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March 2017

April 19th
Bob Notter alphabroder

Ben Prasad SanMar

Bruce Schermerhorn & Pete Gleason
CPS Keystone 
 Deborah Mann  DMannding Results, Inc.
Register to attend!

Jen Mendoza
Executive Director
:: 630-983-7722

Happening NEXT WEEK!
Don't miss your chance to register for the largest Client Show in the Country! 
Arlington Race Track
March 9th
9:00am - 2:00pm
Bringing in over 1,500 qualified Distributors and Clients, together in one place, and over 150+ companies, this is one show you cannot afford to miss.

Apply For the PPEF &
PPAChicago Scholarship!
Scholarship time is here! PPEF's application deadline is March 15th and we will be awarding $175,000 this year including the $1,000 PPAChicago Scholarship.
Students applying for the PPAChicago Scholarship can use the regular PPEF application forms. They will also be considered for all of PPEF's scholarships along with the PPAChicago Scholarship. Here are the links for the online applications:
To access, login to
To request your username,

Promotional Products Work! Week

S ave the Dates!
April 24th - 28th
Day 1       Monday, April 24th    
Factory Tours
9:00 - 11:00 Toddy Gear
11:30- 1:30 S & S Activewear
Day 2       Tuesday, April 25th
Education Seminars
11:30am - 2:00pm Seth Barnett w/ PPAI
PPAChicago Office; Oak Brook
"A New Workforce: Attract, Engage & Retain Young Staff" (1 CAS credit) 1hr
The millennial generation is now the largest group in the US workforce. They represent the future of all industries. This session will help you establish a road map to success when dealing with the future leaders of your company. Understand how to connect with and engage millennial staff to ensure you bring out their true potential. Learn best practices from other industry leaders and see what steps to take today.
"Managing the Millennial Market" (1 CAS credit) 1hr
The marketplace is rapidly changing. Technology, social media and advanced branding methods are leading the way to new opportunities and insight. Learn the value of the new Millennial market and what it can do for the future of our business. Be able to analyze your current marketing strategies to see how they align to a new market. Learn some common best practices that you can implement now to better reach the younger consumer.
Day 3     Wednesday, April 26th    
Member Appreciation Lunch
  Time and place TBD
Day 4     Thursday, April 27th
Donation Charity Drive
9:00 - 2:00 PPAChicago Office - Oak Brook
Registration for each event will become available soon! 

Some people have an uncanny ability to get things done. They keep their nights and weekends sacred and still get more done than people who work 10 or 20 hours more per week than they do.
A new study from Stanford shows that they are on to something.
The study found that productivity per hour declines sharply when the workweek exceeds 50 hours, and productivity drops off so much after 55 hours that there's no point in working any more.That's right, people who work as much as 70 hours (or more) per week actually get the same amount done as people who work 55 hours.
"Time is what we want most, but what we use worst." -William Penn
Smart people know the importance of shifting gears on the weekend to relaxing and rejuvenating activities. They use their weekends to create a better week ahead.

This is easier said than done, so here's some help. The following are some things that you can do to find balance on the weekend and come into work at 110% on Monday morning.

Disconnect. Disconnecting is the most important weekend strategy, because if you can't find a way to remove yourself electronically from your work Friday evening through Monday morning, then you've never really left work. Making yourself available to your work 24/7 exposes you to a constant barrage of stressors that prevent you from refocusing and recharging. If taking the entire weekend off handling work e-mails and calls isn't realistic, try designating specific times on Saturday and Sunday for checking e-mails and responding to voicemails. For example, check your messages on Saturday afternoon while your kids are getting a haircut and on Sunday evenings after dinner. Scheduling short blocks of time will alleviate stress without sacrificing availability.

Minimize chores. Chores have a funny habit of completely taking over your weekends. When this happens, you lose the opportunity to relax and reflect. What's worse is that a lot of chores feel like work, and if you spend all weekend doing them, you just put in a seven-day workweek. To keep this from happening, you need to schedule your chores like you would anything else during the week, and if you don't complete them during the allotted time, you move on and finish them the following weekend.

