Inside PPAI – March 2017


PPAI Award Winners Celebrated At Expo’s Block Party


This year The PPAI Expo included its first-ever PPAI Block Party, an evening of lively conversations and networking and, at its center, the Association’s Walk of Fame Awards Presentation, where PPAI recognized exceptional individuals and companies for their innovation and creative excellence. Awards presented that night included Supplier Achievement, Technology, Pyramid, Image, and the Supplier Star Awards. See the Pyramid winners with “Top Promotions” here and the others below.

PPAI Supplier Achievement Awards


The work of 26 supplier companies was celebrated in categories ranging from embroidery and sublimation to large format printing and castings. Congratulations to the following winners:

Client Sales & Marketing Aids
Gold – BIC Graphic USA
Silver – Artistic Toy Manufacturing, Inc.

Distributor Sales & Marketing Aids
Gold – Spector & Co.
Silver – Bruce Fox, Inc.
Silver – Spector & Co.

Most Creative Product Entry
Gold – Crown Products, Inc.
Silver – NEXT Products
Silver – R.S. Owens & Company, a Division of St Regis Crystal

Multi-Color Print on Textiles
Silver – Buffalo Bay

Special Effects/Multi-Media Decoration on Textiles
Gold – My Green Bag!
Silver – BAG MAKERS, Inc.

Embroidery I
Silver – Vantage Apparel

Embroidery II
Gold – Vantage Apparel
Silver – Suntex Industries

Silver – SAVI, Inc.
Silver – SAVI, Inc.

Large Format Printing
Gold – Bruce Fox, Inc.
Gold – Stouse, LLC

Multi-Color Print On Hard Surfaces
Gold – Indiana Metal Craft
Silver – Prestige Glass International

Pad Printing
Silver – SELCO
Silver – SELCO

Silver – A+ Wine Designs

Silver – Indiana Metal Craft
Silver – Indiana Metal Craft

Metal Striking
Gold – Indiana Metal Craft
Silver – SELCO

PVC Product/Decoration
Gold – KTI Networks / KTI Promo
Gold – KTI Networks / KTI Promo
Silver – All-In-One®

Special Applications
Silver – BIC Graphic USA

Gold – Stouse, LLC

Combination of Processes
Gold – Bruce Fox, Inc.
Gold – SELCO
Silver – Indiana Metal Craft

Special Processes
Silver – Buffalo Bay
Silver – St Regis Crystal, Inc.

Customized Non-Catalog Product Under $25
Gold – Okina Sales/Symphony Handmade Papers
Gold – The Sourcing Solution
Silver – Gill Studios, Inc.
Silver – StoneyCreek

Customized Non-Catalog Product $25 & Up
Gold – Prestige Glass International
Silver – StoneyCreek

Mascot/Character Development
Silver – Artistic Toy Manufacturing, Inc.
Silver – R.S. Owens & Company, a Division of St Regis Crystal

Most Creative Product – Collaborative Development
Gold – BIC Graphic USA & HALO Branded Solutions
Silver – Total Creative & StoneyCreek

Sponsored by: R.S. Owens


PPAI Technology Awards


Great technology, combined with creative communication, is the hallmark of effective content marketing and sales. The PPAI Technology Awards recognize PPAI members whose blogs, podcasts, websites, social media, mobile apps and e-commerce sites stood out for their excellence. Congratulations to the following winners:

Blogs/Podcasts/Digital News – Business Services
Silver – Promo Marketing

Blogs/Podcasts/Digital News – Distributor
Gold – Perfect Imprints
Gold – Quality Logo Products, Inc.
Silver – AIA/Corporate Specialties LLC
Silver – HALO Branded Solutions
Silver – Hasseman Marketing & Communications

Blogs/Podcasts/Digital News – Supplier
Gold – Prime Line®
Silver – AZX Sport
Silver – Raining Rose, Inc.

eCommerce Website – Distributor
Gold – Pinnacle Promotions, Inc.
Silver – Geiger
Bronze – HALO Branded Solutions

eCommerce Website – Supplier
Gold – Gill Studios, Inc.

