PPAI Volunteer Spotlight: The Government Relations Action Council

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The industry volunteers who work with PPAI on its committees, workgroups and other programs are an integral part of the Association’s success. This 14th installment of an ongoing PPB series introducing the volunteers, committees and initiatives that have helped make the Association what it is today, takes a closer look at the Government Relations Action Council (GRAC).

GRAC and its members focus on federal and local government relations efforts to help PPAI influence public policy. The industry and Association benefit from having GRAC analyze how certain policies would impact PPAI members. The group offers feedback regarding legislation and regulations that potentially impact the promotional products industry. Insights from its members also help PPAI staff better understand what issues are important to the industry, how those issues affect industry businesses and help devise plans to respond.

PPAI’s Public Affairs Manager Maurice Norris, a staff liaison to GRAC, notes that GRAC is an active group and has several recent accomplishments under its belt. Giving an example, he says, “GRAC helped facilitate the connection between Congress and PPAI when a crucial bill was being considered by the Senate. The result was PPAI influencing the development of the legislation such that the portions of the bill which posed a threat to the industry were rewritten in a manner that nullified the threat.”

Looking ahead, Norris says, “The PRO Act [the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act] presents a significant challenge because if this legislation is enacted, it will have an adverse impact on tens of thousands of companies and jobs in this industry. Of course, GRAC will continue to monitor and act on this legislation. Other topics GRAC will likely address in the coming months include the joint employer standard, tariff actions and environmental policies.”  

Government Relations Action Council Members

  • Dawn Olds, MAS, Chair and Board Liaison
  • Rick Brenner, MAS+
  • Brian Deissroth, CAS
  • Nicholas D’Eramo
  • Eric E. Ekstrand, MAS+
  • Carroll H. Goggin, MAS
  • Tom Goos, MAS
  • Brian Grall
  • Tim Hennessy, Jr., MAS
  • George Jackson
  • Michele Jennrich, MAS
  • Dale Limes, MAS
  • Charles B. Machion
  • Dana Floyd Porter, MAS
  • Mitch Rhodus, MAS
  • Mary Jo Tomasini, MAS+
  • Maurice Norris, Staff Liaison
  • Anne Stone, CAE, Staff Liaison

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James Khattak is news editor of PPB.

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