Exercise. No time to exercise during the week? You have 48 hours every weekend to make it happen. Getting your body moving for as little as 10 minutes releases GABA, a soothing neurotransmitter that reduces stress. Exercise is also a great way to come up with new ideas. Innovators and other successful people know that being outdoors often sparks creativity. I know that a lot of my best ideas come to me while I'm surfing. While you're out in the ocean, the combination of invigorating activity and beautiful scenery creates the perfect environment for an influx of creativity. Whether you're running, cycling, or gardening, exercise leads to endorphin-fueled introspection. The key is to find a physical activity that does this for you and then to make it an important part of your weekend routine.

Reflect. Weekly reflection is a powerful tool for improvement. Use the weekend to contemplate the larger forces that are shaping your industry, your organization, and your job. Without the distractions of Monday to Friday busy work, you should be able to see things in a whole new light. Use this insight to alter your approach to the coming week, improving the efficiency and efficacy of your work.

Pursue a passion. You might be surprised what happens when you pursue something you're passionate about on weekends. Indulging your passions is a great way to escape stress and to open your mind to new ways of thinking. Things like playing music, reading, writing, painting, or even playing catch with your kids can help stimulate different modes of thought that can reap huge dividends over the coming week.

Spend quality time with family. Spending quality time with your family on the weekend is essential if you want to recharge and relax. Weekdays are so hectic that the entire week can fly by with little quality family time. Don't let this bleed into your weekends. Take your kids to the park, take your spouse to his or her favorite restaurant, and go visit your parents. You'll be glad you did.

Schedule micro-adventures. Buy tickets to a concert or play, or get reservations for that cool new hotel that just opened downtown. Instead of running on a treadmill, plan a hike. Try something you haven't done before or perhaps something you haven't done in a long time. Studies show that anticipating something good to come is a significant part of what makes the activity pleasurable. Knowing that you have something interesting planned for Saturday will not only be fun come Saturday, but it will significantly improve your mood throughout the week.

Wake up at the same time. It's tempting to sleep in on the weekend to catch up on your sleep. Though it feels good temporarily, having an inconsistent wake-up time disturbs your circadian rhythm. Your body cycles through an elaborate series of sleep phases in order for you to wake up rested and refreshed. One of these phases involves preparing your mind to be awake and alert, which is why people often wake up just before their alarm clock goes off (the brain is trained and ready). When you sleep past your regular wake-up time on the weekend, you end up feeling groggy and tired. This isn't just disruptive to your day off, it also makes you less productive on Monday because your brain isn't ready to wake up at your regular time. If you need to catch up on sleep, just go to bed earlier.

Designate mornings as me time. It can be difficult to get time to yourself on the weekends, especially if you have family. Finding a way to engage in an activity you're passionate about first thing in the morning can pay massive dividends in happiness and cleanliness of mind. It's also a great way to perfect your circadian rhythm by forcing yourself to wake up at the same time you do on weekdays. Your mind achieves peak performance two-to-four hours after you wake up, so get up early to do something physical, and then sit down and engage in something mental while your mind is at its peak.

Prepare for the upcoming week. The weekend is a great time to spend a few moments planning your upcoming week. As little as 30 minutes of planning can yield significant gains in productivity and reduced stress. The week feels a lot more manageable when you go into it with a plan because all you have to focus on is execution.

Addison, Texas (February 28, 2017) - SAGE is pleased to announce that major regional promotional products associations have joined the redesigned SAGE Affiliate Program, including the New England Promotional Products Association (NEPPA), the Virginia Promotional Products
Association (VAPPA), the Chesapeake Promotional Products Association (CPPA), and Three Rivers
Advertising Specialty Association (TRASA).
The SAGE Affiliate Program is a unique, customized program designed to give regional associations in the promotional products industry and their members special benefits from SAGE through access to business management products and services for members and the association.

"We are continually evaluating our affiliate program and searching for the best opportunities to
support regional associations, which play such a vital role in our industry," said Jarod Thorndike,
Director of Strategic Relations at SAGE. "We are pleased to find new ways to offer even more
benefits and services to our affiliate associations and their members."

SAGE offers members a choice of Business Suite Packages, special product bundles providing
product research solutions on all major platforms, online product searching for clients, a custom
website, virtual showrooms, and SAGE Total Access subscriptions. The Total Access subscription consists of SAGE Online, the promotional product industry's most popular product research and
business management solution; SAGE Web, the browser-based platform to access SAGE products
from any device with web access; and SAGE Mobile, the full-featured mobile application for iOS and Android devices.

