This month, as part of PPB’s spotlight on the volunteers who have helped the Association expand and succeed in its mission of supporting its members, the magazine sat down with Steven Meyer, MAS, past chair of the PPAI Board of Directors and vice president of sales at Willmar, Minnesota-based supplier Molenaar, LLC (UPIC: MILINE).
PPB: Who mentored you and how did they affect your promotional career?
Steven Meyer: Jim Moore, MAS, former senior VP of sales and marketing hired me to work at Molenaar in 1998. At the time I was managing a drugstore and had been asked to move to take over a different store. As I did not want to move, a local distributor introduced me to Jim. While I was probably his seventh, eighth or 150th choice, I was local and went to work cheap. I’ve always felt I couldn’t have landed in a better spot. Not only was Jim insistent on me doing the best I could, he supported industry education and involvement. Jim has always been known as one of the best presenters in the industry and the fun of working with one of the industry’s best brought out the best in me. I have to also include people such as Phil Sibinski, Rob Craxford, Lisa Parker and Kevin Gilbertson, plus the many friends I made on the road early on. Their high standards and willingness to include me lifted me to a higher professional level.
PPB: What is the most challenging thing you have had to face while working in the promotional products industry?
SM: Molenaar was sold to a company outside of the industry and at the same time was going through a product recall. It’s difficult for a company to come into this industry and not have some translation issues. It’s a great opportunity to learn more and get a different business perspective, but it seems to take a long time to really set in. When you add some stress in the form of a product recall and all the education that goes with that, it becomes a busy time.
PPB: What is the one thing most people do not know about you?
SM: That once upon a time I was a decent tennis player and also a saxophone player in a Dixieland band.
PPB: How do you relax and unwind?
SM: I love to read, listen to music, watch a movie or just be outside. There is always something to do.