Making The Grade

The Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) recently made history by awarding a record-breaking $230,000 in college scholarships this year, exceeding $2 million in total scholarships awarded since the Foundation’s inception in 1989. Scholarships awarded for the 2019-2020 school year include 118 new and 33 renewal scholarships to selected recipients for a total of more than 1,200 scholarships awarded over PPEF’s 30-year history.

PPEF is the industry’s nonprofit dedicated to recognizing and encouraging scholastic excellence and academic performance among promotional products industry employees and their college-aged children. The scholarships are made possible through the generous support of individual and company donations (see pages 108-109 for more information).

“Education is the foundation for every stage of a person’s life; as a child, through college and on into continued education as an adult,” says PPEF Chair Brian Porter. “At PPEF, our mission is to help propel future generations to achieve their goals, educationally, as they set out on what will be their career path.”

Joining him in celebrating this significant milestone is PPEF Chair-Elect Dana Porter, CAS, who says, “Education is one of the most important investments we can make, and who better to invest in than the next generation of our promotional family? Without PPEF helping to fund their education, some students wouldn’t have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.”

The cost of a college education has skyrocketed over the years—in many cases outpacing the ability of parents and students to pay for it. The average cost for tuition, fees, room and board can run between $21,370 (in-state fees) and $37,430 (out-of-state fees) per year at a public four-year college and $48,510 at a private nonprofit four-year college, according to College Board’s 2018-2019 analysis.

PPEF’s scholarship awards are determined through a competitive application process. Among the requirements are that applicants must be full-time promotional products industry employees or the dependent children of industry employees; must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and must meet the deadline of March 15 at midnight PDT. Those being considered for need-based scholarships, must also submit a copy of the Student Aid Report that a student receives after filing with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

This year 33 recipients received renewal payments on scholarships awarded in previous years, along with 118 new scholarships awarded: 10 four-year college scholarships for high school seniors, 80 one-year college scholarships for current college students, two Chairman’s Scholarships for career candidates entering their junior year of college and 26 Named Scholarships, including the Friends of PPMN Scholarship for industry employees.

“The PPEF Board is grateful for all of the generous donors who made it possible to award 151 scholarships for the 2019-2020 school year,” Dana Porter adds. “We’re part of an amazing industry that loves giving back, which is good because this is just the beginning. Only a small portion of the students who submitted applications were awarded scholarships, so our hope is to continue to grow and be able to help even more students in upcoming years.”


Grace Vanden Bossche
Rochester Hills, Michigan
University of Michigan
Daughter of Christine Vanden Bossche,
Imperial Marketing, Inc.


Macy Rudisill
Hickory, North Carolina
Appalachian State University
Daughter of Natalie Lathan,
Appalachian Imprints


“Thank you for awarding me with the Chairman’s Scholarship. In the fall, I will be returning to Appalachian State University as a junior. I am pursuing my degree in advertising and marketing in hopes of working in the promotional industry someday. After graduation, I aspire to help my mom expand her promotional products business by incorporating marketing and design tactics. Thanks to you all, I am getting closer and closer to this goal.”
Macy Rudisill, Chairman’s Scholarship


Alexandra Balfour
St. Louis Park, Minnesota
University of St. Thomas
Daughter of Villa Bloom,
Bloom Enterprises


Lily Barna
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Colgate University
Daughter of Stacy Barna,
The Vernon Company


“Thank you for helping me fund my future. I have an incredible single mother who has worked tirelessly to help make sure my brother and I have all the opportunities possible. She is the strongest person I know, and this scholarship helps her by helping make college more affordable for our family.”
Lily Barna, NWPMA Success Scholarship

Trent Becker
Frisco, Texas
University of Texas-Austin
Son of Deanna Becker,
Peak Promotions Limited


Caroline Benoit
Belle Chasse, Louisiana
Tulane University
Daughter of Dale Benoit,
Printall, Inc.


Corrinne Birzer
Weston, Missouri
Park University


“I want to thank you for this great gift and tremendous opportunity to complete my education. It is difficult for me to put into words the confidence, sense of pride, accomplishment and purpose this scholarship has given me. I have worked in the promotional products industry for 20-plus years and hope to do great things in the future now that I am so close to attaining my degree. On graduation day, my nine-year-old son will get to see me walk across the stage. Please know that your donations provide a stepping stone for brighter futures in the promotional products industry.”
Corrinne Birzer, 2019 Friends of PPMN Scholarship

Stephen Buzinkai
Brick, New Jersey
Ocean County College
Son of David Buzinkai,
Vantage Custom Classics


Hannah Chazan
Anthem, Arizona
Grand Canyon University
Daughter of Manny Chazan,
Work Hard Play Hard Marketing


Sophie Collins
Marblehead, Massachusetts
Lehigh University
Daughter of Lisa Collins,
Hit Promotional Products


Mikayla Cousineau
Woodbury, Minnesota
University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire
Daughter of Raymond “Joe” Cousineau,
Promotional Designs, Inc.