Members can select a Business Suite Package of 2, 10, or 25 user licenses depending on the number of users they need. As SAGE Affiliates, members of NEPPA, VAPPA, CPPA, and TRASA are eligible to receive special pricing on the Business Suite Packages as well as savings on their first SAGE Total Access subscription license.

As part of the relationship, NEPPA, VAPPA, CPPA and TRASA corporate offices will also utilize SAGE products and services to help manage the association.

Jarod Thorndike continued, "We couldn't be more excited to partner with our regional associations and provide their members with access to leading-edge business management solutions for every aspect of their operations. SAGE is a huge supporter of regional associations, and the SAGE Affiliate Program is one way we can show it."

Patti Ward, Executive Director of TRASA, commented, "Part of our mission is to pursue first-tier business-building resources for our members, and this relationship with SAGE allows us to facilitate real-world, bottom-line results for our members."

NEPPA, VAPPA, CPPA, and TRASA members who are SAGE subscribers may contact SAGE to learn
more about custom offerings, effective as of the next renewal. New association members who add SAGE services can be informed of their options by noting their specific association membership on their application.

To learn more about the SAGE Affiliate Program, visit .

Ariel is Proud to Support the Rainforest Trust Through Corporate Sponsorship Participation
Overland, MO - February 20, 2017 - Ariel Premium Supply is proud to become a corporate sponsor of the Rainforest Trust, a global conversation organization dedicated to protecting threatened tropical forests and endangered wildlife. Since 1988, the Rainforest Trust has saved more than 16 million acres of critical rainforest habitat.

"This is a great opportunity for the Ariel family to be part of a global effort to help protect such a vital ecosystem on our planet," says Yuhling Lu, Ariel vice president. "Environmental conservation is critical in these areas and ultimately impacts every person on the planet," she adds.

About Rainforest Trust
Rainforest Trust helps protect threatened tropical forests and endangered wildlife by partnering with local and community organizations in and around vulnerable areas. Through highly effective partnerships, the Rainforest Trust helps ensure the sustainable results necessary for the long-term protection of tropical ecosystems and the wildlife that live there. Additional information is available at
About Ariel
Ariel Premium Supply is a leading Top 40 Supplier to the promotional products industry. Established in 1993, Ariel offers a collection of technology, home, health, drinkware, auto and travel products to the corporate marketplace, serving both the U.S. and Canada. Ariel is a Minority Business Enterprise and is an active participant of the PromoStandards Alliance. Additional information may be found at

March 1, 2017 - Pro Towels, the industry's largest towel supplier, announced today that Jennifer Gambrell has joined the company as Senior Director of Marketing. Jennifer will head the marketing department for Pro Towels, Kanata Blanket Company, Superior and Neet Feet.
Prior to joining the team, Jennifer was the Creative Manager at J&P Acquisitions, Inc. While there, Jennifer helped improve their catalog development process, was responsible for building multiple brands under JPPA, has extensive e commerce and social media experience and created several industry award winning marketing campaigns. She started there as a graphic design intern during her undergrad degree and worked her way to a fulltime graphic designer then web designer and finally Creative Manager. While working full-time, Jennifer also obtained her Master's in Graphic Design from the Academy of Art University in 2015. Jennifer exclaims, "I'm very excited to be joining the Pro Towels Family of Brands and getting the chance to work with a strong, growing team. I really look forward to taking our marketing campaigns to new heights."

Kevin Nord, President of Pro Towels, continued "We truly feel the combination of Jennifer's extensive marketing background, combined with a fresh look at the industry, will allow us to continue to expand the PT family, and ultimately serve our distributor partners better!"

Pro Towels is the largest towel supplier to the promotional product industry with locations on both the east and west coast. The company offers in-house screen printing and embroidery services to support a broad product line of beach, golf, and sport towels. Additionally, Pro Towels carries bathrobes and other beach accessories to complement its towel line. The Pro Towels family of companies also includes Kanata Blanket Company, a leader in premium blankets, d├ęcor and lifestyle products, and Superior, a leader in contract decorating for the promotional products industry for over 30 years. Most recently, the Pro Towels family acquired Neet Feet, a supplier of quality custom logo flip flops and other premium footwear.