banff
PPAMidwest News
Congratulations to the 2019 Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) Rising Stars!
PPB's Rising Stars program, now in its 10th year, is a strategic step in identifying, recognizing and empowering our industry's next generation, and encouraging them to continue to invest their time and talent to advance the promotional products industry.

This year's 14 PPB Rising Stars possess the drive, determination and innovative spirit that helped to launch and build this industry and they will see it far into the future.         

American Solutions for Business Donates Funds and Blankets to Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare

Glenwood, MNAmerican Solutions for Business recently held a fundraiser and Tie for Hope event, a tie blanket activity to benefit the Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare Organization. 

Held during ASB’s recent sales summit in Minneapolis, MN, attending sales associates, home office employees and vendors participated in creating over 50 fleece tie blankets for children in the hospital. On top of that, American Solutions for Business donated raw material for an additional 50 blankets.

“Every child staying at Gillette receives a blanket with their favorite colors, sports, animals or patterns,” explains Sara Berkbigler, Development Officer for CMN Hospitals, who was on site to help throughout the events. “With over 50 completed blankets donated through this event, there are 50 more smiles in the hospital and 50 families feeling the support of their community.”

After the Tie for Hope activity, attendees participated in a silent auction, resulting in over $2,500 in funds raised for Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare.

“The funds raised will help support a variety of areas within Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. Some of which include Child and Family Services, financial assistance and innovative research. We are so thankful that ASB chose to fundraise for Gillette and help our kids realize what they can achieve,” said Berkbigler.

“We’re incredibly proud of everyone who got involved with these charitable efforts,” shared Dana Zezzo, ASB’s VP of Marketing, Vendor Relations & Events. “We are grateful to our vendors who donated product, participants who donated funds and team who worked hard to make this all happen. These efforts truly embody the philanthropic goals we have here at ASB.” 
CHOCOLATE INN| LANCO Expands Sales and Customer Service Teams   

Hicksville, NY – Chocolate Inn| Lanco expands its sales and customer service teams with Andrea Fenner as Mid-Atlantic sales rep and Kerrie Gallichio and Gina Mojeda as Customer Service Representatives. These additions will help maintain the company’s tradition of superior customer service while accommodating the increase in overall customer requests.

“Understanding our clients’ needs and working to provide the best service and products across all promotional categories are key ingredients to our continued success,” said David Miller president of Chocolate Inn| Lanco. “The addition of a promotional apparel industry veteran like Andrea and experienced customer service representatives like Kerrie and Gina will help to maintain this level of service while identifying new opportunities.”

Fenner will provide in-person sales support to customers in the Mid-Atlantic states, including Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. She comes to Chocolate Inn | Lanco with more than 20 years in the promotional product industry, holding positions with two leading wholesale apparel suppliers.

“I am excited to join the Chocolate Inn | Lanco team,” said Fenner. “From ideation to completed project, my goal is to provide creative solutions to help our clients grow their businesses.”  

Gallichio and Mojeda will help field customers questions, while also acting as an informational resource for customers when making purchasing decisions. 

Andrea can be reached via email at
Wild Wednesday Webinars - Lunch and Learn at your desk!
“UNIFORM PROGRAMS: A Sustaining Business”
Wed, September 18, 2019 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM CST

Learn The Uniform Program business is a great area to pursue because it can help insulate you from a lot of the online business that is changing our industry today. We will go through why the Uniform Program business can be a long-term solution and what a distributor will need to know/to do to pursue it and become successful at it!

Attendees will learn: 
  • The proper mindset to go after the Uniform Program business
  • How to sustain it for the long term
  • Specific case studies

 1 CAS Credit when you submit your PPAI Pin Number with your survey.
PPAMidwest Members....are you taking advantage of your Member Benefits?
As a PPAMidwest member, you receive 10% off of SAGE products and services!
PPAMidwest Coupon Book   - Did you know that you can save thousands of dollars by using the member only coupon book?

The coupon book is located on the  PPAMidwest website   and is only available to current PPAMidwest members.