Jean-Claude Demont
Dana Point, California
University of Florida
Son of Sarah Demont,


Devin Diggs
Olathe, Kansas
University of Notre Dame
Son of DeShaun Diggs,


Sarah Dunnigan
Pittsford, New York
State University of New York at Geneseo
Daughter of Steve Dunnigan,
The Idea Works of New York, Inc.


Julianna Guerrero
LaVerne, California
Pepperdine University
Daughter of Laura Guerrero,


Brayden Hee
Mililani, Hawaii
Seattle University
Son of Belden Hee,
Bellamann Services


“I am extremely grateful for being awarded the H. Ted Olson Scholarship for 2019. My family has been in the promotional products industry here in Hawaii since the 1960s. My grandfather, Bellamann Hee, was the pioneer here and started his business on Oahu, and has made it a family-run business. My grandfather passed away six years ago but left a wonderful legacy. Thank you for your support. It means so much to me and my family.”
Brayden Hee, H. Ted Olson Scholarship

Christian Holmes
Littleton, Colorado
Utah State University
Son of Stephen Holmes,
4Impact!, Inc.


“Thank you so much for awarding me the Vincent J. Arena Scholarship. My mom started our family’s promotional products company before I was born, and my dad joined her a year into her adventure. I have spent much time working in the warehouse, shipping and receiving orders, fulfilling company store orders, etc. It has been a wonderful way to gain an understanding of what it takes to run a business—something which I hope to be able to do one day.”
Christian Holmes, 2019 Vincent J. Arena Scholarship

May Huang
Quincy, Massachusetts
UMass Amherst
Daughter of Jiezhen Lin,
Hub Pen Company


Carson Jenkins
Raleigh, North Carolina
NC State University
Daughter of Judy Cartret-Jenkins,
The Marketing Mecca - iPromoteu


“Thank you so much for my PPEF Scholarship. I will be attending the Wilson College of Textiles at North Carolina State University this fall. The Wilson College of Textiles is the No.1 textiles college in the world. My chosen major of textiles technology is a field concentrating in fiber science that focuses on developing and creating fabrics, fibers, garments, polymers and resins. I know that with a career in textiles technology, I will play a part in progressive developmental changes for the textiles, apparel and marketing industries. Thank you very much for helping me achieve my goals and dreams!”
Carson Jenkins, 2019 Jack and Marty Nadel Scholarship

Jordan Levey
Louisville, Kentucky
University of Kentucky
Son of Brian Levey,
Preferred Marketing Solutions


Clara Marx
Omaha, Nebraska
Loyola University Chicago
Daughter of Kevin F. Marx,
AmeriCAL, Inc.


Katherine Miller
Houston, Texas
University of Texas- Austin
Daughter of Chet Miller,
Sharp Impressions


Kyle Obly
Aurora, Ohio
Ohio University
Son of Keith and Lori Obly,
Corporate ImageWorks


Madison O’Malley
Flower Mound, Texas
Texas A&M University
Daughter of Matt O’Malley,
Performance Award Center


Daniel Padilla Landeros
El Paso, Texas
University of Texas-El Paso
Son of Gabriela Landeros,
Continental Promos


Jerod Spetseris
Atlanta, Georgia
Georgia Institute of Technology
Son of Angelo Spetseris,


Jerry Tan
Covina, California
University of California, Riverside
Son of Chat Mooi Lee (Lisa),
Janco & Winnex, Inc.