Mobile Apps/Mobile Website – Business Services
Gold – DistributorCentral, LLC
Silver – ZOOMcatalog

Mobile Apps/Mobile Website – Distributor
Bronze – Geiger

Mobile Apps/Mobile Website – Supplier
Gold – Embroidery Unlimited, Inc.
Gold – Gemline
Silver – RediVideos
Bronze – VisionUSA

Social Media – Business Services
Silver – DistributorCentral, LLC

Social Media – Distributor
Gold – HALO Branded Solutions
Silver – Quality Logo Products, Inc.
Bronze – Perfect Imprints

Social Media – Supplier
Gold – Prime Line®
Gold – SnugZ USA
Silver – Raining Rose, Inc.
Bronze – RuMe, Inc.

Special Interest Website
Gold – HALO Branded Solutions
Silver – SanMar

Video Content – Distributor
Gold – Pinnacle Promotions Inc.
Gold – Quality Logo Products, Inc.
Silver – Staples Promotional Products
Bronze – HALO Branded Solutions

Video Content – Supplier
Gold – Beacon Promotions, Inc.
Gold – SanMar
Silver – Prime Line®
Silver – RuMe, Inc.
Bronze – BAG MAKERS, Inc.
Bronze – Stormtech USA

Web Content/Functionality – Business Services
Silver – DistributorCentral, LLC
Silver – PromoCorner.Com

Web Content/Functionality – Distributor
Gold – HALO Branded Solutions
Gold – The Creative J
Silver – Geiger
Bronze – Jack Nadel International

Web Content/Functionality – Supplier
Gold – BrightStores, Inc.
Silver – Gemline
Silver – VisionUSA
Bronze – AZX Sport

Sponsored By: R.S. Owens and Visions/Awardcraft

PPAI Image Awards

The recipients of the PPAI Image Award were honored for the best in creative and successful self-promotion campaigns that stood out in effectively marketing their brands, products and services.

Congratulations to the following winners:

Distributor – Branding
Gold – Strategies, Ltd.
Silver – Elevate Brand Marketing
Bronze – Your Brand Marketing

Supplier – Branding
Gold – Incentive Concepts
Gold – RuMe, Inc.
Silver – RiteLine, LLC
Bronze – BIC Graphic USA

Electronic Distributor Catalog
Gold – The POP Shop, a division of Geiger
Silver – Eleven Marketing
Bronze – Geiger
Bronze – HALO Branded Solutions

Distributor Catalog (1 to 25 pages)
Silver – HALO Branded Solutions

Distributor Catalog (26+ pages)
Gold – AIA Corporation
Gold – Eleven Marketing
Silver – Geiger
Bronze – Proforma

Integrated Supplier Product Marketing (1 to 25 pages)
Bronze – Prime Line®

Integrated Supplier Product Marketing (26 to 50 pages)
Silver – The Book Company

Integrated Supplier Product Marketing (51 to 75 pages)
Gold – RiteLine, LLC
Silver – DRI DUCK Traders
Silver – VisionUSA
Bronze – Antigua Group
Bronze – Gemline

Integrated Supplier Product Marketing (76 to 150 pages)
Gold – Towel Specialties
Silver – JournalBooks/Timeplanner Calendars
Bronze – Drum-Line

Integrated Supplier Product Marketing (151+ pages)
Gold – SnugZ USA
Silver – Showdown Displays
Silver – Starline USA, Inc.
Bronze – BIC Graphic USA
Bronze – Evans Manufacturing, Inc.

Regional Creative Achievement
Silver – VAPPA

Distributor – Self-Promotion Campaigns
Gold – Axis Promotions
Gold – Brand Fuel, Inc.
Silver – AIA/Black Bear Promotions, Inc., AIA Imagwear of Wayzata & AIA/Promotions ‘N Motion
Bronze – Arrow Promotional
Bronze – Pinnacle Branding

Supplier – Self-Promotion Campaigns
Gold – All-In-One®
Gold – My Green Bag!
Silver – Spector & Co.
Bronze – RiteLine, LLC

Sponsored by: J.Charles


PPAI Supplier Star Awards


The Supplier Star Awards were awarded to those members who demonstrate consistent excellence in service, decorating, problem resolution and product quality. Congratulations to this year’s winners:

New PPAI Supplier Member
Star – 4over, LLC
Merit – L And L Promos

$250,001 – $500,000
Star – A+ Wine Designs

$1,000,001 – $2,500,000
Star – Graphco Line
Merit – Artistic Toy Manufacturing, Inc.

$2,500,001 – $5,000,000
Star – All-In-One®
Star – Pacesetter Awards
Merit – NEXT Products

$5,000,001 – $10,000,000
Star – Raining Rose, Inc.
Merit – Showdown Displays

$10,000,001 – $20,000,000
Star – Admints & Zagabor
Merit – CPS \ The Keystone Line
Merit – Maple Ridge Farms, Inc.

