Inside PPAI: Andrew Spellman, Noah Lapine Elected To PPAI Board

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PPAI’s Board of Directors election concluded in October with the Association membership approving Andrew Spellman, senior vice president and general manager at supplier The Magnet Group, and Noah Lapine, president and owner of distributor Lapine Associates, Inc. The pair will begin their four-year terms in January 2021. The board is the governing body for PPAI and plays a major role in directing its strategic activities, adopting policies and approving budgets to carry out the work of the Association. 

PPB spoke with Spellman and Lapine to learn more about their backgrounds and the goals they are looking to achieve during their upcoming board term.

Andrew Spellman started his promotional products career at The Magnet Group in 1992 as its sixth sales representative and returned to the supplier in early 2017 in his current position. During his 28 years in the industry, Spellman also spent more than 14 years as the vice president of corporate markets for Victorinox Swiss Army. He has served on the board of directors of Guardian Angel Settlement Association, a group providing childcare and social services in the city of St. Louis for more than 150 years, serving in several different roles which included chairman of their golf committee, vice chairman and then as chairman of the board. In addition, he served on the board of directors of the St. Vincent De Paul Mission of Waterbury during his brief time in Connecticut.

PPB Why do you want to serve on the PPAI board?

Spellman It’s really very simple, I was fortunate enough to be asked to get into this industry back in 1992, and the industry has provided me a great career and the opportunity to provide for my family. For all that this industry has given me, this is a small reciprocation that I can do to give back to it.

PPB What unique strengths and experiences do you bring to the PPAI board?

Spellman While my entire career has been on the supplier side of the business, within my 28-plus years I’ve worked for large, medium and small companies, as well as representing expensive, premium branded products and inexpensive commodity items. These unique differentiations have taught me many things about how different companies go to market and how different products get sold.

I’ve also always tried to put myself in the distributors’ shoes when trying to sell my products to them in order to better assist with closing the sale, and I hope my relationships with key distributor owners and sales personnel will help in my overall analysis of the challenges we will be faced with during my term on the board.

PPB What would you like to accomplish during your board term?

Spellman A few years ago, I reached out to a number of the people whom I admire most in the industry and asked them a question, “What do you want your legacy to be?” I still have the list with all of the answers, and I read it frequently to remind myself of the ultimate “end goal.” One of the simplest answers that I got, that I’m going to steal from to answer your question, is that I just want to leave the Association in a better place at the end of my term than when I started. If I can accomplish that, then I think I will have succeeded.

PPB How are you approaching the challenges and opportunities you’ll face during your term? 

Spellman I’m looking forward to working on the board through the many challenges that will be facing us today as well as in the days ahead. We have an amazingly diverse membership, and I know there will be varying needs for many of them, but our industry is strong, our leadership is strong, and our board is diverse with dedicated and smart people. I can’t wait to get started.

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Noah Lapine heads up Lapine Associates, Inc., a 58-year-old, third-generation family business, which he joined in 1996, and he has been involved in all phases of its development. Before joining the business, he served as a corps member for Teach for America, where he taught seventh-grade English to students in rural Georgia. In 2017, he co-founded Effectus Partners, which architects and implements process efficiencies and solutions for major corporations. He also serves on the boards of early childhood education provider Children’s Learning Centers and the Mill River Park Collaborative.

PPB Why do you want to serve on the PPAI board?

Lapine It’s an honor to serve the industry as a representative of my peers and our valued suppliers. I’ve always felt that great board experiences are mutually beneficial for both the individual members and the organizations they are serving. The PPAI board is comprised of talented professionals from whom I have a great deal to learn.

PPB What unique strengths and experiences do you bring to the PPAI board?

Lapine One of the great things about the PPAI board is that every member comes to it from a unique path with our own experiences that have shaped our perspectives. Our company’s heritage is rooted in the influence of trends and preferences stemming from retail shopping behaviors, the power of brand-name merchandise, and the role that consumer insights and data have in decision making. This background will help provide a broader perspective as to where PPAI can both protect and enhance the value the organization delivers to its members while simultaneously expanding its reach to new ones.

PPB What would you like to accomplish during your board term?

Lapine There’s no overstating the enormity of the upheaval and ensuing industry challenges from the pandemic. They will impact all of us for many years to come and undoubtedly alter the course of PPAI. While confronting change is hard, it is also an opportunity to reimagine and create where the organization goes from here. During my term, I look forward to being a part of the strategic planning process that positions PPAI for an impactful future.

PPB How are you approaching the challenges and opportunities you’ll face during your term?

Lapine I am honored to join the PPAI board. I am looking forward to working alongside the talented members of the board, learn from them and share my perspective on issues. Joining during what may be the most challenging and uncertain business and social environment of our lives, I am eager to help chart the organization’s next chapter in its 117-year history.

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James Khattak is news editor of PPB.

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