Making A Difference, One Student At A Time


The promotional products industry and the professionals and companies working in it are building toward the future with their support of the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF). This fall, 117 students around the country will start the school year at universities and colleges across North America, backed by the generosity and foresight of generous PPEF donors.

PPEF scholarships answer what is often a pressing concern for families navigating their children’s future. Lori Bauer, PPEF chair, notes that “the cost of a college education keeps increasing, and students and their families are having to make tough choices about schools and careers due to growing student debt.”

Bauer, vice president of national accounts at BIC Graphic, says that the work of PPEF and the industry volunteers and donors who support it is intended to ease that burden as much as possible, and to expand access to higher education to more of those pursuing it.

“PPEF scholarships are available to all industry personnel and their children,” she says. “We are seeing more students listing parents with jobs such as machine operator, silk-screen printer and other back-end functions. The promotional products industry could not operate without these valued employees, and PPEF scholarships are just one way to reward these individuals for their hard work.”

This year, PPEF is awarding $175,000 in scholarships, a milestone driven by the industry’s generosity. While the 2017 total represents a 75-percent increase over 2013, the foundation’s volunteers aren’t resting on their laurels. Wayne Greenberg, MAS, PPEF chair-elect, says, “While I am thrilled to see these scholarship winners succeed, it reminds me of the scores of other applicants who weren’t as lucky. We have more work to do to see that there are funds available through PPEF so even more deserving students can be helped as well.”

PPAI and PPEF’s industry patrons have a long-standing commitment of service to the promotional products industry, and this fund supports those who demonstrate the same commitment. And while helping to change families’ economic situations through education, PPEF scholarships also highlight the best of the industry.

Bauer says, “Long term, the industry benefits by exposing this next generation to promotional products and their value. Whether it’s a career choice or simply the good will that this industry provided to them with education assistance, it is a positive message they carry with them and, hopefully, also outwardly present to others.”

Ultimately, PPEF scholarships recognize the accomplishments of industry members and their families. Greenberg, president of JB of Florida, a Division of Geiger, adds, “I am always truly amazed at the achievement by our scholastic winners. They have worked hard and excelled at this high level. Winners all, they make me proud to watch their growth and maturation over the life of their scholarships. Reading their applications is a joy.”

PPEF annually awards both one-time and recurring scholarships. One-time awards include named scholarships, which are $1,000 awards, and PPEF’s one-year scholarships are either $1,000 (merit-based) or $2,000 (need-based) awards. The foundation’s Chairman’s Scholarships award $5,000 disbursed over two years and the four-year scholarships award $4,000 (merit-based) or $8,000 (need-based) over four years.



Isabel Ashley
Dublin, California
Point Loma Nazarene University
Daughter of Elaine Ashley, Geiger

Jonathan Cervi

Chester Springs, Pennsylvania
Saint Joseph’s University
Son of Gary Cervi, Polyconcept North America



Katherine Adelsberger

Tewksbury, Massachusetts
Villanova University
Daughter of Eileen Adelsberger, The Gem Group/Gemline


Kaley Caravalho-Farnish

Buda, Texas
University of North Texas
Daughter of Lindsey Farnish, HALO Branded Solutions


Eric Ahern

Corte Madera, California
University of California-Berkeley
Son of Daniel Ahern, Proforma Albrecht/Fog City Marketing


Justin Cervi

Chester Springs, Pennsylvania
Villanova University
Son of Gary Cervi, Polyconcept North America


Nathaniel Jahns

Markesan, Wisconsin
Milwaukee School
of Engineering
Son of Joel Jahns, SanMar


Sebastian Arceo

Rialto, California
Loyola Marymount University
Son of Maricruz Arceo, Nissin Enterprises


Caylee Cuppernull

Great Falls, Virginia
Virginia Tech
Daughter of Gary Cuppernull, Custom Outfitters Promotional Group


Grace Johnston

Moon Township, Pennsylvania Temple University
Daughter of Maria Johnston, Sir Speedy


