Inside PPAI: PPAI Names Dawn Olds, CAS; Kevin Walsh And Vera Muzzillo New 2020 Board Directors


In October, PPAI announced its newest board members: Dawn Olds, CAS, senior vice president of operations at distributor HALO Branded Solutions; Kevin Walsh, president at supplier Showdown Displays; and Vera Muzzillo, CEO of distributor group Proforma. Olds and Walsh were approved by the Association membership in the 2019 board election; they will serve a four-year term. Muzzillo has been appointed to a two-year at-large director position on the PPAI board. All three new directors will begin their terms immediately following The PPAI Expo 2020 in January.

“These forward-thinking individuals will be a valuable addition to the board composition,” says Brittany David, MAS, PPAI board chair. “Their broad experience and industry vision will bring a fresh perspective to the PPAI board as we continue to develop our global outreach. I am looking forward to their service and leadership.”

Dawn Olds, CAS, is senior vice president of operations at industry distributor HALO Branded Solutions and has been in management for over 20 years, spanning three focus areas, including accounting, information technology and general operations. Olds has developed and managed project integration plans for dozens of successful acquisitions, and she has been the executive sponsor for several Lean Six Sigma projects. Olds’s career highlights also include mentoring dozens of professionals within the HALO organization. Outside the industry, Olds dedicates her time to volunteering for Junior Achievement, mentoring for a high school entrepreneur program and being an active member of the Women’s Professional Network. She holds a bachelor’s degree in information systems and an associate degree in accounting.

Kevin Walsh is president of supplier Showdown Displays, where he has worked for the past eight years, serving in several leadership roles. Walsh’s creative vision and customer-first mentality has contributed to the success of numerous industry suppliers, including New Buffalo Shirt Factory, Lee Printwear, VF Imagewear and Wrangler Jeans and Shirts. In each of these organizations, he has demonstrated a leadership philosophy rooted in the vision to recognize evolving landscapes and the courage to embrace the change needed to succeed.

Vera Muzzillo is CEO of distributor group Proforma, having joined the company in 2001. She focuses on maximizing strategic development opportunities and providing comprehensive oversight to the banking, cash management, credit, financial, operations and technology aspects of the company. Previously with Comerica Bank and as an independent business consultant, Muzzillo brings more than 15 years of commercial and investment banking, as well as business consulting, lending and credit experience to the PPAI board.

“Serving on the PPAI board is a privilege and comes with great responsibility for the health of our industry,” says Dale Denham, MAS+, chair of the PPAI Leadership Advisory Committee and immediate past chair of the PPAI board. “These board members are exceptionally positioned to lead us for the years to come and fulfill the goal of providing the core competencies identified by the Board of Directors.”

The board of directors 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. PPAI’s incoming board members bring diverse backgrounds and experiences to the Association’s volunteer leadership. Olds and Walsh represent the first class of board members elected by slate ratification. The Association undertook the change from an election to approval of a slate this year as it provides a better opportunity to constitute a board of directors with a balanced skillset and experience best suited for leading the organization into the future. The selection process also eliminates time-consuming, peer-to-peer competition, applies strategic foresight and brings transparency to the process.

The at-large director seat is part of the board restructure and bylaws change announced to members in 2012. Jim Hagan, CEO of supplier Sweda Company, LLC, currently holds the at-large seat and his two-year term ends in January. Hagan followed Larry Cohen, CAS, president and CEO of distributor Axis Promotions, and David Nicholson, president of supplier Polyconcept North America, who was the first individual appointed to this board position.

Learn more about each board member and how they will approach their term of office in next month’s issue.

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James Khattak is news editor of PPB.

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