PPAI Volunteer Spotlight: Harold Wood
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Volunteers are an important and vital part of PPAI’s success. This fifth installment of an ongoing PPB series introducing the volunteers and initiatives that have helped make the Association what it is today, focuses on Harold Wood, account manager for BIC Graphic NA serving the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, and the current Regional Association Council (RAC) board president.
A past president of both the Virginia Promotional Products Association (VAPPA) and the Chesapeake Promotional Products Association (CPPA), Wood is a longtime volunteer in and advocate for the regional community. He is a recipient of the Supplier of the Year Award from both VAPPA (2013 and 2017) and CPPA (2016), a PPAI Volunteer of the Year nominee (2015 and 2016) and a VAPPA Hall of Fame Award winner, and is a member of the inaugural class of PPAI Fellows. In January 2020, he was inducted into the CPPA Hall Of Fame.
Woods’ industry volunteer work began when, while living in New Jersey, he joined a committee with the Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY). “They needed someone to help screen award submissions and we were doing the awards at the time, so they asked,” says Wood. “The power of simply asking for someone to help is a great thing.”
With extensive involvement with RAC and several regional associations, Wood notes that there are several accomplishments in his tenure that he’s particularly proud of, although he emphasizes all of those accomplishments were dependent on the good work and commitment of the groups he was part of. Giving an example, he says, “When I started my volunteer career with VAPPA, we were in financial trouble. I was the trade-show chair, and with help from several leaders on the board, we changed the locations, cost structures and type of show. This, in conjunction with cost-cutting, helped revitalize the association. Even with the pandemic, they are still sound and making strides to keep everything running.
For anyone considering becoming a volunteer in the promotional products industry, Wood says to just do it. “The amount of experience, relationships and growth that come from volunteering is immeasurable. I have found life-long friendships and learned a lot about myself and management. I would encourage anyone with the time to seek out their local organization and volunteer. You will be thankful in the years to come.”
James Khattak is news editor of PPB.