Vasiliki Argeroplos

Woodbine, Maryland
Vanderbilt University
Daughter of Soterios “Ted” Argeroplos, AMA Systems


Emma Engel

Canonsburg, Pennsylvania
West Virginia University
Daughter of Tod Engel, Engel Embroidery and Promotional Products


Madeleine Lipetska

Lubbock, Texas
University of Arkansas
Daughter of Jason Lipetska, Scarborough Specialties


Julia Aubert

LaGrange Park, Illinois
University of Denver
Daughter of Dawn Aubert, Pioneer Balloon Company 


Davis Engle

Overland Park, Kansas
University of Southern California
Son of John Engle, Concept Products


Isaac Painting

Appleton, Wisconsin
University of Waterloo
Son of Paul Painting, Strategies Ltd.


Corrinne Birzer

Platte City, Missouri
Park University
Industry employee, alphabroder


Carmen Huang

Quincy, Massachusetts
Brandeis University
Daughter of Bing Yi Cao, Hub Pen Company 


Chase Robinson

Boise, Idaho
University of British Columbia
Son of Kris Robinson, PromoShop, Inc.


Jacob Rush

Fresno, California
University of Notre Dame
Son of Michael Rush, Rush Advertising


Cambria Shepard

Shoreview, Minnesota
Winona State University
Daughter of Deborah Shepard-Lewis, BIC Graphic 


Gabriel Sigl

Madisonville, Louisiana
Louisiana State University
Son of John Sigl, LETSDEVELOP.TV 


Grace Vanden Bossche

Oakland Township, Michigan
University of Michigan
Daughter of Christine Vanden Bossche, Imperial Marketing, Inc.


Sarah Williams

Attleboro, Massachusetts
Northeastern University
Daughter of Michelle Williams, CAS, Geiger


Miles Wood

Shawnee, Kansas
University of Notre Dame
Son of Kristin Wood, Grapevine Designs


Kate Yuan

West Windsor, New Jersey
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Daughter of Xiaomei Zhang, Advertising Specialty Institute



Eric Bruellman

Waconia, Minnesota
Cornell University
Son of John Bruellman, Showdown Displays

Caroline Carlson

Viriginia Beach, Virginia
Vanderbilt University
Daughter of Keith Carlson, IDAmerica

Xhulia “Julia” Fiku

Clearwater, Florida
University of Florida
Daughter of Aurela Fiku, Hit Promotional Products

Nicole Genser

Woodbridge, New Jersey
Iona College
Daughter of Martin S. Genser, General Graphics

Megan Grantham

Olympia, Washington
University of Washington
Daughter of Tom Grantham, Sound Apparel

Shilan Liang

Boston, Massachusetts
Suffolk University
Daughter of Jiehua Liang, Hub Pen Company

Kasey Lindstrom

St. Charles, Illinois
University of Utah
Daughter of Paula Lindstrom, alphabroder

Mary “Maddy” Lowdermilk

Glendale, Missouri
Boston College
Daughter of Charles Duggan, MAS+, Goldstar

Garvin van Dernoot

Edwards, Colorado
Loyola University Chicago
Son of Craig van Dernoot, Cavalier Concepts

Nevina Warsito

Las Vegas, Nevada
University of California–Los Angeles
Daughter of Eliza Budiarto, Gamaprint



Scott Arenzon

Bayside, Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Son of Steven Arenzon, Wisconsin Knitwear, Inc.

Madeline Bayne

Kansas City, Missouri
University of Central Missouri
Daughter of Timothy Bayne, Fastsigns of Overland Park

Jason Bellamy

Huntersville, North Carolina
Appalachian State University
Son of Ray Bellamy, Crown Trophy

Ian Berlin

Orem, Utah
Brigham Young University
Son of John Berlin, Ad Value

Molly Branz

Millstadt, Illinois
Purdue University
Industry employee, Laux Grafix, Inc.