Genesis Vasquez
Berwyn, Illinois
Saint Mary’s College
Daughter of Virginia Alamos,



Marilyn Bishop
Roseville, California
CA Polytechnic State University
Daughter of Jennifer Bishop,
AQS Impressions


“As a soon-to-be first-generation college student, I want to thank you for helping me make my dream possible. I am a student who loves school and learning with all of her heart, and I am forever grateful to have the opportunity to pursue school for another four years or more. This scholarship will help me focus on my education, studies and goals. Again, thank you so much for granting me with such an incredible gift.”
Marilyn Bishop, 2019 Four-Year Scholarship Recipient

Morgan Chu
Eastvale, California
University of California, Los Angeles
Daughter of Stella Chu,
Nissin Enterprises


Austin Ellemberg
Gilroy, California
University of California, Berkeley
Son of Cheryl Ellemberg,
Gilroy Promotional Products


Dylan Ellemberg
Gilroy, California
University of California, Berkeley
Son of Cheryl Ellemberg,
Gilroy Promotional Products


“I want to say a hearty ‘thank’ you for offering me this four-year scholarship. This means so much to our family since there will be three of us in college during Fall 2019. I am an identical twin, 20 seconds older than my brother, and I have an older brother in his last year of college. This is an amazing opportunity and I will rise to the challenge. Thank you so very much!”
Dylan Ellemberg, 2019 Four-Year Scholarship Recipient

Kayla Ernst
Boca Raton, Florida
University of Florida
Daughter of Derek Ernst,
Augusta Sportswear, Inc.


Julia Frank
Wilmington, Delaware
University of Pennsylvania
Daughter of Jodi Frank,
Frank Communication Solutions, LLC


“I am honored to be a recipient of a four-year PPEF scholarship. Thank you for your commitment to the industry and for making this extremely generous award possible. My mom has been part of the industry as a distributor owner since a few years after I was born. I’ve grown up learning about and using many of the brands that make up the promotional products space, which makes receiving this award even more special.”
Julia Frank, 2019 Four-Year Scholarship Recipient

Benjamin Grammer
Moody, Alabama
University of Alabama BHAM
Son of Randy Grammer,
The Printing House, Inc.


Taylor Prelewicz
Oak Creek, Wisconsin
University of Alabama
Daughter of Sandy Prelewicz,
Wild Impact Marketing


Francesca Schena
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
University of Notre Dame
Daughter of Carolyn Schena,
Proforma Image and Design


Adam Schuch
Le Mars, Iowa
Iowa State University
Son of Tom Schuch,
Get Branded 360



Katherine Adelsberger
Tewksbury, Massachusetts
Villanova University
Daughter of Eileen Adelsberger,

Eric Ahern
Corte Madera, California
UC Berkeley
Son of Daniel Ahern,
Proforma Albrecht

Ashley Anderson
Glenwood, Minnesota
Southwest Minnesota State University
Daughter of Lori Anderson,
American Solutions for Business


Tori Anderson
Glenwood, Minnesota
Trinity Bible College
Daughter of Lori Anderson,
American Solutions for Business

Kristen Anthamatten
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Oklahoma State University
Daughter of Brad Anthamatten,
HALO Branded Solutions


Sydney Bossuk
East Meadow, New York
Marymount Manhattan College
Daughter of Rich Bossuk,
Augusta Sportswear Brands


Brittley Calderwood
Clarkston, Utah
Southern Utah University
Daughter of Diana Calderwood,
USA Bags, Inc.


Emily Carson
Lancaster, Ohio
Cedarville University
Daughter of Brenda Carson,
Big Ideas Branding & Apparel


Caitlin Casner
Dallas, Texas
Texas Tech University
Daughter of Richard Casner,
Dynamic Branded Solutions


Vincent Chang
San Gabriel, California
University of California, Davis
Son of Josephine Chih-Ying Chu,


Emma Cimperman
Port St. Lucie, Florida
University of South Florida
Daughter of Wayne and Tami Cimperman,
Vegas Golf/Foxyware


Tiana Cole
Christiansburg, Virginia
East Carolina University
Daughter of Merissa Sachs,
Logo Hub


Riley Cooper
Waterford, Michigan
Boise State University
Daughter of Jennifer Lindsey Cooper,


Asa Cutler
Highland Park, Illinois
Purdue University
Son of Brett Cutler,
Greater China Industries


Erin Daly
Newburgh, Indiana
Indiana University
Daughter of Cindy Daly,
Kreative Promotions


Alexandria Daniels
Kaufman, Texas
University of North Texas
Daughter of Bethany Thomas,
2.3 Graphics


Courtney Diggs
Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Howard University
Daughter of Reginald Diggs,
City Wide Promotions


Ashley Drake
Huntington Beach, California
University of Colorado, Boulder
Daughter of Julie Drake,
Proforma Surf City

River Edwards
Santa Fe, New Mexico
University of New Mexico
Son of Ronald L. Edwards,
Focus Advertising Specialties

