PPB Magazine

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PPAI members congratulate Mary Jo Tomasini, MAS, as she begins her year as chair of the PPAI Board of Directors; a member praises the members of a young professionals panel at PPAS; and PPB’s five-part series on entrepreneurship by Abigail Tiefenthaler helps a member jumpstart his promotional products business. Read More »

Factory Floor: Tribal Boards

Factory Floor: Tribal Boards

Seven years ago, Rob Russakoff was leading a company that sold personal cooling products at retail, but he saw sales quickly heat up when the team decided to move the product into the promotional industry. Read More »

New Member Spotlight: Square Golf Ball & USA Custom Imprint/Bright Valley Enterprises

New Member Spotlight: Square Golf Ball & USA Custom Imprint/Bright Valley Enterprises

In 1995, I thought of the concept for a square golf ball. I enjoy unique items and felt for certain that this type of novelty item was available. In 2000, when the internet really became mainstream, I searched globally, but could not locate the item. In 2012 after another exhaustive search, I decided to make the product myself. After a year of hard work, trial and error, and much lost sleep, the square golf ball was born. Read More »

Match Point

Match Point

You can thank 1920s-era tennis champion René Lacoste for sparking the movement toward comfortable athletic apparel. During his 1926 win at the United States National Championship, he wore a short-sleeve starched white button-down shirt instead of a long-sleeve shirt–“a daring evolutionary step toward an archetype of sportswear,” according to contributing writer Troy Patterson in his 2015 New York Times article “Unstarched Shirt.” Lacoste had reportedly been inspired by a posh friend who played polo in a similar shirt. Read More »

The Looming Middle Management Crisis

The Looming Middle Management Crisis

Miscast and disengaged employees are a problem wherever they’re found in an organization, but when middle managers join those ranks it’s especially troubling because of their broad sphere of influence on so many other employees. The Gallup Organization warns us just such a problem is brewing within our management ranks—their research found that 82 percent of managers are “miscast in their roles” and 25 percent are “dangerously lousy.” So what can we do to better identify, support and retain managers so they will be successful in the role? Read More »

Flying High

Flying High

In 1917, Pioneer Rubber Company opened its doors in Willard, Ohio, about 70 miles west of Akron, and began manufacturing various rubber products including latex gloves and balloons. The company grew by investing in engineering teams to advance its technologies and procedures to maximize quality and production efficiency. In 1970, Sherwood Medical Products, interested in Pioneer’s production of surgical and medical exam gloves, purchased Pioneer Rubber. But the balloon portion of the business was not in the new company’s wheelhouse and in 1979, Betty and Ted Vlamis acquired that part of the company and its 85 employees. The couple still owns Pioneer Balloon Company (PPAI 113823) and this year they are celebrating its centennial anniversary Read More »

Oops, I Specialized Too Much. What Now?

Oops, I Specialized Too Much. What Now?

A Distributor Asks: You hear the term “niche marketing” praised a lot these days. But what if you’ve gone down that path and specialized in a niche, and now the niche you’ve specialized in is in a down cycle? How do you get out of the tailspin? Read More »

Raise Your Defenses

Raise Your Defenses

For businesses in the promotional products industry, the watchword is safety. But there’s one product that can never be effectively “recalled”—sensitive account or employee information that ends up in the hands of hackers or fraudsters. The Federal Trade Commission has practical suggestions for companies of any size and in every sector about what they can do to help protect themselves from the risks of data theft. Read More »

Inside PPAI – April 2017

Inside PPAI – April 2017

Expo East 2017’s Extensive Education Lineup offers 30 sessions to choose from so attendees can pick the right classes to expand their professional playbook, explore new opportunities and move their careers ahead. PPAI announces new volunteer committee and advisory group chairs and liaisons for the 2017-2018 term; On September 18-20, PPAI is hosting the seventh annual Product Responsibility Summit (PRS) in Newport Beach, California. An in-depth education conference, PRS will explore the current landscape in supply chain security, social responsibility and much more.
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Driven To Lead

Driven To Lead

Mary Ellen Harden, president of Versailles, Kentucky-based Wall Street Greetings, LLC, (PPAI 469710) has always known she wanted to work in the greeting card industry. During her senior year at the University of Kentucky she learned about Wall Street Greetings and scheduled a meeting to visit the local card company. Read More »

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