This month, PPB’s series on getting to know the volunteers who have helped the Association expand and succeed in its mission of supporting its members spotlights Rod Brown, CAS, member of the PPAI Board of Directors and chief financial officer for distributor MadeToOrder.
PPB: What is the most meaningful thing you’ve learned during your time on the PPAI board?
Rod Brown, CAS: That no issue we face at the national level is easy or can be reduced to a sound bite or quick fix. Every issue has multiple points of view and many challenges. The diversity of the businesses we serve demands that we look at all kinds of possible impacts. However, I have always felt and experienced the senior team at PPAI to be a very bright, caring, professional group. They are dedicated, hardworking and engaged on our behalf.
PPB: What is the most challenging thing you have had to face while working in the promotional products industry?
Brown: Trying to manage a business of entrepreneurs, with everything custom and in a hurry with no real margin for error. You cannot return custom-printed goods nor make up for missing an event date.
PPB: What is the one thing most people do not know about you?
Brown: I asked my wife, Barbara, to marry me after just eight days. We had a date on a Thursday night and the following Friday I asked her to marry me.
PPB: Tell us about your personal side—family, hobbies, etc.
Brown: Barbara and I have two sons of character, 17 and 21, who want no part of the life I lead. My younger son rows crew and wants to study engineering, and my older son is a junior at Santa Clara University studying biology and public health. Both sons have traveled to Africa with me on separate visits working in feeding stations and rural hospitals through a mission program with our church. Both have been to Mexico, into the slums of Tijuana, where we built rudimentary housing for the indigent. When not working, I enjoy boating and fishing, and puttering around in my garage or cooking with Barbara.