Sophia Erpelding
Winterset, Iowa
Iowa State University
Daughter of Coe Erpelding,
Jones Creek Apparel


Brandon Evans
Altoona, Florida
Stetson University
Son of Bradley Evans,
HALO Branded Solutions


Tamika Falkner
Bay City, Wisconsin
University of Minnesota, Rochester
Daughter of Heather Falkner,
BIC Graphic NA


Ethan Flaker
West Covina, California
University of California, Irvine
Son of Cynthia Flaker,
Sweda Company

Randall Frank
Wilmington, Delaware
Quinnipiac University
Son of Jodi B. Frank,
Frank Communication Solutions, LLC


Reagan Garcia
Carmichael, California
Gonzaga University
Daughter of Gregory Garcia,
Screaming Squeegee


Kali Garibay
Ventura, California
University of Southern California
Daughter of Cora Garibay,
HALO Branded Solutions


Jolie Giacona
New Fairfield, Connecticut
University of Connecticut
Daughter of Michael Giacona,
Full Circle Promos


Pashince Guerra
Overland Park, Kansas
University of Kansas
Daughter of Brian Barnes,
Gill Studios

Jacob Gutterman
Woodland Hills, California
University of California, Berkeley
Son of Lisa Gutterman,
ID Me Promotions


Haley Hartmann
Excelsior, Minnesota
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Daughter of John Hartmann,
GoHart Merchandising


Hunter Harvell
Zumbro Falls, Minnesota
Rochester Community & Technical College
Son of Brian & Laurie Harvell,
Trophy Store and More



Peyton Hendrickson
Louisville, Kentucky
University of Alabama
Son of Scott Hendrickson,
Quality First Branding



Michaela Hoffman
Washington, Iowa
Iowa State University
Daughter of Clinton (C.C.) Hoffman,
Design House Plus



John Holtgrewe
Paducah, Kentucky
University of Louisville
Son of Veronica Holtgrewe,
Hultman Sign, Screen, Embroidery & Ad Specialties



Carter Huber
Royalton, Minnesota
North Dakota State University
Son of Rebecca Huber,
American Solutions for Business


Molly Kennedy
Mobile, Alabama
Auburn University
Daughter of Cynthia Kennedy
A Special Occasion



Sabrina Kwok
Jacksonville, Florida
University of South Florida
Daughter of Victor Kwok,
Pilot Pen Corporation



Jacob Levey
Louisville, Kentucky
University of Kentucky
Son of Brian Levey,
Preferred Marketing Solutions


Madison Luna
Downers Grove, Illinois
Drake University
Daughter of Rafael Espinosa,


Alexandra Matysiak
Warminster, Pennsylvania
West Chester University
Daughter of Klaudia Matysiak Sala,
Advertising Specialty Institute


Madison Maynard
College Station, Texas
Texas A&M University
Daughter of Keith Maynard,
FastSigns Texarkana


Meredith Maynard
Wake Village, Texas
Mississippi State University
Daughter of Keith Maynard,
FastSigns Texarkana


Tristan Meyer
Newton, Kansas
University of Kansas
Son of Braden Meyer,
Pioneer Balloon Company


Amanda Mickles
Charlotte, North Carolina
North Carolina State University
Daughter of Letitia Porter,


Claudia Miranda
Aventura, Florida
Florida International University
Daughter of Idalmis Hernandez,
Intertek Line


Daniel Nalley
Auburn, Maine
University of New Haven
Son of Dawn LaPrell,


Mollie Nellist
Levittown, Pennsylvania
West Chester University
Daughter of Kathleen Nellist,
Advertising Specialty Institute


Tyler Nussinow
Portland, Maine
Bowdoin College
Son of Todd Nussinow,


Carly Obly
Aurora, Ohio
Ohio University
Daughter of Keith and Lori Obly,
Corporate ImageWorks


"I am incredibly thankful for this opportunity and for the support you have provided for me to continue my education. Being a triplet, three children going to college all at once is quite the stressor for my family. It is extremely difficult to pay for three college experiences all at the same time. No matter how much planning, thought and effort goes into finances, there will always be stress involved. Thanks to you that stress has been tremendously reduced."
Carly Obly, 2019 One-Year Scholarship

Matthew Panzica
Manalapan, New Jersey
Coastal Carolina University
Son of Stacey McIntire,
Brown Dog Marketing


Logan Prater
Weatherford, Texas
Texas Tech University
Daughter of Patricia Culps Prater,
Prater Designs


Dailyn Ross
Bullhead City, Arizona
Dixie State University
Daughter of Trevor Ross,
Silly Cactus, Inc.


