Action-Packed LDW Attracts Regional Association Leaders And Volunteers
This week, leaders from volunteer committees and the industry’s regional associations have been in Grapevine, Texas, for the 16th annual Leadership Development Workshop (LDW), hosted by PPAI and the Regional Association Council (RAC).
The four-day event began Monday with a PPAI Board of Directors meeting and continued with training and planning for PPAI committee and advisory group chairs on Tuesday, and an extensive curriculum of seminars, panel discussions and collaborative exercises, as well as networking and consultation opportunities for regional association leaders. The program wraps up this afternoon.
“This week has been an outstanding showing of some of our industry’s best leaders and volunteers getting together to network, brainstorm and strategize to create an outstanding game plan for 2016,” says Ryan Small, CAS, of Blue Dog Merch and incoming president of the Regional Association Council.
More than 160 regional volunteers representing 27 regional associations attended LDW to participate in their choice of 28 education sessions with speakers and panelists from PPAI and from within and outside the promotional products industry. Psychologist and humorist Bruce Christopher opened Tuesday night’s General Session & Dinner with a lively and entertaining after-dinner presentation on the importance of attitude in living a successful life. His masterful storytelling style, laced with physical humor, led listeners through a short series of exercises to help them learn why positive self-talk is so important. He also explained the two things optimists do that others don’t (leap through their fears and find freedom in failure)—and why that makes a difference in their uncanny ability to succeed against all odds.
“The keynote speaker this year was very relevant—he brought everything into perspective,” says Larry Arntz, of Larry Arntz Inc. and a volunteer with the Virginia Promotional Products Association. “We are here to learn. All the sessions have been fantastic and the new format is wonderful.”
The highlight at the Opening General Session & Dinner was a presentation honoring Lori Bauer, vice president of sales—national accounts at Tampa, Florida-based supplier BIC Graphic USA (UPIC: BIC) as the 2015 PPAI RAC Volunteer of the Year Award recipient. Bauer was formally recognized for her accomplishments working with the Promotional Products Association of Florida (PPAF) where she is active on numerous levels, helping lead the regional association and volunteering for its trade shows, committees and events. She has lent her experience and expertise to PPAI on numerous occasions, participated in a number of committees and action groups, and joined the PPAI Women’s Leadership Conference this year as a speaker on business communication. She was also named a PPB Rising Star in 2010.
Sue Selseth, executive director of the Upper Midwest Association of Promotional Professionals, says, “LDW always provides valuable opportunities to share information and ideas with peers, meet other association leaders, and establish or reconnect relationships with volunteers and staff. A wide array of sessions are offered that incite creativity, promote idea sharing, and provide industry-specific tools that association leaders can implement for best practices. The networking and education together make LDW a unique and rewarding experience.”
In surveying the busy interaction taking place during this morning’s group consultation session, Rebecca Mclaughlin, CAS, Keystone Line and president of the Regional Association Council, noted, “This week truly shows how committed our industry is to each other and how our volunteers are truly committed to giving back to the industry,” says. “For first-time attendees, this event is the best thing you can do if you are new to your board or new to the industry. If you really want to get involved, this is the place to get started.”