Anthony Carson

Columbia, South Carolina
University of South Carolina
Son of Randall Carson, Ukrop’s Threads

Emily Carson

Lancaster, Ohio
Cedarville University
Daughter of Brenda Carson, Big Ideas

Jean-Claude Demont

Tustin, California
University of Florida
Son of Sarah Demont, MadeToOrder

Jennifer Diaz

Tracy, California
California State University – East Bay
Daughter of Jose Diaz, PDQ Promotions, Printing & Embroidery

Maya Emerson

Sharon, Massachusetts
Wheelock College
Daughter of Joseph Emerson, Red Ball Promotions

Jimmy Fang

Braintree, Massachusetts University of Buffalo
Son of Anna Fang, Hub Pen Company

Austin Gergen

Oldsmar, Florida
Palm Beach Atlantic University
Son of Philip Gergen, BIC Graphic

McKenna Grall

Evergreen, Colorado
University of Colorado–Boulder
Daughter of Brian Grall, Logo My

Kaetlin Henderson

Fort Collins, Colorado
University of Denver
Daughter of Cherine Henderson, ProCorp Images

Samuel Henry

Old Saybrook, Connecticut
Gettysburg College
Son of Carolyn Henry, Proforma Shoreline Graphics

John Holtgrewe

Paducah, Kentucky
University of Louisville
Son of Veronica Holtgrewe, Hultman

Reid Jahns

Markesan, Wisconsin
Milwaukee School of Engineering
Son of Joel Jahns, SanMar

Tracy Johnston

Akron, New York
Alfred University
Daughter of Rhonda Johnston, AAkron Rule

Elisabeth Ketterer

Maineville, Ohio
Columbia College Chicago
Daughter of Thomas Ketterer, Ketterer Company

Max Levitt

West Hills, California
Ohio State University
Son of Robert Levitt, Bob Levitt Company

Caden Meier

Canonsburg, Pennsylvania
Washington & Jefferson College
Son of Pamela Jones, PKJones Promos

Amy Nadel

Short Hills, New Jersey
College of William & Mary
Daughter of Wendy Ferber & Andrew Nadel, Pride Products Distributors

Steven Nessler

North Mankato, Minnesota
Concordia University, St. Paul
Son of Dan Nessler, Promotions Powerhouse

Jacob Ostrowski
Belleville, Michigan
University of Toledo
Son of Connie Ostrowski, C & C Embroidery

Jessica Ostrowski

Belleville, Michigan
University of Toledo
Daughter of Connie Ostrowski, C & C Embroidery

Hugh Overman

Raleigh, North Carolina
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Son of Crissie Curtis, HALO Branded Solutions

Hannah Painting

Appleton, Wisconsin
Crown College
Daughter of Paul Painting, Strategies Ltd.

Maggie Painting

Appleton, Wisconsin
Crown College
Daughter of Paul Painting, Strategies Ltd.

Domenic Rodriguez

Bridgeton, New Jersey
Grove City College
Son of Sandra Rodriguez, D and S Designs

Daniel Rosato

Palm Harbor, Florida
University of Central Florida
Son of Steven Rosato, BIC Graphic

Matthew Rosenbaum

Deerfield, Illinois
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Son of Adam Rosenbaum, Tangerine Promotions

Colton Shorman

Coppell, Texas
Texas A&M University
Son of Mark Shorman, Results Online, Inc.

Zachary Shuttleworth

Olive Branch, Mississippi
University of Alabama-Huntsville
Son of Stephen Shuttleworth, SanMar

Perrie Smalley

Muncie, Indiana
Butler University
Daughter of Jay Smalley, Fully Promoted

Sara Spranger

Danville, California
University of California-Santa Cruz
Daughter of Michael Spranger, Promotional Edge

Mary “Carlisle” Stelling

Greer, South Carolina
University of South Carolina
Daughter of John Stelling, Promotional Authority

Madison Stulir

Endwell, New York
Northeastern University
Daughter of Danny Stulir, Brandbox Promos USA

