At this week’s PPAI North American Leadership Conference in Chicago, Illinois, the Association announced the 2014 recipients of two of its most prestigious awards, the PPAI Hall of Fame and the Distinguished Service Awards. Don Lafferre, owner of St. Louis, Missouri-based distributor Priority Promotions, was named the 2014 Hall of Fame inductee, while Mike Schenker, MAS, Dard Products, Inc. regional sales manager, is the 2014 PPAI Distinguished Service Award honoree. The induction ceremonies of both awards will take place at The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas, January 13-17, 2014, during the Chairman’s Leadership Dinner.
Since 1977, the PPAI Hall of Fame has been honoring leaders in the promotional products industry who have had an impact in the industry and their communities. Don Lafferre has worked for more than 62 years supporting the progress and success of the industry, including as a member of the PPAI Board of Directors, PPAI committees and advisory councils and for landmark legislative actions. For more than 30 years he was the consummate industry ambassador, writer and activist. Today he is one of industry’s most fervent speakers involved in the PPAI ADvocate program, speaking in support of the promotional products industry educating businesses and community groups and schools on the proven power of promotional products.
While serving on the PPAI Board of Directors, Lafferre contributed to the formation of the Regional Association Committee, the recommendation to move the Association headquarters from Chicago to Irving, Texas, and helped facilitate the acquisition of the industry’s premier trade publication now known as PPB, and the creation of a fair dues structure. He has made countless contributions and received numerous accolades from regional associations, business and community groups and religious and charitable organizations. Since 1985, he has owned and operated Priority Promotions in Florissant, Missouri, the largest city in St. Louis County.
This honor reflects Don Lafferre’s strong legacy in both the promotional products industry and his community, and it highlights the impact he continues to have today. He adds, “I was really thrilled and honored to be nominated, and now, overwhelmed to be selected and inducted into the PPAI Hall of Fame.”
The PPAI Distinguished Service Award recognizes PPAI members who consistently contribute their skills and expertise toward the betterment of the Association through volunteer service and leadership.
“I’ve never done what I’ve done for the accolades. It’s always about making things better…be it the lives of the children helped through the SAAGNY Foundation, or the needs of the membership of both SAAGNY and PPAI, I’ve happily given my time, my energy, and my enthusiasm. Please don’t think that, with this award, I’m done…there’s still so much to do,” Schenker said.
Schenker has distinguished himself as a long-standing dedicated volunteer, serving on the Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY) board, the SAAGNY Foundation board and on numerous PPAI advisory councils and committees. With a history of service spanning two decades serving as a volunteer for the PPAI MAS/CAS, Suppliers, Conventions, PPB, Education, Professional Development, Awards and Government Relations committees and advisory councils, as well as PPEF Events Action Group leader, president of the SAAGNY Board of Directors and chairman and treasurer of the SAAGNY Foundation.