William Rudsill
Hickory, North Carolina
Lenoir-Rhyne University
Son of Natalie Lathan,
Appalachian Imprints


Arianna Sanchez
Duarte, California
Citrus College
Daughter of Pamela Sanchez,
Specialty Promotions, LLC


Madeline Schmidt
Menasha, Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Daughter of Matthew Schmidt,
4imprint, Inc.


Breanna Schaffer
Kennewick, Washington
Eastern Oregon University
Daughter of Trudi Adams
Adams Place Country Gourmet, Inc.


Tyler Shaffer
Kennewick, Washington
Washington State University
Son of Trudi Adams,
Adams Place Country Gourmet, Inc.


Cambria Shepard
Superior, Wisconsin
Winona State University
Daughter of Deborah Shepard-Lewis,
BIC Graphic NA


Mikaela Shepard
Red Wing, Minnesota
Mississippi State University
Daughter of Deborah Shepard-Lewis,
BIC Graphic NA


Dawson Shorman
The Colony, Texas
Dallas Baptist University
Son of Mark Shorman,
Results Online, Inc.


Sarah Shuttleworth
Olive Branch, Mississippi
Mississippi State University
Daughter of Steve Shuttleworth,


Gabriel Sigl
Madisonville, Louisiana
Louisiana State University
Son of John Sigl,


Abbey Smith
Covina, California
California State University, Fullerton
Daughter of Christine Smith,
Sweda Company

Hali Soukup
New Ulm, Minnesota
Concordia University, St. Paul
Daughter of Michael P. Soukup,
BIC Graphic NA

Katherine Spetseris
Atlanta, Georgia
University of South Carolina
Daughter of Angelo Spetseris,


Bailey Stubbs
Monrovia, California
University of California, San Diego
Son of Darren Stubbs,
Stubbies Promotions


Michael Tan
North Providence, Rhode Island
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Son of Yinger Liu,
Promote Station, LLC


Ryan Theriault
Auburn, Maine
University of Maine
Son of Sheri Theriault,


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


"I am very grateful to everyone who has donated to PPEF to provide me and other students the support to pursue our dreams. College has opened so many doors for me professionally and has introduced me to lifelong friends. With your help, I have reached my senior year at Mississippi State University studying building construction science. As my parents look forward to the last two semesters of college tuition, I look back at the short years where I have grown into the person I am today. It has been a rollercoaster, but I know I am ready to move forward and begin my professional career."
Tori Thompson, 2019 One-Year Scholarship

Derek Van Booven
Washington, Missouri
Lindenwood University
Son of Brian Van Booven,
Advertising Unlimited


Amber Veilleux
Lewiston, Maine
University of Southern Maine
Daughter of Melissa Veilleux,


Alaina Walsh
Ramsey, Minnesota
North Carolina State University
Daughter of Kevin Walsh,
Showdown Displays


Eric Wang
O’Fallon, Missouri
Missouri Science & Technology
Son of Su-Fen Lo,
Ariel Premium Supply, Inc.


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.


Kourtney Whittington
Hummelstown, Pennsylvania
Elizabethtown College
Daughter of Staci Whittington,


Miles Wood
Shawnee, Kansas
University of Notre Dame
Son of Kristin Wood,
A Brand Company


Theresa Wood
Auburn, California
Benedictine College
Daughter of Dean Wood,
Advantage Marketing and Print


Yat Chun Yip
Milton, Massachusetts
Cornell University
Son of Keung Yip,
Hub Pen Company

"Thank you so much for your gracious gift. College is expensie and figuring out how to manage costs along with the burden of student loans is beginning to take a toll on us. We are a first-generation Chinese immigrant family and running on a limited budget. You all have just made getting through this stressful period a lot of easier for me and my family. Although there will still be loands of student loans for me, the burden of peripheral costs has been almost entirely erased by your gracious gift. This will allow me to focus more on my academics, the thing that should always be the most important thing in a college education."
Yat Chun Yip, 2019 One-Year Scholarship 

Kate Yuan
West Windsor, New Jersey
Daughter of Xiaomei Zhang,
Advertising Specialty Institute



Learn how you can support PPEF’s scholarship program and see the list of donors at The scholarship application deadline for the 2020-2021 school year is March 15, 2020, and the online application will be available in early January 2020.



Tina Berres Filipski is editor of PPB.

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