Committee Spotlight: The Distributors Committee

As part of its series on the volunteer committees and committee members that help PPAI serve its members and the promotional products industry, this month PPB looks at the Distributors Committee.

The Distributors Committee’s mission is to proactively assist PPAI staff in initiating and administering programs and services, serve as an advocate and be the voice for distributor members and owners. In the past year the committee developed a comprehensive document, Distributor Best Practices, to support the relationships between suppliers and distributors. The committee also played an active role in a number of the Association’s recent initiatives, including Promotional Products Work! Week. Its involvement contributed to a stronger role for regional associations in the program. PPAI’s publications, including PPB, have also benefited from the committee’s work; over the past few months it has provided editorial staff with industry resources for articles in the magazine on topics including doing business internationally, the lack of young workers in the industry and examples of exemplary distributor showrooms, among others.

Looking ahead for 2013, the committee is working with the Supplier Committee on a “Write The Order Right” campaign to improve the purchase order process between suppliers and distributors. Brad White, vice president of sales at Austin, Texas-based Boundless Network and the Distributors Committee’s 2013 chair, says: We want to help them in that pursuit, because if supplier costs go down then that directly benefits distributors as well.”

Volunteering with the Distributors Committee and elsewhere has paid dividends for its members and the industry as a whole. Jim Franklyn, vice president of sales and marketing at InkHead Promotional Products in Winder, Georgia, and a member of the Distributors Committee, says: “You are as sick as your secrets. The industry needs your help. We are in the midst of transitioning into a whole new world order of decision makers and how promotional items are ordered. If you help others, you will always get 10 times that in return.”

White adds, “The best part of volunteering is building relationships with people who are critical to the future of this industry.  And as a volunteer, you are in position to contribute and shape that future with them.”

The Distributors Committee’s 2013 roster of volunteers:

Brad White, 2013 Committee Chair, Boundless Network

David DeGreeff, MAS, 2013 Board Liaison, Harvey-Daco, Inc.

Debbie Abergel, Jack Nadel International

Jim Franklyn, InkHead, Inc.

Alan Grill, Kaeser & Blair, Inc.

Erica Kelley-Gogel, CAS, Bankers Advertising Co.

Jacqui Snyder, MAS, Geiger

Evie Sterner, CAS, Jerico Promotions

Michael West, Promotional Vision, LLC

Committee volunteers who recently retired from the committee after three years of service are:

Sharla Elscott, MAS, The Vernon Company

Hillary Feder, MAS, Hillary’s, LLC

Mark Stiff, MAS, Bates-Wells, Inc.

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