$20,000,001 – $35,000,000
Star – American Ad Bag Co.
Merit – JournalBooks/Timeplanner Calendars

$35,000,001 – $50,000,000
Star – SnugZ USA
Merit – Gold Bond, Inc.

$50,000,001 – $100,000,000
Star – Hub Pen Company
Merit – BAG MAKERS, Inc.

Star – SanMar
Merit – Hit Promotional Products

Sponsored by: Visions/Awardcraft

PPAI’s SPARK Program Makes Inroads With Young Industry Professionals At Expo 2017


PPAI’s SPARK program, first introduced at the 2016 SAGE Show as a young professionals “pop-up” event, held an education and networking reception at The PPAI Expo 2017. SPARK has been developed as a platform for young professionals working in the promotional products industry.

SPARK connects future leaders and gives them insight into the ideas, projects and achievements that will shape the industry going forward. The event at Expo drew 35 registrants for the program, an education session with PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett on networking across generational lines. Barnett says, “The session went great and everyone was very excited to participate. But I think the real measure of its success came later in the evening when I noticed several groups of attendees continuing to network together. The goal of this event was to create a platform for young professional success. I believe we achieved that and so much more.”

The next SPARK event is scheduled in conjunction with Expo East in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Expo East 2017 will run June 12-14 at the Atlantic City Convention Center, and SPARK’s date, time and location will be announced soon.

PPAI Board Tackles A Busy 2017 Agenda At January Meeting

The PPAI Board of Directors held its first meeting of 2017 on January 7 in Las Vegas just prior to the opening of The PPAI Expo. Chair Tom Goos, MAS, presided. Among the meeting highlights are these:

  • Guest Pat Dugan, MAS, chair of the Promotional Products Education Foundation, outlined the successes accomplished by PPEF in 2016 and discuss its goal in 2017 to increase PPEF’s impact by increasing scholarship and need-based awards, and continue to broaden its fundraising effort.
  • Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI president and CEO, addressed the new strategic plan, focusing on the strategic goals and objectives for the next three years. He also delivered a 2016 year-in-review, identifying key successes and challenges throughout the year and areas of focus for 2017.
  • Anne Stone, director of public affairs, addressed legislative expectations for 2017 including an effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act as well as efforts to pass comprehensive tax reform. As part of comprehensive tax reform, some Republican law makers are proposing the introduction of a border adjustability tax (BAT). BAT would levy taxes on imported goods. PPAI has joined the Americans for Affordable Products Coalition to oppose this proposal. She also reviewed the state of the PPAI board of directors’ election and it was decided that staff will maintain the existing timing and election processes in 2017 as were delivered in 2016.
  • Darel Cook, director of expositions, reviewed expectations for The PPAI Expo 2017. He reported strong attendance numbers—up over 2016—much of that due to successful attendee acquisition efforts. Key show initiatives included incorporating EventbitTM technology into the Expo, bringing two new large distributor groups to the show, an updated PPAI booth with an Expo Live component and “BIG IDEA” kiosks—suggestion boxes placed throughout the show for attendees’ opinions on improving the show.
  • Keith Vincent, director of marketing, reported that the Get In Touch! campaign is going strong and the industry engagement efforts are being seen throughout the Expo. He also presented a demonstration of the new PPAI website which will roll out in the first quarter.
  • Alan Peterson, senior vice president, reviewed Association efforts in support of developing knowledge communities, a key goal within the strategic plan. PPAI will work with a third-party provider to drive industry dialogue and engagement.
  • As part of the board’s development program, economist Chris Keuhl, Armada Corporate Intelligence, addressed current economic and government including interest rates, wage rates and the rate of inflation and how those changes could impact the promotional products industry.
  • Carol Gauger, MAS, director of volunteer engagement and regional relations, reviewed the Awards and Recognition Committee’s recommendation to rebrand the company award competitions—currently Suppliers Achievement, Technology, Image and Supplier Star—as Pyramid awards. The rebranding would coincide with the 60th anniversary of the original PPAI Pyramid. The recommendation was unanimously approved.
  • Board Chair Tom Goos, MAS, recognized the three new directors on the board, recognized the retiring board members and thanked them for their service to PPAI.
  • PPAI Immediate Past Chair Rick Brenner, MAS+, was unanimously approved for lifetime membership in PPAI.



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