Parker Taggard

Bedford, Massachusetts Goucher College
Son of Alex Taggard, Fully Promoted

Victoria Thompson

Columbia, Tennessee
Mississippi State University
Daughter of Julie Thompson, Francis Communications

Libby Tidwell

Springfield, Tennessee
Baylor University
Daughter of Edward Tidwell, Francis Communications

Jayleen Vega

Surprise, Arizona
University of Arizona
Daughter of Melissa Vega, IdentiBrands Powered by Proforma

Duncan Wallis

Kalamazoo, Michigan
University of Michigan
Son of Robert Wallis, Edwards Garment

Kylie Watlington

Monroe Township, New Jersey
Florida State University
Daughter of Duane Watlington, Active Imprints

Kelcy Welch

East Lansing, Michigan
Michigan State University
Daughter of Trudie Welch, Keltner Group

Grace Wells

Cleves, Ohio
University of Cincinnati
Daughter of Deborah Wells, Smartcat Marketing Solutions

Rachel Wells

Springfield, Ohio
Trinity International University
Daughter of Robert Wells, Ace Transfer Co.

Rebecca Wells

Springfield, Ohio
Trinity International University
Daughter of Robert Wells, Ace Transfer Co.

Kylie Wermund

Stevensville, Michigan
Butler University
Daughter of Shelly Wermund, Competitive Edge

Lionel Whitcombe

Davidsonville, Maryland
Saint Vincent College
Son of Dave Gray, American Solutions for Business

McKenzie Young

Tupelo, Mississippi
University of Mississippi
Daughter of Lori Young, M N M Logos, Inc.


Nick Harper

Nick Harper, son of Denis Harper, president of the Summit Group, is currently a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. He received a one-year PPEF scholarship in 2005 and a two-year Chairman’s Scholarship in 2007-2008.

PPB: What role did financial assistance, particularly the PPEF scholarship you received, play in your ability to attend college?
Harper: The PPEF scholarship was important both to my attending and completing college. The financial assistance gave me the opportunity to attend a prestigious (but expensive) school, Notre Dame, and allowed me to focus on my schoolwork while I was there.

PPB: What was your intended/final course of study, and in what role did you hope to apply your degree?
Harper: I studied both economics and classics. My economics degree particularly helped me land a job at a consulting firm in 2009—a difficult time for graduating students to find employment. 

PPB: What was your first job after college, and what skills did you learn that you apply to your work today?
Harper: I worked as an analyst at a consulting firm that provided data analytics to major banks and financial services firms. I learned the importance of attention to detail as well as one of the most important workplace skills: how to respectfully disagree with your boss. 


Since 1989, PPEF has awarded $1,1742,000 in college scholarships to 1,013 students. The scholarships awarded are determined through a competitive application process with recipients announced at the end of May each year. Scholarships are open to full-time promotional products industry employees or their dependent children, and are available for undergraduate education only, except for the Friends of PPMN Scholarship which may be used for undergraduate or graduate level coursework.

The foundation is completely funded by companies and individuals in the promotional products industry, while PPAI provides administrative support. Individuals interested in supporting PPEF can make a personal donation, establish an honorary or memorial gift, or join the PPEF Century Club. The foundation is also supported through the Tomorrow Fund, a long-term program that allows companies and individuals to pledge donations annually for up to a six-year period. PPEF received $88,000 in new Tomorrow Fund pledges in 2016 and has received $228,000 so far in 2017.

James Khattak is news editor of PPB.


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Comments (1)
Sandra Rodriguez
October 10, 2017
I'd just like to say THANK YOU!! to all the PPEF donors. My son has been the fortunate recipient of a PPEF scholarship for all four years of college. Words cannot express our gratitude at how you all helped enable my son to go to college. He has maintained a 4.0 in his computer and electrical engineering major and will graduate in May. He already has one firm job offer and is looking at grad schools as well. Thank you so much for your generosity!
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