June 2019 Industry Snapshots

Photo above: Gabby Jackson, SHEPENCO’s social media manager, and Alex Moltz, director of marketing, deliver pencils to Principal Tim Harrell of Shelbyville Central High School. The supplier is looking to continue its initiative annually to help with the shortage of school supplies that many schools experience.

SHEPENCO Donates Pencils To Bedford County Students for National Pencil Day

Supplier SHEPENCO, Inc., based in Shelbyville, Tennessee, visited every school in its home county of Bedford in March in observance of National Pencil Day, and provided students with pencils to commemorate Hymen Lipman receiving the first patent for attaching an eraser to the end of a pencil on March 30, 1858. More than 9,100 elementary, middle and high school students in the Bedford County School District received pencils.

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ASB Steps Up For Local Humane Society, United Way

Charitable activities by employees of Glenwood, Minnesota, distributor American Solutions for Business (ASB) in recent months include the donation of three desktop computers and six monitors to the Lakes Area Humane Society (LAHS) and partnering with the United Way to contribute to its Backpack Attack initiative, which provides weekend meals for local children in need.


Photo above: ASB’s donation to the LAHS helps the organization create a work station for an additional office and provide backup equipment for future growth or technical issues. Lauren Wensmann, LAHS shelter manager, stands with some of the equipment donated by ASB. She says, “This helps us out tremendously. We can put that financial aspect into other uses for the shelter and the animals.”


Photo above: A group of 27 employees—some shown here—participated in assembling 600 bags for the United Way, providing six weeks’ worth of meals. Not only did employees help assemble bags, but American Solutions for Business donated much of the food inside the bags.

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commonsku Hosts Regional Sales Conference Series

In April and May, commonsku, a promotional products business and sales software provider, hosted a one-day sales conference, commonsku sessions, in Dallas, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and New York City.


Photo above: commonsku sessions began in Dallas on April 4. Focusing on sales growth, topics taught at the conferences included Catherine Graham’s “The Floodgates: Create a Never-Ending Pipeline of New Business” and “How to Double Sales Without Adding a Single New Customer”; Bobby Lehew’s class, “How to Enchant Your Customers Through the Power of Story”; Mark Graham’s session, “Appealing to the Modern Buyer: How Engagement Commerce Ignites Sales Growth”; and Sam Kates’ session, “Psychology of Sales: Learn the Secret Weapon to Connect, Relate and Increase Sales.”

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Proforma Draws Record Attendance At Annual Million Dollar Club Celebration

More than 400 Proforma owners, supplier partners and support team members gathered at Terranea’s Oceanside Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, in April to celebrate the Proforma owners’ 2018 sales success. The celebration is an annual, three-day event for Proforma owners who achieve at least $1 million in annual sales. The event includes networking with key supplier partners and recognition of owners’ accomplishments.


Photo above: Proforma's Million and Multi-Million Dollar Club members’ sales range from $1 million to more than $34 million and their cumulative annual sales exceed a quarter of a billion dollars. This year’s Million Dollar Club trip celebrated Proforma’s 190 Million Dollar Club members, 27 of which were honored for achieving new sales milestones. They included 17 first-time Million Dollar Club members, eight first-time Multi-Million Dollar Club members and two first-time Five Million Dollar Club members.

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Pro Towels Donates To Abbeville Promise Program

The Pro Towels Family of companies, including Pro Towels, Kanata Blanket Company, Superior and Neet Feet, has made a $1,000 donation to the Abbeville Promise Program, a higher education scholarship program committed to helping students in the Abbeville, South Carolina, area. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-headquartered Pro Towels operates a manufacturing facility in Abbeville. The scholarship program was established by the Freshwater Coast Community Foundation to help bring access to higher education to any student who is a resident of Abbeville County.

 Photo above: Andy Timmerman, co-chair of the Abbeville Promise Campaign (left) received the donation from Kevin Nord, president of the Pro Towels family. Timmerman says, “Pro Towels has been a wonderful corporate citizen in the Abbeville community. Their contribution toward the Abbeville Promise Campaign will enable us to ‘promise’ every high school graduate in Abbeville County the opportunity to receive a two-year technical college degree at no tuition cost. It is our hope that this program will create a more qualified workforce for all the industries and businesses in Abbeville and therefore making Abbeville a better community for all.”

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Promo Expo Education Event Looks At Social Media Best Practices

In April, multi-line rep firm Promo Expo held an education session on social media best practices at its showroom in Vaughan, Ontario. The program was designed for area distributors and featured Marc Newberry and Tyler Walsh of Toronto distributor Genumark.


Photo above: Attendees listened as Newberry and Walsh shared information on how to edit photos on the go, tips on reformatting content for multiple platforms, free sources and royalty-free images, creating videos and more. They also shared programs and apps they personally use to make their jobs easier.

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PPAI Presents Sessions, Exhibits And T-Shirt Design Awards At AMA Collegiate Conference

PPAI’s Communications and Branding Strategist Kim R. Todora presented two sessions to nearly 400 students covering the promotional products industry, its community and careers at the AMA International Collegiate Conference held April 11-13 in New Orleans. PPAI has partnered with the American Marketing Association to provide professional development to this group of future marketers and promotional products buyers for more than 13 years.


Photo above: PPAI was the Platinum sponsor for the event which hosts more than 1,600 aspiring marketers and is geared toward undergraduate marketing students looking to learn from industry professionals about careers and cutting-edge marketing and sales practices.

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PPAI Staff Connect With Attendees At The NBM Show In Irving

The NBM Show, serving screen printers, embroidery services, digital printing and other disciplines, came to Irving, Texas, the home of PPAI headquarters, on March 28-30. PPAI was in attendance, with a booth on the show floor, connecting with attendees and answering their questions about the Association.  


Photo above: Patrick Stanfill, owner of Tropics Promotional (center), with PPAI Membership Sales Rep. Kevin Soward and SAGE Distributor Account Executive Emily Talley at the NBM Show. Stanfill and his company became members of PPAI during the show.

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James Khattak is news editor of PPB.

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