PPAMidwest has also partnered with   to provide 1-Click access to PPAMidwest coupons when you visit supplier websites. Make sure to visit and follow the steps on their website to install the browser extension and toolbar which will make accessing the coupons even easier! You may also reference this step-by-step video to see how to install PromoHunt and access PPAMidwest coupons:

Did You Know that PPAI Online Education offers
live webinars on Wednesdays throughout the year?
Industry News
PPAI Ad Week
September 23 - 26
Join Advertising Week's Brand Masters Panel 

PPAI Presents:
At Advertising Week New York

PPAI is pleased to present, for the first time at Advertising Week , a power panel of brand masters moderated by PPAI's president and CEO, Paul Bellantone, CAE. Join this strategic discussion on experiential branding to hear how ideation, inspiration and innovation inform the brand experience and create unmatched consumer loyalty and LOVE. 
  • Andrea Cherng, Chief Marketing Officer, Panda Express
  • Sharon Byers, Chief Development, Marketing & Communications Officer, American Cancer Society
  • Megan Robles, Senior Marketing Manager, KeVita (PepsiCo)
  • Jason Eano, Managing Director, The Annex - Havas
Tuesday, September 24 at 2 pm ET; Not going to be in New York?  View the live strea m .  Reserve complimentary tickets here . Tickets are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. 
AMC Lincoln Square , Ad Shapers Stage, 1998 Broadway, New York
Attend Advertising Week, September 23-26. PPAI members receive a 20% discount on a Delegate or Super Delegate pass using Promo Code PPAI20OFF.
5 Not-So-Obvious Social Media Marketing Mistakes You Must Avoid
Luis Garcia  Guest Writer Entrepreneur

Social media marketing done right can win you customers for life. Done wrong, it can cost you dearly.

Before you even read this, make sure you aren't making either of the classic, obvious, social media mistakes - having a private profile or still using a personal account when you should switch to a business account.

OK, cool. Now that that's handled, let's get into some of the less-obvious, yet highly critical mistakes that I see most brands make in their social media marketing efforts. 

Are you making these mistakes too?          Read More
Professional Development
Two New Plug-Ins For Quickbooks To Better
Serve Ad Specialty Distributors

Harriet Gatter, owner of Accounting Support, LLC , announces the launching of OrderMaster Online, a software development project to improve the accounting and order-management systems for Ad Specialty Distributors.

"The Ad Specialty business is an ideal small business for creative, people-oriented people", says Harriet, "and our challenge is the complexity of the accounting and order management. My goal is to simplify and streamline these back-office functions."

For 23 years, Harriet operated just such a business. She knows from experience the many details that are part of processing an order from beginning to end. She launched her Accounting Support, LLC practice in 2013 with the mission to guide Ad Specialty Distributors through these back-office details. She is a former Accounting Professor, a QuickBooks ProAdvisor and recommends QuickBooks as the long-term and most affordable solution to the industry.

She explained further, "There are a variety of solutions offered to the industry, but in the long-run, I believe QuickBooks has the best chance to survive and thrive. And now, with these Plug-Ins, QuickBooks becomes specifically oriented to the Ad Specialty Distributor Business."

These initial Plug-Ins are the result of Harriet's acquiring the rights to a long-time industry service provider, OrderMaster, which was one of these other back-office solutions that did not keep pace with the changing technology around it. Harriet acquired the rights, intending to rewrite the software in a more current language. This proved to be too expensive, and thus the idea was born to create these Plug-Ins which may be an even stronger solution. In addition to bringing the best of OrderMaster to QuickBooks it also brings the long-term security of QuickBooks to the Ad Specialty Distributors.

But, not just yet. The project is poised and ready to be developed, but first 50 Ad Specialty Distributors are needed. 
The website is , which houses a Demonstration Video that describes the first two Plug-Ins: [1] A Commission calculator and dashboard and [2] An Order tracking dashboard. The Plug-ins will begin to be built as soon as 50 distributors sign-up and make an initial deposit of $200. The first 50 supporters will be the first to receive the software when available, be part of the beta-testing team, and receive a discounted price.

"Doing business today requires a reliance on our hardware and software. When either one goes down, our businesses stall. By adding these 2 Plug-ins, and more to come, to QuickBooks, I think QuickBooks can and will be the most affordable and long-term solution to the Ad Specialty Distributor business."

Learn more about the Plug-Ins and the Pre-Sale Offer at .